We’re RELAUNCHING the blog!!

I’m happy to announce that we are relaunching our blog along with the rest of our social media platforms!  We’ve already created our new JACL PSW facebook page and you may have noticed that we started tweeting again!  Please check out those pages and like/follow us to keep up with all our latest news.

There will be a new blog every Monday written by Regional Director, PSW Staff and PSW members to keep you updated on all the things that have been going on in our wonderful district.

To kick things off a little bit, I’ll be reflecting about an incredible event that I went to last night called Nikkei Voices.  nikkei voicesThis was organized by the Intercollegiate Nikkei Council, with all the proceeds going toward the JACCC.  Scott Shima, one of the key organizers of this event, invited me to speak on behalf of the JACL during the event.  You can see my picture here.  It’s kind of hard to see, but I promise that’s me!

It was incredible to see how many students came out to support their peers and the cause on a Sunday evening from all over Southern California.  All the performers were very talented with acts ranging from comedy to dance to vocal performances!

For me being new to the community, it was a great opportunity to introduce myself to these students, but I was also so excited to see the INC come together for a community cause.  To me, this is what working for the community is all about.  Coming together when someone is in need, helping them out, and doing it in a fun way!  These college students were inspiring for me, and I look forward to seeing what else the INC has in store!

Please look out for our future blogs!

~Stephanie, JACL PSW Regional Director

UCLA Asian Am Studies Center releases 2013 statistical portrait of the Asian American and Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander populations

In case you were interested in the changes from last year’s report! 

UCLA Asian American Studies Center: 2013 Statistical Portrait of Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Other Pacific Islanders

The UCLA Asian American Studies Center, as an official U.S. Census Information Center (as a co-partner with National Coalition for Asian Pacific Community Development), is pleased to provide this 2013 statistical portrait of the Asian American and Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander populations produced by the US Census Bureau for Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, which will take place in May, 2013. The portrait provides current census data, population projections, and internet links that should be useful for research, planning, writing and general educational purposes. Please see the “Editor’s note” at the end of this announcement for more information.The first major section provides information on “Asians,” while the second major part highlights “Native Hawaiians and Other Pacific Islanders”.


18.2 million

The estimated number of U.S. residents in 2011 who were Asian, either alone or in combination with one or more additional races.
Source: 2011 Population Estimates Table 3 <www.census.gov/popest/data/index.html>. For additional information, see <www.census.gov/popest/data/national/asrh/2011/index.html>.
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(Re)claiming Our Communities: Identity Politics, Youth Engagement, and Building Contemporary Asian Pacific America



The 2012 Collegiate Japanese American Internship program is running full speed with 5 passionate and hardworking interns placed at APIsCAN, OCAPICA, and APALC this year.

They are doing many hands-on advocacy and outreach work such as researching API funders and doing voter mobilization for the November elections. Three of the interns are conducting phone banking sessions every week to speak directly with potential API voters on issues that matter to them. Their work impacts the community in positive ways and their energy is vital towards obtaining social justice.


These great interns are putting together a 1 Day Conference as part of their Program. Please join us as we learn about how youth can make a difference in their post-college communities.

“How do everyday professionals serve as strong advocates for the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities? And how can you likewise utilize your technical and professional skills to empower the AAPI community when you enter the post-college world?

In addressing such questions, this conference offers an open forum for participants to explore various post-college opportunities as well as various forms of activism that align with their future interests. Ultimately, through a series of workshops and panels, this conference hopes to build community while cultivating active and well-informed AAPI youth.”




When: Saturday Nov 17th

Time: 10:00am ~ 4:30pm

Where: Garden Room B @ JACCC

244 S. San Pedro St.

Los Angeles, CA 90012

Katarou Histories Culmination Announcement

by Eri Kameyama

I can’t believe it’s already week 8 of Katarou Histories, inter-generational oral history program, held at the San Fernando Valley’s Japanese American Community Center. This inaugural program has shown that a multi-generational program is possible and that dialogue can happen and community can develop across ages. Throughout the program, participants have gotten to really know each other’s histories and how their Japanese American family histories fits into the larger Asian Pacific Islander history, become more familiar with their intersecting identities of race, ethnicity, gender, class, ability, nationality, and have learned how to use this knowledge to move forward and take action for the larger API community.

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In college? Interested in API issues? Looking for an internship?

by Eri Kameyama

I was in college not too long ago. Two years ago to be exact. And I wish I knew about opportunities like this one to get myself more involved with the Asian American and Pacific Islander community. This regret and a desire to reach a wider audience is partly why I am so passionate about this program that I am now working on– Collegiate Japanese American Internship or CJAI.

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Dinner is Shaping Up

Two and a half months, and counting down.  The 16th Annual Awards Dinner for the Pacific Southwest District is shaping up.  “The Living Legends of JACL” will honor the following honorees who, through their example and spirit, reflect JACL’s legacy and commitment to greater diversity, inclusion, and social justice in our society:

Community Honorees

Union Bank
Harry Honda
Helen Kawagoe Continue reading

“JA MIA? Empowering Nikkei for the AAPI Community”

Join us this Saturday!!

Traci Ishigo, one of our beloved student activists from San Fernando Valley, has put together an amazing day full of workshops, panels, discussions, and food for the Japanese American community in the valley. Come out to the San Fernando Valley JACC (yes it will be hot in the valley, but the room will be cool!) to learn about how your identity fits into the larger Asian American identities. Do you want to know how you can be an Asian American activist from your home, in your school, in your workplace? You’ve found the right place. We’ll see you there!!

Numbers can hide a whole lot …

by Eri Kameyama

My plane from Dallas, Texas to Baltimore/Washington DC was stopped at Birmingham, Alabama with some passengers getting off at Birmingham and others getting on for DC when I saw my friend posted on his facebook the Pew Research Center’s publication titled “The Rise of Asian Americans.” As soon as I saw the title, I thought, “uh oh. I hope it isn’t as bad as I think it’ll be…”

As I skimmed through the graphs and data presented in this article on my tiny iPhone screen, showing Asian Americans as being successful, happy, non-discriminated, and progressing in America, I felt myself wanting to yell and go off on a rant right then and there to someone, anyone, about how problematic this depiction of our communities was.

I had just completed my duties as a teacher’s assistant for a course taught at UCLA called “Contemporary Asian American and Pacific Islander Communities” where we read articles like Claire Jean Kim’s Racial Triangulation, which illuminated how Asian Americans were valorized above the “falling behind African Americans” and yet kept ostracized from civic engagement through the idea of “perpetual foreigner.” We also learned that as Asian Americans who are in this “racial middle,” we could either choose to blend into and conform with white-American oppressive systems, being the so-called “racial bourgeoisie”  or we can fight alongside our black and brown brothers and sisters in seeking social justice (Mari Matsuda, We Will Not Be Used.) We learned that the model minority myth IS a myth and does more harm than good to our communities.

So when I saw the Pew report, these theories and ways of understanding the unjust world came flooding back, as if giving me a reality check saying “You aren’t free from educating, yet!” The way that the data was presented turned a blind-eye towards all the disparities that many Asian Americans face still today. Where are the voices of all the low income families whose children are even working multiple jobs to support their education? What about the immigrants who lost everything they had worked for in the LA Riots, 20 years ago, losing hope in the American Dream and had to thus re-immigrate to Korea? How can we be sure that having an Asian face is or is not helping us get jobs in this land?

I challenge you to look critically at the data presented. What are these numbers really hiding? What voices are being ignored? What is our role, as Asian Americans, in demanding a fair representation of our communities, identities, feelings and aspirations in the United States?