JANM announces 30 changemakers under 30 for its 30th anniversary

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The Japanese American National Museum (JANM) will honor 30 Changemakers under the age of 30 during JANM’s 30th anniversary on April 30.

Founded in 1985, JANM promotes understanding and appreciation of America’s ethnic and cultural diversity by sharing the Japanese-American experience. JANM opened to the public in the historic building, the former Nishi Hongwanji Buddhist Temple, in 1992.

As JANM looks to the future, it celebrates the bond between its past honorees, whose achievements have strengthened the community, and the next generation. Changemakers were selected for their extraordinary contributions to advancing JANM’s mission through the arts, business, culture, education, politics, sports and technology.

Emma Anderson is a radio DJ, podcaster and software engineer who focuses on the uplifting stories and traditions of Okinawa.

Erin Aoyama is the co-director of the Japanese American Memoryscape Project, whose work explores the possibilities of justice-informed historical storytelling, and a curator of JANM.

Kaitlyn Chu is an entrepreneurial product designer and creative storyteller impacting lives and taking action on current issues through various media and community organizations.

Kraig Fujii is an immersive technology designer specializing in virtual and augmented reality. He has worked with clients such as Sony, The Los Angeles Times, and JANM.

Dina Alyce Fusaye Furumoto educates the public about the tangible experience of Japanese Americans and creates inclusive environments.

Keila Sachi Gaballo is an artist and philanthropic entrepreneur passionate about mental health education, diverse representation, and embodied social justice.

Jonathan van Harmelen is a doctorate. student at UC Santa Cruz majoring in the history of Japanese American incarceration.

Sara Hutter2015 Nisei Week Queen, is the Community Relations Coordinator at The J. Morey Company, Inc. Insurance Agents & Brokers, where she maintains relationships with the communities the company serves.

Bryce IkemuraHead of Partnerships at TDW+Co, a multicultural marketing agency focused on Asian audiences, is Chair of the Board of Kizuna and a Board Member of the Gardena Valley Japanese Cultural Institute.

Brandon Ishikata is an artist and university teacher at the University of Illinois at Chicago who has held leadership positions with the Japanese American Citizens League (JACL).

Nolan Minoru Jimbo is Marjorie Susman Curatorial Fellow at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, where he organizes exhibitions and performances with contemporary artists.

Justin Kawaguchi is the current Co-Chair of Okaeri: A Nikkei LGBTQ+ Community. He also sits on the national board of the JACL.

Cole Yujiro Kawana is the founder and president of Japanese American Stories, a non-profit organization that develops artificial intelligence avatars to help preserve and share the oral histories of Japanese Americans who experienced World War II.

Aidan Kosaka is the acting director of NHoops, a league designed to bring college-aged students to Little Tokyo and support small businesses in the area. He was selected to be a logo designer for the 2028 Olympics.

Emiko Otera Kranz earned her MA in Asian American Studies and MS in Community Health Sciences from UCLA with research focused on racial health equity and community-centered health practices.

Kenji Kuramitsu is a psychotherapist and writer who draws on his experiences in anti-racist organizing and theological education to provide responsive mental health and spiritual care in clinical, retreat, and movement settings.

Kristi Mieko Lin is an artist and principal landscape architect at Falling Waters Landscape in San Diego.

Devon Matsumoto is a youth advocate in an organization dedicated to ending the school-to-jail pipeline and a community organizer for the San Jose Nikkei Resisters and the Young Buddhist Editorial.

Kota Mizutani is press secretary for Chairman Bobby Scott (D-Va.) of the U.S. House Committee on Education and Labor.

Nina Nakao is the Virtual Learning Coordinator at JANM, where she develops and maintains national programming for students in grades 1-12, middle schools, and adult groups.

Alec Nakashima is the Founder and Creative Director of AKASHI-KAMA, a fashion and lifestyle brand that showcases the perspective of Asian Americans and multiple cultures creating something new over time.

Megan Tomiko Ono is a Corporate Social Responsibility Project Manager at American Honda Motor Co., Inc., a youth advocate and current Kizuna Board Member who is committed to empowering the next generation of global citizens .

Mariko Rooks pursuing a master’s degree at Yale University. She is the Eastern District representative of the JACL National Student and Youth Council.

Miya Sommer is the Associate Director of Asia-Pacific American Student Development at UC Berkeley and earned a master’s degree in Asian American Studies from San Francisco State University.

Miye Ella Sugino is a Japanese-Korean American artist whose work distills inexpressible subjects – like memory, displacement and loss – into an image.

Vinicius Taguchi is a Japanese-Brazilian American who is President of the JACL Twin Cities Chapter and First Vice District Governor of the JACL Midwest District.

Kai Vanderlipa junior at Tesla STEM High School in Washington, founded a literary project that added six picture books about incarceration to elementary school libraries in his school district and reached 14,000 students.

Matthew Weisly is the current education and communications coordinator for the National JACL in Los Angeles.

Joy Emi Yamaguchi is a Yonsei community organizer, abolitionist, and JANM’s Public Programs Supervisor, who organizes and oversees the calendar of events highlighting the museum’s mission and exhibits.

Derek T. Yamashita is the creative director of The Hidden Japan, which promotes the deeper sides of Japan beyond the big cities by working with local communities and government to address a wide range of issues that are holding these regions back.

JANM thanks the 30 Under 30 Changemakers Selection Committee for their commitment and dedication and for reviewing the list of nominees. They are JANM Administrator Kari Nakama, JANM Governor Richard M. Watanabe, Jennifer Hirano, Amy Watanabe, Stephanie Nitahara, Kristin Fukushima, Nancy Okubo (MUFG Union Bank) and Sebastian Ontiveros (Toyota Motor North America).

The 30th Anniversary Benefit will also underscore the relevance and universality of JANM’s mission and look to its next 30 years as it continues to apply the hard-won lessons of history and innovative strategies to reinvent the world. museum experience, inspire the next generation and continue the fight for inclusion and social justice.

The event will be hosted by Frank Buckley, co-anchor of KTLA 5 Morning News in Los Angeles, and Erin Aoyama, co-director of the Japanese American Memoryscape Project.

To visit http://janm.org/30th-benefit to learn how to enter the online auction, bid for education, and enter the 2022 Lexus Opportunity Draw. The virtual 30th anniversary program will be streamed live on JANM’s YouTube channel, @janmdotorg, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

JANM’s online auction opens April 23 and celebrates community by showcasing the goods and services of local businesses, corporate partners and the works of talented artists.

JANM’s Bid For Education program connects more than 12,000 elementary and secondary school students and teachers to JANM grounds each year. Contributions to this program help JANM welcome students back to the museum and grow JANM’s new virtual tour program which was successfully launched last year. Contributions can be made online, by mail or by telephone. Funds raised in the 2022 Lexus Opportunity Draw will support educational programming and awareness at JANM.


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