2012 was one of the most active years in recent history. We had many events including a new event, Katarou, designed to bring generations together to learn from one another. We had several special film screenings including Sugihara: Conspiracy in Kindness and A Flicker in Eternity: The Life of Stanley Hayami. We also had our usual events including Obon, Grateful Crane and East West Players as well as our monthly movie outings. Each program involves hard work by the SFVJACL board members and other chapter members who volunteer their time and energy to each event. I would like to thank all of you who helped with our events and all of you who attended as well. We will continue to bring quality programs to the San Fernando Valley in 2013.
The SFVJACL is not just about programs and events. It is about people. It is about individuals who take leadership roles in our community to make it a better place for all. We recognized leaders including Fred Korematsu and more locally, Tak Yamamoto for his many years of leadership in civil rights and Mitzi Kushida who was honored at the PSWD awards dinner for her outstanding service to the SFVJACL. I have great admiration for these leaders who not only took a stand for justice and equality for all people, but demanded it when others sat quietly by. It is through this tenacity that change comes and makes this world a better place.
Sadly, two of our beloved board members passed away this past year, Tak Yamamoto and Chieko Merz. They will be missed greatly. Each brought unique perspectives to the JACL and were dedicated to the fight for civil rights and equality. I am forever grateful to have know these two and always appreciated their candor and leadership. Rest in peace to you both and my thoughts and prayers are with your families and loved ones.
In 2012, we also expanded the chapter's exposure through a new website, a new chapter logo and the use of social media including Facebook. If you haven't already, please explore these new tools that will get important information out quickly to our members to keep them informed. In the upcoming year, we will continue to focus on increasing our exposure and networking with local colleges and students.
I hope to see all of you at our holiday party on December 8th and wish all of you a happy holiday season and a safe and prosperous new year!
President, San Fernando Valley Japanese American Citizens League