Stephanie Nitahara was welcomed as the new executive director of Kizuna at a reception on Dec. 6 at the Japanese American Cultural & Community Center in Little Tokyo.

Nitahara, who previously worked as associate director for the Japanese American Citizens League, said she looked forward to reaching out to underserved segments of the Japanese American community.

Nitahara said her priority is ”creating inclusive curriculum that really branches out the great programs that we already have but is inclusive of all the pockets of the Nikkei community, including folks who maybe have been left out in the past: Shin Nikkei, mixed race, folks coming from Latin America, and also the queer community. I think these are pockets of the community that we’re not very clear at saying we’re all at the table together and might feel they’ve been left behind.”

Joining Nitahara are members of the Kizuna board: (back row, from left) Craig Tomiyoshi, Brandon Leong, Nitahara, Janet Hiroshima, Stacy Toyota, Brandon Okita, Kim Yamasaki. Front row, from left: Mickie Okamoto-Tsudama, Amy Watanabe, Kari Kadomatsu. Not pictured: Jill Hiraizumi-Artino and Megan Ono. (GWEN MURANAKA/Rafu Shimpo)

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