2019 Outstanding Organization Award – San Diego Japanese Citizens League

Outstanding Organization Award – San Diego Japanese Citizens League

The San Diego Japanese American Citizens League’s (JACL) mission is to promote universal civil rights and social justice, foster cross-cultural education and understanding, and preserve and cultivate the heritage and legacy of the Japanese American community in San Diego.  The following lists the projects achieved over the past five years:

  • Re-initiated a community gathering (first held in 1952) cultivating the Japanese American heritage
  • Awarded $27,000 in scholarships to matriculating students
  • Launched a protest over the use of the word “JAP” in a local food truck’s marketing and partnered with the City of San Diego’s Human Relations Commission to develop resolution options
  • Partnered with local schools and universities on youth development and social issues
  • Partnered with local organizations on a variety of cross-cultural community events
    • Hosted a series of multi-organizational professional mixers
    • Held Japanese cooking classes with Mineko Moreno, co-author of Sushi for Dummies
    • Hosted films and panel discussions
    • Held Otsukimi moon viewing celebrations
  • Partnered with Lane Nishikawa to produce two documentaries on the Japanese American experience
    • Never Forget (2017), a story of the San Diego Japanese American experience during WWII
    • Our Lost Years (2019), which examines the trans-generational impact of the WWII incarceration (the San Diego Chapter was awarded $114,200 in federal grants (NPS) to produce Our Lost Years)
  • Inaugurated the annual San Diego JACL Never Forget gala in 2015
    • Honored San Diego Japanese American WWII Veterans and their families (2015), Vietnam War Veterans (2016),
    • Korean War Veterans (2017), and WWII Internees (2018)
    • Brought civil rights leaders to San Diego, such as Dale Minami, Peter Irons, Karen Korematsu, and John Tateishi
    • Brought Japanese American celebrities to San Diego: Tamlyn Tomita, David Ono, and George Takei
    • Honored local Japanese American activists: Arthur Nishioka, Kay Ochi and Jan Tokumaru
    • Recognized Admiral Harry B. Harris, Jr., a United States Ambassador to South Korea and formerly the highest-ranking American of Japanese descent to lead US Pacific Command in the U.S. Navy, and the Honorable Norm Y Mineta, former United States Secretary of Transportation.