Intergenerational Conference on ‘Legacy of JA Activism’


“Legacy of Japanese American Activism” is an intergenerational conference of Nikkei activists to discuss critical community issues and to take action around these issues.  The conference will be held on Saturday, Nov. 5, at the Japanese American National Museum Central Hall from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Because different generations of Nikkei activists are working on different issues through different organizations, the conference will provide an opportunity to come together and develop a broader perspective for all these issues.

The four generations are Nisei (now in their 70s to 90s), Sansei (50s and 60s), mid-range activists (late 20s to 40s), and young activists (college students and those in their early 20s). The intergenerational nature of this conference is important because Japanese American organizations tend to cluster into generational cohorts, and intergenerational dialogue and action is critically needed. The conference focuses on not only discussing issues but taking action in order to emphasize the legacy of activism in the community, past, present and future.

The Aratani CARE grant of UCLA’s Asian American Studies Center is a major funder of the  conference, which is sponsored by the Japanese American Historical Society of Southern California.

To pre-register, go online to and pay $5 via PayPal or send a check payable to JAHSSC, PO Box 3164, Torrance CA, 90510-3164. Payment must be received by Oct. 31. Pre-registration will guarantee lunch. On-site registration ($10) provides snacks and handouts but no lunch.

Two-part workshops emphasizing discussions of issues and planning action steps are (chairpersons in parentheses):

• “The Role of Community Activism in Little Tokyo” (Alan Nishio)

• “Educate to Transform!” (Glenn Omatsu)

• “From the Camps to Redress to 9/11: JA Struggle for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties” (Kathy Masaoka)

• “LGBT(JA)Q?” (Traci Kato-Kiriyama)

• “Activism in the Great Recession: Roles and Spaces for JAs on Issues of the Economy, Government Budgets and U.S. Politics” (Mark Masaoka)

Committee members are Iku Kiriyama (Japanese American Historical Society of Southern California) and Glenn Omatsu (UCLA Asian American Studies Department), co-chairs; Alan Nishio (Little Tokyo Service Center president), Kathy Masaoka (Nikkei for Civil Rights and Redress), Mark Masaoka (Asian Pacific Policy and Planning Council), Traci Kato-Kiriyama (Tuesday Night Project), Sean Miura (Tuesday Night Project), Tony Osumi (NCRR), Kei Nagao (LT Roots), Evelyn Yoshimura (LTSC), Aaron Hamachi (Hamachi Technologies), and UCLA Nikkei Student Union members Cyndi Tando, Matt Ichinose, Ashley Honma, Kevin Machino and Albert Quach.

See the conference Facebook page for articles about the conference and committee members, and the website for up-to-date conference information.

For more information, contact Iku Kiriyama at (310) 326-0608 or [email protected]


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