The University of California, Riverside, Nikkei Student Union hosted its Day of Remembrance event on Feb. 19 on the UCR Campus, where its members welcomed several community leaders who spoke about the importance of preserving the Japanese American legacy.
Special speakers included June Hibino, a Sansei who was a founding member of the National Coalition for Redress/Reparations (now NCRR) and also part of Nikkei Progressives; Carrie Morita, a Sansei who is active in Nikkei Progressives and a member of NCRR; and Jim Matsuoka, a Nisei who was part of the historic NCRR lobbying delegation that helped secure the passage of redress legislation in 1988.
The event also included a performance by UCR’s Senryu Taiko, as well as an open dialogue session with members of the Muslim Student Assn.
“Day of Remembrance is very important to keep stories alive. … Events like this are important to remember those that sacrified and lost so much during World War II,” said NSU President Juliana Tom. “The youth should be especially informed because they’re the ones who can help make the most change. We can go out and vote and phyically go and protest and help out in any way that we can. … It’s important for us to hear it so that we can retell their stories and never forget.”
“DOR is something that we want to make sure that people don’t forget happened to other people,” said Matsuoka. “The youth are the ones who are going to inherit this society. It’s not mine anymore. I’ve had my time. Everything about society belongs to you: the climate, what you’re going to be missing, the jobs you may not have, the rights and liberties that may be taken away from you. This is your society, your time on Earth. I want something for the young people, and I’m telling you that if you don’t fight for it or work for it, it’s going to be really messed up.”