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Senior Organizer

Mike Ishii (He/Him) 

Michael Ishii is a yonsei living in NYC where he has split his time as a performing artist, organizer and clinician. Michael is the co-leader and co-founder of Tsuru for Solidarity and has been the co-chair of the New York Day of Remembrance Committee for 30 years. He is the chair of the New York Japanese American Oral History Project which received a 2018 JACS Grant, and he is a former president of the JACL, New York Chapter. Michael also serves as a volunteer for the Tule Lake Pilgrimage Committee and sits on the board for the Hudson Valley Park for Study and Reflection. He has written and performed spoken word and performance art pieces related to his family’s incarceration in the WRA camp, Minidoka, exploring themes of remembrance and healing from intergenerational trauma. He studied classical music at the Oberlin Conservatory and The Juilliard School, performing extensively as a french hornist with NYC orchestra and chamber ensembles for 20 years before moving to a career in East Asian medicine. Michael was the clinical chair for the University of Bridgeport Acupuncture Institute and now practices privately in NYC. He is currently a Ph.D. candidate studying Traditional Chinese Medicine with a focus on the ability of five phase nodal sounds to affect blood pressure in humans.

Senior Organizer

Lisa Doi (She/Her) 

Lisa Doi’s family was held at Rohwer, Crystal City, Santa Anita, and Tanforan. She is the fourth generation in her family to make a home in Chicago. There she is the president of JACL Chicago and a member of the Midwest Buddhist Temple. With JACL Chicago, Lisa focuses on youth leadership and identity development and has facilitated several youth-focused pilgrimages to Manzanar, Rohwer, and Jerome. Lisa has also completed MA research on Japanese American residential patterns in Chicago. She is particularly interested in imagination and archives, to make space for Issei voices and stories of those who did not survive their confinement.

Community Organizer

Becca Asaki (She/They) 

Becca Asaki
Becca is joining Tsuru as the new Community Organizer after years with Tsuru and co-leading the Child and Family Detention, Direct Action/Arts Action committee. She has been with Tsuru from our beginnings and is excited to work with you all in this new role. Becca brings a passion for grassroots direct action organizing and over 10 years of experience building the power and leadership of tenants, workers, immigrants, and AAPI community members organizing around issues of fair compensation for homecare work, safe and affordable housing, expanding legal representation, immigrant access to reproductive healthcare and public benefits, and language access to our work. She is a yonsei, mixed-heritage descendant of family incarcerated at the Fresno, Pinedale, Tule Lake, Heart Mountain, Jerome, Rohwer and Fort Missoula camps. She grew up in Jarrettsville, Maryland and currently lives in Brooklyn, New York where she also serves on the New York Day of Remembrance Committee.

Communications Organizer

June Kuoch (They/Them)

June is currently based in Lenape Territory, (Brooklyn, NY). They are a child of Cambodian war-time refugees, born and raised in unceded Dakota and Anishinaabe territory (Minneapolis, Minnesota). June shares a birthday with their fictional idol “Sailor Moon” and is an avid K-pop fan. They are abolitionist immigrant rights advocate with years of community organizing experience. Before coming to Tsuru for Solidarity, June was a 2020 Soros Youth Activist Fellow housed at Queer Detainee Empowerment Project (QDEP), where they worked on local, regional, and national efforts to end immigration detention by centering and uplifting the stories and voices of LGBTQ+ migrants. They have organized with groups, such as the Southeast Asian Freedom Network (SEAFN), ReleaseMN8, and Freedom, Inc., working to end Southeast Asian deportations. June holds a B.S. in Sociology from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, and an M.A. in Asian American studies from the University of California, Los Angeles, where their master’s thesis attempted to map out Southeast Asian deportations within the larger genealogy of Asian American history. June is extremely excited to be supporting and developing intergenerational organizing at Tsuru to challenge the carceral state!


Tsuru for Solidarity has three working groups which spearhead our campaigns and activism. These campaigns are major pillars that define and propel our work.

