And finally I’m home.
Convention was interesting. I’ll give it that. Something new. As always, I have criticisms, perhaps because I am always in search of something more. But. Let’s not focus on these things, but instead focus on what we accomplished.
For several years, we’ve been saying that the JACL needs a facelift, something that makes us relevant, appeals to the younger generations (and those caught between the “youth” and “adult” categories of the JACL), something that will draw people in. Since I joined the JACL National Youth/Student Council (NY/SC), I have been helping to get a resolution passed. I’m sure some of you have heard about the resolution from either Megumi or myself, but here’s a bit of background:
At the last NY/SC retreat, EDC Youth Rep Brandon Mita and MDC Youth Rep Stephanie Nitahara gave a presentation on North Korean human rights. They proposed a JACL resolution to be voted on at National Convention, a resolution that said that we are taking a stand:
Therefore, be it resolved, that the National Council of the JACL will endorse and affirm its commitment to the policies and negotiations that strengthen peace and security on the Korean peninsula, promote reconciliation and engagement with North Korea, and measurably improve the human rights situation of the North Korean people
The NY/SC has never presented something like this, and we were prepared for an uphill battle. We spent the past couple months contacting chapters, talking to people, answering questions. And there were many. When the time came, during business session, we all walked to the proper mic, prepared to argue for this resolution for which we had united.
No one approached the opposed mic. No one. It was the only thing we hadn’t prepared for. No opposition on the floor. We had a testimonial from one youth, and a couple council members spoke for the resolution. We called for the vote, and the resolution passed.
This is the reason I got involved with JACL again, and this is what will keep me around. There are some great people on the NY/SC right now, and I have no doubt that we can sustain this proactive nature. I look forward to our future projects, and I can’t wait to see what these young people will do.