Weekly Digest
February 4, 2020
Reminder: Save the Date! 2020 JACL National Convention in Las Vegas! June 24th-28th!
JACL Denounces Expansion of the Muslim Ban
" The expansion of the Muslim Ban continues a pattern of discrimination by this country against communities of color as also seen in the policies of family separation and incarceration, changes to the public charge definition, and most recently, subjecting American citizens of Iranian ancestry to additional screening at the Canadian border. Having experienced the sting of restrictions on Asian immigration in the past, JACL opposes these broad attacks on immigration which stand in direct opposition to the ideals upon which this country was founded that we have yet to truly uphold."
Twitter Presidential Town Hall! Thursday, February 13th @ 2pm EST, hosted by APIAVote & NCAPA
NEXT  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. 
Click on the Flier Below for More Info! 
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). 

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:
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
Japanese American Confinement Sites Consortium
Advocacy Days in Washington, D.C.
JACL/OCA Leadership Summit - Coming Soon!
Day of Remembrance Events
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!
Follow us on social media to receive updates about JACL's advocacy work and the activities of JACL chapters!
In Case You Missed It...
Advocacy Opportunity: JACL Stands with the National Iranian American Council
With the recent increase in hostilities between the United States and Iran, Iranian Americans and Iranian immigrants have come under scrutiny in the eye of the American public and the current administration. The National Iranian American Council (NIAC) has come under threat by several United States senators accusing the group of dual loyalties, and ordering an investigation by the Department of Justice. These same irrational fears were what led to many Japanese American organizations such as schools, churches, and community groups to come under scrutiny during World War II. The JACL has joined dozens of other organizations and individuals in standing against these calls by these senators to investigate the NIAC.
2020 JACL Legacy Fund Grant Applications Now Open
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.

  • Only JACL Chapters and Districts are eligible to apply. They may apply individually or jointly.
  • Eligible applicants may submit more than one application.
  • JACL Chapters or Districts MUST be the driving force in any proposed project. Third-party, non-JACL organizations/individuals that involve a chapter or district only on the periphery and only as the project sponsor are NOT eligible to apply.
  • Chapters and Districts shall provide proof on their 990-N tax filing.
  • The maximum amount that can be requested for each grant, including those awarded to joint applicants, is $5,000.  Partial grants may be awarded.
  • Activities supported by grants must be new projects that are carried out and completed no later than June 1, 2021, and which must support the National JACL Strategic Plan. Repeat projects are not eligible. However, funding will be considered if the proposal is for a new element or new phase (variation) of an ongoing project.

Questions? Contact Legacy Fund Grant Co-chairs Roberta Barton (rbarton4106@comcast.net) and Toshi Abe (tabe@jacl.org).
Advocacy Opportunity - Petition to Indiana University
Call upon Indiana University to rectify for its past ban on Japanese American students

On May 9, 1942, the IU Board of Trustees ruled that “no Jap. be admitted to Indiana University.” At that meeting, Trustees President Ora L. Wildermuth explicitly laid out the rationale behind the decision. “As I see it, there is a difference in Japanese and Germans or Italians—they are Aryans and can be assimilated but the Japanese can’t—they are different racially. I can’t believe that any Japanese, no matter where he was born, is anything but a Japanese.” Over the course of the war, this logic guided the decision-making of President Herman B. Wells and other university officials. They denied about a dozen prospective Japanese American students.

Today, we have the opportunity to appropriately address this chapter of IU history. Please consider signing our petition here ( https://forms.gle/CFDRUzoeShFVzp4VA ). More information is available here ( https://jaclchicago.org/nisei-college-redress-project/ ) or by contacting us at  ncrp@jaclchicago.org .

-Courtesy of Eric Langowski, EDC Vice Governor
National JACL Announces 2020 Scholarship Program
SAN FRANCISCO -- The Japanese American Citizens League (JACL) is kicking off its National Scholarship and Awards Program for the 2020 academic year. 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 student aid scholarships for those in need of financial assistance in this era of rising tuition costs. 

Scholarship Program guidelines, instructions and applications can be found on the JACL website, www.jacl.org , by clicking “Youth” on the menu bar.

Freshman applications must be submitted directly by the applicant to his/her local JACL chapter, with a postmark no later than March 2, 2020. Freshman applicants may obtain the mailing address of his/her chapter by contacting Membership Assistant Tomiko Ismail at tismail@jacl.org or by calling the Membership Department at (415) 921-5225, extension 26. 

Chapters will then have one month to evaluate their freshman applications and forward only the most outstanding ones to the National JACL Freshman Scholarship Committee, c/o Seattle JACL, P.O. Box 18558, Seattle, WA 98118, no later than April 1, 2020.

Applications for the “other” scholarship categories (undergraduate, graduate, law, creative/performing arts, and student aid) are to be sent directly by the applicant to the National JACL Scholarship Committee, c/o JACL Midwest District Council, 10604 Killarney Drive, Union, Kentucky 41091, with a postmark no later than April 1, 2020. 

All those applying to the National JACL Scholarship Program must be a youth/student or individual member of the JACL; a couple/family membership does not meet this requirement. Applicants must be enrolled in school in Fall 2020 in order to be eligible for a scholarship.

For more information on the National JACL Scholarship Program, contact Regional Director Patty Wada at pwada@jacl.org or National JACL Vice President for Planning & Development Matthew Farrells at mfarrells@jacl.org.
The 2020 Census is Coming Soon!
Tsuru for Solidarity's
"National Pilgrimage to Close the Camps"
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!
Advocacy Opportunity:
Reuniting Families Act
Check if your member of Congress has co-sponsored the Reuniting Families Act. ( List of cosponsors here )

If they have not, call their office TODAY and ask them to do so. Mention that you are their constituent.

The bill promotes family unity by clearing backlogs for family-based immigration and providing for the more timely reunification of spouses and children, as well as providing protection for LGBTQ families. It eliminates per-country visa limits and recaptures lost visas. Find the text here.
Advocacy Opportunity: Petition of Japanese Americans to Close the Camps!
JACL has joined as a supporting organization for this petition.

Click HERE for the latest issue of Nikkei-mashou, the newsletter of the National Youth/Student Council.

The mission of the National Youth/Student Council is to build a national network that engages the next generation through community organizing to create positive change for the API community.

Apply to be a census worker
The U.S. Census Bureau is hiring temporary workers for the 2020 census count, including census takers and office staff. It is important to have representatives from all communities working as census workers to work towards a full and accurate count.

Click here to find the application and pay rates in your local area.
2019 Annual Campaign
It's not too late to support JACL
Your investments in JACL impact history in two meaningful ways. First, we share our history. Our education guides on the JA Experience, legacy grants, youth summits, and the Pacific Citizen are one-of-a-kind programs to share our story. 

Second, we change the course of history. From immigration laws, to Redress, to the Congressional Gold Medal, we have changed history again and again.

I rejoined as JACL staff because sharing our history is more urgent now than ever. I believe that through JACL’s work, we will change history again...

In 10 years, we will celebrate JACL’s 100th anniversary. At that time, I’m confident that justice will be served to immigrant communities and that the next generation will be empowered with our programs.

Investing in JACL’s work today will create our shared vision of freedom, education, and justice for tomorrow. Join me to keep making history with a 90th anniversary gift to JACL!


Phillip Ozaki
Membership Coordinator
Gift a JACL Membership to Your Family!
Upgrade Your Membership and Receive a Special Edition Signed and Numbered Art Print!