‘State of Japanese America’ Conference Next Weekend

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The Japanese American Citizens League (JACL) and CJACLC (California Japanese American Community Leadership Council) are convening a one-day conference on “The State of Japanese America: 2011” on Saturday, July 9, at the Renaissance Hollywood Hotel & Spa in Hollywood.

The conference, which is open to the public, will bring together prominent voices from across the nation to discuss issues and future challenges confronting the Japanese American community. Workshops featuring noted experts will address various themes:

Jill Shiraki of Preserving California's Japantowns.

• “Future of Japanese American Art and Culture”

Presenters: Chris Aihara (Japanese American Cultural and Community Center), Tracy Kato-Kiriyama (artist), Tad Nakamura (filmmaker), Roy Hirabayashi (San Jose Taiko)

• “Role of Japanese Americans in U.S.-Japan Relations”

Presenters: Consul General Junichi Ihara, Tracey Doi (Toyota Motor Sales), Kaz Maniwa (Japanese Cultural and Community Center of Northern California), Bryan Takeda (U.S.-Japan Council)

• “Effective Strategies to Raise Funds for Your Nonprofit Organization”

Presenters: Tim Otani (Union Bank), Peter Namkung (Union Bank), Gayle Yamada (Little Tokyo Service Center)

• “Developing a New Paradigm of Leadership Development for the Japanese American Community”

Jon Osaki of Japanese Community Youth Council in San Francisco.

Facilitators: Jon Osaki (Japanese Community Youth Council) and Craig Ishii (Kizuna)

• “Civil Rights”

Presenters: Floyd Mori (JACL), Karen Narasaki (Asian American Justice Center), Alex Fukui (Asian Pacific Islanders for Equality), George Wu (Organization of Chinese Americans)

• “Serving Nikkei Seniors”

Presenters: Sophie Horiuchi-Forrester (Yu-Ai Kai), Steve Nakajo (Kimochi Inc.), Amy Phillips (Little Tokyo Service Center), Frances Chikahisa (Japanese American Service Committee), Tazuko Shibusawa (NYU)

Sophie Horiuchi-Forrester of Yu-Ai Kai in San Jose.

• “Preserving and Sharing the Japanese American Experience”

Presenters: Akemi Kikumura Yano (Japanese American National Museum), Lane Hirabayashi (UCLA), Allyson Nakamoto (JANM), Thomas Fujita-Rony (CSU Fullerton)

• “Community Preservation and Development”

Presenters:  Donna Graves (Preserving California’s Japantowns), Beth Takekawa (Wing Luke Museum), Sharon Lowe (API Preserve America Neighborhoods), Lisa Hasegawa (National Coalition for Asian Pacific Community Development)

• “Sustaining and Preserving Japantowns”

Presenters: Jill Shiraki (Preserving California’s Japantowns), Lynn Voorheis (Harada House), Larry Oda (Monterey JACL Hall), Barbara Takei (Tule Lake Committee)

Barbara Takei of the Tule Lake Committee.

The opening plenary session of the conference will be highlighted by a presentation of the most current census and demographic information on Japanese Americans prepared by Melany De La Cruz, who heads the Asian Pacific Islander Community Development Data Center at UCLA.

Responses regarding the future implications of the changing nature of the Japanese American community will be made by a panel of three community leaders: Karen Narasaki, president of the Asian American Justice Center in Washington, D.C.; Paul Osaki, executive director of the Japanese Cultural and Community Center of Northern California in San Francisco; and Craig Ishii, former Pacific Southwest regional director for the JACL and member of Kizuna, a new organization involving young Nikkei in the community.

Information on the conference schedule, workshops, panelists, and registration can be obtained online at www.jacl.org/convention/la/nikkei_conference.

For further information regarding the conference, contact Alan Nishio at [email protected].

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