Please join us at the JACL Honolulu Chapter’s
2014 Annual General Membership Meeting & Awards Dinner

To view invitation please click here
To view flyer please click here

Friday, November 14, 2014, 5:30 p.m.
At the Harbor View Center
1129 North Nimitz Highway
Honolulu, Hawaii 96817
(Above Nico’s at Pier 38)

For their distinguished service to our community, we are proud to honor the civil rights work of

Governor Neil Abercrombie


University of Hawaii William S. Richardson School of Law Scholar Advocacy Project

Individual Tickets
Members: $75 Go to: to become a member of the JACL Honolulu Chapter.
Guests: $100
Seniors & Students: $60

Sponsorships (Table of 10)
Platinum Sponsors – $7,000
Diamond Sponsors – $4,500
Gold Sponsors – $3,500
Silver Sponsors – $2,500

If you have any questions, would like to sponsor a table or RSVP, please email us at Thank you.


Japanese American Citizens League Honolulu Chapter

2014 Emerging Leader Scholarship Award

Click here to download the Application Form (word format)

Click here to download the Application Form (pdf format)


ON OR BEFORE October 17, 2014.

Eligibility Requirements: Applicant must be a student who will be enrolled full-time in college-level or graduate level courses during the 2014-15 school year.

Award: Award of $1,000. A single award will be given to the applicant that best demonstrates a commitment to civil rights.



The Day of Remembrance is a day set aside by Japanese American communities to reflect upon the legacy and lessons of their World War II incarceration.  The Honolulu program is co-sponsored by the World War II Valor in the Pacific at Pearl Harbor and the Honolulu chapter of the Japanese American Citizens League.

You are cordially invited to a special Day of Remembrance program

Sunday, March 23, 2014

3:00 p.m.

at the Pearl Harbor Theater

Pearl Harbor Visitor’s Center at the World War II Valor in the Pacific

The Japanese Cultural Center of Hawaiʻi  (JCCH) is extremely pleased to have permission from CBS to replay the Hawaiʻi Five-O episode, “Hoʻonani Makuakane, Honor Thy Father.”

Originally aired on December 13, 2013, “Hoʻonani Makuakane, Honor Thy Father,” weaves together the experiences of World War II veterans, Pearl Harbor survivors, Japanese American internees and reminds us all of the lessons of war.  Immediately following the screening will be a talk-story with actor James Saito who played the pivotal role of David, the former Honouliuli internee. Other Hawaiʻi Five-O cast and crew members have also been invited to attend and participate in the afternoon program.

Seating in the theater is limited, therefore you must R.S.V.P. prior to March 17th in order to reserve a seat to this special event by contacting Audrey Muramoto at


 Please join us for our 2013 Annual General Membership Meeting and Awards Dinner Friday, November 15 at 5:30 p.m., Pier 38

Please RSVP by November 1

Email ( or call us (523-8464) to RSVP

Thank you!


Civil Rights in Hawaii and Beyond:

From Legislation, Law Enforcement, and Jurisprudence to Justice, Reconciliation, and Healing


A Pau Hana Gathering



888 Mililani Street, 1st floor

Monday, September 30, 2013

6 :00 – 7:30 p.m.

(free street parking nearby)


Please join us for a civil rights “talk story” with:


Bill Tamayo, US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission San Francisco Regional Attorney

Dina Shek, Medical-Legal Partnership for Children in Hawaii Legal Director

Joakim Jojo Peter, Chuukese Community Advocate

Moses Haia, Native Hawaiian Legal Corporation Executive Director


Moderated by:  Avi Soifer, Dean, University of Hawaii William S. Richardson School of Law


Presented by:  Japanese American Citizens League Honolulu Chapter / Hawaii Friends of Civil Rights / Native Hawaiian Legal Corporation / University of Hawaii William S. Richardson School of Law / University of Hawaii Office of Student Equity, Excellence and Diversity / Medical Legal Partnership for Children in Hawaii /  Hawaii Government Employees Association / Hawaii Civil Rights Commission



