a portrait of norm mineta overlaid on top of a photo of the democracy center building that is tinted blue

Special Events

Inaugural Norman Y. Mineta Distinguished Lecture

a portrait of norm mineta overlaid on top of a photo of the democracy center building that is tinted blue

Special Events

Inaugural Norman Y. Mineta Distinguished Lecture

About the Event

The Democracy Center presents the inaugural lecture in the Norman Y. Mineta Distinguished Lecture Series. Our special guest speaker will be Mitch Landrieu, former Senior Advisor to the President and former Mayor of New Orleans.

The Norman Y. Mineta Distinguished Lecture Series is a Democracy Center signature series centered on the leadership values and principles inspired by Secretary Mineta (1931–2022), including his commitment to public service, social justice, and to strengthening US-Japan relations. On the occasion of the inaugural lecture, we are proud to rename JANM’s historic plaza in his honor to commemorate his profound legacy, his lifelong commitment to democracy, and his profound impact on the Museum.

FREE; reservations required

Friday, Jan 26, 2024

4:00 PM - 7:30 PM PST

Japanese American National Museum

100 North Central Avenue

Los Angeles, CA 90012

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About the Event

The Democracy Center presents the inaugural lecture in the Norman Y. Mineta Distinguished Lecture Series. Our special guest speaker will be Mitch Landrieu, former Senior Advisor to the President and former Mayor of New Orleans.

The Norman Y. Mineta Distinguished Lecture Series is a Democracy Center signature series centered on the leadership values and principles inspired by Secretary Mineta (1931–2022), including his commitment to public service, social justice, and to strengthening US-Japan relations. On the occasion of the inaugural lecture, we are proud to rename JANM’s historic plaza in his honor to commemorate his profound legacy, his lifelong commitment to democracy, and his profound impact on the Museum.

Schedule

Friday, Jan 26 | 4:00 PM - 4:30 PM

Dedication of the Norman Y. Mineta Democracy Plaza

JANM is proud to commemorate Secretary Mineta’s extraordinary legacy, his lifelong commitment to democracy, and his profound impact on the Museum by naming the Museum's historic plaza in his honor. The Norman Y. Mineta Democracy Plaza connects JANM’s Pavilion, the Historic Building, and the Daniel K. Inouye National Center for the Preservation of Democracy together, creating a dynamic and inclusive campus that reflects the history, culture, and growth of the Japanese American community and Little Tokyo neighborhood. Once a through street, the Norman Y. Mineta Democracy Plaza was a site of forced removal for Americans of Japanese ancestry living in the area. Today it is a site of conscience, community, civic engagement, and social justice. 

Friday, Jan 26 | 4:30 PM - 6:00 PM

Reception

Friday, Jan 26 | 6:00 PM - 7:30 PM

Norman Y. Mineta Distinguished Lecture

Guest Speaker: Mitch Landrieu

Former Senior Advisor to the President and former Mayor of New Orleans

Landrieu’s commitment to racial justice and his personal and professional relationship with Secretary Mineta, forged during Louisiana’s hurricane recovery, make him a fitting choice for inaugural speaker in the Norman Y. Mineta Distinguished Lecture Series. 

Bios

mitch landrieu standing in front of housing

Mitch Landrieu

Mitch Landrieu is former senior advisor to the President and White House infrastructure coordinator. He served as the 61st Mayor of New Orleans from 2010 to 2018, while the city was still recovering from Hurricane Katrina and in the midst of the BP Oil Spill. Under Landrieu’s leadership, New Orleans is widely recognized as one of the nation’s great comeback stories. In 2015, Landrieu was named “Public Official of the Year” by Governing, and in 2016 was voted “America’s top turnaround mayor” in a Politico survey of mayors. Landrieu’s powerful decision to take down four Confederate monuments in New Orleans earned him the prestigious John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award. He is the author of In the Shadow of Statues: A White Southerner Confronts History, which recounts his personal journey confronting the issue of race and institutional racism that still plagues America, and in 2018 founded E Pluribus Unum, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization whose mission is to build a more equitable and inclusive South.

norman y mineta headshot

Norman Y. Mineta

Secretary Norman Y. Mineta was a member of the JANM Board of Trustees (1996–2022) and the JANM Board of Governors (1988–1995). He also served as the chair of the JANM Board of Trustees (2015–2022) and the JANM Board of Governors (2010–2015). He and his family were forcibly removed from their home in San José, California, and incarcerated along with 120,000 people of Japanese ancestry for the duration of World War II. The family was initially held at the Santa Anita temporary detention center in Los Angeles, and the Heart Mountain concentration camp in Wyoming. Secretary Mineta represented his hometown of San José in the House of Representatives for over twenty years. The first Asian American appointed to a Presidential cabinet, he was named Secretary of Commerce under President Bill Clinton in 2000 and was named Secretary of Transportation by President George W. Bush in 2001. He was recognized with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, America’s highest civilian award, in 2006. In 2012 he was awarded JANM’s Distinguished Medal of Honor.

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Norman Y. Mineta Distinguished Lecture Series

Advisory Council

Deni Mineta, Co-Chair, Norman Y. Mineta Distinguished Lecture Series
Ann Burroughs, Co-Chair, Norman Y. Mineta Distinguished Lecture Series; President and CEO, JANM
William T Fujioka, Chair, JANM Board of Trustees
David K. Mineta, President and CEO, Momentum for Health
Stuart Mineta, Captain, SkyWest Airlines
Bob Brantner, Captain, Delta Airlines
Rear Admiral Melvin H. Chiogioji, US Navy (Retired)
Robert T. Fujioka, Vice Chair, JANM Board of Trustees
The Honorable Karen K. Narasaki, Former Commissioner, US Commission on Civil Rights
The Honorable Leon E. Panetta, Chairman, Panetta Institute for Public Policy
Karen E. Philbrick, PhD, Executive Director, Mineta Transportation Institute
The Honorable Anthony J. Principi, Secretary of Veterans Affairs, 2001-2005
Ambassador Kenichiro Sasae, President, Japan Institute of International Affairs
The Honorable Rodney E. Slater, US Secretary of Transportation, 1997-2001
Susanne Stout Smith, Former Chief of Staff for Norman Y. Mineta
Keith Terasaki, MD, Chairman, Terasaki Family Foundation

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The Democracy Center explores the rights, freedoms, and fragility of democracy, helping to build bridges, and find common ground between people of diverse backgrounds and opinions.

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