SJSU Designates February 19 as Day of Remembrance of Japanese American Internment in WWII

iStudent Blog

Published: February 3, 2024 by Matsuko Friedland and Nicole Azof

The SJSU iSchool is proud to share that SJSU President Dr. Cynthia Teniente-Matson has issued a Presidential Directive permanently designating “February 19 as a Day of Remembrance for the harm done to Americans of Japanese descent who were forcibly detained, incarcerated and stripped of their possessions under the misguided sense that they posed a security risk during World War II”. On February 19th, 1942, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066, authorizing the U.S. Army to forcefully remove Japanese Americans from their homes and jobs. This greatly impacted the lives of Asian communities everywhere, including Japanese American employees and students processing their own community members and students abandoning their studies at San Jose State College. Prejudice and hysteria played key roles in the initiation of this order. 

We especially appreciate that the Presidential Directive and Sense of the Senate Resolution described specific details about how the university was complicit in this injustice, as acknowledging harmful behavior is crucial for real accountability. 

Students seeking support and a space to participate in community building and empowering opportunities can join The Center for Asian Pacific Islander Student Empowerment (CAPISE) What We Do | Center for Asian Pacific Islander Student Empowerment.   

We recognize that this is one small step towards true Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion, and we look forward to further progress within the iSchool, SJSU, and beyond.


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