To Philadelphia JACL Members and Friends

Unfortunately we have decided to cancel the Installation Luncheon, as it appears unlikely that public health officials will give us the all clear by April 18 when our event was originally scheduled. I am hopeful we will be able to reschedule for a date later this year but for now the situation with COVID-19 is too unpredictable for us to choose a new date at this time. Since we were unable to host our Membership Meeting to conduct the chapter board election, our current board has agreed to continue serving until a time when it is safe to reconvene the chapter membership.
In addition to the public health crisis, there has been a spike in hate crimes targeting the Asian American community. JACL National has made a public statement that you can read here:
As president, I have been participating in a number of conversations related to the local response against anti-Asian bias in the time of COVID-19, which I am happy to say the Philadelphia city officials are taking quite seriously. Here is a short news piece that 6ABC did on the issues Asian Americans are facing in Philadelphia: https://6abc.com/chinatown-philadelphia-how-many-people-have-died-from-coronavirus-to-prepare-for/6028955/
Here is a statement from the City’s Office of Immigrant Affairs, co-authored by JACL Philly chapter member Romana Lee-Akiyama: https://www.phila.gov/2020-03-24-hate-crimes-based-on-ethnicity-and-fear-of-coronavirus-are-illegal/
In other news, Tsuru For Solidarity has made the decision to postpone the June 5-7 march on Washington until a later date. Spring 2021 has been proposed as an alternative, but nothing is confirmed yet. You can read the full statement here:
In lieu of in-person convenings, there are a number of remote actions taking place that are related to the immigrant rights movement. Detention Watch Network is currently in the midst of its week of action that many Japanese Americans are participating in nationwide, which you can read more about here: http://bit.ly/FreeThemAllAction
JACL National is also considering postponing or canceling the 2020 National Convention that is currently scheduled for June 24-28. We will notify the chapter if that decision is made, and whether there might be an online alternative that members could participate in remotely.
Rob Buscher
Chapter President
Philadelphia JACL

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