By Devon Matsumoto, JACL Salt Lake City Co-President, Convention Planning Committee
The Utah chapters of the JACL are excited to announce that registration for the 2019 JACL National Convention is now open! Hosted by the Mt. Olympus, Salt Lake City and Wasatch Front North chapters, this year’s convention, “Inclusion, Advocacy and Action,” will be held at the Little America Hotel in downtown Salt Lake City from July 31-Aug. 4.
Registration pricing will vary. In order to make the convention as affordable as possible, especially for youth, the committee, as well as JACL National, has worked hard to keep prices low and develop programming that will appeal to conventiongoers of all ages.
There are many exciting activities planned for attendees. This year’s convention will start off with a golf tournament and end with a bus trip to the Topaz Incarceration Camp and museum. In between, there will be various youth activities, as well as intergenerational excursions into the surrounding city. And on Aug. 2, there will be a chance for conventiongoers to participate in an Open Mic-Night Bazaar at the Salt Lake Buddhist Temple.
In addition, Aug. 2 and 3 will feature various interactive workshops and panels hosted by the NY/SC, JACL National Board, local citizens and various community groups that will focus on teaching, informing and challenging attendees to work toward a world without hate, bigotry, racism and oppression.
Convention organizers are also excited to announce that there will be two tracks for convention.
There will be a broad intergenerational track and a track that is youth-specific. Local youth, with the help of the NY/SC and OCA-Utah, have put together an affordable program for any young person interested in attending convention. Youth participants will have three options:
- Register for the entire convention
- Register for Aug. 2 workshops (the focus will be on the NY/SC and what it is doing to get young people involved in JACL and activism as a whole)
- Register for Aug. 2 and 3 workshops (in addition to the programming on Aug. 2, workshops on Aug. 3 will focus on local issues currently facing the Utah community)
I, along with the local youth committee for convention, felt that it was important for our youth workshops to emphasize the theme of “Inclusion, Advocacy and Action.” The JACL prides itself on being the “oldest and largest API civil rights origination,” but when one looks at the demographics and programming, API is really just JA.
Therefore, we have begun to partner with local community groups to bring in voices that are not often heard within our organization. Our hope is for a conversation to be started about JACL’s role in the larger API community. Inclusion, advocacy and action can only work if silenced voices are included in the conversation and if we as an organization are committed to creating bonds with other minority groups to continue to fight against injustice.
This year’s JACL National Convention is one that must not be missed! With the different tracks, fun excursions, golf tournament, Topaz trip and Open Mic-Night Bazaar, there is something for everyone. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to reconnect with old friends and make new ones, all while working toward making a difference in the world we live in today.
We cannot wait to see you all in Salt Lake City this summer!