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    Update on NYC Council Resolution 792: Fred T. Korematsu Day of Civil Liberties and the Constitution

    We are very happy to report that the hearing for Resolution 792:
    Fred T. Korematsu Day of Civil Liberties and the Constitution, at City Hall on 10/25 went extremely well!

    We are now feeling very optimistic about being able to officially celebrate Fred T. Korematsu Day on Jan 30, 2018 (his birthday) here in NYC!

    The hearing was held before the NYC Council Committee on Cultural Affairs. We had an excellent mix of heartfelt and educated testimonies from both young and old, from high school students to survivors in their 80’s, as well as tremendous support from our Pan-Asian, Muslim, and LGBTQ allies. There were many poignant moments, especially from survivors Tak Furumoto and Kenji Imayanagita.

    It was a great collective effort that involved many individuals and organizations who need to be thanked for their outreach and solidarity. Special thanks to Chair James Van Bramer and the Committee on Cultural Affairs for holding this hearing, and especially to NYC Council member Daniel Dromm and his staff for their hard work in first initiating sponsorship for this resolution and then getting us to this point.

    And, most of all forseeing the importance and universal symbolic relevance of commemorating Fred T. Korematsu Day!

    Here is the archived video video of the entire hearing:

    Posted in JACL

    JACL NY Annual Meeting – Karen Korematsu

    Video of Karen Korematsu’s speech from October 14th, 2017, at the JACL-NY Annual Meeting. Karen provided inspiration as we we headed down the road towards the Fred T. Korematsu Day Hearing on October 25th.

    Karen Korematsu, Founder and Executive Director of the
    Fred T. Korematsu Institute
    “My Family Legacy and Civil Rights Activism”
    JACL-NY Annual Meeting, JAA Hall, NY 10/14/2017

    Thank you Ken Aragaki for your generosity in filming this event for us, and thank you Karen Korematsu for carrying on a great legacy and being a true champion for equality and justice!

    Karen Korematsu is the daughter of the late Fred T. Korematsu, a civil rights activist who in 1942, defied government authorities and challenged the constitutionality of the incarceration of people of Japanese descent during WW2 by refusing to go willingly to the U.S. Government Concentration Camps.

    Our community was very pleased to have Karen Korematsu speak and help build momentum towards a very successful hearing for a Resolution to officially establish a Fred T. Korematsu Day of Civil Liberties and the Constitution in NYC. The hearing was held on October 25th, at City Hall before the NYC Council Committee on Cultural Affairs Affairs with a tremendous amount of support from NYC’s diverse communities!

    The Korematsu Institute is a national organization dedicated to education and raising awareness in order to preserve the rights of all people who face injustice. For more information about the Korematsu Institute and the life and legacy of Fred T. Korematsu, please visit

    Posted in JACL

    2017 JACL National Convention Summary

    The 2017 JACL National Convention in Washington, DC was a very busy and successful one!  Attendees from the New York chapter board included Co-President George Hirose, Vice President Amara Hoshijo, EDC Vice-Governor and Strategic Planning Committee member Takumi Harada, and National Credentials Committee chair Luis Fujimoto.

    The first night featured an exclusive reception at the Smithsonian Museum of American History, centered around the “Righting a Wrong: Japanese Americans and World War II” exhibit which opened earlier this year in commemoration of the 75th anniversary of Executive Order 9066. We were also pleased to hear that this exhibit has been extended until December 2018.

    On the second night, Convention delegates were invited to a wonderful reception at the Japanese Ambassador’s residence.  Wade Henderson, president of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, was presented with the Ralph L. Carr Award for Courage for his lifetime of service in support of civil rights, while Bill Yoshino was awarded the Foreign Minister’s Award for his 38 years of service to the Japanese-American community, most recently as the Interim Executive Director to the JACL.

    We also had the opportunity to meet our newest JACL National Executive Director, David Inoue, formerly a member of the Washington DC Chapter board and former Administrative Director at Christ House.

    The National Council sessions were busy as always, featuring a total of 8 resolutions that were passed.  Two resolutions were sponsored by the Eastern District and the New York Chapter: the first, proposed by the New England Chapter, opposes the US’s reliance on mass incarceration and private for-profit prisons.  The second, jointly proposed by the New England Chapter and the Honolulu Chapter, supports a refugee policy free of religious and racial prejudice.

