The names of World War II confinement sites were shown during the 2021 Los Angeles Day of Remembrance, released online on Saturday on the Manzanar Committee YouTube channel. The program featured Mario Perez, (below left), Immigrant Justice Fellow at the Inland Coalition for Immigrant Justice, who talked about his work helping migrants detained at the Adelanto ICE Processing Center. Perez also recalled his own experiences being unable to get a bank account or apply for college due to immigration status. “You cannot make any mistakes, you cannot do anything wrong because it’s just taken away from you. That’s awful because we’re already living in fear, and now we’re living in a world where you have to be a perfect immigrant or you don’t deserve to be here,” Perez said.
Dr. Curtiss Takada Rooks (above center) and his daughter, Mariko Fujimoto Rooks (above right), a senior at Yale University, engaged in a conversation about the intersections of Executive Order 9066 and the Black Lives Matter movement. “Seeing a lot of change and shifting in places I never expected to and that is because of the pandemic,” Mariko said. “We don’t have same methods of escaping and being able to deny the coverage of what we were all seeing. Everyone is contemplating their own mortality a little bit more. Heartening to see.”
Organizers of the 2021 Los Angeles Day of Remembrance are: Go For Broke National Education Center (GFBNEC), Japanese American Citizens League-Pacific Southwest District, Manzanar Committee, Nikkei for Civil Rights and Redress, Nikkei Progressives, Organization of Chinese Americans-Greater Los Angeles, Progressive Asian Network for Action, and Visual Communications. Emcee Glen Kitayama said that the next Day of Remembrance will be held on Feb. 19, 2022, the 80th anniversary of the signing of E.O. 9066. “See you next year,” he said.