Our chapter has been an active supporter for redress for "comfort women," or women sexually exploited by Japan's imperial military during World War II. Our chapter was mentioned in this article by KPCC's Josie Huang on a recent lawsuit to remove a memorial to the comfort women in Glendale. To learn more about formal resolution in support of the monument, click here.
Chapter member Marsha Aizumi was recently honored with the "JA of the Biennium" Award for distinguished service by the National JACL. Marsha has been involved with our chapter for a few years and is a passionate ally in the LGBT movement, having raised a wonderful transgendered son. She captured their experiences in her book, Two Spirits, One Heart, which is an important resource for anyone interested in the dynamics of parents, children, and sexuality. To learn more about Marsha's timely work, click here.
Cheers, Marsha! We're very proud of you!
By LOUISE FONUA
Sustainability and having access to healthy foods are a few of the social justice issues
that I am passionate about because being sustainable is a basic right for humanity.
Surrounded by a galore of fast food chains and Liquor stores are a few reasons why I am
interested in social justice issues such as sustainability and food justice because these
fast food restaurants are contaminating the health of my community. Living in a
community where access to healthy foods is either unavailable or over priced has made
me realize that not only is this a health issue, but an environmental health issue as well.
Having only one grocery store that sells decent fruits and vegetables is very upsetting
because the prices for “healthy” food are inflated. Realizing that the access to healthy
foods was not available is when I realized the importance of community gardens in the
Having a community garden is a great way to refrain from purchasing fruits and
vegetables from large producers such as Ralphs and Whole Foods. Having a community
garden in the Tongan community is more than just planting a seed and watching it
grow. It allows the Tongan community to be sustainable while having access to healthy
foods and it gives the Tongan community a sense of home, voice and a place to call their
The JACL-PSW Local Leaders Program will provide me with the necessary skills to be
a community leader for my Pacific Islander community. Through the JACL-PSW Local
Leaders Program, I hope to gain a better understanding of what it means to make a
difference in a community by becoming a leader. I hope to increase my knowledge of
what a community leader is through the JACL-PSW Local Leaders Program and
testimonies of other community leaders. I also hope to gain a sense of understanding of
how one becomes an effective leader in the community. Coming from an
underrepresented and marginalized community, this opportunity will assist me in
bringing vital networks to the Tongan community.
Through the JACL-PSW Local Leaders Program, it will allow me to plant seeds of
hope for present and future generations and watch them grow into future community
Note: This is the personal statement Ms. Fonua prepared for the Local Leaders Internship application. We're ho
Our chapter is participating in the JACL Pacific Southwest District's Local Leaders Internship Program, which trains talented young people to become social justice advocates for our communities. Our chapter is proud to sponsor Ms. Louise Fonua, a California State University, Northridge graduate who comes to us with an extensive background in health and food justice issues.
You can read more about Louise's thoughts on sustainability, food justice, and community gardening at this blog post.
Here is Louise, second from right and next to PSW leader Kanji Sahara, with other interns and Rep. Mike Honda at the latest National JACL Convention.
Click below to view our latest newsletter. Some articles and updates include....
SFVJACL sponsors API Obesity Prevention Alliance's $1000 for “Bike to Japan” by traci ishigo
A Swinging Big Band Concert by Keiko Linda Kuratomi
Exploring the Asian American Community by Patricia Takayama
We have also sorts of other updates on our members including graduations, scholarships, and more!
I attended my first Pacific Southwest District Meeting on Sunday, May 18th, and found it an interesting experience. There are 29 chapters in the Pacific Southwest District, and those unable to attend are asked to have proxies authorized to vote in their absence.
The meeting was presided by Gov. David Kawamoto and his wife Carol, the Vice Governor, who drove up from San Diego. Chapter leaders attended from as far as Las Vegas and Arizona.
During the lunch break, candidates for the next 2-year term were allowed to speak. Mr. David Lim, current national president, gave an impressive talk of the organization and during a question, indicated JACL’s critical need for a Development Director which was being addressed in next year’s budget. Secretary Gary Mayeda, ably handled the technical details of Skype to allow candidates from the east coast and Midwest to be able to address us and see us!
The issues facing the affirmative action amendment, SCA-5 were presented by Kanji Sahara. I have requested a copy of the slides presented as they contained information of interest to us all.
Phil Shigekuni and Yukio Kawaratani discussed the resolution forwarded by our SFV chapter, and the modifications suggested by Andy Noguchi and the Florin chapter. Ultimately, Yukio Kawaratani requested that we withdraw the resolution, and the ad hoc committee which included Barbara Takei, historian of Tule Lake, agreed that more ground work needed to be done before any resolution on the issue was brought to the national convention floor.
Phil and I agree that a greater understanding of the Tule Lake Segregation Center is needed for current and future JACL members. Education remains a goal for all of us that worked together on the resolution.
A new experience for the SFV chapter will working together with an intern resulting from PSW’s new Local Leaders program! Ms. Louise Fonua will be meeting us at the June meeting and will be working with us for the next three months!
SFVJACL Civil Rights and Community Blog
Subscribe to our blog to get updates on our chapter's activities as well as news about various cultural events and civil rights issues locally and nationally.