By Kenji Kuramitsu, National Youth Representative
The National Youth/Student Council of the JACL met from March 31-April 2 in Seattle, Wash., for its biannual leadership retreat. Representatives across five youth districts participated in the retreat, as JACL was excited to welcome new members to the NY/SC for their first retreat.
Additionally, this retreat was the first opportunity for many NY/SC members to see one another since the fall retreat, which occurred during July’s JACL National Convention in Las Vegas, Nev.
NY/SC participants spent the weekend at the historic Japanese Cultural Community Center of Washington and participants stayed in Seattle’s historic Panama Hotel in Seattle’s Chinatown/International District (formerly a nihonmachi). Participants were also given a tour of the Nisei Veterans Center.
Throughout the retreat, NY/SC members engaged in reflection and leadership-development activities, as well as planned various convention-related activities for July’s upcoming National Convention in Washington, D.C., including the youth delegate orientation, closing sessions and other campaigns and events for young people.
Additionally, NY/SC members worked on the group’s upcoming NY/SC Summits.
On April 8, the Eastern District Council’s National Youth/Student Council summit entitled “Asian American Feminism: Not Your Asian Sidekick” was held at Smith College. The event examined the intersection between the feminist movement and Asian American Pacific Islander women.
In Los Angeles on May 7, the Pacific Southwest District Council will host an NY/SC Summit entitled “What Does It Mean to be Nikkei?” which will explore Nikkei identity through the arts.
The NY/SC is excited to continue to engage young leaders around the country by exploring these important issues that affect communities across the nation.
The NY/SC retreat was a valuable learning tool for NY/SC members to spend this time together in person, engaging in both community-building and planning future NY/SC actions and activities.
The NY/SC would also like to give special thanks to Theo Bickel and the Japanese Cultural Community Center of Washington for providing the group with time, space and deep knowledge of the community.
The NY/SC is also grateful to State Farm and Southwest Airlines for helping to make this in-person gathering possible.