The Mile High JACL has been an active civil rights and educational organization since 1938. The chapter’s first president, Dr. Shimpei Sakaguchi, set the path and leadership that has endured and prospered to this day.
This is due in part to Governor Ralph L. Carr (1939 – 1943). With the highest of principles and understanding of our Constitution, Governor Carr strongly opposed the Japanese Internment Camps and opened Colorado to Japanese Americans amid World War II. In our own State of Colorado, Camp Amache held as many as 8,500 of Japanese descent.
Though not a well-known fact, there were a significant number of first-generation Japanese Americans living and working in Colorado, Wyoming, Nebraska, Utah, and New Mexico in the late 1930s. By the end of World War II, the Japanese population in Colorado swelled to nearly 12,000.
Along with members from the Denver JACL, Kasumi Miyamoto, then president of the Ft. Lupton JACL, met with Governor Carr in 1940 to reaffirm our support and loyalty as citizens of this country.
Though the Denver JACL was renamed to the Mile High JACL in the early 1950s, we have continued to support cultural, educational, and community programs. In doing so, we hope to preserve the legacy of the Japanese American community and protect the civil and human rights of all minority groups.
The Mile High chapter of the Japanese American Citizens League is part of a national organization whose ongoing mission is to secure and maintain the civil rights of Japanese Americans and all others who are victimized by injustice and bigotry. The leaders and members of the JACL work to promote cultural, educational and social values and preserve the heritage and legacy of the Japanese American community.
Aware of our responsibilities as the oldest and largest Asian Pacific American civil rights organization, JACL strives to promote a world that honors diversity by respecting values of fairness, equality and social justice.