Sponsored by the JACL AZ and the Asian Pacific American Studies Program (APAS) at Arizona State University, the event commemorated Executive Order 9066 by addressing the significance of Executive Order 9066 then and now. The keynote speaker was John Tateishi, former Pres. of National JACL, who was instrumental in the Redress actions for the WWII Internment.
Over 100 people were in attendance, and for those who were not able to attend, I recorded the event and posted all of the videos on YouTube. See the video playlist below. (Note: there are 6 videos total. You can either watch them sequentially, or hit the forward button to skip to the next video.)
After the event one JACL member stated, “the recordings will be quite useful in ways we have yet to know.” I hope that is true, and I hope that you enjoy watching them.
VIDEOS: JACL-AZ & ASU APAS | Journey for Justice: EO 9066 75th Anniversary
“On February 19, 1942, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066. This order authorized the Secretary of War to remove all persons of “foreign enemy ancestry” from designated war zones. As the U.S. Attorney General noted at the time, Executive Order 9066 was only intended to apply to Japanese Americans. Over 110,000 Japanese Americans — two-thirds who were U.S.-born citizens– were forcibly relocated to 10 prison camps.
Seventy-five years later, we are confronted by the civil rights legacy of Executive Order 9066. Some politicians today advocate a nationwide registry of Muslim Americans; anti-immigration sentiment has flourished; and certain groups are criminalized on the basis of their racial identification or ethnic ancestry.
The commemoration will feature John Tateishi, a former prisoner at Manzanar, former JACL national president, author, and 2007 recipient of the Spendlove Prize on Social Justice for his work leading the redress movement. A Panel of Witnesses (elders) and a Panel of Stewards (youth and teachers) will follow, sharing the impact of Executive Order 9066 on their lives.
This event is held in honor of Ted Namba, former community leader and JACL president, who was determined that we not forget the lessons of the past. Attendees will also view a display of Japanese American Prison Camp Exhibit of items created and used by Japanese Americans who were held in two camps at Gila River Indian Community. This display is dedicated to the memory of Mas Inoshita, Joe Allman and Ted Namba, all of whom sought to keep this history alive.”
JACL AZ is the Japanese American Citizens League chapter for the state of Arizona. It is committed to the mission and work of the National JACL to preserve the legacy of Japanese Americans in the United States and to protect the rights of all Americans.
The Asian Pacific American Studies Program (APAS) at Arizona State University draws upon Asian American and Pacific Islander experiences in order to understand the challenges and opportunities of immigration, globalization, and race relations in the United States.