FAQ’s For the JACL/OCA Leadership Summit

Who is eligible to attend?
All national JACL members in good standing, who have not previously attended, are eligible to apply through their districts. National Associate members are also eligible to participate and will be assigned to their district of residence. The National Youth/Student Council may also recommend at least one candidate for participation.

I am also a member of OCA– can I apply through OCA as well?
Although JACL started this program in the mid-1980s, we now co-convene it with OCA National (formerly the Organization of Chinese Americans). OCA National has its own recruitment and organizational process, which is entirely separate from JACL. Please check with your OCA National chapter for its procedures. Members who attend as JACL participants are expected to represent JACL.

How do I apply to attend?
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, the application is sent to the district level for approval. The DC office will notify the applicant once they have been selected.

When is the summit?
The three-day summit will begin Saturday evening with a kickoff reception and end in the afternoon on Tuesday.

How much will it cost me?
“Tuition” for the program includes meals and accommodations (for a shared double hotel room for the days of the conference) and is covered by State Farm.
Participants’ air travel and transportation is provided by Southwest Airlines. Any extraneous costs (entertainment, telephone, single room, extra nights) are your responsibility.

What does the schedule entail? Who will we be meeting?
This is a rigorous three-day summit that goes all day (with breakfast and lunch included in the program). We expect to meet with a number of APA elected and appointed officials, as well as other community groups and coalition partners.
Please note that this summit does not include sightseeing excursions; if you are interesting in seeing some of Washington’s historic landmarks or museums, please build enough time into your schedule either prior to or after the summit.
What if I can’t make the entire summit?
Attendance at all functions – including meals – is mandatory for all participants. The Summit starts with the Saturday evening reception (usually starts around 5:30 or 6:00 p.m.) until Tuesday afternoon (around 3:00 p.m.) If you fail to participate in activities for reasons other than illness, you may be expected to reimburse JACL/OCA for the cost of your program expenses.
Can I bring my spouse/partner/relative?
As this summit is closed to the public, we do not recommend that participants bring family members or friends. Since there is very little extra free time during the summit (including meals), it is likely that you will not have the opportunity to spend any time with them.
What about travel arrangements?
Delegates selected by their districts should make their own travel arrangements (via Southwest Airlines Passes) once they have been notified of their selection. Plan to arrive on Saturday before 4:00PM in the afternoon and leave no earlier than 5:00PM on Tuesday. Hotel reservations will be made by the Washington, DC office, and you will be requested to share a room with another participant (rooming assignments are made by JACL DC office). If you desire a single room, please make that request to the DC office and understand that you will be expected to cover the additional hotel expenses. Further information about the hotel, getting to/from the airports, etc. will be provided as the summit approaches.
Can I stay with friends/family instead of at the hotel?
Because networking and developing a sense of camaraderie is so important to the summit, we expect that all participants will stay in the hotel where the program is being held and remain with the group throughout the summit. Please refrain from making other plans until the summit has ended on Tuesday.
Can I stay longer or come earlier?
Certainly. We would be more than happy to extend your reservations for extra days/nights at the hotel (additional nights will be at your own expense). Please notify the JACL DC office as soon as you have made your travel plans.
What do I need to bring?
Further information will be provided as the summit date approaches. The dress code for the summit is business casual (no t-shirts, jeans, shorts or sandals). You will need regular business attire for two days of meetings on Monday and Tuesday (suit and tie, equivalent for women), and bring comfortable shoes as we will be doing a lot of walking to get to our meetings on those days. An umbrella and coat may also be necessary. You are advised to check the weather reports in advance, especially those who are coming from much warmer parts of the country.
Can I take pictures?
Yes, but please refrain from distracting the speakers by taking pictures during the actual sessions. We will try to reserve time after the various sessions for photo opportunities. As this summit is wholly off the record, no recording of any of the sessions is allowed.
Anything else?
For questions regarding application, please contact the DC office. Once you have been selected, the DC office will be in contact with further information. However, we appreciate your patience regarding the details of the schedule and specific logistical information.
We look forward to seeing you in our nation’s capital!

If you have anymore questions contact Katharine Hirata at 202-223-1240 or policy@jacl.org.

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