Tritia Toyota will present “Who’s Nikkei? 21st Century Community Transformations” at a public forum on Sunday, Jan. 25, at 1 p.m. at West L.A. United Methodist Church.
The topic is much discussed within the community. With the advent of multiple generations of immigrants, generational terms such as Issei, Nisei, Sansei, Yonsei and beyond have become a bit confusing. “Shin-Issei” has been added for the “new immigrants,” and “Hapa” for those who are of mixed backgrounds, but the new categories simply open new areas of discussion.
Toyota was a fixture in Southern California households for 25 years, first on KNBC nightly news and then as the KCBS nightly news anchor. She was one of the first Asian American broadcast journalists in front of the camera in the U.S. A major focus of her career centered on both the growing diversity and commonalities between different Southern California populations, including the many Asian Pacific American communities. While at KNBC she wrote and produced the Emmy-winning hour-long documentary “Asian American.”
She went on to earn her Ph.D. at UCLA, where she currently teaches in the Department of Anthropology and at the Asian American Studies Center. Her areas of special interest include political participation, contemporary Asian migration, transnational Asian American communities, race theory, and social movements.
WLA Methodist invited Dr. Toyota to speak as part of its ongoing series of social issues forums. It believes there is a strong relationship between current events and religion. Past speakers have included Fr. Greg Boyle of Homeboy Industries, which serves high-risk youth; Marsha Aizumi, an advocate for transgender issues; and representatives of UCLA and KIWA (Korean Immigrant Workers Alliance), who discussed immigration reform.
WLA UMC is located at 1913 Purdue Ave., Los Angeles. Q&A and light refreshments will follow the presentation. For more information, call (310) 479-1379 or email WLAUMC@aol.com.