SECTIONS, DIVISIONS AND AFFILIATES:
ABAS Law Foundation Presents Its 2019 Speaker Series
by Yoshinori H. T. Himel
Building on its strong first two seasons, the ABAS Law Foundation plans a 2019 Speaker Series that will educate, entertain, and inspire.
The 2019 series starts in February with a discussion panel on the mass detention of immigrant children. At this writing, the government is holding an unprecedented 14,000 immigrant children in custody. Many are fleeing persecution in their home countries. The panel features co-director Holly Cooper of the UC Davis immigration clinic, whose main task for four years has been representing children under the Flores settlement agreement, which limits detention of minors for immigration purposes. Also featured is psychotherapist Dr. Satsuki Ina, born in an American concentration camp and specializing in childhood trauma, who has interviewed children detained in border camps in Texas.
In March or April, the Foundation will sponsor a performance of Vietgone. In this award-winning play, two refugees become soulmates while grieving after the fall of Saigon and enduring culture shock in middle America. The American Theatre Critics Association, in awarding Vietgone its 2016 Harold and Mimi Steinberg New Play Award, called Vietgone a “sexy comedy” with “a vivid, specific voice, a wonderful sense of humor and compelling stakes.”
In May, the Foundation will team up with the Sacramento Asian Pacific Film Festival to screen law-related films. Recent joint screenings with SAPFF include And They They Came for Us (ABA Silver Gavel Award, 2018), and Resistance at Tule Lake (Jason D. Max Award for Social Justice, 2017). The 2019 film list will be posted on the Foundation’s website.For August, the Foundation is organizing a staged dramatic reading of Hold These Truths, an acclaimed one-man play about civil rights hero Gordon Hirabayashi, a Japanese American who challenged World War II’s race-based restrictions. This “epic love story between one man and the U.S. Constitution” received three 2018 Theatre Bay Area Awards.
September brings the 31st Annual Golf Invitational, a fundraising day of skill and fun chaired by Foundation board member Mike Iwahiro.
This is the Speaker Series’ third year. The first two seasons covered civic responsibilities with Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye, community empowerment and education with Dale Minami, the Sacramento premiere of Resistance at Tule Lake, bail reform in California, Bystander Intervention Training, and a screening of Sold with a panel discussion on human trafficking. And the Foundation screened the Sacramento premiere of And Then They Came for Us, attended by 800, with a stellar discussion panel and a social action networking session.
The Foundation welcomes financial sponsors for the 2019 Speaker Series and the individual events. Please have your firm consider sponsoring. For updates on the Foundation’s events, see www.abaslawfoundation.org.