SAN DIEGO — The San Diego JACL presents a free virtual panel discussion, “Japanese Americans: Mixed Race, Mixed Culture, Mixed Identity,” on Thursday, June 18, from 6 to 7 p.m. PST.

The 2020 U.S. Census may indicate the majority of Japanese Americans identify as multiracial. This panel will explore the diverse history of mixed race and mixed roots as part of the Japanese American community.


Gary Sosa, a native of Los Angeles, is the grandson of Masuda Yonezo, a native of Japan who immigrated to the U.S. via Mexico in the early 1900s. Sosa has taught ESL for over 30 years and is married with one daughter.

Carolyn (Aoki) DeLeon, of Japanese and German/Irish ancestry, studied sociology at UCLA with a focus on race and ethnicity, later obtained a master’s degree in theology, and has 13 years of experience in human resources with a passion for diversity, equity, inclusion and equal opportunity employment.

Halley Mitsui, of mixed race, has spent her life integrating her identities and navigating the realities of privilege and marginalization, focusing on how to ground her passion for racial justice, social equality and peacemaking and is director of formation for The Global Immersion Project.

Leland Saito is an associate professor of sociology and American studies and ethnicity at the University of Southern California. His research is on race, politics, and urban development.

David Kodama (moderator), JACL board member, a former journalist and director with Cook+Schmid, a PR and marketing firm specializing in community outreach programs and digital marketing, is the father of two biracial adult children.

RSVP by Wednesday, June 17:

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