Today is Fred Korematsu Day, a day set aside the honor the Asian American icon who risked his own future to stand up for the constitution and the rights of Japanese Americans.
In San Francisco, the Fred Korematsu Institute will hold a panel discussion tonight titled Re(ad)dressing Racial Injustice: From Japanese American Incarceration to Anti-Muslim Bigotry.
The 6th annual celebration will be held at the Herbst Theater in San Francisco at 7:30. Panelist include Grande H. Lum, Director, Community Relations Service, U.S. Department of Justice; Farhana Khera, President & Executive Director, Muslim Advocates; Lorraine Bannai, Professor, Seattle University School of Law; Director, Fred T. Korematsu Center for Law and Equality and moderator John Diaz, Editorial Page Editor, San Francisco Chronicle.
Mariano-Florentino Cuéllar, California Supreme Court Justice, will be the special guest speaker.
This week, Korematsu’s daughter, Karen, has been in Michigan lobbying the state to set aside this day to remember her father’s legacy, according to Michigan Radio.
In 1943, her father refused to comply with the orders from the U.S. government to report to the incarceration camps for Japanese Americans simply because of their ancestry. In the 1980’s, his conviction was eventually overturned when University of San Diego, California professor Peter Irons found evidence there was no military necessity for the evacuation order.
This morning, Karen is in Richmond, California at a celebration being held at a middle school named in her father’s honor, the Korematsu Middle School. She’s joining students, faculty, and family in a commemoration. It will be the first event held at the campus, which is still under construction, according to the Richmond Standard.
Also today, Virginia becomes the sixth state in the country to designate today as Fred Korematsu Day, reported NBC News.