Campaign Co-Chair

Stan Nobuo Shikuma (He/Him)

Stan is a Sansei activist, organizer, artist, and recently retired nurse living in Seattle, WA. His father’s family farmed strawberries in Watsonville, CA before WWII; his older brother was only 4-years old when the family was removed to a concentration camp near Poston, AZ. His mother’s family owned a dry cleaner and laundromat in Shelton, WA when they were sent to the concentration camp at Tule Lake, CA. Stan serves on the boards of the Tule Lake Committee, Seattle Chapter of the Japanese American Citizens League (JACL), and Regional Taiko Groups-Seattle (RTG-Seattle). He co-edits the Seattle Nisei Veterans Committee & NVC Foundation monthly newsletter; participated in the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance (APALA) 2019 Delegation to Okinawa as a member of the Seattle Chapter; served as a Unit Rep in the Washington State Nurses Association (WSNA) before retirement in early 2019, has worked on the North American Taiko Conference for twenty years, and performs regularly with Seattle Kokon Taiko. Stan is organizing the taiko contingent for the National Pilgrimage to Close the Camps.

Campaign Co-Chair

Leslie Ishii (She/Her)

Leslie Ishii is a Los Angeles-based stage director, arts educator, writer, and actor. She is the Founder and Co-Director of the National Cultural Navigation Theatre Project researching and building solidarity for sustainability for artists of color and the theatres and communities they serve. Leslie is also on the board of directors of the Consortium of Asian American Theaters & Artists. She is Yonsei and a descendent of Minidoka Concentration Camp survivor, Marie Ishii, and forced removal survivor, George Ishii, of the Nishitani, Sakamoto, and Ishii families, respectively. Leslie debuted as an actor in Northwest Asian American Theater’s “Breaking The Silence,” which raised legal funds for WWII Evacuation Resister Gordon Hirabayashi’s Supreme Court Case. She has since performed on Broadway, with Penumbra Theatre Company, Theatre Mu, El Teatro Campesino, the American Conservatory Theater, Southcoast Rep, and directed at East West Players and numerous other theatres. Leslie has worked in tv/film and is currently the Interim Artistic Director of Perseverance Theatre. She has developed actor training and directing methods for artists of color based in liberation theory.

Campaign Co-Chair

Keiko Kubo (She/Her)

Keiko is a Sansei born and raised in and around Detroit, MI. Her mother’s family was from Hayward and were incarcerated in Tanforan, then Topaz and her father’s family was from Brawley and were incarcerated in Crystal City, Texas, Santa Anita and Poston2 in Arizona. Keiko is retired from UC Berkeley, and was a member of the collective at A Woman’s Place Bookstore in Oakland. She has been active with the American Friends Service Committee [AFSC] for over 30 years, growing out of gratitude for the Quakers’ support of Nikkei people during World War II. She is excited to return to activism in the Nikkei and Asian American communities after a long absence [taught the Asian Women’s class at Berkeley, researched and organized an NEH sponsored Symposium and Art Exhibit – The View from the Inside: Art and Literature in American’s Concentration Camps at the Oakland Museum, worked on Ayumi, a Japanese American Anthology, was a member of the writer’s group at the Japantown Art and Media Workshop, and of several committees at the I Hotel tenant struggle], She now is working with Tsuru, and teaching ikebana at J-SEI, the Japanese Senior and Community Center in Emeryville, CA, Keiko currently sits on board of Mindful Peacebuilding, and on the West Executive Committee and the Third World Coalition associated with the AFSC.

Campaign Co-Chair

Alexis Takahashi (She/Her)

Alexis Takahashi
Alexis Takahashi is a hafu 2nd generation Japanese American based in Brooklyn and co-Chair of the Policing, Prisons, and Detention Work Group. She is also a co-founder of the activist collective Free Radicals, a transformative justice facilitator at Brownsville Community Justice Center, and an organizer with New York Day of Remembrance. Previously, she co-led the campaign to dismantle LAPD's use of PredPol with Free Radicals and the Stop LAPD Spying Coalition, and co-developed the Algorithmic Ecology, an abolitionist framework for dismantling carceral algorithms.

