Sixteen years ago, the Florin Japanese American Citizen League (JACL) began organizing annual pilgrimages to Manzanar, one of the U.S. concentration camps where Japanese Americans were incarcerated during World War II. From the first pilgrimage, they invited CAIR to be part of this important event, recognizing the parallels in how both Japanese Americans and Muslim Americans have been discriminated against in the U.S. and their resilience in response. Watch this inspiring video featuring stories from members of both the Florin and San Jose JACLs talking about their efforts to build understanding and solidarity between the two communities and how meaningful the joint pilgrimage experiences were. 

In this interview, Andy Noguchi, Co-President of the Florin JACL, said, “We felt that because of the Japanese American community’s experience—facing backlash and racism before and being blamed for the actions of those outside of our country—that there were a lot of similarities the Muslim community was facing. So we wanted to reach out our hand in friendship and solidary with CAIR and the Muslim community…”

Interview conducted by CAIR Editorial Committee member Emily Galpern.

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