Fighting for Pan-Ethnic Civil Rights

Fighting for Pan-Ethnic Civil Rights

Karen Korematshu

10.2.2012

Karen Korematshu

Karen Korematsu, daughter of Fred and Kathryn Korematsu, is the Co-founder (along with the Asian Law Caucus) and member of the Advisory Council of the Korematsu Institute. Karen shares her father’s passion for social justice and continues to advance his legacy by advising the Institute and speaking at events around the country. She is also a board member of the Asian Law Caucus, the Institute’s parent organization, as well as the Asian American Justice Center.

Karen Korematsu is co-founder of the Fred T. Korematsu Institute for Civil Rights, which is named for her father who spent 40 years fighting his 1942 arrest for refusing to be incarcerated in the government’s WWII incarceration camps for Japanese Americans. He appealed his case all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, which ruled against him, saying the incarceration was justified due to military necessity. 

Forty years later, the discovery of new evidence allowed Korematsu to reopen his case and his conviction was overturned by a federal court in San Francisco. Founded in 2009 on the 25th anniversary of the vacated conviction, the Korematsu Institute advances pan-ethnic civil rights and human rights through education.