YORK, January 25, 2019 – New York City will celebrate its 2nd annual Fred
Korematsu Day of Civil Liberties and the Constitution on Wednesday, January 30,
2019, hosted by the New York County Lawyers Association (NYCLA) at 14 Vesey
Street from 6:30 pm to 9:00 pm. This event marks Korematsu’s 100th birthday.
The Fred Korematsu Day of Civil Liberties and the Constitution is already
officially recognized in four states and was first officially celebrated in New
York City in 2018. Spearheaded by the Asian Practice Committee of NYCLA, the
Asian American Bar Association of New York joins the New York Day of
Remembrance Committee and numerous community groups to organize this historic
celebration, Asian American Bar Association of New York (AABANY) members will perform
“Fred Korematsu and His Fight for Justice,” a reenactment of legal proceedings
in Korematsu v. United States. Judge
Denny Chin, United States Circuit Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, and
Kathy Hirata Chin, Partner at Crowell & Moring, will narrate the reenactment.
the Korematsu Case Still Matters Today,” a panel discussion, will follow the
reenactment. The panelists are Prof. Rose Cuison Villazor of Rutgers Law School
and Afaf Nasher, Executive Director for the New York Chapter of the Council on
American Islamic Relations, and Chris Kwok, AABANY Board Director and Issues
Committee Chair, will be the moderator.
T. Korematsu was a national civil rights hero. In 1942, at the age of 23, he
refused to go to the government’s incarceration camps for Japanese Americans.
After he was arrested and convicted of defying the government’s order, he
appealed his case all the way to the Supreme Court. In 1944, the Supreme Court
ruled against him, arguing that the incarceration was justified by military
1983, in light of new evidence of government misconduct, Korematsu’s
40-year-old case was reopened. On November 10, 1983, Korematsu’s conviction was
overturned in a federal court in San Francisco. It was a pivotal moment in
civil rights history.
remained an activist throughout his life. In 1998, he received the Presidential
Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor, from President Bill
is proud to help celebrate Fred Korematsu’s 100th birthday, on the occasion of
the second annual Korematsu Day in New York City,” states Yang Chen, AABANY’s
Executive Director. “AABANY was among the groups in New York that testified
before the New York City Council in 2017 in support of commemorating January
30th each year as the Fred Korematsu Day of Civil Liberties and the
Constitution in New York City. We were there last year for the inaugural
celebration, and we are honored to be able to present one of our trial reenactments
to recount the story of Fred Korematsu and his struggle for justice. The only
way we can ensure that we as Americans never again repeat the gross injustice
Japanese Americans suffered during World War II is to tell his story and share
its many lessons with the general public.”
more information, please contact Yang Chen, AABANY Executive Director, at (212)
332-2478, or [email protected] .
Asian American Bar Association of New York is a professional membership
organization of attorneys concerned with issues affecting the Asian Pacific
American community. Incorporated in 1989, AABANY seeks not only to encourage
the professional growth of its members but also to advocate for the Asian
Pacific American community as a whole. AABANY is a New York regional affiliate
of the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA).
Additional information about AABANY is available
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