History: Midori Shimanouchi Lederer (1923-2005) was the founder of Japanese American Social Services, Inc. (JASSI), a social services agency for New York’s elderly Japanese and Japanese American residents. Born and raised in Fresno, California, Lederer was a student at the University of California, Berkeley, when she and her family were sent to the Topaz War Relocation Center in 1942. Her 1943 appeal to the US government granted her permission to leave Topaz and resume her studies at Pace College in New York. While living in New York she became involved in the film and publicity industries. In 1952 she became the secretary of renowned film producer Michael Todd and served as his production assistant. She later joined Bill Doll and Company, a top New York-based firm of press agents in 1960 and eventually rose to partner and vice president.
Survey Conducted: Tue, 2010-09-14
Creator: Yuzawa, George
History: George Katsumi Yuzawa was born in Los Angeles, California on February 21, 1915. George’s immigrant parents named their Nisei son after the first president of their adopted country, George Washington (whose birthday was a day later on February 22). His parents, Tamasaburo “James” and Bun “Mary” Yuzawa, immigrated to the United States from Nagano, Japan. In 1917, James Yuzawa established the Vermont Flower Shop in downtown Los Angeles near the University of Southern California campus. He served a term as president of the Southern California Floral Association.As a young man, George was a founding member of Boy Scout Troop 64 in Los Angeles and achieved the rank of Life Scout.
Date Range: 1938 – 1969
Survey Conducted: Fri, 2011-05-20
Creator: United Automobile Workers of America, District 65
History: District Council 65 of the United Automobile Workers (UAW) began as a group of Jewish laborers working in dry goods warehouses in the Lower East Side of New York City. The union became a local of the Wholesale Dry Goods Employees Union in 1935 before affiliating with the Distributive Trades Council of New York and the Retail Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU). Its affiliation with the UAW began in 1979. In later years, the union’s membership grew beyond the warehouse and retail workers to include white-collar workers in publishing and universities. The union remained active until bankruptcy forced the union to close in 1994. Read more
Survey Conducted: Fri, 2008-10-24
Creator: Tamiment Library
History: The Oral History of the American Left (OHAL) project was started in 1976 by the Tamiment Library at New York University. The purpose of this project was to expand the archive of American labor and radicalism through the creation of “living documents;” the memories of veteran activists. After receiving major funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities in 1982, the project conducted a sweeping oral history of ethnic-immigrant radicalism, its press and fraternal organizations. The NEH grant also enabled OHAL to collect hundreds of hours of interviews made by filmmakers on American anarchism, the Hollywood blacklist, the Communist Party, the Columbia University student strike of 1968, and other subjects. Read more
Survey Conducted: Sat, 2008-11-15
Creator: Soh Daiko
History: Soh Daiko was founded in 1979 as the first taiko group on the East Coast. Originally formed by members of the New York Buddhist Church, the group now consists of members from diverse backgrounds and professions. Members receive instruction on drum building, basic taiko skills and philosophy from senior members and visiting expert drummers. The group currently operates as a collective in which decisions are made by consensus; however, the group structure allows for elected officers who serve in the capacities of Chairperson, Treasurer, Secretary, Practice Committee, and Practice Leaders.
Survey Conducted: Fri, 2010-08-13
Creator: SALGA-NYC, Serving the Queer Desi Community Report
History: SALGA-NYC, Serving the Queer Desi Community is committed to combating all forms of oppression and discrimination. The all-volunteer non-profit organization promotes “awareness, tolerance, acceptance, empowerment and safe spaces for sexual minorities and people of all gender identities, who trace their heritage to South Asia or who identify as South Asian.” Its programming includes monthly support group meetings (open to people who identify as both queer and South Asian), workshops, a weekly hotline (supported by Asian & Pacific Islander Coalition on HIV/AIDS, The Stonewall Foundation, and Trikone, San Francisco), and political, cultural, and social events that are open to the general public. The recognitions that the organization has received include the 1995 Community Service Award from the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force. Read more
Survey Conducted: Tue, 2011-12-13
Creator: Chin, Rocky
History: Rocky Chin is a civil rights attorney who has been an active community leader advocating for labor and human rights. An Asian American born in Washington D.C., Chin completed his BA at Lehigh University, his MA at Yale University, and his JD at the University of Southern California. As an attorney, Chin has represented marginalized groups including immigrant and working-class families. He is married to May Y. Chen, former vice president of UNITE HERE and a founding member of the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance (APALA).
Survey Conducted: Wed, 2011-09-21
Creator: Organization of Chinese Americans – New York Chapter (OCA-NY)
History: Founded in 1973, the Organization of Chinese Americans is “a national, non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to advancing the social, political and economic well-being of Asian Pacific Americans (APAs).” The national organization was formed by the cooperation of three founding chapters. Lead by K.L. (Kung-Lee) Wang and others, the Chinese American Leadership Council was created in September 1971 in Washington, D.C. following the example of organizations like the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and the Japanese American Citizens League (JACL). In November 1971, a steering committee chaired by Alex Mark was formed in Detroit to discuss the formation of a national organization. In February 1972 the League of Chinese Americans was formed in St. Louis. On June 9, 1973, the three regional organizations came together under the umbrella of a new, national organization. The New York Chapter of the Organization of Chinese Americans (OCA-NY) was founded in 1976 and is one of more than 80 chapters of OCA in the United States. Read more
Survey Conducted: Thu, 2009-04-23
Creator: New York Taxi Workers Alliance
History: The New York Taxi Workers Alliance (NYTWA) was founded in 1998 by members of the Lease Drivers Coalition (LDC), an advocacy project of the Committee Against Anti-Asian Violence (CAAAV). The union fights for structural change in the taxi driving industry, ranked by the Department of Labor as the most dangerous job in the country, and supports individual drivers through comprehensive services and advocacy efforts for economic justice, safety and health rights.
Survey Conducted: Tue, 2011-09-27
Creator: Hama, Larry
History: Legendary comic book writer and artist Larry Hama (b. 1949) is recognized for his lasting contributions to American comic books and popular culture in general. He is the creative force behind titles like G.I. Joe, The ‘Nam, and Bucky O’Hare, but his creative influence extends to other titles and fields.