The co-founder of the Nikkei for Civil Rights and Redress (formerly National Coalition for Redress & Reparations) has died at the age of 86, reports Rafu Shimpo.
Lillian Nakano co-founded NCRR with her husband Bert in the early 80s.
“I worked with Lillian closely for many years, first in the Little Tokyo People’s Rights Organization on the issue of Little Tokyo redevelopment, then the redress movement through National Coalition for Redress and Reparations,” said Evelyn Yoshimura of the Little Tokyo Service Center. She and her husband Bert were among the most active, most curious and open-minded Nisei I ever met. I watched her growing before my eyes as she began to assert herself and play a leadership role, weighing in on how to work with JACL, as well as always reminding us how important the grassroots community members were.”
Lillian was also an accomplished musician and received her master’s certificate (natori) in 1955. Nakano and the rest of her family was sent to the incarceration camp at Heart Mountain in Wyoming during World War II. She grew up in Hawaii and the FBI arrested her father after the Pearl Harbor attack.
You can learn more about Lillian’s rich family history and contribution to the Japanese American community in Rafu Shimpo.