Read the latest on what's happening with JACL National, locally, and with our partner orgs!  ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌  ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌

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Weekly Digest
September 29, 2020

Our September fundraising campaign features our work:

  • Fighting anti-Asian sentiment during Covid-19 - working with Congress and Community partners to track and denounce attacks on the community
  • Educating teachers and students through teacher training workshops - updating the Power of Words handbook and curriculum guides 
  • Advocating for racial justice for the black community - supporting legislation such as HR 40, seeking reparations for slavery

Link to the full fundraising letter here!

Please consider a gift today using the button below. 


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,, 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


 Register to Vote Today! 

We've created a new page of information and places for people to register to vote and learn more about the upcoming election!


24 Hour Action! Ask the California Department of Education to Include More Examples in their Asian American Studies Curriculum!

California’s proposal for a statewide K-12 Asian American studies curriculum includes sample lesson plans covering only Filipinx farmworkers, Chinese Railroad workers, Pacific Islanders, and Hmong Americans. This completely excludes Japanese Americans, Vietnamese Americans, Korean Americans, and so many others for coverage with a sample lesson plan. We know that without a prepared provided lesson plan, instructors are unlikely to consider including such topics in their curriculum.

This new statewide curriculum goes into effect March 2021, and changes after that time will be more difficult to effect.

We have a chance to fix this. The California Department of Education has public review and comments submission. We have until September 30 to get our education curriculum submitted for review. We need to let the CDE understand how deeply rooted Asian American culture is tied with California’s history and the political fabric of the US constitution. We also need to send emails to the CDE to get them to listen and make sure they make these changes while being inclusive in Asian American Ethnic Studies.


End of the 2020 Virtual JACL/OCA Leadership Summit!

Today marks the end of the 2020 Virtual JACL/OCA Leadership Summit! Over the last 6 days, 14 participants from JACL and OCA chapters across the country came together to learn about leadership on the national level. They heard from a multitude of organizations, community leaders, and members Congress to learn more about how they can best get involved in their local communities and take the next step to a larger scale if they wish. 

On behalf of JACL and OCA, we want to extend an enormous thanks to State Farm for their sponsorship of the program and to AARP for their support as well. We'd like to thank our community partners: NAACP, LULAC, PFLAG, Muslim Advocates, The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, Asian Americans Advancing Justice - AAJC, APIAHF, SEARAC, and NCAPA. We also wish to thank Nisha Ramachandran, Professor Frank Wu, former Congressman Mike Honda, CAPAC Executive Director Krystal Ka'ai, CAPASA Co-President Liz Lee, Representative Mark Takano, Representative Judy Chu, and Representative Grace Meng, and their office staff for joining us this weekend!


NY/SC Announces Virtual Storytelling Contest Winners

The National Youth/Student Council is thrilled to announce the winners of our first Digital Storytelling Contest, Sam Hamashima and the team of Kristin Sato and Jessica Bukowski! 

In July, we announced our Digital Storytelling Contest focusing on the theme of “How Does the Past Influence Your Present”? Using one of five mediums - journalistic-style essay, visual art, video presentation, poetry, or creative writing - we asked youth participants to send in their stories. These two winning submissions exemplified the high quality and depth of storytelling we sought in capturing the rich and varied experience of Japanese American youth and where they come from.

We know that storytelling has always been important, particularly for Japanese and Asian Americans. Much of our community history is recorded orally or passed down through personal archives, and in the present moment, it is especially important that we take note of our experiences, memories, thoughts, and feelings. This competition was designed to uplift young JACL voices and use our stories, whether they be present or historical, to build connections with one another in times of physical distance.


Announcing: JACS Consortium Education Conference, October 17-18, 2020


JACL DC Chapter virtual book talk: "Setsuko's Secret: Heart Mountain and the Legacy of the Japanese American Incarceration" with Shirley Ann Higuchi

The JACL DC Chapter is pleased to invite our members and friends to participate in our third FREE virtual event via Zoom.

