On Saturday, Feb. 27, from 12 to 12:45 p.m., Go For Broke National Education Center (GFBNEC) will present a special livestream kick-off of its new virtual series, “Living the Nisei Dream” (LTND), on GFBNEC’s YouTube and Facebook channels.

Each segment will explore how the accomplishments of the Nisei WWII veterans ensured that future generations ﹘ Yonsei, Gosei and Shin-Nikkei ﹘ could pursue their own dreams and passions.

Irene Tsukada Simonian of Bunkado

The inaugural two-part LTND segment was filmed (socially distanced) in historic Little Tokyo at GFBNEC’s “Defining Courage” exhibit and at iconic establishments Bunkado and Far Bar. Hosted by writer, comedian and actor Sierra Katow, this first segment features special guest, hip-hop artist and educator Kaze Jones, with an appearance by Irene Tsukada Simonian, owner of Bunkado.

GFBNEC is scheduled to virtually release four LTND segments throughout 2021. The premiere will include an introduction and overview with Katow and Staci Toji, a member of GFBNEC’s Board of Directors. A live post-show conversation and chat will follow the two-part segment with Katow, Jones, Simonian, Toji and GFBNEC President and CEO Mitch Maki.

“It has been such a fun project to be a part of and I am honored to work with GFBNEC on this new series,” Katow said. “I enjoyed getting to dig more into my family’s history, in particular in regard to my grandfather who was in the MIS (Military Intelligence Service) during the war. It has been a fascinating journey for me.

Sierra Katow

“First, being introduced to the ‘Living the Nisei Dream’ phrase and then finding the common thread that we all share as Japanese Americans. The opportunity to look at our lives through the lens of the Nisei veterans’ story couldn’t have come at a better time.”

During the COVID-19 pandemic, GFBNEC has made a major shift in programming from in-person to virtual. This unique series is one of the many ways GFBNEC is enhancing and expanding its outreach to younger, more diverse audiences. As a result, the organization has engaged with a much broader national audience through its Go For Broke Monument Anniversary 21st Virtual Tribute; 19th annual Evening of Aloha Virtual Gala; and special online videos including “Civil Liberties Act of 1988: Keeping America’s Promise” and “Heroes Among Us: Black Soldiers of WWII.”

In January 2021, GFBNEC launched “The Gothic Line,” the first segment of its newly expanded series “Heroes Among Us: Stories of Courage, Patriotism & Sacrifice.” A third new series, “Sharing Stories Around the Table,” set to release in March 2021, highlights how the meaning and significance of the Nisei WWII veterans story is passed between generations.

Kaze Jones

“The production of the ‘Living the Nisei Dream’ series, as well as our other new series has been a breath of fresh air for GFBNEC,” Maki said. “Along with our increasing online social media presence, we’ve not only taken advantage of connecting with an extensive virtual audience, but accessed different perspectives that surround the Nisei veterans’ experience. These new opportunities, partnerships and creative collaborations already have helped us deepen our impact and further our mission.”

In conjunction with the new series, an exclusive LTND T-shirt (men’s and women’s sizes) and other unique GFBNEC merchandise are available for purchase at the Go For Broke online store at www.goforbroke.com. All store purchases provide vital support for GFBNEC’s educational programming and outreach.

To watch the live kick-off series premiere, go to https://youtube.com/goforbrokenationaleducationcenter/ or https://facebook.com/goforbrokenationaleducationcenter/

For more information and to support GFBNEC, visit www.goforbroke.org or email takeaction@goforbroke.org.

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