Jessica Yamane

Jessica Yamane (“she”/“her”/“hers”) is a staff attorney at the Central American Resource Center (“CARECEN”). CARECEN was founded in the 1980s by Salvadoran refugees fleeing civil war, and it has grown since then to become the largest Central American organization in the country engaged in the areas of immigration, education reform, and worker’s rights.

As a Chinese-Japanese-American, Jessica grounds the work that she does in her own history as a grandchild of a Japanese American soldier that fought to free others from concentration camps abroad while those of his own ethnicity were incarcerated and deported without access to due process of law in the U.S. during World War II. She is here today to draw inspiration from our collective histories of resistance as the logic of white supremacy has continually been shifted throughout time to label new generations of people as “enemy aliens,” “terrorists,” or “illegal.” Jessica also identifies as queer and Christian, and she is horrified by how the Christian Right’s message of hatred and exclusion has found a foothold in the hearts of so many. Jessica hopes that this conversation will bring all our struggles to bear in a way that can move us forward.

Updated December 2016

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We Remember

We remember. We are Yonsei, fourth-generation Japanese Americans, hapa, hyphenated-Americans. While we may have grown up in different places, while you may not recognize us as Japanese, our roots stretch deeper than what your eyes can see, and we remember our history.

We were seeds yet to be born when our grandparents and great-grandparents were labeled as “enemy aliens,” but the logic of white supremacy is as deeply embedded in this country as our ancestors’ blood. We know that the language used to dehumanize our ancestors is still being used today against our Latino, Black, and Muslim brothers and sisters. …

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