Add Your Name Opposing the Muslim Ban on this Day of Remembrance

Monday, February 19, is the annual Day of Remembrance, marking the anniversary of Executive Order 9066, setting into motion the exclusion, eviction, and incarceration of 120,000 persons of Japanese ancestry, both American citizens and immigrants.

Remembering one of our country’s worst civil rights failures is not enough, and never has been. Now, more than ever, we must actively Resist in order to pressure our government leaders and courts to #StopRepeatingHistory.

Join us in making February 19 a Day of Resistance as well as a Day of Remembrance.

Oppose the Muslim Ban by adding your name to this Open Letter to the Country in support of the Korematsu-Takai Civil Liberties Protection Act of 2017, introduced by U.S. Senators Tammy Duckworth and Mazie Hirono, and companion legislation introduced by Congressman Mark Takano in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Please ask organizations with which you are affiliated to endorse the Resolution which can be downloaded here.

By adding your name to the Open Letter, we are telling the country and our leaders that the Muslim Ban is unacceptable and that it represents the same injustice suffered by Japanese Americans and immigrants during the Incarceration.

Thank you in advance for being part of the Resistance!

Dale Minami
CAPA21 Action Fund


In SF on Nov. 18: Gordon Hirabayashi Tells His Story

The San Francisco JACL is having a special event to benefit the Arts and Activist program. We have special permission from playwright Jeanne Sakata to bring this to San Francisco. Continue reading “In SF on Nov. 18: Gordon Hirabayashi Tells His Story”

EPYC ‘Empowering Pilipino Youth through Collaboration’ Ambassadors Program

The National Federation of Filipino American Associations (NaFFAA) is excited to announce the official launch of the Empowering Pilipino Youth through Collaboration (EPYC) Ambassadors Program. Through this program, NaFFAA seeks to equip young leaders to refine their skills and learn new strategies in order to better serve their communities. The EPYC Ambassadors Program is a one-year commitment focused on the growth of Filipino American young leaders through leadership development, civic engagement, and advocacy.

Ambassadors will participate in monthly “train-the-trainer” webinars and share best practices around various learning outcomes, and will conduct outreach through in-person events, social media, and a capstone initiative called “My EPYC Project.” The program is an opportunity for ambassadors to work closely with a mentor, participate in NaFFAA regional leadership efforts, and support their local campuses and communities.

Applications to become an EPYC Ambassador are open until Sunday, July 9, 2017 at 11:59pm ET. Applicants must be between the ages of 18 and 34 at the time of application, and must be currently enrolled in a degree-seeking program OR have graduated from a degree-seeking program no more than 2-3 years before the time of application. For further information concerning the program, eligibility requirements, and the application process, please see this document or email

New $1.6M in Grants from National Park Service to Support Sites of Japanese American Incarceration

The National Park Service announced $1.6 million in grants to fund preservation, restoration and education projects at several Japanese American confinement sites.

The 14 grantees in four states and the District of Columbia will tell the story of the more than 120,000 Japanese Americans, two-thirds of whom were U.S. citizens, who were imprisoned by the U.S. government following the December 7, 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor by Japan.

“The incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II is a painful episode in U.S. history, but one that future generations must remember and learn from,” National Park Service Acting Director Michael T. Reynolds said.

“The National Park Service has an important role in telling this story through our stewardship of sites like Honouliuli, Manzanar, Minidoka, and Tule Lake and the support we provide communities and partner organizations through the Japanese American Confinement Sites Grant Program.”

Congress established the Japanese American Confinement Sites grant program in 2006, authorizing a total of $38 million in funding for the life of the program. Today’s announcement brings the current award total to more than $22 million.

The grants will fund a diverse array of projects that will tell this important story in a variety of ways. Using grant funds, the National Japanese American Memorial Foundation will enlist the help of high school students to develop video apps that will provide visitors to the Japanese American Memorial to Patriotism in WWII with a deeper understanding of the incarceration sites commemorated by the memorial.

The Japanese American National Museum will use grant money to conserve more than 100 artifacts from the collection of Allen Hendershott Eaton, a folk art expert who acquired artwork created by incarcerees, which the museum will share as part of a traveling exhibition.

