Go For Broke National Education Center's eTorch - February 2017

President's Message

PresidentAs President for about nine months now, I have received nearly daily phone calls, emails, or personal comments thanking me for serving in this role. Initially, my narcissistic self would accept these supportive comments, and I would feel very good about myself. Very quickly, however, my rational self would take control of my ego and say, "It's not about you, bakatare! It's about something much larger."

I began to listen to these statements of gratitude and congratulations more closely. As I did, I heard the more important underlying message and feeling. In a nutshell, the message and feeling is one of appreciation for keeping the story alive. The sentiment is meaningful because it is not just a story of men who went to war. It is not just a story of valor and courage in the face of flying bullets and exploding grenades. It is not just a story of patriotism in the presence of oppression and racism. The story is much bigger than that.

Honor Our Veterans with Flowers at the 18th Annual Monument Anniversary Tribute on June 3

Monument AnniversaryOn Saturday, June 3, 2017, at 10 a.m., GFBNEC will hold its 18th Annual Monument Anniversary Tribute at the Go For Broke Monument located at 160 N. Central Avenue (Temple & Alameda Streets) in Los Angeles' Little Tokyo. Public parking is available in Lot 2 with entrance on Temple Avenue. The Monument Anniversary is a tribute to the Japanese American soldiers who served their country to prove their patriotism so that their families and future generations could live and work freely in the United States without fear of discrimination or racial prejudice.

We again are offering our supporters the opportunity to honor a veteran by purchasing a beautiful potted New Guinea Impatiens plant for $15.00 each. These plants will be placed around the Go For Broke Monument in honor of a veteran at our ceremony. Each purchased plant will include the name of the veteran being honored and the donor of the plant. At the conclusion of the ceremony, donors may pick up their potted plants.

Stephen Kagawa Named Chairman of the Board of Directors
Journalist David Ono Joins as Chairman of Board of Governors and Union Bank's George Tanaka Joins as Newest Board Member

Board updatesStephen Kagawa, President and CEO of The Pacific Bridge Companies, Inc., has been named Chairman of the Board of Directors of Go For Broke National Education Center (GFBNEC). He succeeds Bill H. Seki, a partner at Seki Nishimura & Watase LLP, who continues to serve on the center's Board of Directors and Executive Committee. Kagawa has actively supported GFBNEC in various capacities since 2002.

David Ono, broadcast journalist and co-anchor of ABC7 Eyewitness News, has been named Chairman of GFBNEC's Board of Governors. He succeeds Chip R.Y. Mamiya, senior account executive with Michigan Mutual, Inc., who has joined GFBNEC's Board of Directors. Ono has produced several documentaries about the Nisei WWII soldiers and supported GFBNEC for many years.

Free Admission for Students and Educators to Defining Courage Exhibition

ExhibitionThanks to a generous grant from Aratani Foundation, students and teachers can visit GFBNEC's Defining Courage Exhibition for free during the months of February, March, and April. Defining Courage seeks to educate, build character, and inspire equality by telling the story of the virtue and valor of our World War II American veterans of Japanese ancestry. This grant will help GFBNEC carry out our mission to share the veterans' story with a wider audience.

George Takei's Allegiance Comes to a Theatre Near You on February 19.
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"At a time when echoes of the internment ring once again far too loud in our political discourse, there's never been a better moment for the story of Allegiance to find new audiences. It is a true testament to the power and the relevance of this story that so many people attended its premiere in December, and it is only appropriate that even more people will be able to witness it on such an important day as February 19, 2017. The Day of Remembrance is a day of commemoration, of reflection, and of learning, and I hope Allegiance can play an important role in its celebration, this year, and for many years to come."

--George Takei

Making History Come Alive: A Filmmaker Gets to Know GFBNEC Veterans

Stanley Hayami
A bright young boy with a promising future ends up being put in camp and then killed in a war fighting for a country that dramatically and tragically changed his life—first by putting him behind barbed wire and then by drafting him to serve. It is a story made for the screen since the young man, Stanley Hayami, was also a gifted artist and talented writer.

