2011 JACL Scholarships — Get your App in!!

February 18, 2011 at 12:47 am | Posted in Events, Ford Fellow, JACL, JACL Blog, Young Professionals, Youth | Leave a comment
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JACL National is kicking off its Scholarship Program for the 2011 academic year. At the national level, JACL offers over 30 awards, with an annual total of over $60,000 in scholarships.

JACL Membership, which is required for applications, is open to anyone of any ethnic group. Membership dues can be paid online or with the application.

The 2011 National JACL Scholarship Program informational brochure and applications are posted on the JACL website at: http://bit.ly/JACL_Scholarships

Awards are available in the following categories: Freshman, Undergraduate, Graduate, Law, Creative & Performing Arts, and Financial Aid.

Freshman Applications
Freshman Applications are to be submitted to the applicant’s local JACL Chapter by March 1, 2011. The chapters shall then review the applications and forward the “outstanding” ones to National by April 1, 2011.

All other National JACL Scholarship applications
The deadline for these applications is April 1, 2011. These are to be sent directly by the applicants to: National JACL Scholarship Program, c/o Portland JACL, P.O. Box 86310, Portland, OR 97286.

For additional information regarding the JACL National Scholarship Program, please contact Patty Wada at (415) 345-1075 or ncwnp@jacl.org


New Ways To Fight For Social Justice

February 21, 2009 at 8:14 am | Posted in Ford Fellow, Youth | Leave a comment

Days of student sit-ins and large protests are not long gone but are few and far between. While we often associate fighting for social justice and civil rights with images from the Civil Rights era, images of homemade posters and signs, folks walking hand-in-hand, groups of unarmed civilians faced with billy clubs, tear gas and shields, we are now well into a new era of expression and protest.

Especially with the latest presidential election—where hip-hop artists and spoken-word poets invaded television screens and your personal computers—it is obvious that there are new ways to fight social justice. The mass media has taken on a new turn, where messages are no longer most-effectively delivered through television or radio, but through the Internet.

Take, for example, the “Yes We Can” video released onto Youtube in early 2008. The video has over 1.3 million views and is a conglomeration of different voices found across Hollywood, and likely America. The voices range from that of Will.I.Am, John Legend, and Kate Walsh from “Private Practice;” there’s even a message communicated in American Sign Language.

While music has long been used as a way to move people (think Bob Dylan), spoken word has taken up popularity with shows like Def-Jam and poets utilizing the free World Wide Web to get their art form and message across the globe. Look at Kelly Tsai’s video, “Black White Whatever,” which addresses the necessity of breaking from the usual black-white binary used to discuss race relations in the US.

Or what about the movie “V for Vendetta,” starring Natalie Portman and Hugo Weaving, based on the graphic novel? It’s not just a movie where you can see Natalie Portman shave her head, but it’s also a movie that calls upon citizens to evaluate their individual roles in society. Of course, you may have missed that message if you only thought that the movie was simply a movie—nothing more, nothing less.

Our generation is not simply drawn to media that challenges us to think about this, that, and the other related to our status in society and in the world–we demand it. We crave for spoken word poets like Talib Kweli, hip-hop artists like Common, actors and actresses, directors and filmmakers, theatre groups like Second City, to name a few.

Surely performance art is not everyone’s forte, but it does scream the message that you need to find where you fit in, where you can best fight for social justice. Not everyone is able to pick up a microphone and move a nation, but there is something that you are good at that will contribute to the cause.

Into technology? Help non-profits utilize the Internet, Excel, and other programs to become more efficient, effective, and relevant.

Like to cook? Volunteer at a soup kitchen or look for groups like “Cooking with Kids” to give some time to growing minds and tummies.

See yourself being in school forever? Participate in research, look for faculty members that inspire you to use your academics for the betterment of society, and become one of the professors who has that crazy adjunct-tenure position.

Bottom line – there is a place for you. That place is doing what you do best with the purpose of “doing good.” If you are still having trouble, let’s chat.

An Ounce of Prevention

December 5, 2008 at 3:44 am | Posted in fmori, Youth | Leave a comment

By Floyd Mori, JACL National Executive Director

Recently I attended a congressional hearing on Youth Crime and Violence. A basic premise was that “prevention” is far more effective and less costly than punishment and suppression. This is the case with most things in life. Child poverty, inferior education, and lack of adequate health care are root causes of youth crime, and yet these are weaknesses in our society that can be prevented. Therefore, the focus of the hearing was to enhance programs that are aimed at prevention in order to have a real impact on the problem. The evidence of life around us collaborates this premise.

If I may draw a parallel, it is my feeling that our community is besieged by the crime of ethnic denial and cultural neglect. The result is poor self image and an absence of self identity. Yet at the same hearing mentioned above, developing a sense of identity was a major element in building self worth and a sense of well being. To me, this is a crime that can be mitigated by more aggressive preventive measures.

Continue Reading An Ounce of Prevention…

A Word to other APA Youths

November 2, 2008 at 8:48 pm | Posted in Ford Fellow, Youth | Leave a comment

Last Thursday, at approximately 10:35 a.m. after waiting an hour and a half outside of a local library, I participated in my first presidential election through early voting in Chicago. Words to describe how I felt: fantastic, empowered, stoked! It was a great feeling to have after missing the last election because I was simply too young to vote.

But even though I did my civic duty, I’m only part of the larger Asian American political equation.

A recent UCLA study looked at the civic engagement patterns of Asian American college students, since the 1970s. Researchers found that Asian American students are actively participating in public service. Many students volunteer, participate in service learning courses and student government, vote, and demonstrate at the local, state and national levels. For more than three decades, Asian Americans have been developing a stronger, influential role in the political process by running for office, coordinating campaigns and supporting candidates at all levels.

Continue Reading A Word to other APA Youths…

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