Welcome to the Riverside Chapter of JACL (Japanese American Citizens League). With the efforts of Edwin Mitoma and the sponsorship of the Orange County chapter, the Riverside chapter was founded in 1968 with 47 charter members. Dr. Gen Ogata was the first Chapter president. Two charter Board members continue their dedicated service on the Board. They are: Dolly Ogata and Michiko Yoshimura.
In 1968, the Riverside Chapter included the communities of Riverside, San Bernardino, Colton and Redlands. Today, the Riverside chapter has 120 members that reside within the entire Inland Empire.
The Riverside Chapter focused their programs in four areas:
- Youth activities
- Community relations
The Chapter continues to provide programs in these areas through its various committees such as Civil Rights, Scholarship, Youth/Student, Sunshine and the Harada House. Many people became acquainted with the Riverside Chapter through the annual Sendai Festival it sponsored for many years. It included cultural exhibits and demonstrations and the sale of Japanese foods.
Currently the Chapter sponsors annually an Installation Luncheon, Graduation/Scholarship Dinner, Community Picnic and General Meeting. The members have also participated in the Riverside Metropolitan Museum Associates’ Family Village Festival and other community activities.
The Japanese American Citizens League was established in 1930 and 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 JACL currently has 110 chapters in 25 states including Washington, D.C. and Japan.
There are regional offices in Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Seattle. There is also a legislative office in Washington, D.C. and the Pacific Citizen, the publication of the JACL, operates out of Los Angeles. Within the Pacific Southwest District (PSW), there are 32 chapters that represent the district (including the Riverside Chapter). The PSW region covers the southwest region of the U.S, westward to the Pacific Ocean, south to the Mexican border, east to Arizona and Las Vegas, Nevada and to the north as far as San Luis Obispo.
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. For more information about our national organization, please go to www.jacl.org