Los Angeles Day of Remembrance 2015: E.O. 9066 and the [In]Justice System Today

LOS ANGELES — The 2015 Los Angeles Day of Remembrance (DOR) program will be held on Saturday, February 21, at the Japanese American National Museum (JANM) from 2:00 – 4:00 PM.

The DOR continues to be dedicated to commemorating the impact of E.O. 9066 on the Issei, Nisei and subsequent generations of Japanese Americans. It also seeks to demonstrate how the government’s World War II violations of civil liberties and human rights toward one ethnic group- based solely on race, relates to today’s political and social milieu.

The 2015 program’s theme, E.O. 9066 and the [In]Justice System Today, was inspired by both the traditional commemorative nature of the DOR and the current critical issues of how the United States justice system continues to harm communities of color with unaccountable police violence, profiling and mass incarceration.

With the recent and on-going protests sparked by the deaths of unarmed black men including Michael Brown, Eric Garner, and Ezell Ford through police use of lethal force, and the lack of related indictments, the nation’s attention is turned to the growing concerns of racism, state violence and the failure of political leadership toward African Americans.

Given the Japanese American community’s wartime experiences and the historic connections between the Japanese American and African American communities, the DOR provides an opportunity for the two communities to dialogue. Long-time community activist Mike Murase will join Povi-Tamu Bryant, an L.A. based organizer in the Black Lives Matter movement, Rey Fukuda, an Asian/Latino activist, in a conversation about and the Japanese American community’s experiences and the current events impacting the African American community.

Murase works at Little Tokyo Service Center (LTSC) where he oversees social service programs and the Budokan capital campaign. Murase was the founding Board President of LTSC from 1979 to 1984. He has also worked as a staff attorney with Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles supervising law students representing low-income workers on wage claims.

In 1991, a year before the urban rebellion that erupted after the Rodney King verdict, Murase served as the main organizer of an anti-police brutality demonstration of 4,000 people in front of Los Angeles Police Department headquarters. In the mid-1990s he played a key role in the community’s efforts to investigate Central Intelliegence Agency ties to crack cocaine trafficking in South Central L.A. For 14 years, Murase was the District Director for Congresswoman Maxine Waters. He is a graduate of UCLA and USC Gould School of Law.

Fukuda is an Assistant Project Manager in the East LA Community Corporation’s Real Estate Department focusing on equitable transit-oriented development. He was the former lead community organizer and researcher for the Metro Campaign at ELACC.

Having grown up in six different cities, Fukuda has witnessed and experienced the racist history of urban development. His background influenced his decision to study urban planning and land-use organizing. He received a B.S. and Master’s in Planning at the University of Southern California.

As a volunteer, Fukuda supports Dignity and Power Now and Black Lives Matter Los Angeles as an Asian and Latino ally.

As a black queer womyn, Povi-Tamu is committed to working with folks to bring an intersectional understanding to the ways we build, live and interact with each other. It is through that commitment that Povi-Tamu connected with Black Lives Matter Los Angeles. Povi-Tamu has spent the past several years facilitating and building curriculum on power, privilege & oppression and solidarity building for Leadership Development in Intergroup Relations (LDIR).

Participating as emcees are Helen Ota, Director of Development & Marketing at the Japanese American Cultural and Community Center, and Dr. Curtiss Takada Rooks, Assistant Professor, Asian Pacific American Studies, Loyola Marymount University.

The DOR’s sponsors include the Japanese American Citizens League/Pacific Southwest District, JANM, the Manzanar Committee, and the Nikkei for Civil Rights and Redress (NCRR).

For additional information, contact NCRR at (213) 284-0336 or JACL/PSW at (213) 626-4471.


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