2013 Frances Kitagawa Luncheon

Front Row: Darin Noriyuki, Anna Sugimoto, Sharon Kumagai, Leslie Ito, Miharu Okamoto Back row: ,Jane Yamashita, Mark Wakamatsu, Peter Wakamatsu, Carole Yamakoshi, Craig Ishii, Kuni Shimoguchi, Kerry Kaneichi, Diana Nishiura, Sam Shimoguchi

Front Row: Darin Noriyuki, Anna Sugimoto, Sharon Kumagai, Leslie Ito, Miharu Okamoto
Back row: ,Jane Yamashita, Mark Wakamatsu, Peter Wakamatsu, Carole Yamakoshi, Craig Ishii, Kuni Shimoguchi, Kerry Kaneichi, Diana Nishiura, Sam Shimoguchi

The Venice Culver JACL Chapter hosted its annual Frances Kitagawa Luncheon on Sunday, October 13, 2013.  This year’s program included keynote speaker Leslie Ito, President and CEO of the Japanese American Cultural Center (JACCC) in Los Angeles and Miharu Okamura, 2013 Kitagawa Intern, currently a Film Major at California State University, Long Beach and President of NSU Cal State Long Beach.

Frances Kitagawa was a founding member of the Bay Cities JACL which later became the Venice Culver JACL. She was a Chapter President and served on various committees for the Regional and National JACL. In honor of of Frances and her many contributions to the community, the Venice Culver JACL established the Frances Kitagawa Leadership Development Internship Program for young adults in 2001.

The Frances Kitagawa Leadership Development Internship Program has provided opportunities for individuals to work on projects at PSW District Regional office, Pacific Citizen, Japanese American National Museum, and research for the Venice Japanese Community Center. Past interns include: Rosalyn Kawahira, Carly Hamaguchi, Lauren Kim, Kevin Akio Staub, Craig Ishii, Stacy Iwata, Tiffany (Yoshikawa) Sato, Alexa Giffin, Phil Hirose, Darin Noriyuki, Nicole Tsugawa and Miharu Okamura. We are very proud of our interns, and have seen them continue to develop into professional leaders, such as Craig Ishii, who went on to serve the community as PSWD JACL Regional Director and is now the Executive Director of Kizuna.

Happy New Year!

President Message:

Happy New Year!  On behalf of the Venice Culver JACL Board, I want to wish everyone a healthy and happy 2012.  This year I am excited to serve another year on the board as President for our chapter, along side with Secretary: Carole Yamakoshi, Treasurer/Vice President of Programs: Sam Shimoguchi, Vice President of Membership: Sharon Kumagai, Historian: Jane Yamashita, Members at Large:  Kuni Shimoguchi, Diana Nishiura and Sonya Kuki.   Thank you to Sam, Kuni, Carole, Sharon and Jane for returning to serve another term on our Executive Board.  Also serving on our board as the UCLA Nikkei Student Union liaisons are Matthew Ichinose, President and Kasumi Yoshida, External Vice President.

Here is a picture from our Installation Luncheon this past February:

[From left to right:  Sonya Kuki (Board Member), Sharon Kumagai (VP of Membership), Amy Watanabe (President), Carole Yamakoshi  (Secretary), Jane Yamashita (Historian), Sam Shimoguchi (VP of Programs/Treasurer), Kuni Shimoguchi (Board Member)]

We are excited for the upcoming year as we plan both new, and annual events, from college info day, taco booth, magic day and the Kitagawa luncheon, to new young adult/professional programs and more events for our members.  We encourage for you to share with us programs, activities and ideas that interest YOU!  We want to see our chapter continue to be a healthy and active chapter.

Again, we wish you all a Happy New Year!

Sincerely,

Amy Watanabe

Looking Back at 2011—11th Annual Kitagawa Luncheon

On October 23, 2011, the Venice Culver chapter of JACL hosted its 11th Annual Frances Kitagawa Leadership Development Program Luncheon.  This year’s key note speaker was Dr. Tritia Toyota, former Los Angeles anchor and current Adjunct Assistant Professor of Anthropology and Asian American Studies at UCLA.  The luncheon is our annual fundraiser for the development and support of our programs that promote leadership development, mentorship and networking for young adults in our community.   This year we had over 70 people in attendance.

Dr. Toyota shared about her experience as an Asian American throughout her working and academic career and discussed the future Japanese American community (Nikkei), or rather ASIAN American community.  With the continuous influx of individuals from Japan and pattern of intermarriage, there is the question of, “what is the future of the Japanese American community?”  In her discussion, Dr. Toyota addressed this by sharing her current research on the growing Shin-Issei/Shin-Nisei population.

Here is a picture from the luncheon with Dr. Toyota, 2011 Board, Kitagawa/Sugimoto Families, and past VJCC/JACL interns:

It was a privilege to have Dr. Toyota speak at our luncheon and share her research.  We also gratefully acknowledge the attendance and support of our community and members and our sponsors of the luncheon:

  • Patron—Carole Yamakoshi
  • Supporter—Sharon Kumagai, Mark Wakamatsu
  • Friends— John Asari, Lily Ann Inouye, Y.J. Itow, David & Carol Kawamoto; Mr. & Mrs. Shigeo Kita; Jack Kurihara & Carol Inge; Diana Nishiura; Dale & Gail Noriyuki; Ray & Sharon Shibata; Sam & Kuni Shimoguchi, Anna Sugimoto; Randy & Mari Tamura; Brian Teraoka & Teraoka Family; Venice Pioneer Project; Janet Yamanaka; Randall & Janet Yamaoka; Jane Yamashita; and Betty Yumori.

