Seattle Japanese American Citizens League
Akemashite omedetō gozaimasu! Happy New Year to all from the Seattle Chapter of the Japanese American Citizens League! We look forward to another year of serving our Nikkei community. We are grateful to The North American Post for continuing to be the respected voice of the Nikkei community for the Seattle area and Washington state. The NAP keeps us connected with current news and our rich history in the region.
This year, we continued our work to keep alive the civil rights lessons learned 80 years ago from the incarceration of 125,000 Japanese Americans. We co-sponsored a moving Day of Remembrance in February at the Puyallup Fairgrounds and a demonstration protesting the deplorable treatment of immigrant detainees at the Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma. We contributed to May’s Asian American Native Hawaiian Pacific Islander (AANHPI) Heritage Month by a film showing of “Namba: A Japanese American’s Incarceration and Life of Resilience,” a moving work by the granddaughter of Seattle JACLer May Namba, attended by many Namba family members.
We made trememdous progress on our Legacy Project, preserving the 100-year history of Seattle JACL 1921-2021. Our display “A History of Advocacy and Activism for All”, appeared at the Cherry Blossom Festival and the Shoreline celebration of AANHPI Heritage Month. We completed two important online legacy resources, one being 21 oral histories of Seattle JACL leaders spanning five decades of our history. The second was creating a digital record of our 70-year collection of Seattle JACL newsletters that can be searched by name and subject. Both are housed on the Densho.org website, and soon, anyone will be able learn about their family forebear’s JACL and Nikkei community activity in past decades. In 2024, we will provide access to these valuable community resources.
Seattle JACL has worked this year in solidarity with others in our Asian-Pacific Islander community, advocating that our city and county governments improve the safety of our elderly Asian citizens targeted by crime, and the protection of our historic Chinatown-International District neighborhood that is the hub of our culture and history. In the New Year, we hope to expand our reach to the community, and to connect with the next generation who will carry Seattle JACL into the future!