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Weekly Digest
February 2, 2021


COVID-19 and JACL operations and resources

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. You can also check our website, jacl.org, for updates and COVID-19 resources. You can view our resources page here. 

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

- JACL National Staff


JACL Promotes Program Director and We're Hiring!

JACL is pleased to announce the promotion of Phillip Ozaki to Program Director - Membership and Fund Development. Phillip has served on staff for a cumulative four years including as Membership Coordinator and Norman Y. Mineta Fellow. He has extensive fundraising experience and is a founding board member of the National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance. Phillip also brings work experience at several tech companies and an MBA from ESADE Business School in Spain.

Phillip writes to Digest readers: “First of all, I’m proud to announce that membership revenue grew in 2020 - thank you! We could not have done that without you! I’m honored to take on this challenging new role to carry on my Grandparents’ legacy and because we all know that JACL has a lot to offer. It’s time to engage new funding partners to reinvigorate current programs and innovate new ones. If you’re interested in joining a fundraising initiative, please reach out to me at pozaki@jacl.org.”

JACL is now hiring for a Membership Coordinator. Phillip says, “It’s a great time to work in the movement for social justice and in the Japanese American community. Plus, you get to work with our awesome volunteers (and youth) while developing highly sought fundraising skills.”

Please feel free to forward the position widely. 
View the full Membership Coordinator job posting at here or the PDF here.


Tomorrow! Immigrant Families Are Essential Press Conference 

Immigrant Activists Demand Freedom and Dignity for all Immigrant Families through Swift Action from Biden Administration and Congress

One hundred immigrant activists and community members demand that immigrant families be treated as essential since they have been on the frontlines of the pandemic


WASHINGTON, DC -- All immigrant families are essential and deserve freedom, dignity, and respect. Our families have been torn apart, incarcerated, and our very lives put at risk during this pandemic. Our families have suffered enough, now is the time to right these injustices. Immigrant activists groups demand that President Biden:

  1. End Family Detention - Immediately empty and shut down all family prisons and immediately stop expulsions and deportations of families. Release families to loved ones or sponsors in the United States.
  2. Reunify families separated by deportation and detention policies under the past administration, including right to return. 
  3. Push for an expedited citizenship path for essential workers and their families, and all 11 million undocumented immigrants

WHAT:  Press Conference with affected community members, immigrant families, and immigrant advocates and allies

Visuals: Large 3 ft x 3 ft signs featuring immigrant families and other banners and signs 

WHEN: Wednesday, February 3, 2021 @ 12:00 PM ET

Live Stream at 12:00 ET at www.facebook.com/CASAforall 

WHERE: Freedom Plaza, Washington D.C.

WHO: CASA, Shut Down Berks Coalition, American Friends Service Committee, Center for Popular Democracy, Church World Service, Disciples Refugee & Immigration Ministries, Doctors 4 Camp Closures, FIRM, Free Migration Project, Haitian Bridge Alliance, Interfaith Immigration Coalition, Japanese American Citizens League, Make The Road PA, NAKASEC, National Domestic Workers Alliance, Presbyterian Church U.S.A., SEIU 32BJ, Shut Down Berks Interfaith, Sunrise Berks, Sunrise PA, Sunrise D.C., Tsuru for Solidarity

RSVP: For more information on the actions, please contact Jenna DeFosse, Jdefosse@wearecasa.org, 301-717-4492


Looking for Testimony in Support of HR 40


Setsuko's Secret: Post-WWII Community Advocacy and Political Leadership

Join us for a reflective conversation about growing up post-war, the activism of the Sansei generation, the redress movement, our current national crisis, and where we go from here.

Shirley Ann Higuchi, author of the new book "Setsuko's Secret: Heart Mountain and the Legacy of the Japanese American Incarceration," will be joined by three prominent figures in the political and legal space: Assemblyman Warren Furutani, Congressman Mike Honda, and lawyer Dale Minami; KABC-TV Channel 7 in Los Angeles news anchor David Ono will moderate.

The panel discussion will be followed by an opportunity for the audience to ask questions through Q&A chat.


2021 JACL National Day of Remembrance Event and DOR Event Listings

JACL National will once again be co-sponsoring a Day of Remembrance event with the Smithsonian Institute's Museum of American History titled FACEism: A panel discussion of history and accountability. The event will be hosted by JACL Fellows Matthew Weisbly and Cheyenne Cheng in discussion with ABC7 Anchor and FACEism host, David Ono, and President and CEO of JANM, Ann Burroughs. The event will be streamed online, Friday, February 19th at 6pm EST/3pm PST. 

JACL is also looking to compile a list of all of the Day of Remembrance Events coming up around the country for members and their communities to be able to search for events near them. If you have any DOR events in your city or know of any, please email our Policy Fellow, Matthew Weisbly, at mweisbly@jacl.org with details for the event! We'll start posting a list of dates, times, and locations online and here in the digest starting next week! 


JACL Organizational Sign Ons




JACL National 2021 Scholarship Program -

1 month left for Freshman Apps!


WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Japanese American Citizens League (JACL) announced that the 2021 National Scholarship and Awards Program is now underway.  The JACL annually offers approximately 30 college scholarships for students who are incoming college freshmen, undergraduates and graduates, and those specializing in law and the creative/performing arts. There are also financial aid scholarships for those demonstrating a need for financial assistance.  

