You can make a difference.
Join Portland JACL. We strive to secure and uphold civil and human rights for all.

JACL Accepting Applications for next
Kakehashi Program

 January 2016 Kakehashi Group Participants (Photo by Tailor Kim)

Apply now for the 2016-2017 JACL Kakehashi Program! Up to 200 participants will be selected to participate in this year’s JACL Kakehashi Program, coordinated by the Japanese American Citizens League (JACL) and the Japan International Cooperation Center (JICE), and supported by funding from the Japan Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The goal of the JACL Kakehashi Program is to build relations between Japan and Japanese Americans/Asian Americans. The program provides participants with a better understanding of Japan through a variety of fields, including politics, economics, and culture. JACL Kakehashi Program alumni are encouraged to become effective advocates in enhancing U.S. – Japan relations.

Participants selected in a competitive process will travel to Japan for 9-days where they will visit a number of historical and educational sites, experience traditional and cultural activities, and participate in a homestay with a local family.

Apply on-line at: http://tinyurl.com/Kakehashi2016

JACL Kakehashi Trip Schedule 

Trip DateApplication DeadlineCopy of Passport DeadlineNotification of Selection
Trip 1:
September 5-13, 2016July 15, 2016No later than August 16, 2016Early August 2016
Trip 2:
December 12-20, 2016October 1, 2016No later than November 25, 2016Early November 2016
Trip 3:
March 13-21, 2017October 1, 2016No later than December 31, 2016Early November 2016

Portland JACL, Donate

A Message from the Portland JACL Board


 Download Statement Here


Voter Registrations for New Citizens

On May 9th,  Portland JACL began supporting voter registration of new citizens at the US Citizenship and Immigration Services building where about 150 immigrants become new citizens every week at swearing in ceremonies held weekly.  APANO is the lead organization in this volunteer effort.

Above: Pictured are:  Lee, Dean Price and Yian Saechao from APANO and Setsy Larouche from Portland JACL

New American Voter Project (NAVP) volunteers are at every naturalization ceremony in the USCIS northwest Portland office, Monday through Wednesday at 2:00 pm. Every year about 6,000 become new citizens in Oregon and NAVP’s goal is to register 3,000 or more. Volunteers can help new citizens with the forms which are available for Oregon or Washington residents and in English or Spanish.

Setsy Larouche, Portland JACL Board member and Membership Chair, regularly volunteers with NAVP. She says, “Each time I watch the new immigrants take their oath of citizenship, it brings back many fond memories when I too became a U.S. citizen, and what a perfect time to sign up people to vote since it’s one of the greatest privileges of citizenship.”

Inspiring Action and Igniting Justice

A symposium to honor the life and legacy of Minoru Yasui, the only Oregonian to have been awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, was held on April 23, 2016, at the World Trade Center, Portland, Oregon. Karen Narasaki, who was appointed by President Obama to the U. S. Commission on Civil Rights in 2014 was the keynote speaker.   The event featured expert panelist at three different workshops, one entitled “Cross Cultural – Activisim“, another entitled “Education – Roots to Results, and the third was entitled “Law and Social Change.”  The symposium was opened by Peggy Nagae, the lead attorney for Min Yasui’s Coram Nobis case with the attendees being treated to a speech by Senator Ron Wyden (D-Oregon).  The symposium was organized by Oregon Nikkei Endowment (O.N.E.) and the Min Yasui Tribute Committee with Portland JACL acting as Sustaining Sponsor for the all day event.


Photo: L to R.  Rich Iwasaki, Setsy Larouche, Chip Larouche, Senator Ron Wyden, Lynn Longfellow, and Peggy Nagae.  Photo by Scott Guptill

Congratulations 2016 Portland JACL Board


Chip Larouche (l), National JACL Vice President, Planning & Development, swears in the new Board of Directors of PortlandJACL on January 24, 2016, at Chinese Village restaurant, Portland,Oregon. Board members include (l to r) Setsy Sadamoto Larouche, Chris Lee, Heidi Tolentino, Dr. Connie Masuoka, Jean Yamamoto, Susan Leedham, and new Portland JACL President, Marleen Ikeda Wallingford.Photo by Reflections Photography

Congrats JA Community Scholarship Recipients

Scholarships for the Class of 2017


On Sunday, May 1, 2016, the 69th Annual Japanese American Community Graduation Banquet was held at the Multnomah Athletic Club in Portland, Oregon.  Eleven sponsoring organizations (including the Gresham-Troutdale Chapter and Portland JACL) worked together to honor our graduating high school seniors.  The keynote speaker was Ariko Iso, who is currently the head football athletic trainer at Oregon State University.  Prior to her position at Oregon State University, she was on the staff of the Pittsburgh Steelers for nine years.  Newly arrived Consul General Kojiro Uchiyama congratulated the students on their academic success and wished them good luck in their future endeavors.  The 16 graduates all received the book Touching the Stones and scholarships and awards totaling over $22,000.  If you’d like to apply for the Class of 2017 scholarships, you can download the application here !

ScholarshipGrads2016-2The 2016 Annual Japanese American Graduation Banquet was held at the Multnomah Athletic Club on Sunday, May 7th, 2016.