JACL Scholarship Opportunities

Our chapter is part of a National organization that offers opportunities in leadership development and education.  The following are opportunities for interested individuals and students:

 

John Moy & Southwest Airlines Congressional Internship  Program

The Japanese American Citizens League (JACL) is now accepting applications for the John Moy & Southwest Airlines Congressional Internship program. During the program’s inaugural cycle in Summer 2011, interns were placed in the offices of Representatives Xavier Becerra (CA-31) and Mike Honda (CA-15). JACL is proud to continue providing experience-based training for emerging young leaders through this program.

Duties and responsibilities will be outlined by the congressional member’s office in which the intern is placed. Placement offices have yet to be determined. Congressional interns will have a unique opportunity to experience the policymaking process and gain exposure to Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) issues.

This internship program is made possible by a generous donation from John Moy, longtime supporter and member of JACL, and roundtrip tickets provided by JACL’s official airline, Southwest Airlines.

Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis for two eight-week, paid internships beginning in Winter 2012. Preference will be given to rising undergraduate juniors and seniors and recent graduates. If you have any questions, please contact (202) 223-1240 or policy@jacl.org

 

JACL SCHOLARSHIPS FOR 2012

The JACL offers over 30 scholarships, with an annual total of over $70,000 available in the following categories:  Freshman, Undergraduate, Graduate, Law, Creative &Performing Arts, and Financial Aid. The 2012 National JACL Scholarship Program informational brochure and applications are posted on the JACL website (www.jacl.org). They can be accessed by clicking on “Youth”on the menu bar.

Freshman applications are to be submitted to the Venice Culver JACL Chapter by March 1, 2012. Applications can be left at the VJCC Office. The chapter will review the applications and forward the “outstanding” ones to the National JACL Freshman Scholarship Committee (c/o Salt Lake City JACL, P.O. Box 584, Salt Lake City, UT 84110) by April 1, 2012.

All other National JACL Scholarship applications are to be sent directly by the applicants to:

National JACL Scholarship Program, c/o Portland JACL, P.O. Box 86310, Portland, OR 97286.

The deadline for these applications is April 1, 2012.

For additional information regarding the JACL National Scholarship Program, please contact JACL Regional Director Patty Wada at (415) 345-1075, jacl-ncwnpro@msn.com or Jason Chang, National JACL Vice President for Planning & Development, at vpp-d@jacl.org.

 

If you are interested in membership, please contact Sharon Kumagai at VCJACL@gmail.com.

11th Annual Frances Kitagawa Leadership Development Luncheon

On Sunday, October 23, 2011, we are hosting our 11th Annual Frances Kitagawa Leadership Development Program Luncheon at the Venice Japanese Community Center.

This year we are honored to have Tritia Toyota, former Los Angeles news anchor and current Adjunct Assistant Professor of Anthropology and Asian American Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles.  Professor Toyota will share about her experiences as an Asian American throughout her working and academic career and discuss the future of the Japanese American community.

Frances Kitagawa was a founding member of the JACL seven decades ago and remained active until her passing.  Frances spent her entire life demonstrating leadership through her career in teaching and her volunteer activities.

In honor of Frances and her many contributions to the community, our JACL chapter established the Frances Kitagawa Leadership Development Program for young adults.  This year the funds raised from the luncheon will be used to develop and support programs that promote leadership development, mentorship, and networking for young adults in our community.

We hope that you will join us!  For more information, please contact Sharon Kumagai at 310.719.2364 or Amy Watanabe at 310.488.4184.  Click here for the RSVP form for the 2011 Frances Kitagawa Luncheon.

A Day of Magic

On Sunday, April 3, we hosted our annual Day of Magic.  Attendees enjoyed an afternoon of magic performed by the entertaining and whimsical magician, Bill Yamane.  We were privileged to have Mr. Yamane, a member of the Magic Castle in Hollywood, share his joy of magic with us all.

It was a great day for kids and adults, and perfect for friends and families.  We hope that you can join us next year!

Preparing for College

On Saturday, March 5, 2011, we hosted the 2nd Annual College Information Day at the Venice Japanese Community Center.  The day consisted of an open “Q & A” session with college student panelists and a financial aid presentation by a Cal State Los Angeles Financial Aid advisor.  This program is one that we’d like to host annually, as it is a great way to interact with the Venice Culver youth and parents, as well as providing  young college adults an opportunity to display leadership skills.

The college student representatives came from eight Southern California colleges and universities:  UC Irvine, UCLA, UC Riverside, UCSD, USC, LMU, Cal Poly Pomona and Cal State Long Beach.  These students represented diverse backgrounds, various majors and life experiences—we had individuals who have grown up in the Venice Culver area and decided to stay local; others who came out of town or state; and some who had gone through the transfer processed between schools or from community college.  The students were able to share with the attendees their personal experiences and offer advice for those entering the college application process.

This program would not have been possible without the help of the Venice Japanese Community Center, UCLA Nikkei Student Union (NSU) and the Intercollegiate Nikkei Council  (INC).  We want to give a special thank you to Kelvin Uyeda for setting up the speakers for the panelists; Tiffany Sato and Gail Sharp for helping print the handouts; VJCC Education Committee; and UCLA Nikkei Student Union.

Keep a look out for next year’s College Information Day!

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