Japanese American Confinement Sites grants may be awarded to projects associated with the 10 War Relocation Authority centers established in 1942 and more than 40 additional confinement sites. The program’s mission is to teach future generations about the injustice of the World War II confinement of Japanese Americans and to inspire commitment to equal justice under the law. Successful proposals are chosen through a competitive process that requires applicants to match the grant award with $1 in non-federal funds or “in-kind” contributions for every $2 they receive in federal money.

Pediatrician Mai Khanh Tran Announces Campaign for Congress Against Ed Royce

doctran2018Mai Khanh Tran, MD kicked off her historic campaign for Congress ( on June 5 against twenty-four year incumbent Ed Royce, calling his vote for Trumpcare a giveaway to insurance companies and the wealthy, that will increase deductibles and co-pays even for those able to keep their insurance, and end guaranteed coverage for those with pre-existing conditions.

“As a physician who has been treating under-served families for the past twenty-five years here in Orange County, I am saddened by Ed Royce’s callousness, and as a citizen I am angry.  Americans deserve better and I want to do something about it,” said Mai Khanh Tran.

Congressman Ed Royce has failed the families of California’s 39th Congressional District on a whole range of critical issues.  Ed Royce votes with Donald Trump ninety-six percent of the time, consistently receives A ratings from the NRA, and opposes women’s health rights and human rights.

He has taken millions of dollars from big corporate interests, while earning failing grades for protecting the environment and fighting climate change.   Ed Royce also earns failing grades for his lack of support for our public schools, colleges and universities.

“In Ed Royce’s America, if you are not wealthy and can’t afford powerful lobbyists, your voice doesn’t count.  I’m running for Congress because everyday working families deserve a voice and deserve better.  Even though I’ve been an underdog throughout my life, I was given great opportunities to succeed in this country.   America never once turned her back on me,” said Mai Khanh Tran.

When she was nine years old, Mai Khanh and her three siblings came to United States as refugees from Vietnam.  Without speaking a word of English, the Tran siblings became farmworkers picking strawberries, working for years alongside other migrant families in rural Oregon.

After the fall of Saigon, her parents also escaped Vietnam.  The Tran family continued as farmworkers, cramming into a small living room and renting their only bedroom to a stranger to help pay the rent.

With help of Pell Grants and scholarships, Mai Khanh worked her way through Harvard as a janitor cleaning bathrooms on campus.   After graduating from Harvard, she spent nearly a year working as a healthcare analyst on Wall St., before attending Dartmouth\Brown Medical School and completing her residency in Pediatrics at UCLA.

“I overcame some pretty long odds in my life – including surviving breast cancer twice – and I feel privileged for the opportunity to give back and serve my community as a Physician.  In Congress, I will fight to strengthen our healthcare laws and for every family to have the same opportunities I had to achieve the American Dream,” said Mai Khanh Tran.

Tran added, “The voices of working and middle class men and woman across California’s 39th Congressional District have been missing in Washington for too long.  Our campaign will be about them.”

Visit to learn more.

CAA honors Cecillia Wang for Continuing the Legacy of Resistance


Chinese for Affirmative Action will honor Cecillia Wang at its 2017 Celebration of Justice on June 8, 2017, at The Event Center at St. Mary’s Cathedral in San Francisco.

CAA selected Cecillia as an honoree in recognition of her leadership in the fight against anti-immigrant laws, racial profiling, and other unlawful police practices relating to immigration enforcement across the country.

For more than 20 years, Cecillia has been at the center of landmark court cases, protecting the rights of the indigent, victims of torture, and undocumented immigrants. Most recently, Cecillia led a team to win a class action lawsuit on behalf of Latino immigrants impacted by the policy and practice of racial profiling and illegal detentions in Maricopa County in Arizona.

Her commitment and passion for justice is driven by her own family immigration story and the stories of so many Asian Americans who have stood up against unjust laws like the Chinese Exclusion Act. CAA is proud to honor Cecillia for continuing a long legacy of resistance.

Cecillia is a former board member of CAA and an AACRE trustee. She is currently the deputy legal director at the national ACLU and directs the Center for Democracy which encompasses the ACLU’s work on immigrants’ rights, voting rights, national security, human rights, and speech, privacy, and technology.

