New Mike Masaoka Fellow Selected

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WASHINGTON — The JACL announced that Adam Kuranishi has been selected as the new Mike M. Masaoka Fellow, and will serve in the office of Rep. Mike Honda (D-San Jose).

Adam Kuranishi

Kuranishi has a B.A. in political science from the University of Illinois at Chicago, where he was active in the immigrant and social justice community.

In 2011, he was awarded the Oberlin College Honorary Training Award for Civil Disobedience and Immigrants’ Rights Movement, and in 2010, the Kalamazoo College Honorarium for Community Organizing and Immigrant Rights and the Donald and Lea Riddle Prize for Campus Community Organizing.

In 2009, he received a U.S. State Department Critical Language Scholarship to study Arabic in Morocco, and organized a community education project, Project FOCUS, which used photography for critical reflection on socioeconomic differences and political change in India and multiple Middle Eastern countries. Kuranishi collaborated on development efforts and vocational training at the Ainkawa Center for Employment in Irbil, Iraq.

Post-graduation, he has served as a paralegal with the law office of H. Candace Gorman in Chicago, where he represented detainees from Guantanamo Bay Detention Camp, and with Fragomen, Del Ray, Niersen & Lowey LLP in Atlanta, where he provided paralegal assistance on all types of immigration issues.

Kuranishi has recently been working to provide information, outreach and paralegal counsel to families impacted by DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano’s recent order for DREAM Act students. He has experience working with low-income tenants on housing issues, and volunteered with the Immigrant Youth Justice League in Chicago, the Georgia Undocumented Youth Alliance in Atlanta, and the Metropolitan Tenants Organization in Chicago.

Stories told to him by his grandparents about their incarceration during World War II inspired him to focus on issues of illegal detainment in the name of national security, housing and public land rights, and immigrant employment law.

“I am honored to have been selected as the 2012 Mike M. Masaoka Congressional Fellow, and I am very excited to work with Congressman Mike Honda and his staff,” said Kuranishi. “I hope to utilize my skills and community organizing experience to support the representative’s progressive efforts in serving California’s 15th Congressional District as well as the Asian and Pacific Islander community.”

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