Wednesday, June 10, 2009
After meeting Warren Furutani, California State Assemblymember (D-Carson, CA) at the College of San Mateo graduation ceremony on Friday, May 29, 2009, Kimi Yamaguma had the opportunity to talk about being honored at City College of San Francisco (CCSF) with a degree the week before. CCSF was the first community college in California to honor a student who’s academic career was disrupted due to the evacuation of Japanese American internees during World War II.
Warren immediately invited Kimi to Sacramento to testify in support of his Assembly Bill 37 – seeking recognition for college students who were forced to abandon their studies in 1942 as a result of the federal government’s illegal incarceration of Japanese-American citizens, including those students who returned to college and received diplomas.
With the encouragement of Lewis Kawahara, professor, department of Ethnic Studies, College of San Mateo (CSM) who coordinated the effort to honor internees who attended CSM, Kimi made the trek to Sacramento to talk about her experiences at CCSF and the evacuation. Kiyo Sato, an internee who attended Sacramento City College and was relocated to the camps at Poston, AZ, also spoke as did Assemblyman Warren Furutani.
The stirring speeches were well received and the senate committee unanimously passed the bill.
Thank you Warren Furutani and Lewis Kawahara for your tireless efforts to champion this bill. And thank you Martha Lucey, Dean of Public Information and Marketing at City College of San Francisco for helping my mom fulfill her dream of a college degree.