Event Explores Historic Parallels, Civil Rights Impact of Minority Registries

OAKLAND COUNTY, Michigan – How does the internment of Japanese Americans relate to a potential registry of Muslims in America?

On April 20, Oakland Community College (OCC) along with the Michigan Asian Pacific Affairs Commission (MAPAC), National Association of Asian American Professionals (NAAAP) and the Arab American Civil Rights League (ACRL) will be showing a documentary about the civil rights case of Fred Korematsu, a Japanese American who refused to go to an internment camp during World War II.  Afterwards, there will be a panel discussion about the documentary and the similarities of a potential Muslim registry.

The documentary spotlights the historic case of Korematsu, who challenged the constitutionality of the U.S. government's imprisonment of Japanese Americans, but lost in 1944. In 1983, key documents were discovered that Japanese Americans had not committed acts of treason to justify mass incarceration. That same year, Korematsu's case was re-opened and his conviction was overturned, creating a pivotal moment in civil rights history.

The panel will be moderated by OCC Academic Dean of Art, Design and Humanities Henry Tanaka, a recognized leader in Asian-American affairs. Panelists include Rula Aoun, director of the Arab American Civil Rights League, psychologist Krishna Stilianos, Ph.D., and immigration attorney Geck Budd.

This free, public event takes place on Thursday, April 20, 1:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m., at OCC's Royal Oak Campus, room B249-252. The campus is located at 739 S. Washington Ave, Royal Oak.

About OCC

With multi campus system throughout Oakland County, Oakland Community College is committed to providing academic and developmental experiences that allows each student to reach their full potential and enhance the diverse communities they serve. It offers degrees and certificates in approximately 100 career fields and university transfer degrees in business, science and the liberal arts. More than a million students have enrolled in the College since it opened in 1965.


Media Contact: Bridget M. Kavanaugh | Marketing & Community Relations | (248) 341-2020 | bmkavana@oaklandcc.edu