USF Hosts a Panel Discussion on Japanese Internment

"Lockups, Land Grabs, and Liberation: Asian Pacific Americans and US Civil Rights"

SAN FRANCISCO (Feb. 7, 2013)

The Asian Pacific American Studies department at the University of San Francisco (USF) will host a panel discussion about the incarceration of 120,000 Japanese Americans during World War II on Weds., Feb. 20 at 5 p.m. The Lockups, Land Grabs and Liberation: Asian Pacific Americans and US Civil Rights discussion is free, open to the public, and will be held at Fromm Hall on USF's main campus. USF School of Law Professor Bill Ong Hing will moderate the discussion featuring panelists Karen Korematsu, Karen Kai, Robert Rusky, and Don Tamaki.

"The February 20 panel discussion aims at calling attention to the ways that those directly affected by relocation and internment not only experienced tremendous injustice, but also have since worked to defend all Americans' civil rights, and to protect other citizens from being discriminated against because of race," said USF Professor Bill Ong Hing.

The panel takes place the day after the national "Day of Remembrance" which symbolically marks the anniversary of the signing of Executive Order 9066, a presidential mandate that led to the unlawful forced removal, and unconstitutional mass incarceration of 120,000 Japanese Americans during World War II. The order was belatedly reversed by the passage of the Civil Liberties Act of 1988. "Recalling the sad events and injustice of February 1942 are necessary to remember the need to protect civil rights.," said Professor Hing.

The panel presents a unique opportunity to review the Supreme Court case Korematsu v. United States of  1944, which upheld President Franklin Roosevelt's executive order. Panelist Karen Korematsu, the daughter of the case's Fred Korematsu, will speak about her father's conviction for refusing to leave his San Leandro, Calif. home in 1942.

The panel also will discuss their participation in the case of Soko Bukai v. YWCA, which combined the issues of internment and alien land laws that barred Japanese Americans from owning land in California. "Helping to highlight the ways the Asian American community has contributed to defending and safeguarding U.S. civil rights and racial equality," said Hing.

Fromm Hall is located behind St. Ignatius Church along Parker Avenue (at McAllister). All are welcomed to attend.

About the University of San Francisco

The University of San Francisco is located in the heart of one of the world's most innovative and diverse cities and is home to a vibrant academic community of students and faculty who achieve excellence in their fields. Its diverse student body enjoys direct access to faculty, small classes, and outstanding opportunities in the city itself. USF is San Francisco's first university, and its Jesuit Catholic mission helps ignite a student's passion for social justice and a desire to "Change the World from Here."  For more information, please visit

To request media interviews with Professor Bill Hing, or any of the panelists, please contact Anne-Marie Devine, senior director of media relations at USF, at 415.422.2697 or