Jackson Center to host Karen Korematsu Oct. 17

JAMESTOWN – The Robert H. Jackson Center is pleased to announce that it will host Karen Korematsu, executive director of the Korematsu Institute for Civil Rights and Education, for “A Conversation with Karen Korematsu” on Oct. 17 at 7 p.m. This event is free and open to the general public.

Korematsu is the daughter of Fred Korematsu, one of four men who defied Executive Order 9066, which established the American concentration camps, and ordered that Japanese Americans be forcibly removed from their homes and incarcerated during World War II. His 1944 landmark case before the United States Supreme Court challenged the constitutionality of the mass incarceration, but the Court upheld his conviction for violating the exclusion order in a 6-3 ruling.

Supreme Court Justice Robert H. Jackson disagreed strongly with the court, and although in the minority at the time, his dissenting opinion continues to be read today in law schools as a major definition of the rights of the individual versus the power of the government.

The Fred T. Korematsu Institute for Civil Rights and Education was co-founded by Karen Korematsu in 2009. The Institute, which advances pan-ethnic civil and human rights through education, develops and distributes free curriculum about Fred Korematsu’s story, the Japanese American incarceration, and current civil rights issues, to classrooms around the United States. As such, Karen Korematsu will present lesson plans and other classroom materials during a Jackson Center-sponsored Western New York Teacher Conference held earlier in the day.

Founded in 2001, the Robert H. Jackson Center advances the ideals of the late Justice Robert H. Jackson, a leading advocate of American democracy and justice, who served on the Supreme Court of the United States from 1941 to 1954. A former country lawyer in Chautauqua County, Jackson was the architect of the Nuremberg Trials following World War II.

The Center is located at 305 E. Fourth St., Jamestown. Tours are available from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Monday to Saturday, or by appointment. For additional information about this and other events, contact the Jackson Center at 483-6646 or visit www.roberthjackson.org.