Nick News Asks: What Does It Mean to Be APA?

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Warren Eijima was among the Nisei students who received diplomas from UC Berkeley in December 2010. Pictured after the ceremony are (from left): Alex Kawano (grandson), June Eijima (wife), Riki Eijima (granddaughter), Warren Eijima, Rich Eijima (son), Mari Kawano (granddaughter), and Mary Eijima (daughter). (Photo courtesy of J.K. Yamamoto)

SAN FRANCISCO — Recently, a TV crew from the Nickelodeon Channel was spotted filming at Hoover Middle School in San Francisco. The team was getting footage for a “Nick News with Linda Ellerbee” broadcast.

The show will feature eighth-grader Riki Eijima along with other Asian Pacific American middle-schoolers from around the country. She was invited to participate in written and oral interviews before being selected. The crew followed her from school to home to dance class to church over three days. She talked about her Japanese American heritage and being a descendant of immigrants.

During the shoot, Riki interviewed her grandfather, Warren Eijima, who, along with his parents, siblings and over 100,000 Japanese aliens and Japanese Americans, were moved from the West Coast to inland internment camps. He served in the Military Intelligence Service during World War II and recently, along with surviving fellow MIS, 442nd Regimental Combat Team and 100th Infantry Battalion veterans, received the Congressional Gold Medal.

When asked about her heritage, Riki wrote, “My roots, strongly planted in this country but reaching back to Japan, influence everything about me, from the foods I eat to my musical interests, religious beliefs, values, and to the choices I make.”

She added, “I celebrate being Asian American in small and large ways because I believe I have a legacy to push myself to be a better person, and to contribute to a more just society.”

Riki is the daughter of Rich Eijima and Tami Suzuki of San Francisco.

The segment is tentatively scheduled to air on Sunday, May 27, at 9 p.m. It will also run on the Nick News website.

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