Learn more about CAA’s 2017 Celebration of Justice.

Disney Supports Asian and Pacific Islander Young Leaders with $500,000 Scholarship Commitment

The Walt Disney Company this week made a $500,000 commitment to establish a new scholarship program with the Asian & Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund (APIASF) in support of high-achieving Asian and Pacific Islander college students.

The Walt Disney Company/APIASF Scholarship program will provide 150 scholarships over a three-year period and will be available to eligible students with Asian or Pacific Islander ethnicity in the U.S. beginning fall 2017. This scholarship commitment is one part of Disney’s ongoing efforts to strengthen diverse communities and support higher education.

“Disney is proud to support young Asian and Pacific Islander leaders in achieving their dreams of a higher education,” said Paul Richardson, chief diversity officer, The Walt Disney Company. “By giving these promising students the resources and tools they need to earn a college degree, we enable them to create a better, brighter future for us all.”

Auli‘i Cravalho, the Native Hawaiian star of Walt Disney Animation Studios’ Moana, and the film’s producer Osnat Shurer announced the scholarship program at APIASF’s gala on Oct.20, along with APIASF President and Executive Director Neil Horikoshi.

“Speaking on behalf of Auli‘i and all of us at Disney Animation, we are extremely honored to be part of this important scholarship commitment,” Shurer said. “We thank APIASF for their extraordinary work and Disney for its support of these initiatives.”

“The Walt Disney Company’s generous support will make a significant difference for some of the nation’s most underserved students,” Horikoshi said. “With many Asian American and Pacific Islander families facing financial barriers, The Walt Disney Company/APIASF Scholarship has the potential to be life-changing for students.”

In addition to the scholarships, Disney’s commitment will support the fund’s SMART program, which will provide students with mentoring and access to training and resources.

The Walt Disney Company/APIASF Scholarship will be available for the 2017-2018 school year. In order to be eligible, applicants must:

  • Be of Asian and/or Pacific Islander ethnicity, as defined by the U.S. Census;
  • Be a citizen, national or legal permanent resident of the United States (citizens of the Republic of the Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia and the Republic of Palau are also eligible to apply);
  • Be enrolling in a U.S.-accredited college or university as a full-time, degree-seeking, first-year student in the 2017-2018 academic year;
  • Have a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.7 on a 4.0 scale (unweighted) or have earned a GED; and
  • Apply for federal financial aid using the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by February 1, 2017.

Based in Washington, D.C., APIASF is the nation’s largest non-profit organization devoted to providing college scholarships for Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI). For details about APIASF and the new scholarship, visit APIASF’s website at

Hate Crime Charges Filed in Brutal Assault on Sikh Man

The Contra Costa County District Attorney’s Office today filed hate crime charges against the attackers of Sikh American, Mr. Maan Singh Khalsa. Mr. Khalsa was brutally assaulted and his Sikh articles of faith were violently desecrated on September 25, 2016.

“The assailants violently targeted my Sikh faith. I am thankful to the Richmond Police Department and Contra Costa County District Attorney Mark Peterson for taking the right legal action in charging my attackers with hate crimes,” said Mr. Khalsa. “The charges are the first step to addressing violence and bigotry, which plague communities across the United States.”

Mr. Khalsa, a father, IT specialist and caregiver for the elderly, was driving on the night of September 25th when a man in a truck threw a beer can at his car wholly unprovoked. At an intersection further up the road, the assailants got out of the truck and assaulted Mr. Khalsa through his open car window, knocking off his Sikh turban and hitting his face repeatedly. They shouted, “Cut his fu***g hair,” pulled his head out of the window, and cut a fistful of his religiously-mandated unshorn hair with a knife. Mr. Khalsa sustained injuries to his fingers, hands, eye and teeth.

“I trusted the District Attorney’s office to do the right thing and they came through,” said Richmond Mayor, Tom Butt. “We do not condone this in Richmond and we don’t condone it in America.”

Prior to the charges, the Sikh Coalition, community leaders, and a coalition of civil rights organizations, advocated vigorously on behalf of Mr. Khalsa, urging for a hate crime investigation and prosecution.