    The third resolution, proposed by the Seattle Chapter, featured by far the most debate.  This resolution condemns the treatment of Native American rights during the development of the Dakota Access Pipeline, and calls for more education within the JACL around the issues surrounding DAPL.

    Resolution 4 urges funding for a Midwest Regional Director, which has been left vacant since Bill Yoshino’s departure; Resolution 6 calls for continued funding to sustain the Teacher Training Workshop Programs; Resolutions 5 and Emergency Resolutions 1 and 2 all focus on the historic preservation and recognition of three historic sites related to the Japanese American Legacy – the Wakamatsu Tea and Silk Colony (the first Japanese Colony in North America), Amache Incarceration Camp, and The Snoqualmie Falls Lumber Company Site, respectively.

    The Youth and Young Professionals had a big presence at convention as well; the two groups (the NY/SC and the Young Professionals Caucus) collaborated to create a series of resource sheets covering a variety of topics which young JA’s and AAPI’s consider to be important and which many members may not necessarily be too familiar with, including LGBTQIA terminology, Islamophobia, Mental Health, Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence, and Media Representation of Asian Americans.

    The Young Professionals Caucus, formed last year to create a space for self-identifying Young Professionals within the JACL, continued to organize and solidify its membership and operating procedures, and hopes to organize more events in the near future.  If you are interested in learning more about this group or would like to get involved, please reach out to Takumi Harada at or (551) 804-5511.

    Other events and sessions included two workshops: one titled “AAPI’s Portrayal in the Media & Arts” hosted by Rob Buscher, Festival Director at the Philadelphia Asian American Film Festival, and Rick Shiomi, Co-Founder of Theater Mu.  The other focused on building coalitions among intersecting identities and communities, and was hosted by Sarah Baker and Emi Kamemoto from the NY/SC.  The NY/SC’s closing session on Sunday covered Japanese-Latin American incarceration and redress, an oft-overlooked topic within the Japanese-American community.

    The National Convention will be held in Philadelphia next year, so we are very excited for the New York chapter to once again have a large presence at convention.  We hope to see you there!

    Posted in JACL

    2017 Youth Delegate Campaign for JACL National Convention and Youth Legacy Programs

    2017 Youth Delegate Campaign for JACL National Convention and Youth Legacy Programs Announced

    The 2017 JACL National Convention in Washington, D.C. from Thursday, July 6th to Sunday, July 9th is fast approaching.  This year’s convention will be particularly historical and significant, as it takes place during the 75th anniversary of the signing of Executive Order 9066. Many other events are planned this year in DC to commemorate this special 75th anniversary.

    This year, the National Youth/Student Council is pleased to announce the 2017 Youth Delegate Campaign. This program is open to JACL youth members from chapters in good standing and is designed to increase youth participation and representation at the 2017 JACL National Convention.

    Program participants will receive a scholarship to cover round-trip air transportation (flight to DC) and convention registration expenses. Participants will also be paired with a NY/SC representative or JACL member to help guide them through the ins and outs of JACL’s National Convention and truly make the most of their experience as a youth delegate.  We encourage all to apply, regardless of previous JACL knowledge and experience.  More information (including program benefits and requirements) is included on the application which is due on 11:59 PDT (2:59 EDT) 16 April 2017. (

    More information on the convention, including schedule, can be found here:

    Youth Legacy Program

    We are also pleased to announce a new Youth Legacy Program this year. This program provides an opportunity for youth (ages 18-25) to learn about the WWII incarceration, including a visit to Manzanar.  Forty (40) participants will be selected to attend one of two sessions in July and August 2017.

    More information and application form for this program can be found here:

    We encourage all who are eligible to apply.

    Posted in JACL

    JACL Statement on the Election of President-Elect Trump

    Please see this statement released by the Japanese American Citizens League on the Election of President-Elect Trump.

    Posted in JACL

    Apply for the JACL Kakehashi 2016-17 Program!

    The JACL Kakehashi 2016-17 Program for students and young professionals who would like to travel to Japan, is now accepting applications. There are multiple trips for up to 200 participants. Applicants do not need to be JACL members. Please spread the word if you know any one that might want to take advantage of this great opportunity!

    Please click here for more information. 
    Posted in JACL

    JACL Statement on the Tragedy in Orlando

    Please see this press release ( published by National JACL on June 15th, 2016 regarding the tragedy in Orlando.

    Posted in JACL

    Read our Spring 2016 Newsletter!

    Download our most recent newsletter here: JACL Newsletter Spring 2016

    Posted in JACL