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Asian League Concludes First Youth Summit

 SAN FRANCISCO -  The JACL National Youth/Student Council (NY/SC) has successfully hosted its first Youth Summit this past weekend at the JACL National Headquarters.  The summit comprised of 28 participants from across the country who were diverse in ethnic and multi-racial backgrounds, generational status, age, and familiarity with JACL. 


The participants were engaged through workshops, discussions, and a tour of San Francisco's Japantown, one of the three remaining historic Japanese neighborhoods in the US.  Workshop topics included an Introduction to JACL where Memebership Staff, Phillip Ozaki, presented on the history, structure, and public policy advocacy roles of the JACL. Christine Munteanu, the Ford Fellow in the Midwest Office, presented a workshop on multiculturalism, focusing on race, identity, and an ever changing multiethnic society.



San Francisco JACL Chapter  board member, Haruka Roudebush gave a presentation on two groups he leads, Nakayoshi Young Professionals and NihonmachiROOTS. These groups create avenues for community engagement for young adults.  Summit participants had an engaging discussion session with independent film maker, Jeffrey Gee Chin of Leapman Productions.  Jeffrey has completed numerous works on Asian American culture, identity and history.  

The NY/SC as a team worked very hard to make this summit a success. The summit allowed for critical and meaningful discussions to take place about the future of JACL and youth leadership roles in the organization. In the future, the NY/SC hopes to hold similar events in other regions throughout the country to connect and empower more youth.


National Board Youth Representative Devin Yoshikawa said, "I hope everyone got a taste of the types of discussions the NY/SC wants to cultivate.  Since we had individuals from all around the country, I am glad we had multiple opportunities for an exchange of ideas and experiences. Overall, I hope everyone was able to feel fulfilled with what they had learned and also empowered to create positive change in their communities. We are very thankful to Southwest Airlines for giving us the support needed to come together."



"I feel like the youth summit was very successful.  It was great to have so many other young JACLers who had the same passion for JACL that I have."


-Bryan Namba, PSW Youth Representative


"The summit was a good experience to get me re-plugged into JACL and recharged about activism and civic engagement."


- Victoria Yee, 2010 participant in the JACL Collegiate DC Leadership Conference


"I think the strengths of the presentations were due to the fact that people in the summit were allowed to interact with one another and share ideas."


- Current JACL Mineta Fellow, Leslie Toy


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