September 10, 2013

JACL-Honolulu and NAACP-Hawaii Support Move Toward Marriage Equality in Hawaii


Honolulu, Hawaii: The Japanese American Citizens League – Honolulu (JACL) and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People – Hawaii (NAACP) commends Governor Neil Abercrombie and the Hawaii State Legislature for taking the bold and courageous action to convene a special legislative session for the purpose of hearing legislation that would, if passed and signed into law, finally provide equality to all citizens regardless of sexual orientation.


JACL and NAACP are strong supporters of marriage equality and have been since 1993 when Hawaii courts defined the issue for the nation. We hold fast to that commitment to what is just and wholeheartedly support the passage of marriage equality legislation by the Hawai‘i State Legislature.  We urge that justice be rendered expeditiously.


“This special session affords our legislature the opportunity to uphold the highest representation of justice and equality to the people of Hawaii.”  Alphonso Braggs, President of NAACP Hawaii stated.  “This is an important period in Hawaii’s history and the outcome will truly define the local spirit.” 


As organizations dedicated to advancing civil rights, we know firsthand what discrimination of any kind can do to a community. 


“Hawaii is a place that is defined and strengthened by its diversity.” Liann Ebesugawa, President of JACL Honolulu said, “We cannot wait any longer as our gay and lesbian families and friends are treated unfairly and unequally.  Justice is long overdue.”



UPDATED 2013 Emerging Leader Scholarship Award

Application Deadline:  August 30, 2013

Application Form


Civil Liberties and the Constitution Day established!

On Friday, June 7, 2013, Governor Neil Abercrombie signed Senate Bill 856 establishing January 30, Fred Korematsu’s birthday as Civil Liberties and the Constitution Day.  This day celebrates and honors Fred Korematsu, Min Yasui, Gordon Hirabayashi and Mitsuye Endo, Americans of Japanese ancestry who challenged the validity and constitutionality of internment during World War II.

Photos:  Governor signing bill with Karen Korematsu & Supporters with Governor

More information see here.


Hawaii People’s Fund  *  JACL Honolulu Chapter  *  Kokua Kalihi Valley



Special Screening, Monday, March 11, 2013, 7:00 – 9:00 p.m.

Doris Duke Theater, 900 S. Beretania Street, Honolulu

More info here

Shown at international film festivals in Hawaii (HIFF), Chicago and Toronto, this cinematic
feature was shot in Kailua Kona and Ocean View on the island of Hawaii. The Land of Eb is
about a Marshallese family struggling to create a new home for themselves on the fringes of society, telling a simple story of one man while revealing profoundly deeper issues.


JACL Honolulu Chapter editorial

Star Advertiser, Sunday, February 3, 2013

Support The Freedom To Marry

As the nation’s oldest and largest Asian American civil rights organization, the Japanese American Citizens League is committed to equality and the protection of civil and human rights for all.  The JACL has long supported marriage equality.  In 1964, the JACL submitted an amicus brief in the U.S. Supreme Court case of Loving v. Virginia in which interracial couples were ultimately allowed to marry, effectively striking down the fallacy that love can be legislated.

In 1994, the JACL national council affirmed the position that marriage is a fundamental human right that should be guaranteed to all, which made the JACL the first non-gay organization to support marriage equality.

Historically, we reflect on the 1942 Executive Order 9066 which stripped 120,000 American citizens of Japanese ancestry of their rights and freedoms. This was done by well-meaning people who decided it was perfectly fine to discriminate because it was just one time and only against a small minority.  We must never again make any group an exception to our right to equal protection under the law.  Discrimination against any group of people has no place in our society.

The current controversy surrounding the efforts to legalize same sex marriage in Hawaii fails to address a basic point – the loving couples who are denied the right to marry are victims of discrimination.

