It’s official! Thanks in no small part to community efforts spearheaded by the Korematsu Institute, the California state government has declared January 30th a state-wide holiday to honour Fred Korematsu, who dedicated his life to championing civil rights and protesting the racist internment of Japanese Americans during World War II.
On Thursday, Sept. 23, 2010, Governor Schwarzenegger signed AB 1775, the Fred Korematsu Day of Civil Liberties and the Constitution bill — the first day named after an Asian American in US history. The Korematsu Institute would like to thank the bill’s co-sponsors, Assemblymembers Warren Furutani and Marty Block, the California legislature, the Governor as well as ALL of the community organization, ethnic bar associations and individuals who sent letters of support over the past few months. You helped make history!
The first Fred Korematsu Day will be celebrated on Jan. 30, 2011. The Korematsu Institute will hold a grand celebration that day in the Bay Area, in addition to various activities throughout the state. We are also in the process of designing K-12 curriculum to roll out into California classrooms. For more information, click here.
This is truly an example of how community organization can affect social change. Not only is a historic civil rights leader getting the recognition he is due, but Fred Korematsu Day will encourage better and more complex teaching of Japanese American interment in California K-12 classrooms.