March 7, 2013

JACL Statement on the Power of Words

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The following is a press release from the Japanese American Citizens League, dated March 5, 2013.

Contact: Priscilla Ouchida, Executive Director,
Craig Tomiyoshi, VP – Public Affairs,

WASHINGTON D.C. — During the past several weeks, the Japanese American Citizens League has received numerous questions and comments from members and external partners within the Japanese American communityabout the organization’s position and plans regarding implementation of the Power of Words handbook.

JACL remains committed to fully implementing the Power of Words resolution and terminology handbook, as approved by the National Council, without removal of any terminology or edits to their recommended use.

While some internal briefings and opinions on our web site have circulated and raised concerns in the community, no proposal or resolution to remove or redefine terminology has been developed or brought before the JACL National Board for consideration.

At the last JACL National Board Meeting in February 2013, the board reaffirmed its support for the Power of Words handbook and implementation as approved at the 2012 National Convention.

JACL staff has been engaging in conversations with its partners outside of the Japanese American community to listen to their feedback and explore partnership opportunities that may help the handbook receive broader support and visibility. Some groups have indicated that their constituents may have difficulty supporting a term in the handbook, but acknowledged the Japanese American community’s right to define its own experience.

No official partnership or coalition currently exists. Moreover, JACL will not recommend or propose the removal of, or edits to, the terminology handbook as a condition of participation in a broader coalition.

JACL, its leadership, staff and individual committees have been actively promoting and distributing the handbook to elected officials, members of Congress, federal agencies and organizations, without reservation. As part of the implementation strategy, the Education Committee of JACL has also been developing a broader outreach and distribution plan for the Power of Words handbook.


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