In 2011, when I walked through the doors of GFBNEC's offices to seek support for my film about Stanley Hayami, "A Flicker in Eternity," I soon discovered that his story was not an isolated one. It could be told by scores of others who shared this young man's trials and tribulations at a time when their country turned against them and their families because they looked like the enemy.

Spotlight on Public Programs

Lively Discussion for "The Lasting Legacy of Korematsu"

Dale Minami
The Japanese American WWII incarceration experience is becoming more relevant as the possibility of creating a Muslim registry system is being suggested by the new administration. The mass incarceration of Japanese Americans and restriction of their civil liberties was an event in American history that should never be repeated. Korematsu v. United States concerned the constitutionality of the mass incarceration of approximately 120,000 Japanese Americans during World War II. Korematsu's conviction was overturned by a writ of coram nobis in 1983, and numerous recent news articles have cited the Korematsu case as legal precedent. That topic was the subject of an informative and timely public program featuring attorneys Dale Minami and Paul Hoffman and hosted by GFBNEC on January 22.

Meetings Planned for New Traveling Exhibition

Defining Courage
Meetings are now being planned for GFBNEC's new traveling exhibition, Communities of Compassion and Courage, currently in development with Quatrefoil, the company that also produced the permanent exhibition. The traveling exhibition seeks to tell the Japanese American World War II experience and features several interactive elements. The exhibition will travel to Oberlin, OH, St. Paul, MN, Kingsburg, CA, Salem, OR, Chicago, IL, Monterey, CA, Rochester, MN, Honolulu, HI, Peoria, IL, and New Mexico. It is unique in that all the participating communities will curate a section on their local story with artifacts, stories, and images of those who helped Japanese Americans during or after World War II.

Members of these participating communities will come together in Los Angeles on February 24-25, 2017, for a planning meeting to see a preview of the exhibition, learn about researching primary sources, meet scholarly points of contact, and hear about the consistent marketing of the exhibition. After the meeting a survey will determine the sequence of the exhibition and when it will travel to each of the cities. If you have any questions on the traveling exhibition, please contact Megan Keller at megan@goforbroke.org or call (310) 222-5710.

Mark Your Calendars for the 16th Annual Evening of Aloha Gala on September 23

GFBNEC's 16th Annual Evening of Aloha Gala Dinner has been scheduled for Saturday, September 23, 2017, at The Westin Bonaventure Hotel & Suites in Los Angeles.

We are currently looking for volunteers to be part of the 16th Annual Evening of Aloha Gala Dinner Organizing Committee. If you are interested in being part of this committee, please contact Jeff Henson at 310-222-5712 or email him at jeff@goforbroke.org.



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February 19, 2017 - Massing of the Colors & Salute to Our Armed Forces - This years Massing of Colors and Salute to the Armed Forces will salute the 442nd and their great contribution to, and sacrifices for, freedom.

March 26, 2017 - Public Program on the Nisei veterans' involvement in the passage of the Civil Liberties Act of 1988.

June 3, 2017- 18th Annual Monument Anniversary Tribute

September 23, 2017 - SAVE THE DATE: 16th Annual Evening of Aloha Gala Dinner


We appreciate the generous in-kind donations we receive because they significantly reduce expenses. Here is a current wish list of items in need:

  • Copy paper (8.5 x 11 – Double A Brand preferred)
  • Address labels (White, laser labels 1" x 2 5/8" – 3M Brand preferred)
  • Office Depot Gift Cards (we take advantage of loyal customer discounts to stretch our buying dollars)
  • Costco and/or Sam's Club Gift Cards
  • U.S. Postal "Forever" stamps
  • Airline Miles

For more information, contact peggy@goforbroke.org or by phone to 310–328–0907.

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