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Weekly Digest
April 7, 2020


COVID-19 and JACL operations and programming

JACL's physical offices remain closed. Staff continue to do the work of the organization remotely.  Please direct all phone calls to our Washington, D.C. Office at (202) 223-1240 and we will get back to you as quickly as possible. Otherwise, we will all be available via email. All staff emails can be found HERE.

We are still planning for our convention June 24-28, but are considering our options including going forward as scheduled, postponing to a later date, or converting to an online National Council meeting. In the event of a change to the event, any  registrations will be honored for the rescheduled event or refunded in the event of cancellation or change of format. We expect to have a decision on convention no later than April 24.

Stay safe everyone and we hope to see you all in person again soon. 

- JACL National Staff


JACL Calls for Caution in Making Comparisons to Past Wars

On Fox News Sunday, Surgeon General and Vice Admiral Jerome Adams compared our nation’s response to COVID-19 as equal to the responses to Pearl Harbor and 9/11. For many Japanese Americans and American Muslims, making such comparisons can have a severe emotional and traumatic impact.


JACL Joins Congress in Condemning All Forms of Anti-Asian Sentiment as Related to COVID-19

We applaud the introduction by Senators Harris, Duckworth, and Hirono, of the Senate Resolution, “Condemning all forms of anti-Asian sentiment as related to COVID-19.” This companion to Rep. Meng’s House resolution 908 is much needed with the increasing discrimination and violence  towards Asian Americans and minorities as the threat from COVID-19 similarly increases.


Bystander Intervention Training hosted by AAJC and Hollaback! 

Asian Americans Advancing Justice - AAJC and Hollaback! have partnered up for a free virtual training on bystander intervention to address heightened anti-Asian and anti-Asian American hate and xenophobia in the wake of COVID-19. Sign up for a time convenient for you!

*Wednesday, April 8, 7pm ET / 6pm CT / 5pm MT / 4pm PT / 1pm HT: https://bit.ly/april8bystandertraining

*Thursday, April 9, 2:30pm ET / 1:30pm CT / 12:30pm MT / 11:30am PT / 8:30am HT: https://bit.ly/april9bystandertraining


Manzanar Virtual Pilgrimage

The 2nd San Jose JACL Pilgrimage to Manzanar has been canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but please join us on a virtual journey to learn about the Japanese American World War II incarceration. This year's pilgrimage will be an online educational experience held via Zoom Webinar. The goals of the program are:

  • To educate the community about the WWII Japanese American incarceration and the movement for redress and reparations;

  • To draw parallels between the struggles of JAs during WWII and the plight of Muslims, refugees, immigrants, and others today;

  • To stimulate thoughtful inter-generational & intercultural discussions; and

  • To inspire advocacy and action to protect human rights and fight hate and discrimination.

Cost is Free! Check out more information on the panels and register at the link below! 


Heart Mountain Virtual Programming 

"In a continued effort to stop the spread of COVID-19, we have closed the Heart Mountain Interpretive Center to the public until April 30. At that time, we will assess the situation and decide whether to reopen. Please visit our Coronavirus page to keep up with the latest announcements.

In the meantime, Heart Mountain Wyoming Foundation staff has begun a weekly schedule of new online content! This digital programming will continue through the duration of the Interpretive Center’s closure." - Heart Mountain Wyoming Foundation


COVID-19 Relief from the SBA as part of the CARES Act

"Our nation's small businesses are facing an unprecedented economic disruption due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. On Friday, March 27, 2020, the President signed into law the CARES Act, which contains $376 billion in relief for American workers and small businesses." 

In addition to traditional SBA funding programs, the CARES Act established several new temporary programs to address the COVID-19 outbreak.

  • Paycheck Protection Program 
  • EIDL Loan Advance
  • SBA Express Bridge Loans
  • SBA Loan Forgiveness

For any of our members or supporters interested in applying for relief through the CARES Act you can do so through the SBA website Here!


JACL Policy Updates 

Here are some recent policy-related sign-ons for members to stay up to date on what the JACL is supporting on the national level


Tsuru for Solidarity and Detention Watch Network Day of Action - #Defundthehate

Tsuru for Solidarity is taking part in Detention Watch Network's Week of Action with a Day of Action planned for tomorrow, April 1. Tsuru and DWN are asking supporters to complete a Targeted Action Message, sending an email to your members of Congress asking them to #Defundthehate and protect immigrants in ICE custody from COVID-19. You can use the button below to take part and message your representatives. 