Scholarship Program guidelines, instructions, and applications have been posted on the JACL website, www.jacl.org, and can be accessed by clicking the “Youth” tab on the menu bar. You may also click the button below “To Learn More or Apply Click Here.”

Starting this year, the application forms for the scholarship program will be completely online. Freshman applications must be submitted directly by the applicant to National JACL through the online form no later than March 1, 2021, 11:59 p.m. Hawaiian Standard Time (HST).  

Applications for the non-freshman scholarship categories (undergraduate, graduate, law, creative/performing arts, and financial aid) are also to be sent directly by the applicant to National JACL through the online form no later than April 1, 2021, 11:59 p.m. Hawaiian Standard Time (HST).  

For more information on the National JACL Scholarship Program, contact Scholarship Program Manager Matthew Weisbly at scholarships@jacl.org.


Biden issues Presidential Memorandum on Combating Anti-Asian Sentiment due to COVID-19

From the White House Memorandum: 

Advancing inclusion and belonging for people of all races, national origins, and ethnicities is critical to guaranteeing the safety and security of the American people.  During the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, inflammatory and xenophobic rhetoric has put Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) persons, families, communities, and businesses at risk.

From Executive Director, David Inoue: 

“We welcome this first step towards addressing the specific challenges Asian Pacific American communities have faced during the COVID-19 pandemic. Beyond repudiating the use of racist language to describe COVID-19, we welcome a renewed focus on addressing the anti-Asian hate incidents and crimes that have become all to prevalent, but also remain symptomatic of increasing xenophobia and white supremacist segments within our country and broadly impact all marginalized communities. The creation of a task force to address the inequities of how COVID-19 has impacted APA communities is overdue and will move us towards ensuring all Americans have full access to the medical and economic stimulus programs in a culturally and linguistically appropriate manner.” 


Sakura Gardens Intermediate Care Facility Media Event and JACL Statement

Image courtesy of Vini Taguchi, Twin Cities JACL

The Press Event will be available to view online at a later date. You can follow Progressive Asian Network for Action for updates as well:  www.facebook.com/progressiveasians/


From our statement for today's media event: 

We call upon Pacifica Companies to pause and take stock of the dangers of proceeding with the closure to its residents, to whom they remain obligated as caregivers. Pacifica must work with greater transparency with the community that has supported Sakura Gardens for its 50 years of existence to ensure the community’s needs are served. 

Sakura Gardens was founded on the mission to honor our community elders. Pacifica should honor that original mission to serve its residents and ensure their safety throughout the ongoing pandemic. We hope that all interested parties recognize the importance of Sakura Gardens to the immediate Boyle Heights neighborhood and the local Japanese American community and find a way to continue to serve our seniors through the established Sakura Gardens model of care.


"Black + Japanese Reparations" Virtual Event Series and Book Club


Help find a Bone Marrow Match for

Paul and Kazumi!


2021 Minoru Yasui Student Contest

“If there is suffering or pain that is unfairly imposed upon anyone, it’s my duty, it’s your duty to try to alleviate it because that’s the way in which we gain a better life for all of us.” — Minoru Yasui 

The Minoru Yasui Student Contest is proud to announce its 2021 essay competition on Refugee and Immigrant Experiences.  We celebrate the ideas and opinions of students in grades 6 through 12 and challenge them to write an original and thoughtful essay exploring refugee or immigrant experiences. Their essay should also demonstrate an understanding of the life and legacy of Minoru Yasui, who spent over 40 years as a dedicated leader serving diverse and often marginalized communities. 

Students are encouraged to research and share meaningful stories about the conditions, challenges, and support experienced by immigrants and refugees coming to the United States. At the same time, we hope to inspire the next generation of leaders who can embrace complex issues as Min Yasui did - with courage, agility, and thoughtfulness.

For more information on contest details, please go to the Minoru Yasui Legacy Project website:  minoruyasuilegacy.org/student-contest.  

Here’s what you need to know:

Other resources include:

  • For curriculum, logistics, and educational resources related to the life and legacy of Minoru Yasui and primary sources about Oregon’s Nikkei community, please contact Jennifer Fang at jennifer@oregonnikkei.org 

  • For student experience and research guidance, please contact Alan Zhou at alanzhou2018@gmail.com  or Kyler Wang at kyler.y.wang@gmail.com


APAICS & NCAPA Resume Bank for Presidential Appointments

For more information about the appointment process, types of appointments, and what to expect, please visit the Partnership for Public Service’s “Ready to Serve” website: https://presidentialtransition.org/readytoserve/

Please review the previous Plum Books to research listings of former appointee positions, departments, agencies, and desired bureaus to inform your application.

Access the resume bank submission form here: bit.ly/AAPIResBank


Join Us in Support of H.R. 40

JACL Executive Director, David Inoue, discusses JACL’s support of H.R. 40. H.R. 40 would create a commission to examine the institution of slavery, its legacy, and make recommendations to Congress for reparations, beginning a process of repairing and restoring after centuries of enslavement. Click the image above to watch the full video statement. 


Hate Crime Resources 

We've updated our Hate Crimes Page to include more information and reporting options for members of the community as hate crimes increase as a result of COVID-19. You can visit the updated page here. 


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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