Los Angeles DOR to Feature Community Speakers, Cultural Performances

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Speakers will include former Rep. Mike Honda, former Secretary of Transportation Norman Mineta and Assemblymember Al Muratsuchi.

The 2017 Los Angeles Day of Remembrance will be held on Saturday, Feb. 18, from 2 to 4 p.m. at the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles.

The Day of Remembrance is held annually to commemorate President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s signing of Executive Order 9066 on Feb. 19, 1942, which resulted in the unjust incarceration of over 110,000 Japanese Americans and their immigrant parents in American concentration camps and other confinement sites during World War II.

“The Japanese American Citizens League – Pacific Southwest District (JACL) hopes that the 75th commemoration of the signing of Executive Order 9066 will serve as a day of remembering the oppression of one community and the renewing of our commitment to defend against the oppression of all communities,” said Kurt Ikeda JACL-PSW representative and member of the DOR organizing committee. “During World War II, the oppression of Japanese Americans went beyond the action of incarceration behind barbed-wire fences; it definitively drew a line in the most desolate sands of our nation, defining how far America is willing to go when driven by racism and fear.

“A wall along the U.S.-Mexico border will be another line in this sand and the banning of refugees based on religion will be another. On this Day of Remembrance, we will celebrate the rich diversity that makes America great. The rich cultural diversity of this program will be showcased through both our featured artistic performers and honorable guest speakers.”

In addition to former Congressman Mike Honda and former Secretary of Transportation Norman Mineta, the program will feature a state resolution presented by Assemblymember Al Muratsuchi, updates from community activists including Sahar Pirzada and Adriana Cabrera, and cultural performers including Nobuko Miyamoto and UCLA Kyodo Taiko.

Miyamoto’s songs have been part of the Asian American community since the early 1970s. From working with Chris Iijima to create the album “A Grain of Sand,” which became the soundtrack of the Asian American movement, to her recent collaboration with Quetzal to create the Fandango Obon Project, bringing Japanese, Mexican and African American communities together around environmental concerns, her work has been to engage people for positive change.

Celebrating their 25th anniversary this year, UCLA Kyodo Taiko is the nation’s first collegiate taiko group. Composed entirely of UCLA students, UCLA Kyodo Taiko has shared the joy and spirit of taiko with the community through performances and interactive workshops at local K-12 schools, Nisei Week, the Lotus Festival in Los Angeles, the Intercollegiate Taiko Invitational, and halftime at UCLA basketball games in addition to many other campus, community and private events.

A Masters of Social Work candidate at the University of Southern California, Pakistani American Pirzada is one of the creators of the #VigilantLOVE Coalition for Los Angeles County. Currently the programs and outreach manager for HEART Women & Girls, where she conducts educational workshops and forums, Pirzada continues her activism to combat Islamophobia through policy advocacy and community organizing.

A candidate for Los Angeles City Council, District 9, community organizer Cabrera was born and raised in South Central Los Angeles by two undocumented Mexican immigrants. The first in her family to graduate from college, she is a master’s degree candidate in educational leadership policy at CSU Northridge. Her work currently focuses on stopping police brutality and other forms of violence and helping students get into college.

Maceo Hernandez and the East Los Angeles Taiko will open the DOR program, followed by performances by Dan Kwong, Sean Miura, Kyoko Takenaka, Taiji Miyagawa, and excerpts from the PULL project, created by traci kato kiriyama and Kennedy Kabasares. Kwong is the creative director of this year’s DOR.

Other speakers include Haru Kuromiya, Nisei camp survivor; Kahllid Abdul Al-Alim, local activist and president of the Park Mesa Heights Community Council; Nah-Tes Jackson, Native American and Standing Rock fire keeper; and Samara Hutman, director of Remember Us.

Sponsors of DOR 2017 are: Go for Broke, JACL-PSW, Japanese American National Museum, Manzanar Committee, National Coalition for Civil Rights and Redress, Progressive Asian Network for Action, Storrier Stearns Japanese Garden and United Teachers Los Angeles. Major sponsorship has been provided by the UCLA Asian American Studies Center.

JANM is located at 100 N. Central Ave. in Little Tokyo. The event is open to the public with “pay what you wish” admission to the museum. There will be reserved seating in the front for former World War II incarcerees and World War II veterans. For more information, call (773) 671-3719 or email bembrey@manzanarcommittee.org.

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