JACL Convention to Spotlight Redress

The Japanese American Citizens League will feature various aspects of Redress and the 20th anniversary of the passage of the Civil Liberties Act of 1988 as major portions of the National JACL Convention to be held in Salt Lake City, Utah, from July 16-20, 2008.

Floyd Mori, National JACL Executive Director, stated: “Civil liberties are as relevant today as they were twenty years ago when the Civil Liberties Act of 1988 was passed by Congress which allowed for redress for those remaining of the over 110,000 Japanese Americans who were unjustly removed from their homes on the west coast and placed in internment camps during World War II. The recent discriminatory actions against the Muslim community are examples of the need for constant vigilance against the abuse of the basic tenets of the constitution.”

A plenary session on “Redress, Then and Now,” will include panelists who were or are involved with the civil liberties issues of the past and present. John Tateishi, appointed as the JACL’s Redress Committee Chair in 1978 and former National JACL Executive Director, will speak on “The Role of the JACL and the Legislative Process that Brought about the Redress Legislation.” Richard Foltin, Legislative Director and Counsel in the American Jewish Committee (AJC) Office of Government and International Affairs in Washington, D.C., will discuss “Reasons Why the AJC Came on as a Coalition Supporter and the Importance of Coalitions on Issues Such as Redress.” Muzaffar Chishti, Director of the Migration Policy Institute at the New York University School of Law, will discuss “The Relevance of the Issue of Redress and its Relationship to the Muslim Community since 9/11.”

The Edison Uno Civil Rights Award which recognizes outstanding advocacy in working with other national civil rights organizations will be presented to Ernest Weiner, Director of the Bay Area Chapter of the AJC for over thirty years. The AJC was the first civil rights organization to come on board supporting the Redress movement.

NASA Astronaut Daniel M. Tani will be the keynote speaker for the Sayonara Banquet which will be the culminating event of the convention on Saturday, July 19. Tani is a third generation American of Japanese ancestry and Chicago-area native who has been an astronaut since 1996 and has undertaken two space flights. His mother, Rose Tani, who was interned during World War II, died in an automobile crash while he was in space in December 2007. His father, Henry Tani, passed away when Dan was four years old.

The JACL thanks its major corporate sponsors for the convention. Platinum Sponsors: Eli Lilly, Salt Lake County, State Farm; Gold Sponsors: AT&T, National JACL Credit Union, Zions Bank; Silver Sponsors: Rocky Mountain Power, Comcast; Bronze Sponsors: Ford Motor Company, UPS; Copper Sponsors: Anheuser Busch, Intermountain Health Care, JACL Health Benefits Trust, Union Bank of California.

Members and friends of the JACL and any other interested persons are invited to participate in any or all events of this 40th Biennial Convention in Salt Lake City. For information or registration materials, check out the website at www.jacl.org or call the JACL headquarters office at (415) 921-5225.

The Japanese American Citizens League, organized in 1929, is the oldest and largest Asian American civil and human rights organization in the nation. Major events planned are the National JACL Convention on July 16-20, 2008, and the National JACL Gala Dinner Event in Washington, D.C. on September 25, 2008.

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