Warren Furutani

Warren T. Furutani has been a community activist for 50 years. In the late 60’s he worked in the APIA community and other communities of color around a multitude of civil rights and social justice issues. He is the co-founder of the Manzanar Pilgrimage and Committee.

He is also the first APIA elected to the Los Angeles Unified School District board of education(two terms, eight years), he was then elected to the LA Community College District Board of Trustees (three terms, ten years), and served in the State Assembly (three terms), where he chaired the APIA Legislative Caucus for three years.

On the school board he organized the first high school diploma ceremony for Japanese Americans incarcerated in camp during WWII. In the State Assembly he passed AB 37 that conferred honorary college degrees onto those whose educations were cut short because of camp and established Fred Korematsu Day of Civil Liberties and the Constitution (AB 1775) for the State of California.

Updated May 2020

identity en

Kizuna 2020: Nikkei Kindness and Solidarity During the COVID-19 Pandemic

One Of Our Own

Many of us have spent time with folks who have gone through some catastrophic events in their lives. Hearing their stories is humbling, but now we have one of our own.

At one of our last Furutani family dinners before the “stay at home” quarantine, we went around the dinner table to recount any such events in our collective experiences and lives.

I remember as kids we had the “drop drills” and “yellow” and “red” alerts. All were related to a possible nuclear attack circa the Cold War. Remember the Cuban Missile Crisis as President Kennedy played chicken with then ...

Read more