Rose Ochi: a civil rights activist who paved the way for Asian American women

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Rose Ochi was a powerful and widely respected lawyer who spent his career defending civil rights. When she passed away late last year, the loss was felt by the many people she inspired to follow her path, including myself.

At a very young age, Ochi and his family faced the devastating cruelty of being imprisoned in the Rohwer Concentration Camp in Arkansas, alongside tens of thousands of other Japanese Americans during World War II. . But, instead of embittering her in a world that would persecute her for her race, this injustice catalyzed Ochi’s passion to create and defend policies that build a more just and equitable society, so that others do not. not to live what she did. In fact, Ochi continued to play a key role in securing federal apologies and reparations for survivors of Japanese-American detention camps. And, because of its crucial work with the Manzanar Committee, the former California internment camp has been designated a National Historic Site, so that the injustices done to the Japanese-American community are not forgotten or erased.

Despite her childhood – or maybe because of it – she continued to break through barrier after barrier. It set Ochi on a long and successful career not only to fight injustices, but to heal them. She was selected to serve on President Jimmy Carter’s Special Commission on Immigration and Refugee Policy, through which she advocated for immigration reform and helped secure a path to citizenship for thousands of undocumented immigrants. And she’s worked with President Bill Clinton’s administration on drug policy and race relations. Ochi also held several positions for the City of Los Angeles, where she helped reduce gang violence, supported programs for at-risk youth, designed effective community policing methods, and even increased the number of women and men. officers of color in Los Angeles. Police Department.


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