St. Louis JACL 1996 – Present

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.  It provides generous scholarships to members’ children.  There is an annual read-in book club which selects appropriate fiction and nonfiction for discussion.  There are joint activities with CAPA.  There is an annual picnic on the Fourth of July where everyone can catch up with each others activities.   This past September,  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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