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Reimagine Everything: The Return to In-Person Conventions

By August 26, 2022October 20th, 2022No Comments

Scott Tanaka

Earlier this month, I had the opportunity to represent AARP and the JACL Washington, D.C., Chapter at the 2022 JACL National Convention in Las Vegas. It was the first time I was around this many people since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. I have to say that it was an adjustment at first, but I am grateful to the JACL staff for the precautions they took to help keep us safe.

This year’s theme, “Strengthening Our Community Through Action,” was exactly the right message we needed to keep us moving forward. OCA-Asian Pacific American Advocates, another one of AARP’s community partners, also held its National Convention at the same location and time.

It was great to see that there was even some joint programing between the two organizations. I believe having the two conventions along with the organizations, like AARP, who serve the Asian American Pacific Islander community, together, makes us stronger and positions us to have greater impact on our communities.

Convention season has always been a time for AARP to learn what is happening on the ground in cities throughout the country as community organizations bring in their members.

It’s an opportunity for AARP to share our resources and hear the issues and needs from the communities directly. I appreciated those who came up to me and thanked me for our AARP column in the Pacific Citizen and let me know that they have found AARP’s resources, articles, website and app helpful.

Please continue to share this kind of feedback with us. “What we do, we do for all” is a guiding principle articulated by our founder, distinguished educator Dr. Ethel Percy Andrus. We proudly carry that forward with our partner organizations like JACL and OCA.

I would like to share some additional resources and upcoming events. One priority that has remained for AARP is supporting efforts to overcome the double pandemic of Covid and racism.

It’s more important than ever to uplift, protect and advocate for older Americans in the AAPI community.

With the support of AARP, Stop AAPI Hate put together the Elder Report that shines a light on how Covid-19 and the rise in anti-Asian hate impacted the safety and well-being of Asian American elders ages 60 and up. It also outlines concrete steps we can take as a community to give them the resources they need.

You can read the report by visiting

Relatedly, on Sept. 21, AARP is convening our AAPI and Black communities to address the double pandemic of Covid and systemic racism.

This FREE online event continues the conversations of community building from the Vincent Chin 40th Remembrance and Rededication, which was also the same day as Juneteenth.

We will explore our overlooked history of working together for positive change and open up the conversation on empathy, healing and our shared vision of tomorrow.

Please join us and register here:

AARP Discount for JACL Members

Did you know that JACL members have access to a discounted AARP membership rate? Learn more and hear from millennial Zachary Abel on the benefits of having an AARP membership by going to

You do not need to be a member to access our free resources or events, but joining does give you access to discounts on travel, dining, entertainment, phone plans and much more!

The good news is that if you’ve been planning that overdue vacation abroad, you are no longer required to have a negative Covid test to fly into the United States. Read about it here:

For the latest news, updates and upcoming events as we celebrate all things AAPI, visit the AARP AAPI Community Page at You’ll also find an extensive library of free resources where you can learn more about financial security, health, wellness and caregiving.

Scott Tanaka is a member of the JACL Washington, D.C., chapter and is a policy, research and international affairs adviser at AARP.