Laura Misumi

Laura Misumi (“she”/“her”/“hers”) is a Workers’ Rights staff attorney at the Community Development Project (CDP) of the Urban Justice Center. CDP’s model is to provide legal, participatory research and policy support to strengthen the work of grassroots and community-based groups in NYC to dismantle racial, economic, and social oppression.

Laura is Yonsei born in San Francisco like her father and grandparents, and grew up in Massachusetts, near where her maternal grandparents resettled after getting out of the camps. Laura’s Sansei parents were very much involved with the grassroots organizing of the redress and reparations movement, and worked in solidarity with other people of color and other oppressed folx for liberation and self-determination. Laura’s grandparents helped found the Nisei Student Relocation Commemorative Fund, a scholarship organization for Southeast Asian refugees with other Nisei in New England in the spirit of ongaeshi. Laura seeks to follow in her parents’ footsteps and honor her grandparents’ legacy through her work and life, and also hopes that this conversation will clarify JAs’ particular role to play in solidarity with other folx being targeted today.

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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