PCC to host ‘Day of Remembrance’ to mark 75th anniversary of Executive Order 9066
The month of February is a time to celebrate love and the enduring human spirit. Yet on Feb. 19, 1942, the country reacted in opposition to these values: President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066, an act born of fear that sent more 120,000 Japanese-Americans to internment camps during World War II.
Portland Community College acknowledges this painful moment in history and reaffirms its tenets of inclusion and opportunity for all. The college invites the community to an event that supports a vision where all people, regardless of origin, are able to equitably access and create a successful future.
DATE: Tuesday, Feb. 21.
TIME: 2-4 p.m.
LOCATION: Community Hall, Southeast Campus (2305 SE 82nd and Division). An exhibit will be held in the Great Hall, Mt. Tabor Building.
DETAILS: The afternoon offers an historical snapshot of the events in 1942 that led to this executive order. Of special note is a panel comprised of several community leaders who will address such topics as the rhetoric of hate that leads to fear of “the other”; environmental conditions that create this psychological mindset; and similar parallels to today’s public discourse. Panelists include the following, with the session being moderated by John Farnum, Ph.D., PCC philosophy instructor:
- Peggy Nagae, Portland-based attorney who successfully argued for reparations to families affected by EO 9066.
- Wajdi Said, president and co-founder, Muslim Educational Trust.
- Harry Anastasiou, Ph.D., professor and chair of the Conflict Resolution program, Portland State University.
- John Shaw, Ph.D., history instructor, PCC. Lynn Fuchigami Longfellow, Oregon Nikkei Legacy Center.
Other community influencers confirmed to participate in the day include Mari Watanabe, executive director Partners in Diversity and program director, Leadership Portland, Portland Business Alliance; and Sho Dozono, local businessman and civic leader.
The event also features personal testimonials, stitching part of a senninbari – an amulet or good luck piece that was common in the internment camps and conferred courage and immunity from injury, and a proclamation about a “preferred future” for the community at large. A reception immediately follows.
Finally, an historical display in partnership with the Oregon Nikkei Legacy Center will grace the Southeast Campus Great Hall and include photos, texts and artifacts from that era. The exhibit will be on display through the week of Feb. 27.
The event is open to the public and free of charge. Parking is $2 for a two-hour permit.