Weekly Digest
February 11, 2020

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JACL/OCA Leadership Summit Applications Out Now!

Summit Dates: Saturday, April 25 - Tuesday, April 28
Applications due: Sunday, March 1 at 11:59pm Hawaiian Standard Time

The summit has been going on for over twenty years and is dedicated to fostering bonds between JACL and OCA, as well as training community leaders in advocacy. You will hear panels and workshops featuring leaders from national civil rights organizations, meet with members of Congress on the Hill, and learn effective tools for local and national advocacy.

The 2020 summit will take place in Washington, D.C., April 25-28. You must be a JACL member to participate in this program through this application. Participation through this application is open to all JACL members. You will be expected to arrive for a Saturday evening session and to stay through the end of the program Tuesday afternoon. 

All expenses are paid through the generous support of summit sponsor State Farm and the JACL sponsoring District.

Please contact Matthew Weisbly or Cheyenne Cheng with questions.


From Executive Director: Keep Calm, Wash Your Hands — and Don't Be Racist

"How will the Asian American community be impacted by the coronavirus? We have the lessons from the 2003 SARS outbreak as one possible example. Chinatowns were isolated and the economic impact on the businesses was devastating. Perhaps the most glaring instance so far was a statement from the University of California at Berkeley affirming xenophobia as a common response to coronavirus anxiety. It is worth noting that the Berkeley student body was 31% Asian in 2017. It should go without saying that racism and xenophobia are irrational and inappropriate responses to the coronavirus threat."

Click Here to Read the Full Article in the Pacific Citizen


CAIR to Premiere of "Muslims at Manzanar: A Civil Rights Journey" on Day of Remembrance

On February 19, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation's largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, will premiere "Muslims at Manzanar: A Civil Rights Journey" online on the anniversary of President Roosevelt's signing of Executive Order 9066 allowing the incarceration of Japanese Americans and others in internment camps.

This documentary follows CAIR staff as they participate in the 2019 Manzanar Pilgrimage that commemorated the 50th anniversary of the first organized Manzanar Pilgrimage in 1969.

The documentary will premiere on Facebook, YouTube and on CAIR's website: www.cair.com


Day of Remembrance Events

2020 Convention

JACL is 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! 


Save the Date!
June 24 - 28 Las Vegas

2020 Convention

Twitter Presidential Town Hall!
Thursday, February 13th @ 2pm EST
Hosted by APIAVote & NCAPA

ON THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 13TH, APIAVote and NCAPA will be co-hosting a Twitter town hall with various democratic presidential campaigns.

This Twitter Town Hall is non-partisan and comes at a critical time for the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community, with about 40 percent of the national AAPI population eligible to participate in the Nevada and Super Tuesday contests. Indeed, in some states, AAPIs will exceed 10 percent of all voters. With AAPI communities highly engaged online, we see the event as a pivotal moment for candidates to personally outline their vision to the AAPI community.

The town hall will be at 2 PM EST and will have candidates either promoting their platform through a short video or answering a series of pre-determined questions. With the Nevada caucuses and Super Tuesday coming up, this is a good time to grab the attention of presidential campaigns as well as the public to show that AAPIs are politically engaged!  The official partners of the event are APIAVote, the National Council of Asian Pacific Americans (NCAPA), AAPI Data, Asian American Journalist's Association (AAJA) and NBC Asian America as our media sponsor. 

Some key issues that will be touched upon: 

  • Commitment to AAPI outreach and engagement / AAPI political appointments:
  • Data Disaggregation and Visibility for Low Income AAPI communities
  • Language access
  • Gun Control
  • Immigration
  • College debt

Courtesy of APIAVote and NCAPA 


Japantown San Francisco - February Focus Groups

What do you envision the future of Japantown to look like?

Well, you have a precious opportunity to share your ideas and input so that we can collectively determine our next steps for implementation toward the bigger vision. Whether you attended the Town Hall Meetings last year, or not, Focus groups allow us to take a deeper dive into the most prominent challenges and opportunities in 6 Key Areas.

 The Japantown Cultural District is a community-wide program to collectively envision & develop strategies to sustain Japantown into the future. It is a formalized collaborative partnership with the City and County of San Francisco to stabilize historic communities at risk of displacement and gentrification. This year, 2020 the Japantown Cultural District Team will synthesize all of your input and develop the CHHESS (Cultural History, Housing, and Economic Sustainability Strategy) Report.

The CHHESS will be submitted to the Board of Supervisors in late Summer of 2020, and will focus on implementable and prioritized action items. Your ideas are a key component for synthesizing this CHHESS strategy!

We have an opportunity to voice our common vision, and be heard.


JA Confinement Sites Consortium 
Advocacy Days in Washington, D.C.

2020 Convention



Minoru Yasui Student Contest 2020
Righting a Wrong! Min Yasui and Redress!

Contest Prompt:

Reflecting on Minoru Yasui’s legacy during the Japanese American redress and reparations movement, create an action plan for a civil rights violation that the United States should redress today (to apologize for, to set right). 

Contest Website: https://sites.google.com/view/minyasuicontest2020/home

Exhibit Proposal due: March 15, 2020

Make Your Own Exhibit due: March 28, 2020

Minoru “Min” Yasui saw people treated unjustly in 1942 and he took action. On March 28th, Oregonians commemorate Min’s legacy of justice that began with his challenge of the curfew placed on Japanese Americans during World War II. From 1976 to 1984, Min Yasui served as the chair of the Japanese American Citizens League’s National Committee for Redress which fought for an apology from the United States government for the unjust incarceration of Japanese Americans during WWII. However, Min passed away before the passing of the Civil Liberties Act of 1988. Though he did not live to see the government’s apology, Min’s legacy inspires us to take action today.

Make your own exhibit!

Create a Tri-Fold Poster, a photo exhibit, or a short film to capture your redress action plan! Your exhibit should relate an event, action, or violation that occurred in the history or recent past of the United States. 

$100.00 to $200.00 Award prizes.

Open to middle and high school students in Oregon and SW Washington

For more information email us: info@oregonnikkei.org

Minoru Yasui Day 

Saturday March 28, 2020

“What is done to the least of us, can be done to all of us” - Minoru Yasui

-Courtesy of Kurt Ikeda, Japanese American Museum of Oregon


JACL Legacy Fund Grant Applications

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.

Deadline: April 8, 2020


JACL National Scholarship Program

Thirty+ well-deserving students will receive National JACL Scholarships in 2020. In the last four years, we've given out over $316,000 to 129 students.

Freshman Deadline: March 2, 2020

Non-freshman Deadline: April 1, 2020


The 2020 Census is Coming Soon!

2020 Convention

Learn more about the 2020 Census and its important for your family / household here: 

The Census is hiring! More info here: https://2020census.gov/jobs


Join Tsuru for Solidarity's National Pilgrimage to Close the Camps

Japanese Americans from across the country will gather next spring in Washington, D.C. on June 5-7, 2020 for a “National Pilgrimage to Close the Camps.” We plan to bring 125,000 paper cranes, or tsuru, as expressions of solidarity with immigrant and refugee communities that are under attack today. The 125,000 cranes represent the members of our community who were rounded up and incarcerated in U.S. concentration camps during World War II, including both Japanese Americans and Japanese Latin Americans.


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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