The Story of the St. Louis JACL

First July 4th Picnic at Eden Seminary 1943

The St. Louis Chapter of the JACL has its origins starting in 1946.  In the past few years the leadership of the JACL is gradually being transferred to the Yonsei generation; as all chapters are.

The legacy of the St. Louis JACL is that our chapter’s name is forever etched in stone at the entrance to the Japanese Garden.  We take pride in the JACL; the various annual events supported and/or sponsored by the chapter attest to the fact that we are a close and proud organization.

The St. Louis JACL continues to monitor important issues that affect our daily lives; on both a local and national level.  The chapter is active in areas dealing with: anti-Asian violence, the promoting of accurate accounts of the Japanese American experience in our nation’s textbooks; and various other civil rights issues.

We have worked with other ethnic groups to enhance understanding between all peoples of all ethnic backgrounds.  By working together, we can make a difference; continuing to gain respect and raise our influence as a member of the minority group within our community.

About JACL

Founded in 1929, the JACL is the oldest and largest Asian American civil rights organization in the United States.  The JACL monitors and responds to issues that enhance or threaten the civil and human rights of all Americans and implements strategies to effect positive social change, particularly to the Asian Pacific American community.

The JACL and the Japanese American community are continuously affected by changes in the political environment and in demographics. Our society continues to be impacted by the events of September 11, 2001, which created a worldwide climate of uncertainty and insecurity where we must reconcile the proper balance between issues of national security and our civil liberties. We are also affected by the changing demographics of race, ethnicity and age.

Looking to our future, the JACL constantly assesses the effectiveness of its role in Japanese American, Asian Pacific American and civil rights communities, and what infrastructure is necessary to effectively support our mission and efficiently achieve our goals. Today, with inter-racial and multi-ethnic marriages changing the face of the Japanese American community, the JACL faces additional challenges in looking to its future and to the future of the Japanese American community.


Aware of our responsibilities as the oldest and largest Asian Pacific American civil rights organization, JACL strives to promote a world that honors diversity by respecting values of fairness, equality and social justice.


The Japanese American Citizens League is a national organization whose ongoing mission is to secure and maintain the civil rights of Japanese Americans and all others who are victimized by injustice and bigotry. The leaders and members of the JACL also work to promote cultural, educational and social values and preserve the heritage and legacy of the Japanese American community.

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