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Public Event: Minoru Yasui Day

Community Event
Join Civic Life and the New Portlanders Policy Commission (NPPC) on Saturday, March 27, to celebrate Minoru Yasui Day!

Join Civic Life and the New Portlanders Policy Commission (NPPC) on Saturday, March 27, to celebrate Minoru Yasui Day! In 2016, the Oregon State Legislature declared March 28 as Minoru Yasui Day to honor Min's tireless fight for equality, humanity, and civil rights. The Minoru Yasui Legacy Project and Japanese American Museum of Oregon are putting on the "Immigrants and Refugees: The Path to Justice" virtual event to bring together speakers, including US Senator Mazie Hirono of Hawaii, who are on the front lines of national, state, and local conversations about immigration policies and practices. The event will also showcase creative work by local middle school and high school students, including a national award-winning film about Min's legacy and the winners of the Minoru Yasui Student Contest.
 
“As an immigrant myself, I think it's important to understand the positive cultural and economic contributions that immigrants and refugees bring to any city. It's part of everyone's job as members of our community to make Portland a welcoming city for everyone, wherever they come from and whatever their circumstances,” said NPPC Commissioner June Schumann.
 
In 1916, Minoru Yasui was born to Japanese immigrant parents in Hood River, Oregon. He was the first Japanese American graduate of the University of Oregon School of Law and first Japanese American member of the Oregon State Bar. During World War II, when President Roosevelt issued Executive Order 9066 to imprison people of Japanese descent in concentration camps, Yasui was the only Japanese American in Oregon to intentionally break military curfew. He was arrested and spent nine months in solitary confinement. Forty years later, Yasui filed a petition that challenged his conviction. The conviction was vacated in 1984 and preceded Congress’ decision to pass reparations legislation to address the harm caused by the unjust and racist incarceration of 120,000 Americans of Japanese descent. Yasui was deeply involved in that successful fight for compensation, crossing the country giving speeches and leading the Japanese American Citizens League’s Redress Committee.
 
Following World War II, Yasui worked tirelessly for over 40 years as a champion for civil and human rights, serving not only the Japanese community, but also other communities of color. He helped found the Urban League of Metropolitan Denver, the Denver Native Americans United, and the Latin American Research and Service Agency to assist local communities in obtaining education, economic opportunities, and civil rights. In 2015, Yasui was posthumously awarded the Medal of Freedom by President Obama for his work cha