With Liberty and Justice for All: Racism, Redress and Reparations
Forty years ago Northeastern Illinois University was the center for a hearing to force the federal government to acknowledge acts of racism with the hope that an apology and monetary compensation to redress these acts would follow. While successful for the Japanese Americans unjustly incarcerated during World War II, systemic racism continues to be at the cornerstone in much of America’s immigration, criminal justice, employment and housing practices. For people of color, racism continues to be a fact of daily life. The University is proud to house the Japanese American Redress Collection which contains both the video testimonials and their transcripts from the Redress hearings.
This virtual conference examines the Japanese American experience as a lens to identify racist practices today and provide focus on steps to gain true equality for all.
The virtual, two-day conference will be held on Sept. 22-23, 2021 to examine what can be done to:
- stop racism, hatred and discrimination against non-whites;
- pass H.R. 40: Commission to Study and Develop Reparation Proposals for African Americans Act;
- stop detention and separation of immigrant families; and
- gain citizenship for immigrants.
We welcome all who wish to attend.
Wednesday, Sept. 22, 2021
1:30 p.m. - Greetings
- Steven Harris, Dean of Libraries, NEIU Libraries
1:45-2:45 p.m. - Plenary speaker
- John Tateshi, author of "Redress: The Inside Story of the Successful Campaign for Japanese American Reparations." Japanese American Citizens League (JACL) Redress Committee Chair, JACL National Redress Director and past JACL Executive Director
3-4:30 p.m. - Arts Activism: Storytelling & Movement Building at Work
To commemorate the 40th anniversary of the 1981 Commission Hearings that led to Redress & Reparations for Japanese Americans, this 90-minute roundtable with artists and community organizers discuss the significance and influence of the CWRIC hearings.
- Kathy Masaoka of Nikkei for Civil Rights & Redress (NCRR) and Nikkei Progressives
- Kennedy Kabasares of PULLproject Ensemble
- Takayo Fischer, cast member of "Tales of Clamor"
- traci kato-kiriyama of PULLproject Ensemble and Nikkei Progressives
7-8:30 p.m. - Stop Repeating History!: A Conversation About U.S. Detention and Deportation
- Moderator: Michael Ishii, Co-Founder and Co-Leader of Tsuru for Solidarity, Co-Chair of New York Day of Remembrance Committee, chair New York Japanese American Oral History Project
- Mari Dom-Lopez, Deputy Program Director and advocate for detained unaccompanied immigrant children at Young Center for Immigrant Children
- Guerline Jozef, President of Haitian Bridge Alliance, Co-Creator of Faith in Action and Immigration Justice Movement
- Chizu Omori, 91-year-old activist who was interned at Poston, worked on the 1981 redress, plaintiff class action seeking Japanese American Redress which went to Supreme Court, Co-Producer of "Rabbit in the Moon," a film which won many awards, protested in Fort Bliss Texas where children are held in detention, member of Tsuru for Solidarity, and Tule Lake Committee
- Fred Tsao, Senior Policy Counsel at Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (ICIRR)
Thursday, Sept. 23, 2021
1:30-3:00 p.m. - Stop Racism, Hatred and Discrimination
- Moderator: Dr. Seema Imam, Chair Islamic School League of America and Professor in the National College of Education at National Louis University
- Duncan Ryuken Williams, University of Southern California Professor of Religion and East Asian Languages and Cultures
- Jane Charney, Assistant Vice President for Local Government Affairs, Jewish United Fund of Metropolitan Chicago
7-8:30 p.m. - H.R. 40, Black Reparations
- Moderator: Kamm Howard, National Co-Chair National Coalition of Blacks for Reparations in America (N’COBRA)
- Jon Osaki, filmmaker, "Reparations"
- Robin Rue Simmons of National African-American Reparations Commission and Founder and Executive Director of First Repair
- Rashaun Williams, Co-chair of National Coalition of Blacks for Reparations in America Philadelphia Chapter (N’COBRA PHL)