How the Nation’s Oldest Asian-American Civil Rights Organization is Combating Civil and Social Injustice

Max Vu, Staff Writer

The Japanese American Citizen’s League, also known as JACL, is
the nation’s oldest and largest Asian-American civil rights organization –
An organization that has become more and more relevant given the
recent hate crimes against Asian-Americans. To learn more about this
organization, I spoke with Eileen Yamada Lamphere, President of Puyallup
Valley’s JACL chapter.
“I just keep it together,” Eileen replied, when asked what her role
was in the organization. As president, she just makes sure that the
organization continues its work. With the rising of anti-Asian hate crimes,
the Puyallup Valley chapter recognizes the significance of unification. As such, they are
currently teaming up with the Seattle JACL chapter (as well as several other organizations
in Washington) to fight these issues. The chapter also co-sponsors the Kent-Meridian Civil
Rights club, where they meet weekly to discuss recent National and local issues and come
up with new ways to address them.
The chapter is also very dedicated to fighting civil injustice for those inhumanely
detained at the borders of the nation. Currently, they’re protesting the Northwest
Detention Center in Tacoma. With the election of President Joe Biden, they are now
fighting for the detainees to be released and for the children to be reunited with their
families. In March of 2019, the chapter contributed to Tsuru for Solidarity’s Texas Dilley
protest. The goal was to make and fold 10,000 origami cranes in time for the protest –
When the time came, people around the world donated roughly 30,000. In many of the
chapter’s significant contributions, Eileen mentioned that the best they could do is
participate in bigger events. “As a small organization, we can only join in,” Eileen
explained. “we can’t be the organizers.