Behind Barbed Wire: Keeping Children Safe and Families Together: Los Angeles Day of Remembrance 2019

LOS ANGELES — Behind Barbed Wire: Keeping Children Safe and Families Together is the theme for the Los Angeles Day of Remembrance (DOR) 2019, a program supporting civil rights for everyone, scheduled for Saturday, February 16, 2019, from 2:00 – 4:00 PM at the Japanese American National Museum (JANM) in Los Angeles’ Little Tokyo.

The Day of Remembrance is held annually to commemorate President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s signing of Executive Order 9066 on February 19, 1942, which resulted in the unjust incarceration of over 120,000 Japanese Americans and their immigrant parents in American concentration camps and other confinement sites during World War II.

The DOR program will include LA Taiko Ichiza, dramatic performances and a panel discussion that will examine the parallels between Japanese American incarceration and present-day issues surrounding immigration.

“We recount how the Japanese American community made our government take belated responsibility for the concentration camps,” said June Hibino, Nikkei Progressives. “Our government’s policies in Central America, the demand for drugs here and resulting drug wars helped create the poverty and violent conditions forcing thousands to flee. We demand the government acknowledge its responsibility and enact a just and compassionate immigration policy, instead of separating children from parents and imprisoning families in conditions in which children have died.”

“Progressive Asian Network for Action (PANA) supports the Day of Remembrance to take a stand for the civil rights of immigrants,” said Vivian Matsushige. “Separating children from their families and incarcerating them is similar to the treatment Japanese Americans during World War II. PANA not only condemns the atrocities by Trump but seeks positive proactive legislation for immigrants, such as an immediate path to citizenship, a ‘clean’ DREAM act, immediate reunification of families stuck in courts, the end to deportation of Asian former prisoners and mutually beneficial foreign policies that would not drive workers out of their countries in order to survive.”

The panel, which will be moderated by Brian Niiya, Content Director, Densho, will include Leticia Bustamante, project coordinator at the UCLA Labor Center and DACA recipient; queer, undocumented, South Asian femme and filmmaker Amritpal Kaur, who is studying Psychology and queer studies at California State University, Northridge and is the co-founder of the new multimedia platform Brown Girl Joy; Lisa Okamoto, Immigrant and Legal Defense Center; Reshma Shamasunder, Vice President of Program Strategy at Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Los Angeles and board member of the California Immigrant Policy Center – Los Angeles, and; Sigrid Toye, practitioner of educational/behavior therapy and holds a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and is a board member of the Tuna Canyon Detention Station Coalition.

Organizers of the Los Angeles DOR 2019 are: Go For Broke National Education Center, Japanese American Citizens League-Pacific Southwest District, Japanese American Cultural and Community Center, JANM, Kizuna, Manzanar Committee, Nikkei for Civil Rights and Redress, Nikkei Progressives, Organization of Chinese Americans/Greater Los Angeles, and Progressive Asian Network for Action.

“Kizuna is proud to join the organizing committee of the Los Angeles Day of Remembrance program,” said Kizuna’s Scott Shima. “It is vital that we continue community education efforts that bringing this story to the next generation, preserving the legacy of the World War II incarcerees and those who fought for redress, so that this troubling time in history is never repeated.”

“With the passage of Executive Order 9066, racism, fear, and greed were allowed to surface above our nation’s commitment to its core value of equal protection under the law. The Go For Broke National Education Center is committed to educating and inspiring people to act with equality and courage in life everyday so that this dark history is never repeated,” said Andie Kimura, representing GFBNEC.

JANM is located at 100 North Central Avenue at First Street (see map below). The event is open to the public with “pay what you wish” admission to the museum. Those wishing to attend are asked to RSVP at http://www.janm.org/DOR. For more information, call (213) 625-0414.

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To download/view a printable flyer, click on: Los Angeles Day of Remembrance 2019 Flyer (6.9 mb PDF; Adobe Reader software or equivalent required).

Japanese American National Museum


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