“The Civil Liberties Act of 1988: The Victory and the Unfinished Business” will be the theme of the 2018 Los Angeles Day of Remembrance (DOR) program, scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 17, from 2 to 4 p.m., at the Japanese American National Museum, First and Central in Little Tokyo.
The 2018 DOR will commemorate the 30th anniversary of the signing of the Civil Liberties Act of 1988 (CLA), the legislation that provided the U.S. government’s apology and monetary reparations to the survivors of the forced removal and mass incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II.
Alan Nishio, founding member of the National Coalition for Redress and Reparations (NCRR; now Nikkei for Civil Rights and Redress), will keynote the event, speaking on the importance of the CLA, as well as what was not accomplished by this historic legislation.
Assemblymember Al Muratsuchi (D-Torrance), who represents the 66th District, will also speak at the event to acknowledge the CLA and its importance.
Rep. Ted Lieu, who was invited to speak, is unable to attend.
“This is an important year for the Japanese American community, being the 30th anniversary of the passage of the Civil Liberties Act of 1988,” said Manzanar Committee Co-Chair Bruce Embrey. “Decades in the making, taking much sacrifice and patient organizing, we should celebrate how our community won redress.
“On this important anniversary, we must remind ourselves, and our country, how resilient our democracy is, especially during these difficult times. The Civil Liberties Act of 1988 demonstrates how far our country has come, yet we should not rest on past accomplishments. It is troubling that on the 30th anniversary of the CLA, our country is experiencing ever increasing assaults on our civil liberties and civil rights.”
The DOR program, which will be emceed by Kristin Fukushima, managing director of the Little Tokyo Community Council (LTCC), and Chris Komai, board chair of the LTCC, will feature a performance by Yuujou Daiko, based out of Gedatsu Church in South San Gabriel, and affiliated with the Gardena Valley Japanese Cultural Institute.
“The Japanese American Citizens League is proud to continue participating on the Los Angeles Day of Remembrance Planning Committee,” said Stephanie Nitahara, associate director for the JACL. “Every year, the Day of Remembrance event reminds me of why we must never back away when marginalized communities are faced with the same bigotry that the Japanese American community faced during World War II. Each year, I think about the pain my great grandparents must have felt as immigrants to this country. They were told that they were ‘enemy aliens’ and incarcerated behind barbed wire, while they were trying to make America their home.
“I imagine the confusion my grandparents felt as children, trying to navigate the racial and political climate around them, and then I consider that while the Civil Liberties Act of 1988 passed 30 years ago, some of our nation’s leaders seem to have forgotten what that apology truly signified—the acknowledgement of a tragic wrongdoing that must never be repeated.
“So we will remind them. We will remind them by demanding a clean DREAM Act. We will remind them by opposing discriminatory travel bans. We will remind them by seeking justice for all.”
Co-sponsored by the Go for Broke National Education Center, JACL/Pacific Southwest District, JANM, Manzanar Committee, NCRR, Nikkei Progressives, Organization of Chinese Americans/Greater Los Angeles, and Progressive Asian Network for Action/PANA, the DOR program is free and open to the public. Attendees are asked to RSVP by visiting JANM’s web site at: www.janm.org/events/2018/02 (scroll down to the Day of Remembrance information). An RSVP link is also accessible through their Facebook page.
Those who RSVP and arrive by 1:45 p.m. will be ensured admission. Attendees are urged to arrive early. JANM has prepared an overflow room in the event that the attendance exceeds the capacity of the Central Hall.
For more information, visit JANM’s website or email firstname.lastname@example.org.