ABOUT THE JAPANESE AMERICAN CITIZENS LEAGUE
ITEMS OF iNTEREST ||JACL'S IMPORTANCE

WHAT IS THE JAPANESE AMERICAN CITIZEN LEAGUE?

JACL was organized in 1929 as an educational/social action group in response to prejudice and discrimination directed toward Americans of Japanese ancestry. It is the largest and one of the oldest national Asian American organizations.

JACL's mission is to secure and uphold the human and civil rights of Americans of Japanese ancestry and others and to promote and preserve the cultural heritage and values of Japanese Americans.

Over the years, JACL has helped to overturn more than 600 discriminatory laws and statutes. Some of the discriminatory laws that the JACL helped repeal or amend include the following:

As a national organization, JACL has taken part in other notable actions which include:

Since the 1940's, JACL has taken a lead role to convince the government to provide redress for the World War II internment of Japanese Americans.

ITEMS OF INTEREST

JACL is a not-for-profit, 501c(3) organization incorporated in 1937 in the state of California. The JACL maintains a paid staff at its headquarters in San Francisco, in its five regional offices, in its Washington D.C. lobbying office and at its newspaper, the Pacific Citizen located in Monterey Park, CA.

Every two years (even years), JACL sponsors a national convention when the national council of chapter delegates review and approve the national membership dues, budget, program for action, constitutional amendments, and resolutions.

National JACL sponsors several programs such as scholarship awards totaling $73,000, WDC Leadership Conference for young adults interested in the political process, regional leadership training programs for JACL leaders, and a biweekly newspaper for its membership and other interested individuals and organizations.

The JACL is divided into eight district councils which meet several times annually. Every two years, various district councils sponsor joint conferences. (They include the California Tri-District, the Eastern/Midwest/Mountain Plains Tri-District and the Pacific Northwest/Intermountain Bi-District conferences.)

Local chapters determine its own membership dues rate which are in addition to the national membership dues. District dues may also be assessed.

WHY IS THE JACL SO IMPORTANT?

Legislation: JACL's 112 chapters in 26 states, including a chapter in Japan and its eight district councils provide an effective communications network to address national issues which impact the lives of Japanese Americans and other Asian Americans. Some of these issues are immigration reform, affirmative action, English-only laws and hate crimes.

A single chapter or district council has the capabilities and resources to make a significant impact locally. Nationally, the JACL network comprises a formidable group. Together, in coalition with other Asian American and civil rights organizations, JACL's impact is even stronger.

JACL's experiences and achievements in the legislative arena are well known and welcomed by other Asian American groups and organizations.

Leadership: As JACL enters the 21st century, it seeks leadership among the new generations to continue its mission and chart new directions to meet the changing needs of the membership.

As the rapid growth of Asian Americans continue, JACL will encourage new leaders to enter the political arena to help develop and act on national policies which address their needs and protect their rights as Americans.

Local Communities :Diverse and multicultural environments in education, the workplace and housing are emerging as part of the American scene. JACL chapters must play a role in actively supporting these environments by participating in multicultural efforts.

Local chapters, with an increasing membership of persons from multicultural and multiracial backgrounds, can play key roles in addressing human/civil rights and ethnic identity concerns.


JAPANESE AMERICAN CITIZENSHIP LEAGUE