In 2012, TACL launched the Taiwanese American Leadership Conference for leaders in the community, with conferences at Berkeley and Columbia campuses. Today, TACL provides a plethora of youth programs, including camps, scholarships, and internships. TACL also provides programming through TAP and conferences for young adults and working professionals. TAP continues to grow and expand nationally with new chapters established in San Diego and Washington D.C. in 2012. All the while, TACL has continued its heritage of lobbying for the rights of Taiwanese Americans, and furthering the Taiwanese American agenda by leading the census project and other grass roots advocacy projects.
In 2010, TACL established Junior Taiwanese American Student Association (JTASA). Adding to the growth of its numerous youth programs, the highly successful Northern California “TAYL” camp officially became a part of TACL in 2010, and rebranded as “TACL-LYF”. Also in 2010, TAP-SF was officially established and quickly became one of the largest Taiwanese American organizations on the West Coast.
Understanding the growing demand for a national community for young Taiwanese American Professionals (TAP), Ben Ling and Teddy Liaw spearheaded the “National TAP Initiative” with the intention to create TAP chapters nationally.
The Entertainment Internship (EI) was launched in 2004 in Los Angeles. The San Francisco chapter held the Young Ambassadors Election Tour in Taiwan for Taiwan’s 2004 elections.
TAP was re-launched in 2001, as a subsidiary organization of TACL.
The organization is recognized as a leader of numerous Census projects and campaigns (which take place every 10 years). TACL passed two resolutions in 1998:
1) That the US Bureau of the Census should Disaggregate ALL APA data and 2) TACL’s official position is for the Self Determination of Taiwan.
From 1988-1992, TACL went on to form chapters in NY, Atlanta, SD, SF, Seattle, Houston, Kansas, and St. Louis. Li-Pei Wu served as TACL’s first National President. Also in 1992, TACL launched LID Camp (Leadership, Identity, and Development), its first summer and winter youth camp program. That year the development and establishment of the Political Internship Program (PIP) soon followed as a direct result of the Committee for Future Leadership’s (CFL) report, led by John Liu.
Taiwanese American Professionals (TAP) was created in 1991 as a program which first launched in Los Angeles. When TAP became dormant through the late 90’s, Peter Chang and Teddy Liaw sought to revive the program again in the early 2000′s.
In 1990, TACL led a nationwide effort to include “Taiwanese” as a check-off ethnicity. To this present day, that effort is still in effect – “Taiwanese” still does not have its own check box under the ethnic categories on the Census form. However, TACL has been able to successfully add “Taiwanese” as an example on the 1990 census, and show that the issues pertaining to self determination are important to the community. Subsequent Census forms (2000 and 2010) did not list Taiwanese as an example, and TACL continued to lead nationwide campaigns to educate people to “write-in Taiwanese.” Go to census2010.tacl.org to find out more about the 2010 campaign.
In 1986, the Monterey Park City Council rejected the construction of a Senior Citizen Housing Complex, which would have serviced many Taiwanese Americans. This motivated and led TACL to mobilize a coalition called Committee Against Age and Racial Discrimination to rally against the Monterey Park City Council. The Coalition sought to bring public attention towards the city for instructing police to cooperate with immigration authorities targeting Asian Americans, where many Taiwanese were targeted and racially profiled.
TACL was founded by Shih Chou, Henry Hsu, Li-Pei Wu, Shiyuan Wu, and Vincent Chang on January 14, 1985, in Los Angeles, California to serve as the first and pre-eminent voice for the increasing community of Americans of Taiwanese decent or origin and Taiwanese immigrants. At that point, with 20 years of immigration history, the Taiwanese American community was growing, and the founders of TACL saw a need to create an organization focused on improving the lives of Taiwanese Americans in America, creating a voice for the community, and creating infrastructure in place for the future of Taiwanese Americans. Their focus was much different from many of the existing organizations of their time, which focused on overseas Taiwanese issues. TACL was formed to provide programming for youth and adults, and also serve as a lobbying entity to fight for the rights of Taiwanese Americans, similarly to Japanese American Citizens League (JACL) for the Japanese American community.
Former National Presidents include: Li-Pei Wu, Cliff Yang, Huey Lin, David Tsay, Jin Yu, Elsa Chen, Robert Liu, Richard Wang, Victoria Tseng, Peter Chang, Ben Ling, and Teddy Liaw.