by by Jeff Selby
Become a Portland JACL Board Member
This is no time for apathy. From the Tea Party to the Arab Spring, to the worldwide Occupy movement, citizens are taking to the streets to demand that their voices be heard. No matter your political leanings, you are a member of Portland JACL, one of the oldest, most respected civil rights groups in America. You should remind yourself why you support this organization. You might also consider what more you could offer your community by joining the Portland JACL Board.
Personally, being a Portland JACL board member allows me to make a difference in my community by being part of a team that fights social injustice and educates the public about the unique history of the Nikkei. Over the years, we have built and fostered coalitions with the Asian, Arab and Muslim, Latino, and LGBTQ communities, sharing stories of past injustices and forming bonds to prevent those acts from happening again—to anyone. I have had the privilege of working with some of the most passionate and hard working people in our community.
What do you believe in? What is your cause? How can we make Portland JACL a more relevant force for civil rights advocacy? In light of recent events where people are taking a stand to fight for their beliefs and their communities, I am asking you to consider becoming a board member with Portland JACL. It doesn’t matter if you’re new to the organization or an old friend. We need you. We need your fresh perspective and energy to keep JACL moving forward. Ours is a nationally recognized chapter that often serves as a benchmark for excellence in the national Japanese American civil rights community, and your voice is needed.
Our board members’ names are undoubtedly familiar to you. You will notice that year after year, these same people organize social events, produce this newsletter, update an informational website, volunteer at festivals, represent your JACL at partner functions, raise money for scholarships, and give your JACL a credible face and voice in our community. But there may come a point in the not-so-distant future when one or more of them gets "burned out." We are always searching for passionate volunteers to join your board or to assist with events and committees. If you have a desire to help Portland JACL, please let me know. We will put you to work and you will assuredly feel great about it at the end of the day!
Your board meets on the third Thursday of every month. I know you’re busy, but the future and relevance of Portland JACL depends on all of us. Is there still a need for JACL? You bet. And you can play a major role in our success.
I look forward to seeing you at our upcoming events. Please feel free to e-mail me (Jeff Selby) anytime with comments, questions, or concerns.