It’s been a while since I’ve been at a bar late enough to hear the shouts of “Last Call,” but at some point, there needs to be a cutoff, and we are quickly approaching that point for reserving your place with a full registration at the 2023 JACL National Convention “Rooted in Community” in Little Tokyo. We will be cutting off full registrations on July 9!!! And if you need a room at the Doubletree, you need to reserve ASAP, as we are getting close to filling our room allocation on some nights and have actually exceeded it for days before and after the official convention dates.
Among the highlights of what your registration will include is a seat at the sold-out performance of “Defining Courage” on the afternoon of July 23. Every performance of “Defining Courage” has sold out, including two prior performances at the Aratani Theater and most recently at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Orange County. A second evening show on July 23 has now been added.
In addition to the live performance of “Defining Courage,” actress Tamlyn Tomita will be leading a reading of the play “Question 27, Question 28” on the evening of July 20. The welcome reception will feature performances by Eden Kai on the ukelele and Staci Toji’s world-renowned hula dancing, and the Sayonara Gala will feature comedy troupe Cold Tofu, rapper Robbie Yoshikawa and the Grateful Crane Ensemble. USC Kaizen Taiko will open the Welcome Reception, and the Taiko Center of Los Angeles will open the Sayonara Gala.
If you haven’t already, be sure to reserve your time to visit the Ireichō at JANM. In addition, nearly 30 workshops and plenary sessions will feed your brain along with National Council sessions, or you can escape to the film screenings throughout the day on July 19-21. Or, you can go to the other extreme and let loose on the dance floor on July 21 to music by Asian Persuasion.
If you are a foodie, we will have plenty of food for attendees featuring local businesses, with welcome reception food from Aloha Cafe, Millet Crepe and Cafe Dulce; the Sayonara Gala will be catered by Azay, with dessert provided by Fugetsu-Do. On the evening of July 20, the Consulate General of Japan in Los Angeles will be hosting a reception in the beautiful Kyoto Gardens at the Doubletree. The NYSC will hold its luncheon on July 21, also at the Doubletree, where they will also recognize this year’s recipient of their Vision Award. And we will provide several spots in the program where you can make your way out into the Little Tokyo neighborhood to sample some of the great dining options available.
We are especially grateful to our Diamond, Ruby and Sapphire sponsors for their especially generous support. This year’s Diamond sponsor is State Farm and at the Ruby level is AT&T. At the Sapphire level are AARP, Comcast, MGM and Verizon. We are also grateful to our community partner hosts at the Terasaki Budokan, Japanese American National Museum and Japanese American Cultural and Community Center.
This year’s JACL National Convention is one you don’t want to miss, but if you don’t register now, you may find yourself with the anxiety of FOMO (Fear of Missing Out for those of you who are my age and older). So, visit https://jacl.org/2023-jacl-national-convention, and register now. You won’t regret it.
David Inoue is executive director of the JACL. He is based in the organization’s Washington, D.C., office.