A New Musical Inspired By a True Story
From PSW Youth Representative Juli Yoshinaga’s summit recap report:
Each and every time JACL events are held, participants leave with a broader understanding of the Nikkei community, and the California Summit was no exception. On March 10-11, 2018, National Youth/Student Council District Representatives – Juli Yoshinaga from Pacific Southwest (PSW), Kelly Aoki from Central California (CCDC), Michelle Huey from Northern California Western Nevada Pacific (NCWNP), along with JACL Associate Director Stephanie Nitahara – joined efforts in hosting an educational summit taking place at the Japanese American Cultural & Community Center (JACCC) in Little Tokyo, Los Angeles.
Co-hosted with the JACCC, the two-day summit brought together 50 participants from all corners of the State of California to watch a live performance of Allegiance starring George Takei, Elena Wang, and Greg Watanabe at the Aratani Theatre. The JACCC and East West Playerses production of Allegiance provided an emotional connection and energy that only grew throughout the weekend.
Following the play, former Executive Director John Tateishi participated in a “fireside chat” with Nitahara detailing his experiences as Redress Director as well as his time serving as Executive Director during 9/11. Tateishi also gave valuable insight and offered a unique perspective regarding Mike Masaoka, the only non-fiction character in Allegiance. Thank you to JACL National President, Gary Mayeda, for joining the program introducing Tateishi.
The next day, summit participants gathered to participate in Breaking the Silence on Sexual Violence in the API Community led by Huey, who works for My Sister’s House, an organization that serves the Asian and Pacific Islander and other underserved women and children impacted by domestic violence, sexual assault, and human trafficking. In addition to the workshop, youth representatives facilitated further discussion regarding the future of Japanese American youth in California. Youth participants identified the need for a space for youth to gather within the JACL. The summit concluded with the passionate and energized participants visiting the Go for Broke Museum.