2008 National Conference

National Conference
Whose America? Who’s American? Diversity, Civil Liberties, and Social Justice

July 3–6, 2008
Hyatt Regency, Denver
at the Colorado Convention Center
Denver, Colorado

Highlights from “Whose America? Who’s American?” National Conference.
“The National Conference will offer an opportunity to engage with Japanese American history...without a real connection to the stories and struggles people will not see how important they personally are to the preservation of civil rights and democracy.”
Daryl J. Maeda, Ph.D.
University of Colorado, Boulder

About the 2008 National Conference

A major highlight of the Enduring Communities project is the national conference, Whose America? Who's American? Diversity, Civil Liberties, and Social Justice, which will feature a fascinating array of guest speakers who will examine the connections between the Japanese American World War II experience and the historical and contemporary issues surrounding democracy and civil rights.

What is the Conference About?

The experiences of Japanese Americans during World War II are not only unprecedented examples of the fragility of the U.S. Constitution, but are also of great relevance for all Americans today. History is once again repeating itself. Only the ethnicity of those affected has changed. It is the mission of the Japanese American National Museum to ensure that we learn from our past so that certain events never happen again.

And, what more appropriate time for a National Conference than the 20th anniversary of the signing of the Civil Liberties Act of 1988, which provided for an official government apology and reparations for thousands of Japanese Americans who were unconstitutionally removed by the U.S. government from their homes on the West Coast and parts of Hawai`i during World War II. Approximately 120,000 Americans of Japanese ancestry were falsely incarcerated in various detention centers and domestic concentration camps during the war without due process. Two-thirds of those imprisoned were American-born citizens.

Who Should Attend?

Individuals, families, educators, students, community members, and civic leaders, and all those interested in learning in-depth about the Japanese American experience and its significance to certain aspects of today in regard to civil liberties and social justice.

What to Expect?

A four-day conference of thought-provoking, dynamic presentations and engaging programs and activities for ages seven years and up including a Youth Expo, Community Marketplace, bus trips to the site of Amache, and July 4th Colorado Rockies game to ensure a well-rounded experience for families and all ages. The National Conference is an ideal opportunity to share your own family’s or community's stories with our next generation of citizens. Take the time to also explore Denver and its local attractions, museums, and the Rocky Mountains.

We invite you to be a part of this exciting conference to further the important dialogue and on-going education about this often neglected chapter in America's history.