Speaking Up! Democracy, Justice, Dignity

For the 25th anniversary of the Japanese American Redress legislation, the Japanese American National Museum presented its fourth national conference “Speaking Up! Democracy, Justice, Dignity” in Seattle, Washington from July 4 to 7, 2013.  This conference brought fresh insights, scholarly analysis, and community perspectives to bear on the issues of democracy, justice, and dignity. 

These articles stem from the conference and detail the Japanese American experiences from different perspectives.

Visit the conference website for program details >>

war en

Keynote Address at Japanese American National Museum’s National Conference on July 6, 2013 in Seattle, Washington

You know, this evening I was originally supposed to speak here tonight in a conversation with Senator Daniel K. Inouye. But as all of us know, our community and our nation suffered a very great loss with his passing and that loss is definitely felt tonight.

Of all the stories that I’ve ever heard or could tell about our great friend, Senator Dan Inouye, there is one that will always stand out in my mind. In the darkest days of World War Two, when he gained the right to be able to serve his country, Dan headed off to basic …

continue a ler

politics en

Rising Above Racism After World War II: The Lives of Three Unforgettable Asian-American judges

I am honored to have been asked to speak to you this morning. I accepted your invitation in a heartbeat because this celebration is important to me. As you know, I became a student of the “internment,” albeit inadvertently, as a result of Gordon Hirabayashi’s court case in the 1980s seeking to overturn his wartime conviction for violating “internment” orders. We gathered here in Seattle a year and a half ago to celebrate the 25th anniversary of our court’s opinion in that case, and I’d like to think that our court’s opinion, along with Judge Marilyn Patel’s decision in Korematsu, …

continue a ler

community en

Legacy of Redress: Stand Up, Speak Out!

I was born in Manzanar on August 9, 1945, the day that the United States dropped a second atomic bomb on Nagasaki, Japan. Three days earlier, the United States had dropped the first atomic bomb on Hiroshima, where my grandfather died as a result of the bomb.

Like many of you here, I came of age in the 1960s. In my first year at UC Berkeley, I became involved in the Free Speech Movement, and then later became involved in the Civil Rights Movement, the movement against the Viet Nam War, and also the fight for ethnic studies and educational …

continue a ler

community en

The Living Legacy of Japanese American Redress - Part 2 of 2

Read Part 1 >>

The Queries. These queries are haunting. Hearing echoes of internment redress, listen closely: “Why them [Japanese Americans] and not me?”—the African American, highlighting the unredressed legacy of slavery and continuing discrimination. “Why the Japanese Americans before the Native Hawaiians?”—the Hawaiian sovereignty advocate, highlighting redress not as a civil right but as a human rights response to American colonialism. And why not Japanese Latin Americans or Filipino War Vets, still waiting after all these years. “Is it too late for me”—the Korean and East Timor women? The questions resonate for us: “Why us, not others?” And if …

continue a ler

community en

The Living Legacy of Japanese American Redress - Part 1 of 2

This was the keynote speech from the Luncheon Banquet at the Japanese American National Museum’s National Conference “Speaking Up! Democracy, Justice, Dignity” in Seattle, WA on July 6, 2013. (Spoken presentation. Not to be cited as authority.)

Aloha to all, especially the veterans (my dad was one of you). JANM has organized a wonderful expansive “speaking up” convening. Touching everyone here, and crossing traditional borders to embrace artists, teens, Canadians, Aleuts and even Mindcraft and more. It’s special to be here with you on this 25th anniversary of the 1988 Civil Liberties Act—the Congressional acknowledgment of U.S. wrongs to …

continue a ler


442nd 9/11 activism activist asian americans civil liberties civil liberties act Civil Liberties Act of 1988 civil rights conference daniel inouye Daniel K. Inouye discrimination fred korematsu gay gordon hirabayashi govenment incarceration injustice internment jacl janm Japanese American National Museum judge NCRR