day 5

Aaaaand I skipped over day 4.  Apprently I’m really bad at remembering to blog.

The past couple days have been full of interesting discussion and neverending meetings (jk).  

Yesterday was the first day of business session, where, as you can guess, we conduct our seriouz bizness.  Between sessions, we had a youth luncheon, and it was great to see so many youth (aka future Young Professionals)
 present.  Because I always skipped convention in the past, I was surprised to see so many youth around me (not that I’m complaining).  
In more exciting news, we had a young professionals workshop today.  It was pretty casual, presented by a State Farm agent (though it was not a State Farm event).  His name is Vance Yoshikawa, and he is the highest ranking Japanese American officer within State Farm.  He had some great tips for the group about networking, career mapping,

and a several other important issues that I’m sure we’re all too familiar with.  Although the workshop wasn’t very structured or formal (that’s not a bad thing), it was really great to see the JACL do something like this for a group of people that is often lost in the JACL mix.  

That is not Vance Yoshikawa in the picture above.  It’s JACL National Director Floyd Mori.  I would have posted a pic of Vance speaking, but I failed you and did not get a picture.  So instead you get Floyd talking about young professionals/introducing Vance.
I also had the pleasure of meeting Secretary Norman Mineta.  I’m not sure if any of you have had the honor of doing the same, but let me tell you, he is one of the nicest people I have ever met.  I lucked into catching him while all the other convention-goers were in a luncheon (I left to get some ibuprofen, I wasn’t playing hooky), so I was able to have a chat with him.  We talked a little about how great it is to see so many youth involved and so many young people at this years convention.  If any of you are ever at an event where Secretary Mineta is present, I highly encourage you to go up and talk to him.

Tomorrow = elections, the National Youth/Student Council’s North Korean Human Rights resolution discussion/voting, and some other important things that I am too tired to remember.  
There are more pictures on our flickr account, check out the slideshow on the right side of the page, or click here.

day three: lessons

I kind of skipped over day two. Sorry about that.

Today was the first official day of convention. Though…being 2 in the morning, I suppose I should say that yesterday was the first day of convention.

A lot of convention seems to be about listening to other people, a skill which I, admittedly, do not have a good grasp on. I’m trying my best, but sometimes it’s hard and the rooms are really really cold (to keep people from falling asleep?)

I’ve been a JACL member for almost as long as I can remember, and I’m thankful for that. Had I not been forced into going to JACL functions when I was younger, I would not be here. I’ve been through many a conference (though never a national convention), a membership lapse of a year, and a triumphant (not) return. I feel like I know the organization pretty well, but I find myself with much to learn. And that’s okay.

I didn’t get into this because I thought I could be the revolutionary who could change things overnight. In fact, I’m not a revolutionary at all, not even close. But I see good things in the JACL, with the hope of something really great and sustainable. And maybe I’ll be a part of that.

The past couple days have been full of meetings. seriouz bizness, guys.

Some random things

Hey all,

I’m in lovely Salt Lake City, taking advantage of some down time before we get into meetings.

For those that are interested, our BBQ received some coverage from Hokubei. Read about it here.

Also, in case you don’t have a Facebook account but would like to check out some BBQ pictures, we’ve set up a flickr account (only some of the pictures have been uploaded). If you have any pictures you’d like to add, please email them to

I hope you all enjoyed the great update from our East Coast cohort Brandon Mita. We’d love to have other guest bloggers, so let us know if you’ve got something to say!

When the convention ball really gets rolling, we’ll update some more.

day one – jacl convention: awaiting the light

unlike most californians who ride away from the sun to get to the Great Salt Lake, my experience is different. yes, i am a member of nakayoshi, but more in spirit than in the physical sense. as a, now, local dc resident, the 5-hour plane ride left me feeling disoriented and yet excited in knowing of the potential friends that can be made and the creation of memories that last us a lifetime.

many of us come out of obligation and as a responsibility of being involved in a civil rights organization. it’s a way of giving back to a community that our parents, and grandparents were a part of. however, there are many of us who choose to embrace the coming of a new dawn with arms outstreched and heavy breaths. we await to see the revolution of a once, great power in the asian american community.

looking forward to the next jam-packed couple of days, i personally, am excited at the prospect of youth and young professional empowerment. no longer are we the immature, inexperienced, do-nothing generation y, but we are the coming of a new era. and that is something to get your heart fluttering.

before signing off, i want to give a big shout-out to my boy alec MAC-D — once of the chi and now a distant family member of the bay.

brandon mita is the current jacl edc youth chair and a candidate for jacl national youth representative. he is currently attending howard university school of law in washington, dc. he hopes to relocate out to the bay very soon.

We’re off to see the wizard

Your lovely NCWNP youth reps (aka Megumi and me) are off to Salt Lake City tomorrow for the JACL National Convention.

We will be meeting with the Wizard…I mean some important JACL folks. There’s some great workshops this year, along with the important business of electing Megumi to the position of National Youth Chair.

Look for some updates from Salt Lake City (perhaps at 6am, while Megumi is working out in the hotel’s gym). 🙂

Next Meeting

Again, thank you to those who joined us in Golden Gate Park for our inaugural event.

On Sunday, July 13th, Nakayoshi will be having its next meeting, and we hope you’ll join us. We’ll be discussing possible events for the future, and we’d love to hear what you have to say.