Alan Nishio: More Than 40 Years of Activism, Leadership and Mentorship

The following is an expanded version of a story about 2017 Sue Kunitomi Embrey Legacy Award recipient Alan Nishio that will appear in the printed program for the 48th Annual Manzanar Pilgrimage, April 29, 2017.


Alan Nishio
(click above to view larger image)
Photo courtesy Alan Nishio

LOS ANGELES — When one thinks of the most effective activists within the Japanese American community, of its best leaders and its top mentors, Alan Nishio has to be among the names atop the list.

For his more than 40 years of service to the community, Nishio has been named as the recipient of the Manzanar Committee’s 2017 Sue Kunitomi Embrey Legacy Award.

The award, named after the late chair of the Manzanar Committee who was one of the founders of the annual Manzanar Pilgrimage and was the driving force behind the creation of the Manzanar National Historic Site, will be presented at the 48th Annual Manzanar Pilgrimage on Saturday, April 29, 2017, at the Manzanar National Historic Site.

Before his family settled in the Venice/Mar Vista area of Los Angeles, Nishio, 71, was born on August 9, 1945, at the Manzanar concentration camp, one of the 11,070 Japanese and Japanese Americans who were unjustly incarcerated there during World War II—more than 110,000 were incarcerated in ten American concentration camps and other confinement sites, usually for more than three years.

Read more of this post

Alan Nishio To Receive Manzanar Committee’s 2017 Sue Kunitomi Embrey Legacy Award

Alan Nishio
(click above to view larger image)
Photo courtesy Alan Nishio

LOS ANGELES — On March 29, the Manzanar Committee announced that long-time community activist and mentor Alan Nishio has been named as the recipient of the 2017 Sue Kunitomi Embrey Legacy Award.

The award, named after the late chair of the Manzanar Committee who was one of the founders of the annual Manzanar Pilgrimage and was the driving force behind the creation of the Manzanar National Historic Site, will be presented at the 48th Annual Manzanar Pilgrimage on Saturday, April 29, 2017, at the Manzanar National Historic Site, located on U.S. Highway 395 in California’s Owens Valley, between the towns of Lone Pine and Independence (see map below).

UCLA Kyodo Taiko will open the Pilgrimage at 11:30 AM PDT, while the main portion of the program begins at noon.

Read more of this post

Former Inyo County Supervisor Bob Gracey: One Of Manzanar’s Unsung Heroes

The following is an expanded version of a story about 2016 Sue Kunitomi Embrey Legacy Award recipient Bob Gracey that will appear in the printed program for the 47th Annual Manzanar Pilgrimage on Saturday, April 30, 2016, at the Manzanar National Historic Site.


Robert W. “Bob” Gracey, shown here
as a member of the Inyo County
Board of Supervisors.
(click to view larger image)
Official Inyo County photo by Michael Cooke/Cooke’s Fine Photography

LOS ANGELES — For most people, even those who are familiar with the history behind the former Manzanar concentration camp becoming a National Historic Site, the name Robert W. “Bob” Gracey probably doesn’t ring a bell.

As one might guess, Gracey was not a former World War II incarceree. He wasn’t a community or civil rights activist, nor was he an academic type who researched Manzanar or the Japanese American Incarceration experience.

Despite that, Gracey played a critical role in the development of the Manzanar National Historic Site, and for his contributions, he has been named as the 2016 recipient of the Sue Kunitomi Embrey Legacy Award.

The award was named after the late chair of the Manzanar Committee who was one of the founders of the annual Manzanar Pilgrimage, and was the driving force behind the creation of the Manzanar National Historic Site.

Gracey joins two other Owens Valley locals, Bill Michael, former Director of the Eastern California Museum, and the late Keith Bright, former member of the Inyo County Board of Supervisors, who were co-recipients of the award in 2010.

Read more of this post

Former Inyo County Supervisor Bob Gracey To Receive 2016 Sue Kunitomi Embrey Legacy Award

Robert W. “Bob” Gracey, shown here
as a member of the Inyo County
Board of Supervisors.
(click to view larger image)
Official Inyo County photo by Michael Cooke/Cooke’s Fine Photography

PILGRIMAGE: Bus transportation to Pilgrimage from Los Angeles’ Little Tokyo is available, but seats are going fast.

LOS ANGELES — On March 31, the Manzanar Committee announced that Owens Valley native Robert W. “Bob” Gracey has been chosen as the 2016 recipient of the Sue Kunitomi Embrey Legacy Award.

The award, named after the late chair of the Manzanar Committee who was also one of the founders of the annual Manzanar Pilgrimage, and was the driving force behind the creation of the Manzanar National Historic Site, will be presented at the 47th Annual Manzanar Pilgrimage, on Saturday, April 30, 2016, at the Manzanar National Historic Site, located on U.S. Highway 395 in California’s Owens Valley, between the towns of Lone Pine and Independence (see map below).

Cultural performances begin at 11:30 AM PDT, while the main portion of the program starts at 12:00 PM.

Gracey, 87, born in Kearsarge (formerly a narrow gauge railroad station about five miles east of Independence, California), was elected in late 1992 to the Inyo County Board of Supervisors, representing the Fourth District, which includes the Manzanar National Historic Site.

Read more of this post