Join us on Wednesday, Oct. 7 at 7PM EDT to virtually meet with author Shirley Ann Higuchi as she discusses her new book, Setsuko's Secret: Heart Mountain and the Legacy of the Japanese American Incarceration. Higuchi, who is the associate executive director of legal and regulatory affairs for the American Psychological Association and the chair of the Heart Mountain Wyoming Foundation, will talk with attendees about this deeply personal account of her family and the generational trauma that shaped her own life.


"Seen and Unseen: Queering JA History before 1945" Virtual Exhibit

Seen and Unseen: Queering Japanese American History Before 1945 is the first-ever exhibit focused on Nikkei (Japanese Americans) who were involved in intimate same-sex relationships or defied gender roles in the early 20th century. Queer Nikkei are virtually non-existent in Japanese American history, but this exhibit brings them into view. Drawing from recent research by scholars in history, cultural and literary studies, Seen and Unseen brings to light a hidden past when same-sex relationships and female impersonation were accepted parts of Japanese immigrant culture, and how queer Japanese Americans expressed themselves as the Nikkei community came to mirror white American fears of same-sex intimacy and gender nonconformity.

The virtual exhibit will open on October 11, 2020, to coincide with National Coming out Day and run through Feb 14, 2021.  Seen and Unseen: Queering Japanese American History Before 1945 is hosted by J-Sei and co-curated by Amy Sueyoshi and Stan Yogi.


Complete the 2020 Census Now!

The self-reporting deadline and in-person canvassing dealine for the 2020 Census are coming up soon! That doesn't leave much time leSo if you, your family, friends, or community members haven't completed the Census yet be sure to remind them! 



JACL Mourns the passing of Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg 

The loss of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is immeasurable. Her life was one of perseverance, meaningful dissent, and the embodiment of the idea that the arc of the moral universe is long, but bends toward justice.

As the target of intense gender discrimination from the start of her career, she devoted herself to eliminating the very barriers she had faced through the power of the courts. As a litigator, she not only broke down the laws that separated men and women but also broke down the stereotyped roles opening up the potential for both men and women to be and become whatever they desired, not what society forced upon them.


JACL Disgusted by Reports of Medical Abuse of Women in ICE Custody

Last week, Dawn Wooten, a nurse at Irwin County Detention Center (ICDC) in Ocilla, Georgia came forward with whistleblower allegations of mass involuntary hysterectomies and gross medical neglect towards women incarcerated by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). The complaint, filed by Government Accountability Project and Project South, details the denial and delay of care for immigrants before and during the coronavirus pandemic as well as a lack of safety measures for immigrants and staff. These allegations, if true, represent a new depth of depravity for this administration and the inhumane cruelty being inflicted upon immigrants.


Poston Virtual Pilgrimage: Oct. 3-4!

Contact:  Marlene Shigekawa, President


OCTOBER 3–4, 2020

The Poston Community Alliance Annual Pilgrimage will be held as an online event this year on October 3 and October 4. All activities will be free of charge.

Programs will feature opening remarks by Dennis Patch, Tribal Chairman of the Colorado River Indian Tribes Reservation, and a video on the Poston Incarceration Site, which provides Poston’s unique history and updates on past and present Alliance projects. Workshops will be provided followed with live Q & A sessions. Additional videos and films can be viewed “on demand” at Special guest presenter will be Derek Mio, lead actor of the TV series The Terror: Infamy. Mio will present a reading of Marlene Shigekawa’s children’s book “Welcome Home Swallows”.

To register for this free online event and receive the virtual event link, go to

The Poston Community Alliance is a non-profit organization. The mission of the Poston Community Alliance is to preserve Poston’s incarceration history to strengthen and expand efforts in upholding social justice for all Americans, regardless of race, religion and ethnicity. Through multimedia educational outreach and the preservation of stories, artifacts and historic structures, Poston’s unique multicultural history, involving Japanese Americans and Native Americans, will be captured and saved.


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 |

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

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