On Day of Remembrance for Incarcerated Japanese Americans, AASF Deepens Resolve to Build a Future of Freedom and Dignity for All


Media Contact: Melissa Stek, media@aasforum.org

Washington, DC—On this day 82 years ago, U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed an executive order that led to the wrongful forced incarceration and removal of over 120,000 individuals of Japanese ancestry – half of whom were children – during World War II. Japanese Americans observe this day as a Day of Remembrance to honor and remember those that were torn from their homes, separated from their families, and courageously fought against the civil rights abuses they endured in this dark chapter of American history. 

Said Gisela Perez Kusakawa, Executive Director of the Asian American Scholar Forum (AASF): “Today we grieve, remember, and deepen our resolve to ensure that this history will not be repeated. We grieve that tens of thousands of Japanese Americans were violently uprooted from their homes and forced into camps under inhumane conditions – and that the legacy of this horrific policy decision has lived on in other policies since then. We remember that this stain on our nation’s history was not an isolated incident, but part of a long history of injustice towards Asian Americans that we continue to fight today. We deepen our resolve to ensure that the rights of Asian Americans and immigrants are protected and upheld, building on the civil rights advances that were won in the last half century. We will not forget, and we will not relent in our pursuit of building a future in which all people can live in freedom and dignity.” 


Asian American Scholar Forum (AASF) is a national non-profit that promotes academic belonging, openness, freedom, and equality for all. In response to heightened anti-Asian sentiments and profiling in the U.S., AASF has been a leading national voice fighting for the rights of Asian American and immigrant scientists, researchers, and scholars. AASF membership includes members from the National Academy of Engineering, the National Academy of Medicine, the National Academy of Science and the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, in addition to past and current university presidents, provost, vice provosts, deans, associate deans and past and current department chairs.