On Tuesday, February 18, 2020, a coalition of Fresno Asian American Leaders will commemorate the 78th annual “Day of Remembrance” observing the signing of Executive Order 9066 on February 19, 1942, which authorized the incarceration of the Japanese American community during World War II. Events scheduled at Fresno State in the morning and at Fresno City College in the evening will include a screening and discussion of a documentary about Norman Mineta, former Secretary of Commerce under President Bill Clinton and former Secretary of Transportation under President George W. Bush.
Norman Mineta and His Legacy: An American Story follows Secretary Mineta’s experience as a Japanese American inside a U.S. concentration camp to his rise to prominence making him one of the most influential Asian Americans in U.S. history. A bipartisan visionary who championed political civility, the 88-year old is a changemaker whose legacy includes a life-long commitment to social justice. Secretary Mineta’s incredible career of public service, along with his bi-partisan political experience, offers important insights during this particular moment in our country’s history.
Schedule for February 18:
9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.: Satellite Student Union (Fresno State): A program on civic engagement with high school student leaders from the Fresno and Clovis Unified School Districts, along with students from Fresno State. It will include a screening of the documentary followed by a discussion with producer/directors Debra Nakatomi and Dianne Fukami.
The discussion will also include Dr. Mitchell T. Maki, President and CEO of Go For Broke National Education Center, an organization dedicated to educating the public about the valor and history of second-generation Japanese American veterans of World War II. Dr. Maki is the lead author of the award-winning book, Achieving the Impossible Dream: How Japanese Americans Obtained Redress.
6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.: A free screening of the documentary will take place in the Old Administration Building Auditorium at Fresno City College (1101 E. University Ave.) beginning at 6:00 p.m. The screening is free and open to the public. The screening will be followed by a “fireside” discussion with the filmmakers and Dr. Maki. Valley Public Radio reporter Laura Tsutsui will moderate. Relaxed parking is available in lots B, C, D, E.
Major sponsors for this event include: Fresno City College; Fresno State (President’s Commission on Human Relations and Equality, Cross Cultural and Gender Center, Institute for Media and Public Trust, and Asian Faculty and Staff Association); Geri Yang-Johnson of the California Wellness Foundation; State Center Community College District; Yonsei Memory Project; Japanese American Citizens League Legacy Fund Grants Program; Central California Asian Pacific Women; and Valley Public Radio.
Community partners include: Central California Asian Pacific American Bar Association, Central California District Council-Japanese American Citizens League, Fresno Betsuin Buddhist Temple, Fresno/Clovis Ukulele Group, Fresno-Koichi Sister Cities Committee, Nikkei Service Center/Nikkei Foundation, Nisei Farmers League, The Islamic Cultural Center of Fresno, San Joaquin Valley Town Hall, The Pan Valley Institute of the American Friends Service Committee, Unitarian Universalist Church of Fresno, United Japanese Christian Church.