February 19, 2017 marks the 75th anniversary of the signing of Executive Order 9066 that called for the incarceration of 120,000 Japanese Americans during World War II. Every year, the Japanese American community in Chicago comes together to remember President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s signing of EO9066 as a reminder of the fragility of civil liberties in times of crisis, and the importance of remaining vigilant in protecting the rights and freedoms of all. To commemorate the Japanese American experience during this turbulent era in America’s history, The Chicago History museum held a Day of Remembrance event.
The program included a screening of The Orange Story, a screening of A Song for Manzanar, and a poetry reading by Dwight Okita. Erika then joined Jason Matsumoto, producer of The Orange Story; Kazuko Golden, director of A Song for Manzanar; and poet Dwight Okita for a panel discussion. The event was so well-attended that the films were shown a second time for those who could not get into the auditorium for the main event. It was wonderful to see so many people there.
Erika was honored to be a part of this important event. For more about it, you can check out the coverage from Discover Nikkei and Chicago Shimpo.