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Debrief: The Japanese American Redress Movement


Discuss the Japanese American redress movement based on your prior reading.

Share your responses to the questions at the end of the reading assignment Case Study: The Japanese American Redress Movement. The same questions appear below for your reference.


  1. How and why did Japanese Americans organize to demand redress from the U.S. government?

  2. Share your thoughts on this quote that was at the beginning of this reading.

    "History has repeatedly proven that our Constitution is not a document that automatically guarantees its promises. Our Constitution is a concept that requires constant vigilance against forces, intentionally or not, to abolish its intent."


  3. Do you agree or disagree with it? Offer a few examples to support your opinion.

  4. Share your thoughts on the concepts of justice and reconciliation in the context of the mass removal and incarceration of people of Japanese ancestry in the United States during World War II and the Japanese American redress movement. Have your thoughts on these concepts changed since reading the article above? If so, how? What do you think your reaction would have been to Executive Order 9066 if you and your family were affected by it? Would you have cooperated or objected? 

  5. If you and your family had been incarcerated, would you have been willing to serve in the U.S. military? Why or why not?

  6. Earlier you examined a few dozen quotes about justice. Choose your favorite quote and elaborate your thoughts on it in a written reflection. Why did you choose this quote? What do you like about it? What light do you think it sheds on justice?

  7. Choose three of your favorite quotes about justice and apply them to the Japanese American redress movement. To what extent do these quotes ring true? To what extent do they not? Support your analysis with evidence from the reading.

  8. What responsibilities do governments have for righting past wrongs? What strategies can/should governments employ to do so?

  9. Upon signing the Civil Liberties Act of 1988, President Reagan stated, “here we admit a wrong; here we reaffirm our commitment as a nation to equal justice under the law.” Do you think similar redress movements could have succeeded in other countries? Why or why not? How does this example weigh into your thoughts on “What does it mean to be an American?”

Mess line, noon, Manzanar Relocation Center, CA.

Photo by Ansel Adams. Identifier: LC-DIG-ppprs-00368. Source: Library of Congress

President Ronald Reagan signs the Civil Liberties Act of 1988.

Courtesy of Densho, the Kinoshita Collection. Source: Densho Encylopedia License

Next Up:



Watch Japanese Americans reflect on what the redress movement meant to them and their families.



Summarize and discuss your justice-related news article.



Choose a modern social justice issue to research further.

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