Become a member of the JACL

Every day, the JACL provides leadership on a national scale that affects the lives of Japanese Americans and all Americans. Now is an important time for you to join the JACL to support the work that protects and promotes the Japanese American community throughout the United States.

If you wish to become a member, you can renew online by clicking here or please download and complete the Membership Application form and send it to JACL National Headquarters along with your membership payment to: 

JACL Membership Department

c/o JACL National Headquarters
1765 Sutter Street, San Francisco, CA 94115

Our web membership management system is currently under construction

If you have any questions or would like infomation about joining JACL, membership benefits or services, please contact the JACL membership coordinator.

  Phone - 415.921.5225 ext. 25 or E-mail -



The original purpose of the JACL was to promote the interests and welfare of the Japanese American community. The scope of that mission has broadened to include the entire Asian American community. The National Headquarters in San Francisco together with regional offices in Los Angeles, Seattle, Chicago, and a legislative office in Washington, D.C., works on a continual basis to build a foundation of opportunity and equality for the Asian Pacific American community.

With its long history of successful civil rights advocacy, the JACL has been able to build a strong network of public officials and other like-minded organizations. The JACL has recognized the importance of working in coalition with other groups in order to promote the interests of all Americans, and has thus concerted their efforts with organizations such as the Organization of Chinese Americans, NCAPA, APIA Vote, and The NAACP, among others.

The JACL responds to defamation and hate crime incidents wherever they occur.  We confront the use of racial slurs in the media or wherever else defamation occurs.  Our staff and volunteers often work with law enforcement to ensure the thorough investigation of hate crimes and hate incidents.

The JACL monitors and advocates for or against legislation in Washington, D.C. that affect civil rights and the well-being of our community.

The JACL promotes teaching of the Japanese American historical experience, including the World War II internment in school classrooms.  We accomplish this by producing educational materials, presenting teacher-training workshops and participating in educational conferences attended by teachers throughout the country.

Leadership Development
The JACL provides programs that develop and train future leaders who will act for positive social change for the Asian American community.  We encourage young people to participate in our Internship and Fellowship programs.  We sponsor the annual JACL/OCA Washington, DC Leadership Conference where participants establish valuable relationships while learning about the issues that affect their community.  We present workshops on college campuses that teach leadership skills, cultural identity and campus organizing.

Cultural and Historic Preservation
The JACL believes it is important to preserve the unique history of Japanese Americans.  We accomplish this by initiating and supporting legislation such as the Internment Camp Preservation bill.  The JACL supports local efforts to preserve the remaining “Japantowns,” which were the cradles of our community.  The JACL promotes the culture and arts of our community through the many projects and events that are organized and supported by our national network of chapters.


1930s – We advocated amending the Cable Act to restore American citizenship to American women of Japanese ancestry married to Japanese nationals; helped push through the Nye-Lea Bill, which provided citizenship for U.S. Army veterans of Asian ancestry.

1940s – We played a key role in establishing the 100th/442nd Regimental Combat Team; successfully advocated the defeat of alien land laws in California, Colorado and Utah; initiated the first attempt to seek remedies for the internment by supporting the Evacuations Claims Act.

1950s – We played a key role in supporting passage of the Walter-McCarran Act that gave our Issei the ability to finally become U.S. citizens; joined in an amicus brief with other civil rights organizations in the landmark Supreme Court case of Brown v. Board of Education, which ruled that separate educational facilities are “inherently unequal.”

1960s – We advocated for an amendment to the 1965 Immigration Act repealing racial immigration quotas, allowing for substantial immigration from Asian countries; participated in the March on Washington with Martin Luther King, Jr. and led the effort against federal anti-miscegenation laws and for major civil rights laws to ensure the rights of all Americans.

1970s – We launched the national Redress campaign to seek remedies for the injustice of the internment; led the successful effort to repeal Title II of the Emergency Detention Act and supported a national effort to gain a Presidential pardon for Iva Toguri for the injustice of her conviction as the mythical “Tokyo Rose.”

1980s – We initiated and advocated for passage of legislation establishing the Commission on Wartime Relocation and Internment of Civilians that investigated the facts and circumstances surrounding the internment; devoted substantial resources and effort  in gaining passage of the Civil Liberties Act of 1988, which embodied the recommendations of the Commission in providing an apology and monetary compensation to nearly 80,000 Japanese Americans.

1990s – We continued advocating for civil rights by addressing legislative efforts to deter hate crimes and discrimination against Asian Americans and others victimized by racism and other forms of intolerance; approved a resolution in support of ending discrimination against gays and lesbians in the military and all other such employment discrimination; successfully opposed California Assembly Resolution 181 which would have required public schools to teach that there was some justification for the internment of Japanese Americans.

2000s – We joined with other APA organizations in an amicus brief supporting the University of Michigan affirmative action program; joined in an amicus brief in Donald Rumsfeld v. Jose Padilla, challenging provisions of the USA Patriot Act; initiated and supported passage of HR 1492, authorizing $38 million for the preservation of internment camps as historic sites; released new curriculum guide, The Journey from Gold Mountain: The Asian American Experience.



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