National Youth Chair: Kota Mizutani
Kota Mizutani was first introduced to the Sonoma County Chapter of the JACL as child through a local taiko drumming group. An active youth member since the age of thirteen, Kota has attended every JACL National Convention since 2009. Kota is currently an undergraduate political science concentrator at Brown University and hopes to work in Asian American Pacific Islander political advocacy in Washington, D.C. As a shin-Nikkei, Kota feels especially passionate about the inclusivity of shin-Nikkei and mixed race Japanese Americans into the narrative and constituency of the JACL.
National Youth Representative: Kenji Kuramitsu
Kenji Kuramitsu is a writer and Master of Divinity student at McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago. He sits on the board of directors of the Reformation Project, and has contributed writing to a number of publications. Kenji enjoys utilizing online activism, social media, and public speaking to connect with others interested in the intersections of theology and social justice. He is a fifth generation Japanese American with cultural roots in Hawai’i.
Central California District Council Youth Representative: Kacie Robles
Kacie received her Master of Arts in Applied Behavior Analysis at California State University, Fresno in December 2015. She is currently studying to become a Board Certified Behavior Analyst to better serve individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and individuals with other developmental or behavioral disorders. Kacie has also trained shelter dogs to decrease problem behaviors and increase their likelihood of finding a forever family. She also served as a sustainability ambassador for the Fresno State Sustainability Project which sought to create an interdisciplinary institute to promote sustainability on campus. Her master’s thesis focused on increasing recycling with elementary school students. Throughout her life, Kacie has been unofficially involved with the JACL, particularly with raising scholarship funds and attending events, and recently became the CCDC NY/SC representative in November 2015. She was a KAKEHASHI participant in July 2014 and visited Fukushima where she learned about revitalization efforts following Japan’s 2011 triple disaster. Kacie is particularly interested in social justice, sustainability, equality, promoting acceptance, and the dissemination of the Japanese American experience. Kacie is also a member of the Clovis Heiwa Taiko and enjoys playing videogames and board games in her spare time.
Eastern District Council (EDC) Youth Representative: Mieko Kuramoto
Mieko Kuramoto is a first year at Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts, where she studies Spanish and Anthropology. A hapa yonsei, Mieko is originally from Los Angeles, but calls Milwaukee her hometown and first became active with the JACL through the Wisconsin chapter. She is passionate about Spanish, social justice, Japanese American Internment history, museums, and softball, and enjoys being involved in the Multi-Ethnic Interracial Smith College organization, the Bridge Community for students of color, and the squash club team.
Intermountain District Council (IDC) Youth Representative: Nathan Iwamoto Fukumitsu
Nathan Iwamoto Fukumitsu is a Senior at Olympus High School in Salt Lake City, Utah. He plans to continue his education at the University of Utah through the David Eccles Business Scholars program. His interest in the Japanese community budded through his grandfather’s service in the MIS and his involvement with the Japanese Church of Christ. He also has Japanese American roots in Hawaii through his father’s side of the family. He has been influenced by his Nisei grandparents and parents that continue to practice Japanese traditions and are actively involved in the Japanese community. A member of the Salt Lake Chapter, he serves as the Youth Representative. In addition to his position in the Salt Lake Chapter, he is also the IDC Youth Representative for the NY/SC. Outside of involvement in the JACL he enjoys, golfing, basketball, and hanging out with his friends. He is looking forward to his future with the JACL and hopes that his involvement in the community can inspire others to do the same.
Midwest District Council (MDC) Youth Representative: Eric Langowski
Eric is a lifelong Hoosier and grew up attending his local chapter’s (Hoosier JACL) events in Indiana since before he could walk. He is currently a junior studying Mathematics at Indiana University and he hopes to apply his analytical skills towards research for the social good and societal equality. Eric is passionate about creating an aware and active citizenry; leading service learning trips to New Orleans over school breaks and running student government elections with a strong emphasis on the inclusion of those previously excluded. His identity derives from his grandmother and, as a fourth generation mixed Japanese American, he is proud to represent the Midwest District and to continue to expand the discussion about identity beyond traditional norms.
Northern California Western Nevada Pacific (NCWNP) District Council Youth Representative: Michelle Huey
Michelle Huey is a recent graduate of the University of California Davis where she double majored in Political Science – Public Service and Design. She currently resides in her hometown of Sacramento. Her renewed interest in the Japanese community came after she traveled and realized how essential it was in her identity. She is a yonsei and 3rd generation Chinese American woman.
In college she discovered her passion for advocating for victims of gender-based violence. She currently works at an organization that provides services for Asian Americans and other underserved women and children impacted by domestic violence, human trafficking, and sexual assault. She is also working on storiesofsolidarity.org, which is a website that helps precarious workers share their story and collectively organize.
In her free time she plays roller derby, obsessively watches gymnastics, and takes power naps.
Pacific Northwest (PNW) District Council Youth Representative: Tammy Le
Pacific Southwest (PSW) District Council Youth Representative: Juli Yoshinaga
Member At-Large: Hana Fulghum
Hana graduated from The Lakeside School in Seattle and is now pursuing a degree in environmental design at the University of Hawai’i at Manoa in Honolulu. She was a senior leader for four years on the Student Awareness Committee and Student Alliance Leadership Team at Lakeside, and was the Pacific Northwest Youth Representative for her senior year. She continues to be heavily involved in the NYSC as a member at large, and is passionate about educating youth on topics like race, gender, and class. Hana identifies as shin-nikkei, mixed race, Japanese American, and Hapa. Hana also spends a lot of time volunteering at local events, blogging, hanging out with friends, beach hopping, exploring Oahu, and playing with animals
Member At Large: Emi Lea Kamemoto (Treasurer)
Emi Lea Kamemoto is the Executive Assistant of the U.S.-Japan Council and based in Washington, DC. Prior to joining the USJC staff, she worked in the Congressional Affairs Section of the Embassy of Japan in Washington, DC and became a member of the DC Chapter of the Japanese American Citizen’s League. Emi joined the JACL-National Youth Student Council in the summer of 2014 after participating in the 2014 JACL/OCA Washington, DC Leadership Summit. Raised in both Japan and the United States, she has found a place within the shin-nikkei community appreciates the diverse identities of Japanese Americans. Emi graduated from the George Washington University’s ElliottSchool of International Affairs in 2013 with a B.A. in International Politics and Development studies.
Member-at-Large: Sarah Elizabeth Baker (Secretary)
Sarah E. Baker currently serves as the Seattle JACL Chapter President as well as the Secretary for the NY/SC. A recent graduate of North Seattle College, Sarah has her bachelors in international business and is currently seeking masters programs in her hometown of Seattle Washington. In conjunction with Seattle JACL, Sarah is planning Family 2.0: An API LGBTQ Gathering to be hosted in spring of 2017. This full-day conference will be the second of its kind, bringing together API and LGBTQ identified individuals and their allies. Sarah loves dancing and cats.