Sunday, January 26, 2014

Korematsu Day in Michigan this Thursday, January 30, 2014

The Michigan Department of Civil Rights (MDCR) and the Michigan Asian Pacific American Affairs Commission (MAPACC) will recognize Fred Korematsu on Thursday, January 30, 2014 at 12:30 p.m. at Huron High School, 2727 Fuller Road, Ann Arbor, MI 48105.

Japanese American Fred Korematsu is an American civil liberties icon. Born on January 30, 1919, he courageously defied the US Government’s order to report to an assembly center after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Korematsu was convicted for his refusal but appealed his case all the way to the US Supreme Court, which ruled against him in a 6 to 3 decision in 1944.

After World War II, Korematsu moved to Michigan. Mr. Korematsu’s conviction was formally vacated on November 10, 1983 by US District Judge Marilyn Hall Patel based upon information that the War Department misled the Supreme Court with false allegations of espionage and sabotage.

Fred Korematsu’s story is one of triumph and correction over the civil wrongs against the Japanese American community. Mr. Korematsu was honored with the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Bill Clinton in 1998.

Michigan Department of Civil Rights Director Matt Wesaw will read the Certificate of Recognition signed by Governor Rick Snyder at this event. Speakers include Dr. Jamie Hsu, Michigan Asian Pacific American Affairs Commission Chair; Roland Hwang, founding member of American Citizens for Justice and secretary of the Michigan Asian Pacific American Affairs Commission; Mary Kamidoi, former internee at the Rohwer internment camp in Arkansas and officer at Japanese American Citizens League; Ron Aramaki, Redress activist and lecturer for Asian Pacific Islander American history and law at the University of Michigan; and Hao Hao, a student at Huron High School on behalf of Frances Kai-Hwa Wang, activist writer and lecturer for Asian Pacific Islander American civil rights activism and media at the University of Michigan.

All the World History and US History classes will be in attendance to hear a panel discussion about the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II, how Fred Korematsu and others in the Japanese American community challenged this grave injustice, and how this case continues to affect them today and in the future, especially after 9/11. The students will also watch this video documentary, "On Civil Rights and Wrongs: The Fred Korematsu Story."

This event is not open to the public, but is open to media with credentials.

For more information about this event, contact Roland Hwang or email

For more information about the case, check out the Fred T. Korematsu Institute for Civil Rights and Education More about Korematsu Day commemorations across the country at

To learn more about the Michigan Asian Pacific American Affairs Commission and the Michigan Department of Civil Rights, please visit

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