Community Groups

The Japanese American Citizens League is a national nonprofit organization whose ongoing mission is to secure and maintain the civil rights of Japanese Americans and all others who are victimized by injustice and prejudice. The leaders and members of JACL also work to promote the cultural values and preserve the heritage and legacy of the Japanese American community. The organization has been fortunate to have the talent of National Director Floyd Mori help influence Legislation in Washington D.C. Mr. Mori is a former member of the California State Legislature where he served in the California Assembly.

Founded in 1968 in San Antonio, Texas, the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund (MALDEF) is the leading nonprofit Latino litgation, advocacy and educational outreach institution in the United States. MALDEF's mission is to foster sound public policies, laws and programs to safeguard the civil rights of the 45 million Latinos living in the United States and to empower the Latino Community to fully participate in our society. Cynthia Valenzuela is the Los Angeles Director of Litigation and supevises the orgnanizations 22 staff lawyers. She previously worked for five years as an Assistant United States Attorney for the Central District of California where she worked in the Public Corruption and Governement Fraud Section. MALDEF is probably the most successful civil rights group in the nation. They have a higher visibility and have had a stronger influence in the United States Congress than other civil rights groups when confirmation hearings are held concerning candidates for the United States Supreme Court. We congratulate MALDEF and wish them continued success for the years to come.

JACL Newspaper, Pacific Citizen

Pacific Citizen is the official publication of the nonprofit Japanese American Citizens League celebrating its 80th anniversary in 2008. The papers used to be Nikkei Shimin (Japanese American Citizen), the San Francisco-based newspaper was a lifeline for the Japanese American community.

At the outbreak of World War II and the subsequent unjust internment of 120,000 Japanese Americans, the Pacific Citizen newspaper was moved to Salt Lake City, Utah where editor Larry Tajiri was hired to continue publishing a weekly newspaper to keep the fragmented community informed.

After WWII, the Pacific Citizen returned to the West Coast in Los Angeles' Little Tokyo where the newspaper's operations is still currently based. In 2005, two staff reporters Lynda Lin and Caroline Aoyagi-Storm won the New America Media Awards recognizing excellence in writing. Those who join the Downtown Los Angeles JACL receive a subscription to the Pacific Citizen as part of the member benefits.


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