Program Summary
  The theme of the 1996 Day of Remembrance, “Communities United: Fighting for Justice” provided an opportunity for artists and community activists to partner and develop short vignettes on issues impacting the Asian Pacific community. 

Coordinated by Hiroshima Band member Johnny Mori, Japanese taiko, Thai, Pilipino and Korean drummers signaled not only the opening and closing of the program but served to tie all the multi-ethnic pieces together.  The hardships of those who renunciated and their minor children who were part of the Prisoner Exchange program was performed by actors Jude Narita and Chris Tashima.  Philip Vera Cruz’s poem, “Profits Enslave the World” was sung by Bong Vergara to accompany a slide show on the working conditions of immigrant workers at Jessica McClintock’s and their efforts to unionize at the New Otani.  This piece ended with a special dance performed by the recently freed El Monte Thai garment workers. Students and activists in the Korean community created a skit on welfare as a right for all and a safety net for those in need.  Finally, API Rappers, D. J and Break Dancers performed an educational rap on affirmative action.

NCRR recognized Yuri Kochiyama and her late husband Bill Kochiyama with the Fighting Spirit Award for their life long commitment to justice and to uniting communities.  Bill represented NCRR in New York at the hearings in Washington D. C. and joined the delegation in 1987 to lobby for redress. 

Congressman Norman Mineta  was acknowledged through a video presentation for being a driving force behind the passage of HR 442 and the Civil Liberties Act of 1988.  Mineta, who gave the keynote address, worked closely with NCRR during the redress campaign. 

NCRR reminded the audience that the community needs to seek reparations for several groups of Japanese Americans that were initially denied redress by the Department of Justice. 

This was the second DOR that involved different API communities and highlighted critical issues facing them.

initially denied redress..., City Times, 7//2/95, Reparations Battle...
Yuri Kochiyama and her late husband Bill KochiyamaRafu Shimpo, 2/10/96, Kochiyama's to be feted