A panel honoring the work and survival of women within various movements will be held on Saturday, Feb. 9, after the 2 p.m. performance of “Tales of Clamor” from 4 to 5:30 p.m. at the JACCC Tea Room.
“We are inspired by the Nisei women who testified at the CWRIC (Commission on Wartime Relocation and Internment of Civilians) hearings in 1981 about their difficult childbirths and the treatment of their children in the camps,” said the Nikkei for Civil Rights & Redress symposium committee. “It was not easy for them to talk about the pain of losing children or raising children with developmental disabilities due to the poor medical care in the camps.
“We also take inspiration from Thai women who have been victims of labor and sex traffickers in this country and by other countries, especially during wartime. The ‘Me too’ movement has encouraged more women to speak up and to challenge sexual abuse both past and present. We know that there was sexual abuse in the WWII concentration camps, yet it is almost never spoken about.
“Silence is very difficult to overcome and this issue is not easily discussed in our communities because of the shame it may cause for both the victim and the abuser.”
The panelists — Panida Rzonca of Thai Community Development Corporation, Phyllis Kim of Korean American Forum of California and Connie Lim (the artist known as MILCK) — have spoken up as victims of abuse and/or have been supporting women. They will share with the audience the courage it takes to speak up and the healing that is needed.
A grounding exercise in small groups will begin the program to share more on how to overcome silence, support each other and pull our power together to fight abuse in our own communities, past and present. The panel will be facilitated by Alison De La Cruz, vice president of programs at the Japanese American Cultural & Community Center.
The JACCC is located at 244 S. San Pedro St. in Little Tokyo. Symposium guests are invited to purchase tickets to a “Tales of Clamor” show or make a small donation just to attend the symposium. Visit www.jaccc.org or call (213) 680-3700.