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Symposium on Gordon K. Hirabayashi, February 22

Family will donate Hirabayashi's Presidential Medal of Freedom to UW

February 12, 2014

Contact: A.C. Petersen, UW Libraries | acpete@uw.edu | 206-543-9389

Gordon K. Hirabayashi’s Presidential Medal of Freedom to be donated to UW by Hirabayashi Family

Judge Mary Schroeder to speak; wrote 1987 opinion vacating Hirabayashi's curfew and exclusion convictions

February 22, 1:00-5:30p.m. UW Kane Hall

In observance of the University of Washington’s annual Day of Remembrance of the signing of Executive Order 9066 and on the occasion of the UW Libraries opening the Hirabayashi Collection, Courage in Action: A Symposium on the Life and Legacy of Gordon K. Hirabayashi will take place at Kane Hall at the University of Washington on Saturday, February. 22, 1:00p.m. – 5:30p.m. Admission is free, but advance registration is requested. Visit <UWalum.com/Hirabayashi> Lori Matsukawa, King 5 News, will emcee.

Susan Carnahan, Gordon Hirabayashi’s widow, will present Hirabayashi's Presidential Medal of Freedom, which was awarded posthumously to Hirabayashi by President Obama in 2012.

Ana Mari Cauce Ph.D. Provost and Executive Vice President, Office of the Provost, Professor, Psychology Department, will accept the Presidential Medal on behalf of the UW. In the near future, it will be on permanent display on the UW campus.

The medal is part of the collection of Gordon’s journals, recordings, legal papers and photographs that the family has donated to UW Libraries Special Collections, where they are open for students, researchers, and the public. Plans to digitize portions of the collection are underway.

Judge Mary Schroeder, who wrote the 1987 opinion vacating Hirabayashi's curfew and exclusion convictions on proof of the allegations of governmental misconduct [Hirabayashi v. United States, 828 F.2d 591 (9th Cir. 1987)], will present Gordon Hirabayashi’s Timely Lessons About Courage

Speakers and moderators include

  • Judge Mary M. Schroeder, Senior Circuit Judge, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
  • Lane Ryo Hirabayashi, Ph.D. Professor, Department of Asian American Studies, UCLA
  • Roger Daniels, Ph.D., Charles Phelps Taft Professor Emeritus of History, University of Cincinnati
  • Tetsuden (Tetsu) Kashima, Ph.D. Professor, Department of American Ethnic Studies and Adjunct Professor, Department of Sociology, University of Washington
  • Anne Jenner, Pacific Northwest Curator, Special Collections, University of Washington Libraries
  • Gail Nomura, Ph.D., Associate Professor, American Ethnic Studies, University of Washington

The family of Gordon Hirabayashi will share their personal recollections. Panelists include

  • Susan Carnahan (Gordon Hirabayashi’s widow)
  • Esther Furugori, (Gordon’s sister)
  • Sharon Yuen (Gordon’s daughter)
  • Marion Oldenburg (Gordon’s daughter)
  • Jay Hirabayashi (Gordon’s son)
  • Alisha Hurley (Susan Carnahan’s daughter)
  • Kim Furugori (Gordon’s niece, Esther’s daughter)

Jay Hirabayashi, Executive Director, Kokoro Dance, Vancouver (B.C.) International Dance Festival, will perform a brief Butoh dance in honor of his parents.

Civil Disobedience! Exhibit of Hirabayashi papers in Allen Library, 1-5pm

The exhibit in the Allen Library North lobby will be open on Feb 22 from 1-5pm. The exhibit runs through February 28, 2014 and is open regular building hours for Suzzallo and Allen Libraries.

Book signing by Prof. Lane Hirabayashi, 3pm

The day will include a book signing by Prof. Lane Ryo Hirabayashi, co-author of A Principled Stand: the Story of Gordon Hirabayashi v. United States, (University of Washington Press, 2013) which he wrote with his uncle Gordon and his father, the late James Hirabayashi. UW Press and the University Book Store will be in the Walker Ames room in Kane Hall 3:00 - 4:00pm.

Staged reading of Hold These Truths, Feb 22 & 23

In a related event, a staged reading of Jeanne Sakata’s solo play Hold These Truths featuring actor Greg Watanabe will be held at the Theatre Off Jackson, February 22, 7:30 pm, and February 23, 2:00 pm.  Tickets are $15 general, $10 seniors and students (ID required at the door) at Brown Paper Tickets http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/564144

About Gordon K. Hirabayashi: In a remarkable show of personal courage, Auburn native Gordon Hirabayashi was one of handful of Japanese Americans nationwide to defy U.S. government curfew and "evacuation" orders issued in 1942 (in the context of World War II) to persons of Japanese ancestry who lived on the West Coast. Hirabayashi considered the orders to be a gross violation of Constitutional rights. He was arrested, convicted, and imprisoned, and eventually appealed his case to the U.S. Supreme Court. Although the Supreme Court upheld his conviction at the time, the fight to overturn it resumed in the 1980s, culminating in his judicial vindication. After the war, Gordon Hirabayashi returned to the UW where he earned degrees in Sociology. He spent most of his career teaching at the University of Alberta, in Edmonton, Canada. He died on January 2, 2012.

UW partners for the events are UW Alumni Association, University Libraries, American Ethnic Studies, Asian American Studies, UW Press, American Indian Studies, The Hirabayashi Chair for the Advancement of Citizenship, and the School of Law.

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