The JACL Detroit Chapter came of age in a fraught period of Japanese American history–formed in the throes of World War II, we are no strangers to injustice in the United States, and have historically stood in support of redress for Japanese Americans after incarceration; for fair and non-discriminatory housing practices; and for elder care. We stand in support of the Arab and Muslim American community.
At the national level, we work closely with the JACL Midwest District Council to ensure that the National JACL is aware of the Midwest District members’ needs and is taking action to meet them. We attend the bi-annual MDC meetings and send a voting delegate to the National JACL Convention to represent Detroit, where we have voted in support of Black lives, indigenous sovereignty, and historical preservation of former incarceration and immigrations sites.
At the regional level, the JACL Detroit Chapter has partnered with the Arab American National Museum to host a public forum on the power of Executive Orders, which connected the experience of Japanese Americans during after World War II to the experience of Arab and Muslim Americans after 9/11 and in the present era.
Every February, we also travel to high schools, universities, and law schools in the metro Detroit area to speak about the experience of Japanese Americans incarcerated during World War II, and about the legacy of Fred Korematsu, who famously refused to enter into the camps and whose landmark U.S. legal case, Korematsu v. United States, continues to spark debate in U.S. politics today.
We also nurture US-Japan diplomatic relations through our relationships with the Consul General of Japan in Detroit, the Michigan-Shiga Sister State program, and the Japan Business Society of Detroit, and engage politically at the state level through MAPAAC, or the Michigan Asian Pacific American Affairs Commission.