Featuring Keiko Agena, Guy Aoki, Francois Chau and more

The San Fernando Valley Japanese American Citizens League (SFVJACL)  will be hosting a panel discussion with a number of Asian Americans in the entertainment field.


Founded in 1929, the JACL is the oldest and largest Asian American civil rights organization in the United States.  The JACL monitors and responds to issues that enhance or threaten the civil and human rights of all Americans and implements strategies to effect positive social change, particularly to the Asian Pacific American community. Our society continues to be impacted by the events of September 11, 2001, which created a worldwide climate of uncertainty and insecurity where we must reconcile the proper balance between issues of national security and our civil liberties. We are also affected by the changing demographics of race, ethnicity and age.

Looking to our future, the JACL constantly assesses the effectiveness of its role in Japanese American, Asian Pacific American and civil rights communities, and what infrastructure is necessary to effectively support our mission and efficiently achieve our goals. Today, with inter-racial and multi-ethnic marriages changing the face of the Japanese American community, the JACL faces additional challenges in looking to its future and to the future of the Japanese American community.

For more information, click here.

About the event

On Sunday 23 April at 2pm, SFVJACL will present a program featuring a panel discussion with Asian Americans in the entertainment field. The panelists will share their career stories and how much of a factor their ethnicity plays in today’s entertainment industry.

The following panelists will be involved:

• Keiko Agena, who is best known for playing Lane Kim on “Gilmore Girls” and the recent mini-series “Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life.” Her recent credits include the TV shows “NCIS: Los Angeles,” “Colony,” “Grimm,” “Super(fluous),” “Shameless,” “Scandal,” “Castle,” “House” and “Private Practice” and the films “Lil Tokyo Reporter” and “Transformers: Dark of the Moon.” She has a recurring role as Mrs. Bradley on a new series, “13 Reasons Why.”

• Guy Aoki, founding president of Media Action Network for Asian Americans and SFV JACL’s 2016 installation speaker. MANAA, which is dedicated to monitoring the media and advocating balanced, sensitive and positive coverage and portrayals of Asian Americans, has made headlines with allegations of “whitewashing” in such recent films as “Ghost in the Shell,” “Dr. Strange,” “Kubo and the Two Strings,” “The Martian” and “Aloha.”

• Francois Chau, who is known for playing Dr. Pierre Chang on ABC’s “Lost.” His recent TV credits include “The Expanse,” “K.C. Undercover,” “Berlin Station,” “Major Crimes,” “Bones” and “Criminal Minds,” and he guest-starred in both the original and reboot versions of “MacGyver” and “Hawaii Five-0.” His early TV credits include “Tour of Duty,” “ER,” “Baywatch,” “China Beach” and “Nash Bridges.” He has appeared in such films as “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze,” “Beverly Hills Ninja,” “Chinese Box,” “Lethal Weapon 4,” “What’s Cooking?” and “21 & Over.”

• Amy Hill, who has had regular or recurring roles on several TV series, including the Margaret Cho sitcom “All-American Girl,” “Maybe This Time” with Betty White and Marie Osmond, “Pauly” with Pauly Shore, and “Strip Mall” with Julie Brown. Her recent TV credits include the TV shows “Enlightened,” “Mom,” “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend,” “Just Add Magic,” The Great Indoors,” “UnREAL” and “Life in Pieces” as well as the animated series “Kung Fu Panda: Legends of Awesomeness,” “King of the Hill,” “Jackie Chan Adventures,” “Lilo and Stitch: The Series,” and “American Dad!” Her film credits include “The Unbidden,” “Couples Retreat,” “The Crumbles,” “White Frog,” “50 First Dates,” “Lilo and Stitch,” “The Cat in the Hat,” “Yellow” and “Dim Sum”

• Clyde Kusatsu, who was also a regular on “All-American Girl” and appeared in the groundbreaking made-for-TV movie “Farewell to Manzanar.” His TV credits span ’70s shows like “Kung Fu,” “M*A*S*H” and “All in the Family” to current shows like “Madam Secretary,” “Doubt,” “24: Legacy,” “NCIS,” “Dr. Ken” and “The Grinder.” He was a series regular as Dr. Kenji Fushida on “Island Son” and as Ali on “Bring ’Em Back Alive,” played Judge Lance Ito in the TV movie “American Tragedy,” and has appeared in such films as “Midway,” “Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story,” “Rising Sun,” “47 Ronin,” “Harold and Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay,” “The Interpreter,” “Rumor Has It,” “Shopgirl” and “Godzilla” (1998).

• Elizabeth Sung, who has appeared in such films as “The Joy Luck Club,” “Memoirs of a Geisha,” “Ping Pong Playa,” and “The Unbidden.” She had a recurring role on “The Young and the Restless” and guest-starred on such TV shows as “Touched by an Angel,” “NYPD Blue,” “House,” “Desperate Housewives,” “The Sopranos,” “NCIS: Los Angeles,” “Flashforward,” “Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip,” “Elementary,” “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” and “Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders.” She has directed two short films, “The Water Ghost” and “Requiem.”

• Chris Tashima, an Academy Award winner for his short film “Visas and Virtue,” in which he played the “Japanese Schindler,” Chiune Sugihara. His other film acting credits include “Kusei: Endangered Species,” “Strawberry Fields,” “Day of Independence” (which he also directed), “Americanese,” “Half Kenneth,” “Model Minority,” “Lil Tokyo Reporter,” “Under the Blood Red Sun” and “Go for Broke” (in production). He also appeared on such TV shows as “The Young and the Restless,” “Unsolved Mysteries” and “The Shield.”

• Tamlyn Tomita, who made her big-screen debut in “The Karate Kid Part II” and is also known for such movies as “The Joy Luck Club,” “Come See the Paradise,” “The Day After Tomorrow,” “Only the Brave,” “Robot Stories” and “Awesome Asian Bad Guys.” She played Maya Lin in the TV movie “To Heal a Nation” and has had recurring roles on “Teen Wolf,” “Berlin Station,” “Chasing Life,” “How to Get Away with Murder,” “True Blood,” “Resurrection,” “Glee,” “Days of Our Lives,” “Law and Order: LA,” “Heroes,” “Eureka,” “General Hospital,” “24,” “JAG” and “Stargate: SG-1,” among other shows, and was a series regular as Dr. Kimberly Shiroma on “The Burning Zone.”

Event: Meet the Asian Americans in the Entertainment Field
Location: 12953 Branford Street, Pacolma CA 91331
Price: Donation $10
Tickets can be purchased from any SFV JACL board member or by contacting Nancy Gohata at (818) 371-8013 or nancygoahata@gmail.com.