Mineta to Speak at JANM National Conference

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SEATTLE — The Japanese American National Museum will present its fourth national conference, “Speaking Up! Democracy, Justice, Dignity,” at the Seattle Sheraton Hotel on July 4 to 7.

Norman Mineta (Rafu Shimpo photo)

In commemoration of the 25th anniversary of the Civil Liberties Act of 1988 — which granted redress and an apology to Japanese Americans incarcerated during World War II — the conference will explore the historic and contemporary connections of the Japanese American experience to local, state, and national histories.

The keynote speaker, Norman Mineta, was interned as a child and was involved in passage of the redress bill (HR 442) as a member of Congress representing San Jose. After two decades as a legislator, he became President Bill Clinton’s secretary of commerce and President George W. Bush’s secretary of transportation. In the private sector, he has served as vice chair of Hill & Knowlton and L&E Energy. He is a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom and Japan’s Order of the Rising Sun.

Throughout the conference, attendees will hear from those incarcerated in the War Relocation Authority camps of Heart Mountain, Minidoka, Tule Lake, and Manzanar, and the pioneering involvement of the Pacific Northwest’s Japanese American community in the redress movement. Sessions in Japanese are also being presented for the first time ever.

Special tours to Bainbridge Island and Seattle’s historic International District and other activities such as a screening of the 1976 made-for-TV film “Farewell to Manzanar” are being offered to ensure an impactful conference experience for all participants.

On Friday, July 5, from 1 to 5 p.m. and Saturday, July 6, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., the Conference Marketplace, with over 20 unique vendors from across the country, and the Expo, with engaging activities and workshops for families, are free and open to the public.

On-site registration is still available. Visit janm.org/conference2013 for more information.

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