Since the 1950s, the JACL Detroit Chapter has fostered Japanese American camaraderie and community in the metro Detroit area. Though the community is small, it remains a vital part of our Michigan community.


Every August, we host a community picnic open to all. New arrivals to the area and families that hav been in Detroit since 1911 come out to celebrate summer over delicious food, fun n’ games, and impressive raffle prizes.

We have also recently revived an old tradition: A New Years luncheon and Mochitsuki: bento lunches, mochi-making, and most importantly–mochi-eating!

Here is an idea of the types of community events you might enjoy as a member of the JACL Detroit Chapter:

  • Attend film screenings relating to Japanese or Asian American interests, such as the Detroit-area premiere of And Then They Came For Us (2017), a documentary that tells the story of Japanese American incarceration during World War II in the context of activism today–particularly in terms of support for Arab and Muslim American communities post-9/11 and in an era of Executive Order “travel bans”
  • Visit (or host!) our arts & culture booth at the University of Michigan Japan Culture Festival
  • Participate in JACL NY/SC (National Youth/Student Council) events, which offer leadership opportunities and discussions and trainings relating to social justice
  • Represent the Midwest as a participant in the Kakehashi Project, a week-long cultural exchange program where participants visit multiple cities in Japan in order to learn about Japanese culture, business, politics, Japanese and Japanese American identities, and US-Japan diplomacy


We have worked with the University of Michigan Japan Center, the University of Michigan Japan Student Association, The Border Collective Rackham Interdisciplinary Workshop, the Arab American National Museum, and many others in bringing our cultural programming to the metro Detroit area!

Keep Up To Date

JACL Detroit Chapter members receive our quarterly newsletter, which keeps you up to date on upcoming events, and offers reflections on events members have attended. The newsletter is available in print and digitally via email. To subscribe, consider joining today!

You can also follow our JACL Detroit Chapter Facebook page, where we post relevant events, articles, and photos. There, you can find our most up-to-date, interactive information!