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Applications Being Taken for JACL/OCA Leadership Summit

2015 JACL/OCA Leadership Summit Participants at the Congressional Speaker Series. (Photo by Craig Shimizu)

WASHINGTON — The 2018 JACL/OCA Leadership Summit will be held from April 7 to 10 in Washington, D.C. Application deadline is Feb. 12.

Established by JACL in 1984, the four-day annual leadership summit program introduces community leaders from across the nation to the national policy-making arena. Co-convened with OCA Advocate (formerly the Organization of Chinese Americans) since 1994, the conference is structured to provide a broad overview of the decision-making process at the federal level, including meetings and briefings by public officials, key policymakers who serve in Congress, the White House, federal agencies, advocacy organizations, and the media.

Participants also will be briefed on legislative issues affecting AAPI communities and will examine the role Asian Pacific American civil rights organizations, such as JACL and OCA, play in affecting public policy and pursuing civil rights legislation in the nation’s capital.

“The JACL/OCA Summit was a wonderful experience, allowing me to meet and learn from peers from all over the country about advancing API issues,” said one past participant. “It also provided unique opportunities for me to meet with congressional members and other political leaders in the API community and gave me first-hand lobbying experience for important issues.”

Attendance at all functions, including meals, is mandatory. The summit starts with a Saturday evening reception and ends Tuesday afternoon. Dress code is business casual and you will need regular business attire for two days of meetings.

This summit does not include sightseeing excursions; if you are interesting in seeing some of Washington’s historic landmarks or museums, be sure to build enough time into your schedule either prior to or after the summit.

All national JACL members in good standing who have not previously attended are eligible to apply through their districts. Applications/guidelines are available on the JACL website, Two slots minimum are reserved for each district, and the National Youth/Student Council is encouraged to submit a candidate in case a space is available.

Once the application is submitted online, it is sent to the district level for approval. The D.C. office will notify the applicants once they have been selected.

“Tuition” for the program includes meals and accommodations and is covered by State Farm. Participants’ air travel and transportation are provided by Southwest Airlines. Any extraneous costs, such as entertainment, telephone, single room, or extra nights, are your responsibility.

JACL started this program in the mid-1980s and now co-convenes it with OCA National, formerly the Organization of Chinese Americans.

For more information, contact Kenzie Hirai at or Elle Kurata at

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