“Emerging Leaders: Rising Up for Justice” is the theme of this year’s JACL Pacific Southwest (PSW) District’s annual awards luncheon, which will be held at the Quiet Cannon in Montebello on Saturday, Nov. 21, at 12 p.m.
The JACL PSW will be honoring Betty Hung, Asian Americans Advancing Justice-LA’s policy director, who oversees the organization’s strategic policy and advocacy initiatives to promote equal access and equal justice for Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AA and NHPI) communities in solidarity with other underserved communities.
Another individual honoree will be Sean Miura, a member of Little Tokyo Roots and head producer/lead curator for Little Tokyo’s free performing arts series, Tuesday Night Cafe.
The district will also be honoring Kizuna, a Little Tokyo-based youth empowerment and development nonprofit organization.
The chapter honorees will be:
Seiko Watkins (Arizona)
Marilyn Nakata (Downtown L.A.)
Jennifer Okabayashi (Riverside)
Alice Ishigame Tao (SELANOCO)
Jean Paul deGuzman (San Fernando Valley)
Michelle Yamashiro, JACL PSWD governor, and Kurt Ikeda, JACL PSWD at-large board member, will emcee the event.
Yamashiro has served the JACL in different capacities: a volunteer at the chapter level, PSWD youth rep at the district level, and a member of the National Board as national youth representative for the National Youth/Student Council (NY/SC). She is currently the programs manager for the Gardena Valley Japanese Cultural Institute (GVJCI).
Ikeda has been involved in various programs with the JACL. He was a Local Leaders intern for the Greater Los Angeles Chapter, and went on to become an at-large member of the NY/SC. He has also been an active member and coordinator for various programs within the National Educational Committee for the JACL. Currently, he is a high school English teacher in Downtown L.A.
This luncheon could not happen without the gracious support the San Fernando Valley Chapter (Silver level sponsorship) and Union Bank (Bronze level sponsorship). These sponsorships allow the JACL PSW to provide free or subsidized seats for young leaders in our community to enjoy the luncheon and hear from the honorees.
“We thank our sponsors, ad donors, and all attendees for their support,” said a district spokesperson. “The JACL PSWD is excited to honor so many young leaders, and looks forward to supporting their bright futures.