Densho Digital Repository
Seattle JACL Oral History Collection
Title: Janice Deguchi Interview
Narrator: Janice Deguchi
Interviewers: Alison Fujimoto, Joy Misako St. Germain
Date: November 11, 2020
Densho ID: ddr-sjacl-2-24-6

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AF: And I guess, like, with younger generations, do you see more involvement today getting involved with the community than you did maybe in your day?

JD: Yeah, I mean, I'm not involved in JACL so much anymore, so I really don't know. But I was looking at the APDC work, the organizing work that we did around the letter in support of King County Equity Now and Decriminalize Seattle, that was all young people that wrote that. I mean, I was like, okay, this is when we're gonna meet, eight o'clock. I was like, okay, I can meet tonight. And they're like, okay. But they showed up and they helped get, they helped write the letter. I mean, some of them are part of those networks on King County Equity Now and Decriminalize, so they are a part of those networks. And they are the ones helping to get those signatures, too. So those weren't all three hundred of my friends. You know, obviously, there were some in my network, but there were tons of people that were outside of my network that, you know, other young people were able to secure, it wasn't me. I mean, for things like that, like my son, he's twenty, and he likes demonstrating, he's at the CHOP or the CHAZ or whatever it was. Yeah, it's a thing that they're passionate about for sure.

AF: And I guess just going back to JACL, are there any people that we haven't mentioned that you think we could contact or any events that you think we haven't covered that are worth mentioning?

JD: Well, I would contact Sharon Sobie Seymour because of the Shorai project. I think that was a pretty amazing project. And I, you know, just to find out where they left off and where that is. Yeah, I mean, the whole... and I don't think this is necessarily JACL, I don't think, the recognizing that people that were, that couldn't finish their college degrees at University of Washington. So there was a movement when Tetsu Kashima was there, and I have the program for that, and there was a big ceremony and my mom got, you know, on behalf of my dad, like an honorary degree from the U-Dub because of that, so I think that that's really cool. Let me think. Yeah, and I think Sharon is also a good person, because of that last Puyallup Valley thing, that the Puyallup, not the Puyallup Fair, but there was a big program to bring some of the seniors to "Camp Harmony" for a program and ceremony and things like that. So I think that she was really behind that as well. So she would be really good to talk to.

AF: Okay, and I guess, just to wrap up, are there any other topics you wanted to cover personally, or anything else you wanted to touch on?

JD: Let's see, for JACL? Yeah, not... I think I just really am so grateful that the people, that JACL believed in me, and, you know, when I had no track record of anything, that I had a vehicle of all these, an organization, and I had mentors, and I had just a purpose to improve my community, and I could sort of grow my own leadership, because of, because of JACL. And I don't think I would be here without JACL. Because, like, who else is gonna give a twenty-something-year-old that kind of responsibility and that kind of opportunity? So I'm really grateful for the start that I got, that JACL gave me.

<End Segment 6> - Copyright © 2020 Seattle Chapter JACL. All Rights Reserved.