In 1942, Fred Korematsu resisted detainment under an executive order that placed Japanese Americans in internment camps through the western and southwestern United States. Two years later, Fred courageously challenged his internment before the United States Supreme Court. Tragically, the Court upheld the internment order. However, almost 40 years later, Fred, his attorneys, and community activists prevailed before the Northern District of California federal court reversed Korematsu’s conviction under the internment order. The court held that the government knew that no military necessity had justified the internment, but lied about this before the Supreme Court. On the day his case was to be decided, Fred stated: “I would like to see the government admit that they were wrong and do something about it so this will never happen again to any American citizen of any race, creed, or color.”
The Loyola University Chapter of the NLG hosted a celebration of Korematsu Day and a discussion of how Fred’s legacy informs the current fight on January 30. The film ‘Korematsu and Civil Liberties’ was screened, followed by a panel discussion featuring Fred Tsao from Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights Sufyan Sohel from Council on American Islamic Relations-Chicago, Bill Yoshino from Japanese American Citizens League and Andy Kang from Asian Americans Advancing Justice-Chicago, moderated by Sameena Mustafa, Managing Director at Bradford Allen
The Loyola event was co-sponsored by the Loyola chapters of the Asian Pacific American Law Students Association, Latino Law Student Association, Black Law Student Association, Immigrant Rights Coalition, Women Law Students, Muslim Law Students Association, Public Interest Law Society, Cultural Impact Initiative, and American Constitution Society.
On Wednesday, February 22, 2017 the DePaul Asian Pacific American Law Students Association hosted a Special Screening “Of Civil Wrongs & Rights,” followed by a Panel Discussion in honor of Fred Korematsu. Panelists discussed the historical background of the Japanese American internment camps and how that experience relates to current civil rights issues faced by the nation today.
The event was hosted by the National Lawyers Guild-Chicago (NLG-Chicago), Asian Americans Advancing Justice-Chicago, Japanese American Citizens League, Council on American Islamic Relations-Chicago, Asian American Bar Association of Chicago (AABA), Chinese American Bar Association of Chicago (CABA), Arab American Bar Association of Illinois (AABAR), Filipino American Lawyers Association of Chicago (FALA). The DePaul Student Org Co-Sponsors were: Asian Pacific American Law Students Association, ILS, MLSA, NLG, SAIL