William Yoshino is the Interim Executive Director of the Japanese American Citizens League (JACL), the oldest and largest Asian American civil rights/education organization in the United States. Founded in 1929, JACL’s mission is to secure and safeguard the civil and human rights of Asian Americans and others who are affected by injustice and bigotry.
Located in Chicago, Illinois, Mr. Yoshino has responded to numerous incidents of defamation and hate crimes that have occurred in Chicago and around the nation. His office has produced a variety of anti-hate materials distributed by the JACL. He testified before the United States Senate Judiciary Committee on the Hate Crimes Statistics Act in 1988 and the U.S. House Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs on the Japanese American National Historic Landmark Theme Study Act in 1991. In addition, he testified before the Illinois Advisory Committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights and on issues of discrimination and before committees in the Illinois House on issues affecting Asian Americans in Illinois.
He has served in a number of roles representing Asian Americans in Illinois. In 1983, he was appointed by Illinois Governor James Thompson to serve on the Illinois Asian American Advisory Council to the Governor, serving as chair in 1985. He served on the Chicago Asian American Advisory Committee under mayors Harold Washington, Eugene Sawyer and Richard M. Daley. He served on the Chicago Commission on Human Relations, the Illinois Commission on Discrimination and Hate Crimes and the Cook County Hate Crimes Prosecution Council. He currently serves on an advisory committee to Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan.