Every year, the Japanese American community in Chicago comes together to commemorate Executive Order 9066 as a reminder of the fragility of civil liberties in times of crisis and the importance of protecting the rights and freedoms of all. Signed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt on February 19, 1942, EO 9066 led to the incarceration of 120,000 Japanese Americans during World War II.
During this year’s program “Japanese American Incarceration: Healing Histories Across Generations,” join us we explore what it means to heal from traumas of the past. Lisa Doi, president of the Japanese American Citizens League Chicago Chapter, moderates a conversation with Jami Nakamura Lin, author of The Night Parade: A Speculative Memoir, and Dr. Donna Nagata, researcher of intergenerational impact from Japanese American incarceration. Dr. Nagata explores the concept of individual and cultural trauma through her decades long research on the Nisei, Sansei, and Yonsei generations following Japanese American incarceration. Lin similarly asks “How do we learn to live with the things that haunt us?” in her speculative memoir The Night Parade.
An interactive children’s program, “Healing Through Generations” will occur at the same time as the main event offering interactive stations to learn and connect with incarceration history. This program is for preschool through 6th graders and their caregivers. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Youth ages 7th grade and up can attend individually.
Free; RSVP required.
This event is sponsored by the Chicago Japanese American Council, the Chicago Japanese American Historical Society, the Japanese American Citizens League – Chicago Chapter, the Japanese American Service Committee, and the Japanese Mutual Aid Society of Chicago.
Donna Nagata is a professor of psychology at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Her research centers on the multigenerational impacts of the World War II Japanese American incarceration. Inspired by having had both parents incarcerated in the Topaz camp, Dr. Nagata’s work has explored the perspectives of Nisei reflecting on their experiences of unjust wartime imprisonment and reactions to redress, as well as the impacts of the incarceration trauma among third generation Sansei born after the war. Her current study investigates these legacies among the fourth-generation Yonsei. Dr. Nagata has published multiple articles and chapters on the psychosocial consequences of the incarceration and the books Legacy of Injustice: Exploring the Cross-Generational Impact of the Japanese American Internment and Qualitative Strategies for Ethnocultural Research.
Jami Nakamura Lin is the author of the illustrated speculative memoir The Night Parade (Mariner Books/HarperCollins and Scribe UK, October 24, 2023). A former Catapult columnist, she’s been published in The New York Times, Electric Literature, Passages North, and other publications. She has received fellowships and support from the National Endowment of the Arts and the Japan-U.S. Friendship Commission, Yaddo, Sewanee Writers Conference, We Need Diverse Books, and more. She received her MFA in nonfiction from Pennsylvania State University and lives in the Chicago area.
Lisa Doi (she/her) is the President of JACL Chicago and chair of the national Resolutions Committee. Her work with her chapter has focused on growing youth leadership and programs, especially the Kansha Project and Next Generation Nikkei, which focus on history education and community building. In addition, Lisa is a PhD candidate in American Studies at Indiana University, her dissertation project is an ethnographic engagement with Japanese American pilgrimages to World War II incarceration sites. She is also a curatorial project manager at the Japanese American National Museum and a co-chair with Tsuru for Solidarity, a Japanese American abolitionist organization.