The Role of Nisei Women in the Portland Japanese American Citizens League (JACL), 1931-1939

Jillian Toda SSRD, 4/20/11

Introduction Thesis/Argument: Nisei women of the Portland JACL

laid the foundation of the organization during the 1930s, and held roles as community builders within the JACL as well as in Portland.
Historical background

Information from primary texts
Conclusions: History’s relevance today

My investment:
 Personal history  Family  Community history  Cultural preservation

The Opportunity:
 “Creating Asian America” course

 WWII-centered history
 2nd generation Japanese Americans—Nisei culture
 Varying lifestyles and experiences  Urban vs. rural

 Japanese American Citizens League (JACL) culture
 Delving into unchartered NW territory

The role of Nisei women in the JACL:
 Active participants  Political and social appeal—had to balance

 Agents of community building  Social responsibility in building JACL network

The intersections of gender and ethnicity:
 Domestic sphere  Women as cooperative, nurturing, social (1931-1935)

 J.A. community issues  Sino-Japanese War (1937) changes politics (1936-1939)

“To reconcile the differing conclusions about Nisei women’s participation in the Northwest JACL chapters from 1931-1939, a different public memory must be remembered.”

THANK YOU Questions/Comments: <jtoda>

Special thanks to: The Nikkei Legacy Center Professor Sarah Griffith

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