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Karen Korematsu Visits King Hall

Posted By Kevin R. Johnson, Feb 3, 2011

Karen Korematsu

As part of the Law School’s observance of California’s first-ever Fred Korematsu Day, APALSA hosted a lecture in the Wilkins Moot Courtroom on February 2 by Karen Korematsu, daughter of Fred Korematsu and co-founder of the Fred T. Korematsu Institute for Civil Rights. 

I had a chance to speak with Karen for a few moments before her talk, and to introduce her to Alumni Board President John Schick '72 and Phil Person '11.  Her talk drew an overflow audience, including faculty members Keith Aoki, Alan Brownstein, Lisa Ikemoto, and Clay Tanaka.  In her talk, she related the moving story of her father’s life from the perspective of one who knew the suffering he experienced as a result of his internment and the infamous Supreme Court decision in Korematsu v. United States, as well as his joy and relief when a legal team headed by Dale Minami—who will visit King Hall on February 23 as part of APALSA’s API Week—succeeded in 1983 in vacating his conviction for violating the internment order and vindicating his courageous stand during World War II.    

Afterwards, she posed for pictures with APALSA students and chatted with Professors Aoki, Brownstein, and Tanaka.  Adrianne Lo ’12 and Melissa Wright ’12 escorted her on a tour of King Hall, which included a stop by Professor Madhavi Sunder’s office, where I caught up with her again.  Adrianne said Karen was “really impressed by King Hall” and said we had “a wonderful faculty and a great group of students.”  Later in the day, she visited Korematsu Elementary School in Davis, an event that drew coverage from the Sacramento Bee.

It was an honor to have Karen Korematsu visit King Hall.  Thanks to everyone who helped make this possible!