Notably, in 1993, decades before other states addressed the issue of marriage equality, Hawaii’s Supreme Court led the nation in supporting gay rights by striking down a ban on marriage for same-sex couples because it violated the State Constitution prohibiting discrimination.

The ruling was dealt a setback when a constitutional amendment was enacted in 1998 giving the Legislature the authority to define marriage as a union between a man and a woman.

Now fifteen years later, same-sex couples in Hawaii continue to be denied the right to marry, although same-sex marriage has already been adopted by nine other states and the District of Columbia.

In the wake of our recognition of the birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr., we look to the words of Dr. King as revisited by President Obama who said: “the arc of the moral universe is long but it bends towards justice . . . but here is the thing: it does not bend on its own. It bends because each of us in our own ways put our hand on that arc and we bend it in the direction of justice.”

Hawaii is a state defined by its diversity. We as a state also value family, and those family members include those who are gay.

The fact that individuals in our community are denied the right to marry merely because they are gay, fundamentally undermines the premise of equality and ultimately robs them of their dignity as citizens.

Yes, there are strident voices that maintain marriage is a tradition and should be protected (Star-Advertiser op ed Jan. 27).  However, our state’s lawmakers currently have before them measures that will not change how religion defines marriage.  The proposed law allowing same-sex couples to join in marriage specifically protects the rights of clergy, churches and religious organizations that do not perform or recognize same-sex marriages.

Hawaii has a chance this legislative session to do what is right and fair and to put our collective “hand” on the arc and bend it in the direction of justice for all.


Please Join us for the first Fred T. Korematsu Day in Hawaii

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Japanese Cultural Center of Hawaii

5:30 p.m. Registration

6:00 p.m. Program

For more information on the events of the day, please click here.


Martin Luther King Jr. Day Parade

Monday, January 21, 2013

JACL participated in the Martin Luther King Jr. Day Parade today!  Photos available here.


The Japanese American Citizens League, Honolulu Chapter, mourns the passing of Senator Daniel K. Inouye and expresses our gratitude for his leadership and legacy of service.  Senator Inouye worked tirelessly to ensure that next generations will never forget the history of Japanese Americans during World War II–notably, the unlawful incarceration of Japanese Americans and the selfless service of the 442nd, 100th Infantry Battalion, and Military Intelligence Service.  Senator Inouye paved the way for JACL’s steadfast support of Native Hawaiians, Micronesians and our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters.  Because of his service, current and future generations will be reminded that liberty cannot be taken for granted and that due process and civil rights must be vigilantly protected.


Thank you for joining us at the 2012 Annual General Membership Meeting & Awards Luncheon

To view invitation please click here

On Saturday, October 13, 2012, our JACL Hawaii community gathered together to celebrate the work of many outstanding leaders.

Distinguished Service Awardees: the law firm Alston Hunt Floyd & Ing for their extensive pro bono work on Micronesian issues and Dina Shek, Esq., Director of the University of Hawaii William S. Richardson School of Law Medical-Legal Partnership for her service to the large Micronesian community in Kalihi Vallley. Blake Oshiro introduced awardee Alston Hunt Floyd & Ing.  Louise Ing, Esq. accepted the award on behalf of Alston Hunt Floyd & Ing.

  • Eric Yamamoto, University of Hawaii William S. Richardson School of Law, Fred T. Korematsu Professor of Law and Social Justice introduced awardee Dina Shek, Esq.  His remarks can be found here.

Matthew Shimura for his award winning short film entitled: The Constitution and the Camps: Due Process and the Japanese-American Internment

The Japanese Cultural Center of Hawaii and filmmaker Ryan Kawamoto for the creation of the first comprehensive documentary on the Hawaii internment experience entitled: The Untold Story: Internment of Japanese Americans in Hawaii – Trailer

2012 Emerging Leader Awardees:  Alyssa Marie Kau and Nicholas Alcover