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“The Japanese American Citizens League is a national 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 JACL Midwest District Council comprises local and regional chapters of the Japanese American Citizens League, the oldest and largest Asian American civil rights organization in the United States, in communities across the upper and lower Midwest, and parts of the Southwest.
Founded in 1929, the Japanese American Citizens League is a national organization whose ongoing mission is to secure and maintain the civil rights of Japanese Americans and all others who are victimized by injustice and bigotry. The leaders and members of the JACL also work to promote cultural, educational and social values and preserve the heritage and legacy of the Japanese American community.
Midwest chapters operate programs that are consistent with the mission and purposes of the National JACL. These programs include anti-defamation, education about Japanese American history, leadership, scholarship and cultural heritage. Their work is assisted by the JACL Midwest Office in Chicago.
Nearly all JACL chapters in the Midwest were established in the immediate aftermath of World War II, when Japanese Americans were released from inland concentration camps where they had been confined during the war. Upon leaving the camps, many Japanese Americans moved to Midwestern cities to find jobs and to re-establish their lives.
Initial discussions surrounding the formation of the JACL Midwest District Council began in May 1946 when Chicago JACL president, Noboru Honda, conferred with Masao Satow, then the National JACL Regional Representative about future JACL activities in the Midwest. They envisioned chapters in Chicago, Detroit, Ann Arbor, Milwaukee, St. Louis, Cincinnati and possibly Minneapolis.
Today, the JACL Midwest District Council comprises the following twelve chapters:
Each chapter invites the membership of all individuals who are interested in supporting and participating in the programs and activities sponsored by the chapters. To learn more about a specific chapter, please click on the chapter you are interested in.
To learn more about the Council, visit JACL Midwest District Council.