St. Louis JACL 1996 – Present

The 2021 Board of Directors:

President – Ronald Sakai, Vice President Programs – Edith Quick, Vice President Finance – Steven Mitori, Secretary – Robin Hattori, Board Member – Mike Kimzey, Board Member – Bum Yong Kim

After the tragedy of September 11, 2001, the JACL offered support to Muslim Americans in St Louis.  A group of JACLers were invited to the local mosque and were given a tour and a brief explanation of the Islamic religion.  In later months Bob Mitori was invited to the Mosque to sit on a panel comprised of himself, an internee in the camp in Rohwer, Arkansas, a Jewish survivor of the Holocaust and an African American.  All spoke on their own experiences of prejudice and incarcerations.   JACL’s speakers bureau has provided several members who have gone to schools, churches, civic groups and book clubs, even a police organization to educate the public about the Internment, especially in 2000 when the state of Missouri instituted a statewide reading program of Farewell to Manzanar  by Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston.

Currently the St. Louis JACL is a participant and supporter of the annual Missouri Botanical Garden’s Japanese Festival.  This fund raiser provides operating expenses for the St. Louis Chapter and helps to provide annual scholarships.  There is an annual read-in book club which selects appropriate fiction and nonfiction for discussion.  There is an annual picnic on the Fourth of July where everyone can catch up with each others activities.   In September 2012,  then St. Louis JACL President Wendy Roll and past internee, 90-year old Janice Koizumi, participated in a program of ethnic profiling at Washington University in St. Louis.   Even with a very small membership, the chapter continues to support the principles that the JACL holds dear.

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