Day of Remembrance – FACEism: A Panel Discussion of History and Accountability

February 19 is the Day of Remembrance, the annual recognition of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s signing of Executive Order 9066 and the subsequent incarceration of nearly 120,000 people of Japanese descent living mostly in Washington, Oregon, and California. To commemorate the thousands of people affected by this human rights abuse, our discussion this year features news anchor and filmmaker David Ono and his documentary series FACEism, which examines how racism is rooted in often ignored and painful histories.

Event begins at 6:00 PM ET, click here: Day of Remembrance

“FACEism is when we make quick, often unfair, judgments about people we don’t even know, ignoring the fact there is so much more behind their face.” Panelists will consider episodes from the documentary series and explore community activists’ further
discussions about history, accountability, and injustice in our past, present, and future. The episodes are: “FACEism: How COVID-19 is Resurfacing U.S. History Against Asian Americans”; “President Reagan’s Apology for the U.S. Internment [Incarceration] of Japanese Americans during World War II”.

Moderated by Modupe Labode, curator and public historian at the National Museum of American History. Panelists include David Ono, anchor for ABC7 Eyewitness News Los Angeles; Ann Burroughs, president and CEO at the Japanese American National Museum; Cheyenne Cheng, Norman Y. Mineta Fellow for the Japanese American Citizens League; and Matthew Weisbly, Daniel K. Inouye Fellow for the Japanese American Citizens League.

Co-Sponsors: Japanese American Citizens League; Heart Mountain Wyoming Foundation; Japanese American National Museum; Japanese American Citizens League, DC Chapter; National Japanese American Memorial Foundation, and The National Park Service & Friends of Minidoka.

Modupe Labode is a public historian who has been at the National Museum of American History since August 2019. She works in two divisions—Political and Military History and Culture and Community Life—and her area of concentration is African American Social Justice History. Before coming to NMAH, she taught history, museum studies, and Africana Studies at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI), where she was also a Public Scholar of African American History and Museums.

David Ono is an anchor for ABC7 Eyewitness News, Los Angeles’s top-rated newscast, and an anchor for Eyewitness News on KDOC-TV. Since joining ABC7 in 1996, Ono has witnessed history worldwide, covering Hurricane Katrina, Haiti’s earthquake, and Japan’s tsunami. He traveled across Europe and Asia chronicling brave acts of Nisei soldiers from World War II. Ono has attended two royal weddings, tracked drug runners through Central America, reported live from Boston after the marathon bombing, and covered terrorism from Paris. Ono has trained with the FBI, the elite Los Angeles Sheriff’s SWAT team, ICE, and the Los Angeles Port Police. Three times President Barack Obama invited him to the White House, twice for interviews and once to speak on inclusion in America. Ono has also covered two papal selections and Pope Francis’s 2015 visit to the United States and 2016 visit to Mexico. He has produced multiple award-winning documentaries and has won eight Edward R. Murrow awards and 24 Emmys, among other honors.

Cheyenne Cheng is the current Norman Y. Mineta Fellow for the Japanese American Citizens League. Born and raised in Jacksonville, Florida, she graduated from the University of Florida with a bachelor’s degree in Psychology. During her time at UF, she led a task force in support of Asian American studies and co-founded the Asian American Oral History Project, which seeks to collect narratives of Asian Americans at UF and in the greater South. She serves on the national board for the East Coast Asian American Student Union as a mobilization coordinator, where she educates Asian American and Pacific Islander students across the East Coast through advocacy-based workshops and initiatives.

Matthew Weisbly is the current Daniel K. Inouye Fellow for the Japanese American Citizens League. He is a graduate of the University of Southern California. His senior honors thesis explored demographic data and oral histories of Nisei soldiers with the 442nd Regimental Combat Team. In school, he was president of the Nikkei Student Union, vice president of the Mixed Race Student Community, part of the collegiate taiko group Kazan Taiko, and a part-time employee of the campus Asian Pacific American Student Services office. A longtime JACL member, he also served as the Youth Representative for the Arizona Chapter and as the inaugural Ted T. Namba Fellow for the Pacific Southwest District.

Ann Burroughs is the president and CEO of the Japanese American National Museum. She has over 25 years of experience in nonprofit leadership working with Amnesty International USA and other organizations such as Social Sector Partners, the Taproot Foundation, and LA Works. Burroughs has also consulted for the Rockefeller Foundation, HandsOn Network, and the government of her native South Africa, where she was a young anti-apartheid activist imprisoned for her activism.