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© 2019 JACL Convention

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Plenaries, Luncheon, and Panel Descriptions 

Thursday, August 1st


“Where Are the Youth?”: Investing in Youth Leadership & Membership

Plenary Hosted by National Youth/Student Council 

Panelists: Lisa Doi, Justin Kawaguchi, Mieko Kuramoto, and Devon Matsumoto


Fostering healthy youth leadership and membership is a powerful way to not only combat the JACL’s declining membership but also ensure the organization’s evolution, both in numbers and in mission. Yet, recruiting and retaining youth membership can be difficult, particularly without a critical mass of engaged youth members.


This panel will feature leaders of chapter or regionally based youth groups to discuss experiences with retaining a critical youth membership mass and building a strong leadership pipeline.  This session explores youth recruitment strategies that focus on involving youth leaders in the decision-making process and providing them with the resources they need.

Friday, August 2nd


The JACS Consortium: A Model for Japanese American Community Advocacy

Panelists: Secretary Norman Mineta, Mia Russell, Larry Oda, Shirley Ann Higuchi


The JACS Consortium was created in the spring of 2018 with the establishment of the consortium's Leadership Council. The consortium quickly coalesced around defending funding for the JACS program and found success with the expansion of Congressional support for the program to unprecedented numbers and engendering bipartisan support which had not existed since the original creation of the program. Representatives from the Leadership Council, Secretary Norman Mineta, Board of Trustees chair for the Japanese American National Museum, Mia Russell, executive director of Friends of Minidoka, Larry Oda, president of the National Japanese American Memorial Foundation, and Shirley Ann Higuchi, chair of the Heart Mountain Wyoming Foundation will discuss the formation of the consortium, its successes, challenges, and vision for the future on this panel discussion moderated by David Inoue.


Legacy Awards Luncheon

This year’s luncheon will highlight the 2019 Legacy Grant Presentation followed by an intimate conversation moderated by Sean Miura featuring Secretary Norman Mineta and Satsuki Ina. 


This fireside chat will explore the contemporary relevance of how these individuals utilize their own personal stories in the continued fight for social justice.


The Early Redress Years: 1977 - 1984 

Panelist: Carole Hayashino, Ron Ikejiri, Frank Sato, Floyd Shimomura, John Tateishi and Ron Wakabayashi


How do you organize a “grassroots” movement? This panel will consist of key National JACL officers and staff who, during 1977-1984, helped develop the successful campaign for monetary redress for Japanese Americans incarcerated during World War II. It will cover the historic 1978 Salt Lake Resolution, the creation, and impact of the federal redress commission, and the early efforts to influence President Reagan in Washington, D.C. (Jack Svahn meeting) and in Tokyo (P.M. Nakasone meeting). This panel will also share their lessons and insights for future action.

Saturday, August 3rd


The State of Asian America

Panelists: Christine Chen, Rita Pin-Ahrens, Thu Quach


Leaders from the AAPI community will discuss key issues affecting Asian Americans today and how you can mobilize your chapters to take action. Topics to be covered include health care access, immigration, affirmative action, racial profiling, media diversity, the 2020 census, and what this will mean for the 2020 elections. 

Training - Ballroom C, 1:00PM-5:00PM
Census Training: Norman Y. Mineta Leadership Institute

Speaker: Christine Chen

This workshop will equip attendees with the skills and tools to become trusted messengers and empower them to do Census mobilization in their communities. Designed as a train-the-trainer model, we will provide an introduction to Census, examine frequently asked questions and scenarios about the Census, frame our messaging on the importance of being counted and address privacy concerns, and create your own Get Out The Count plan. Participants will also share best practices on how to get your personal networks involved.