We want to wish all our members and supporters a happy Asian Pacific American Heritage Month for the month of May!
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
Lessons From the Past: Yellow Peril in COVID-19 Times
As part of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, we're partnering with Asian American Psychological Association (AAPA), South East Asian Resource Center (SEARAC), National Coalition of Asian Pacific Americans (NCAPA), and The Heart Mountain Wyoming Foundation (HMWF) on a webinar discussing Asian American mental health through both a historical lens and through the lens of the current pandemic.
JACL Rebukes Wisconsin Justice’s Comparisons to Japanese American Experience
In a May 5 hearing before the Wisconsin Supreme Court, Justice Rebecca Bradley sought to make comparisons between the state ordered “Safer at Home” guidelines and the mass incarceration of 120,000 Japanese Americans during WWII. JACL rejects this comparison as an insult to Japanese Americans who suffered the unconstitutional injustices of incarceration.
JACL Wisconsin Chapter President Ron Kuramoto states: “I believe Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Rebecca Bradley poses a false equivalency when she uses the “Safer at Home” policy as a comparison for Executive Order 9066, which forced my parents, extended family, and over 120,000 Japanese Americans out of their homes and into, in some cases, horse stalls at Santa Anita Racetrack in California, then transferred and imprisoned my own and other families for over three years in shoddily-built tarpaper barracks in the desert or other desolate places. Bradley’s hyperbole denigrates my parent’s suffering and endurance.”
Asian Pacific American Media Coalition Issues Annual Report CardsTV Networks on their Diversity Grading Efforts
The Asian Pacific American Media Coalition (APAMC)—the only organization to have graded the top four television networks since 2001—issued its annual Report Cards for the past 2018-19 season, assessing the four major TV networks on their progress toward diversity and inclusion of Asian Pacific Americans (APAs) onscreen and behind the camera.
Although ABC and CBS maintained their same grades for Actors and NBC increased (from C to C+), the Coalition fears that the unprecedented success of Crazy Rich Asians in the Summer of 2018 failed to boost significantly the number of APA-led series on network TV. ABC had three pilots in contention that would have starred APAs (first name in the credits), including two that would have featured Asian American families. NBC had a pilot about an Asian American magician, and CBS was considering an Asian American family sitcom including Ken Jeong as a cast member. But none of them made the 2018-19 line-up.
As we celebrate Asian Pacific American Heritage Month in these unprecedented times, we are still hard at work to make sure we continue the work of the JACL and fighting against anti-Asian sentiment in the wake of this epidemic. Please consider donating to JACL to help support our community and help fight discrimination as we celebrate our history and culture in this month of May!
From the SBA: "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."
If you are looking to apply for the Payroll Protection Program (PPP), you can do so through the JACL Credit Union. One of the perks of being a JACL Member is eligibility for the JACL Credit Union. If you want to learn more about membership in the JACL Credit Union or to apply for the PPP through JACL Credit Union, you can visit here!
From our partners at NCAPA: "Our communities are facing unprecedented hardship during the coronavirus pandemic. Created by the NCAPA COVID-19 Taskforce, these factsheets have been created to assist our communities in navigating through various resources available, including programs from recent federal stimulus legislation. These factsheets will be updated as new information becomes available. Translated versions coming soon."
If you want to learn more about the CARES Act or SBA's other programs, you can visit the SBA website Here!
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT...
JACL National Committee Deadlines
While JACL National Convention has been canceled for safety, specific committees will still be continuing the work of the organization for the coming year. The new deadlines for these committees will be June 16, 2020, and a special National Council meeting will be held on August 15, 2020, for the purpose of electing the National Board. These active committees include awards, nominations, and credentials. While CBLs and Resolutions will not take place for this year, there is still a process for putting for an "Initiative" which is outlined in the Constitution and Bylaws. Visit the Committees page below to download forms and view deadlines.
Yesterday, May 11th, PBS premiered the first episode of their 5 part documentary series on the history of Asian Americans. The documentary follows the personal stories of Asian Americans all the way from the first large wave of immigrants in the 1850s through the present day. You can learn more about the series and watch part 1 here!
The Risk of Xenophobia, Guns, and Coronavirus
Our Executive Director, David Inoue, sat down with The Brady Campaign Podcast to discuss the increasing number of Asian American gun buyers as a response to the rise of xenophobia due to COVID-19. You can listen to the full podcast below.
Legacy Fund Grants Committee Co-Chairs Roberta Barton and Toshi Abe announced that the application deadline for the Legacy Fund Grants Program has been reset to June 16, 2020. The adjustment was made in response to the recent cancellation of the JACL National Convention caused by the evolving COVID-19 pandemic. An updated Application and Application Instruction documents are available on the JACL website at https://jacl.org/legacy-fund-grants.
All applications, including those submitted under the previous deadlines, will now be required to include a contingency plan (back-up plan) to address potential COVID-19 restrictions that could alter the project timeline and/or project format. Any questions or concerns can be directed to the co-chairs at firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com.
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.
"Hold These Truths" Available Online
"'Hold These Truths,' which dramatizes the life of conscientious objector and incarceration defier Dr. Gordon Hirabayashi, can be streamed through May 3, 2020, for a donation of $35, which represents the production’s lowest ticket price. "Hold These Truths," by Jeanne Sakata*, directed by Desdemona Chiang, was filmed on stage at People’s Light, Malvern, PA. People's Light is required to remove the video after a certain date due to legal restrictions, but we recently secured permission to extend the expiration date from May 3 to May 10, 2020! There is no limit to the number of times you can access the film once you have purchased a "ticket" and been emailed the link and password."
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.
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! You can find dates and sign-ups here!
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
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.