FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - March 7, 2008
Chris Komai - firstname.lastname@example.org - 213-830-5648
DOCUMENTARY 'RESETTLEMENT TO REDRESS' TO BE SCREENED, AUTHOR OF BIO ON GOV. RALPH CARR TO SPEAK MARCH 22
The documentary, "Resettlement to Redress: Rebirth of the Japanese-American Community", will be screened and author Adam Schrager who has written a biography on former Colorado Governor Ralph Carr, the only governor to welcome Japanese Americans to his state during World War II, will speak as part of a public program set for Saturday, March 22, beginning at 2 p.m., at the Japanese American National Museum.
This program is part of the National Museum series, "Redress Remembered", which commemorates the 20th anniversary of the passage of the Civil Liberties Act of 1988, providing an official government apology and reparations to thousands of eligible Japanese Americans who were unconstitutionally forced from their homes by the U.S. government during World War II. The series includes public programs, collaborations and special events, including the Museum’s Annual Gala Dinner on April 19 and its national conference, "Whose America? Who’s American? Diversity, Civil Liberties and Social Justice", set for July 3-6 in Denver, Colorado.
"Resettlement to Redress", a production of KVIE, a PBS station located in Sacramento, and directed by Don Young, examines how Japanese Americans rebuilt their communities after their unconstitutional forced removal by the government during World War II and methodically developed economic and political strength enough to petition for redress. The documentary notes that many Japanese Americans never returned to the West Coast and Hawai`i, but became part of already established pre-war Nikkei communities in Colorado, Utah and Arizona, or moved to places like Chicago and Seabrook, New Jersey.
Inspired by the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s, Japanese Americans turned to a handful of Nikkei members of Congress in the 1970s and 1980s, organized at the grassroots level, and defied the odds to eventually win an official apology and reparations from the government.
Following the screening, Professor Art Hansen, Director of Oral and Public History at California State University, Fullerton, will discuss the documentary and then interview author Schrager about his book. When President Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066 on February 19, 1942, authorizing the military to remove Japanese Americans from their homes, many looked for possible places to relocate. In a climate of fear and prejudice, Governor Carr remarkably welcomed Japanese Americans to his state of Colorado.
As Schrager writes in his book, The Principled Politician: The Ralph Carr Story, Carr resisted the demands that he rescind his invitation to Japanese Americans. When threats emerged toward Japanese Americans, Carr declared, "If you harm them, you must harm me first." His courageous stand had consequences, as his promising political career ended abruptly. Schrager works as a general assignment reporter for the 9 NEWS team, an NBC affiliate in Denver, but wanted to profile Carr in hopes more people would learn about someone who made a principled stand. The Japanese American community Denver remembers Governor Carr, having erected a statue of him in Sakura Square.
Schrager’s books will be available for purchase and he will sign copies after the program. Professor Hansen and Adam Schrager will be part of the "Whose America? Who’s American?" conference in July. A senior historian with the National Museum, Hansen has been a long-time professor of history and Asian American Studies at California State University, Fullerton.
This program is free to National Museum members or with general admission. For more information on this program and the Redress Remembered series, call the Japanese American National Museum at (213) 625-0414 or go to www.janm.org.