JACL National Scholarship Program: Non-Freshman Deadline Extended!

Non-freshman Deadline: NOW MAY 1, 2020

All other filing requirements for non-freshman applicants remain in place. Complete application packets must be postmarked no later than May 1, 2020, and sent to:  National JACL Scholarship Committee, c/o JACL Midwest District Council, 10604 Killarney Drive, Union, Kentucky 41091.

Due to shelter-in-place orders, the processing of membership and membership numbers out of our San Francisco Headquarters Office may be delayed.  Phone messages are not easily retrievable so membership questions should be emailed to mbr@jacl.org rather than calling.


JACL Legacy Fund Grant Applications 

Deadline Soon!

Deadline: April 8, 2020

JACL Chapters and Districts are eligible to apply for a grant to support a project or activity that is supportive of the National JACL Strategic Plan. Grants of up to $5,000 each will be awarded by the Legacy Fund Grants Committee to selected applicants. Funding for the program grants are provided by Legacy Fund revenues.


Registration is Now Open!

June 24 - 28 Las Vegas

2020 Convention

Registration for the 2020 JACL National Convention in Las Vegas is now open! You can register for national convention using the link below before April 1st for an Early-Bord Discount! You can also begin booking your rooms through Bally's Event Page below! We hope to see you in Las Vegas!

JACL Committee Forms

  • JACL National Board Applications
  • Awards Committee Nomination Forms (JACLer of the Biennium, JA of the Biennium, George Inagaki Award)
  • Resolutions Committee Forms 
  • CBL Committee Forms 
  • Credentials Committee Forms 
  • Exhibitor and Ad Intake Form



Complete the 2020 Census Now!

Despite the COVID-19 epidemic, you can still fill out your 2020 Census online and over the phone! Click the link below to visit the Census website to start! 


Japanese American Veterans Association

2020 Scholarships 


Applications Extended: April 19, 2020

Applicants should first review published rules and forms.  Applications and supporting documents must be electronically submitted no later than 11:59 p.m. on Wednesday, March 25, 2020, to javascholarship222@gmail.com  with either “2020 Inouye Memorial Scholarship,” “2020 Founder’s Memorial Scholarship,”  "Kiyoko Tsuboi Taubkin Legacy Scholarship," or “2020 JAVA Memorial Scholarship” and the applicant’s name in the subject line.  Applications not received by that date or that fail to meet the submission requirements will NOT be considered. Applicants will be notified of a decision by early June 2020.  Awards will be presented at the annual JAVA scholarship luncheon on July 18, 2020. 

Scholarship information can also be found on the JAVA website: https://java.wildapricot.org


Advocacy Opportunity: Join the JACL in Supporting the Dignity for Detained Immigrants Act! 

More than one million immigrants arrive at U.S. borders every year, many escaping violent or threatening situations in their home countries. 

Under Trump, immigrants arrive to U.S. detention centers that are just as damaging as the violence-prone countries many are fleeing. One investigator even found conditions at the nation’s largest Customs and Border Protection detention center “could be compared to torture facilities.”

U.S. Congress members, Rep. Adam Smith (D-WA), Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) and Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) have sponsored a bill called the Dignity for Detained Immigrants Act, proposing changes to how the U.S. treats immigrants and ensuring transparent and responsible conduct around immigrants awaiting a court decision.

This legislation would implement a shift from detention to alternative housing arrangements for immigrants awaiting court decisions. Community-based supervision programs allow immigrants to live independently, and outside of detention centers.

This legislation will also address transparency in how the U.S. runs its detention centers, calling for regular inspections at detention facilities to ensure that the facility workers are respecting all rights of immigrants. 

Migrant families lawfully seeking asylum cannot continue to be abused! Congress must enact legislation to prevent further detainment in for-profit concentration camps. Join the JACL along with other sponsors, Daily Kos, Franciscan Action Network, Blue Future, and more by signing the petition!


Follow JACL on:


JACL Headquarters
1765 Sutter Street
San Francisco, California 94115
(415) 921-5225 | mbr@jacl.org

JACL DC Office
1629 K Street NW, Suite 400
Washington, D.C. 20006
(202) 223-1240 | policy@jacl.org

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