In the 15 years that have followed 9/11, Sikhs remain hundreds of times more likely to be targeted in cases of profiling, bigotry and backlash than the average American. Sikhism, the fifth largest religion in the world, has been an integral part of the American fabric for over 125 years.

“These hate crime charges ensure that the bias-based nature of the assault on Mr. Khalsa will be addressed during the prosecution,” said Sikh Coalition Legal Director, Harsimran Kaur. “The purpose of prosecuting bias-motivated assaults as hate crimes is not to impose harsher penalties. Instead, the purpose is to mitigate hatred in our society and ensure that we are all free to safely pursue the American dream regardless of our race, ethnicity, or religion.”

The Sikh Coalition has represented hate crime clients throughout the United States for the past 15 years and is representing Maan Singh Khalsa in this case. For all media inquires, please contact Jagmeet Singh or Mark Reading-Smith, who can provide more info, send photos and facilitate interviews. Mr. Khalsa is not available for interviews, but Jagmeet or Mark can facilitate interviews with legal counsel and/or a member of the local Sikh community.

Source: Sikh Coalition

Judge Denny Chin to help Hawai’i law school students reenact trial of Heart Mountain Fair Play Committee

U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Denny Chin, based in New York City, will guest lecture at the UH Law School on Tuesday, October 18, and will help student actors perform a reenactment based on trials after resistance by Heart Mountain internees.  Judge Chin and his wife, attorney Kathy Hirata Chin, created the reenactment based on trial transcripts.

In addition to teaching and speaking at a faculty workshop, Judge Chin will lead a public presentation about the Heart Mountain Relocation Center in Wyoming, one of 10 concentration camps used to intern Japanese Americans after the bombing of Pearl Harbor.  Heart Mountain is known for the active resistance offered by many of the young men incarcerated there, protesting loss of their civil rights. The short performance, featuring law student actors, will be free and open to the public in Classroom 2 at the Law School at 2515 Dole Street beginning at 5:15 p.m.

Judge Chin and Hirata Chin have been deeply involved in research about the camp, and co-wrote a script that reenacts two of the trials of the Heart Mountain Fair Play Committee. The committee was a group of young resisters who challenged the draft of young Nisei men, and who argued that they would not follow draft orders until the rights of internees were reinstated.

Today Heart Mountain is the internment camp with the most structures still intact.  It was listed as a National Historic Landmark in 2007.

Judge Chin is well known as the trial judge who, in 2009, sentenced Bernard Madoff to 150 years in prison for the Ponzi scheme that impoverished investors who had entrusted Madoff with their life savings. In sentencing Madoff, Judge Chin said, “The message must be sent that Mr. Madoff’s crimes were extraordinarily evil.”  He added that they had taken “a staggering human toll” and there was a need for “retribution.”

Dean Avi Soifer called Judge Chin’s visit an important event for the Law School, in particular because of its deep involvement in addressing and healing civil rights abuses.

Said Soifer, “It is hardly surprising that there is so much interest among our students and staff in these very important matters, in addition to the scholarly focus of a number of our faculty members.”

Professor Eric Yamamoto, the Fred T. Korematsu Professor of Law and Social Justice, for example, has spent a scholarly lifetime researching, and writing and lecturing about, civil injustice, including the incarceration of more than 120,000 Japanese Americans by their own government.  Yamamoto helped challenge the imprisonment of Fred Korematsu for defying the order to report for incarceration, winning a decisive victory in the 1980s that helped set the stage for reparations for those interned and their descendants, and a formal apology from the American government.

During their visit, Judge Chin and Hirata Chin will also meet with Law School faculty members as well as federal judges and members of the Federal Bar Association.

Judge Chin graduated from Princeton University magna cum laude in 1975, and earned his JD from Fordham Law School in 1978. Judge Chin is the only Asian American who serves as a currently active judge in the federal appellate court system. In 1994, he was the first Asian American appointed as a U.S. District Judge outside the Ninth Circuit. Hirata Chin is a leading corporate lawyer in New York City who also has led and served on multiple public interest task forces and committees.

Source: University of Hawai’i press release

Photo: Densho Digital Repository