SEBASTOPOL — The Sonoma County Japanese American Citizens League is inviting the public to its annual general meeting on Saturday, Nov. 16, from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the Memorial Hall of Enmanji Buddhist Temple, 1200 Gravenstein Hwy. South, Sebastopol.

Priscilla Ouchida and Karen Korematsu (Rafu Shimpo photos)
Priscilla Ouchida and Karen Korematsu (Rafu Shimpo photos)

This year, Sonoma County JACL dedicates its annual meeting to commemoration of the 25th anniversary of the enactment of the Civil Liberties Act of 1988, which provided redress and a formal apology to Japanese Americans who were uprooted and interned during World War II.

For this special occasion, the chapter welcomes two distinguished guest speakers: Karen Korematsu, executive director and co-founder of Fred T. Korematsu Institute, and Priscilla Ouchida, national executive director of JACL.

Korematsu carries on the legacy of her father, Fred Korematsu, through her tireless work and leadership at the institute. Fred Korematsu was arrested and convicted in 1942 for defying the government order to report to an incarceration camp. He took his case to the Supreme Court and finally had his conviction overturned 41 years later in 1983.

He received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1998 and remained an activist to protect civil rights until his death in 2005.

Ouchida joins the chapter to help pay tribute to the late Jim Murakami, who was active in Sonoma County JACL for many years, guiding the chapter and its youth group as president before joining the JACL National Board. After becoming national president in 1976, he served the organization during an important period of the redress movement and his leadership was instrumental in passage of the legislation.

Even after his death in 2012, Murakami is still remembered as a great leader and role model in the history of the local and U.S. civil rights activism.

Ouchida will also reflect on the significance of redress in the U.S. history and the JACL’s continuous commitment in the field of civil and human rights activism.

This event is open to the public and admission is free. Non-JACL members are welcome. Lunch will be provided. As seating is limited, RSVP is required. Contact Phyllis Tajii at or (707) 486-9555.

All donations received at the meeting will go toward the Jim Murakami Scholarship Fund.

The JACL, founded in 1929, is the nation’s oldest and largest Asian American civil rights organization. The Sonoma County Chapter, organized in August 1934, is dedicated to educating the public about the Japanese American experience, monitoring legislation affecting minority human and civil rights, and fostering Japanese American culture.

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