Campaign Co-Chair

Carl Takei (He/Him)

Carl Takei is a Yonsei descendant of prisoners held at Tule Lake and Amache, as well as the Department of Justice camp in Bismarck, North Dakota. He lives in New York City and is a senior staff attorney at the National ACLU, where he coordinates police practices litigation and related advocacy work. Previously, Carl conducted litigation and advocacy at the ACLU on prison privatization, immigration detention, and related issues. He is lead author of the 2016 ACLU report Shutting Down the Profiteers: Why and How the Department of Homeland Security Should Stop Using Private Prisons and the 2014 ACLU report Warehoused and Forgotten: Immigrants Trapped in Our Shadow Private Prison System, and a co-author of the 2016 ACLU/NIJC/DWN report Fatal Neglect: How ICE Ignores Deaths in Detention. Carl has testified before the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, testified before a working group of the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, and briefed members of Congress regarding private prisons and immigration detention.

Campaign Co-Chair

KC Mukai (She/Her)

KC is a proud Yonsei and 2nd Generation Chinese American with family who was incarcerated at Gila River and Poston. Because of this history, she is deeply committed to advocating for all those facing injustice today. KC became co-chair of Tsuru’s Police, Prisons, and Detention Working Group after serving as the Next Gen Coalition co-chair from 2021-2022. She also organizes with The Young Buddhist Editorial and JACL. In her professional work, KC works as Assistant Director of Parent and Family Philanthropy where she helps parent donors make meaningful gifts to make an impact on students and their passions. KC is also a proud alum and graduated from UC Berkeley in 2021 with a degree in Sociology. Go Bears! She currently is based in the Bay Area and enjoys weight lifting, crocheting, and being a cat mom. In 2023-2024, she will be representing her Japanese American community on the Northern California Cherry Blossom Court.

Campaign Co-Chair

Emily Akpan (She/Her)

Emily Akpan is a Black-Nikkei activist living in Brooklyn, New York. She has been active in many social justice struggles, including Tsuru for Solidarity and New York Day of Remembrance. In March 2022, she was kind enough to take time to answer some questions for Discover Nikkei’s Inspire Forward: Nikkei Heroes Under 30 series. Her story is inspiring and provides insights and help for aspiring activists.

Campaign Co-Chair

Duncan Ryuken William (He/Him)

Duncan Ryuken Williams is Professor of Religion and East Asian Languages & Cultures at the University of Southern California and Director of the USC Shinso Ito Center for Japanese Religions and Culture. Previously, he held the Ito Distinguished Chair of Japanese Buddhism at UC Berkeley and served as the Director of Berkeley’s Center for Japanese Studies. He was also ordained as a Soto Zen Buddhist priest in 1993 at Kotakuji Temple (Nagano, Japan). Williams is the author of LA Times Bestseller American Sutra: A Story of Faith and Freedom in the Second World War (Harvard University Press) and The Other Side of Zen: A Social History of Sōtō Zen Buddhism in Tokugawa Japan (Princeton University Press) and editor of 7 books including Issei Buddhism in the Americas (U-Illinois Press), American Buddhism (Routledge/Curzon Press), Hapa Japan: History, Identity, and Representations of Mixed Race/Mixed Roots Japanese Peoples (Ito Center/Kaya Press), and Buddhism and Ecology (Harvard University Press).


Committees are methods or strategies Tsuru operationalizes to archive our vision of justice within our campaigns. The work of the committees intersect within each of our campaigns, but largely focused on honing and developing sub-topic area skills.

Committees​ Co-Chair

Mika Chan (She/Her)

Mika Chan
Mika Chan is a Japanese and Chinese American who grew up in San Francisco Nihonmachi. She is a paternal sansei, maternal yonsei descendant of family incarcerated in Topaz and Tanforan camps. She currently attends Seattle University where she is majoring in marketing with a minor in sociology. Throughout her college career, she has been able to increase her involvement with the Nikkei community through JACL’s Kakehashi Project, the Nikkei Community Internship Program, and as a Kase intern for the Japanese Cultural and Community Center of Northern California. She is chair of Tsuru’s education committee and part of Tsuru’s Next Generation Coalition. Her activism is rooted in her passion to help Nikkei find collective healing from wartime atrocities through solidarity with BIPOC by building relationships across race and borders.

Committees Co-Chair

Mika Kennedy (She/Her)

Mika Kennedy
Mika Kennedy is hapa gosei, the granddaughter of a Hawaiian-Filipino longshoreman and a Japanese dental hygienist from a family of farmers on Hawai’i’s Big Island. Her family was not incarcerated during World War II. Originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, she earned her PhD from the University of Michigan for her work on literary and print culture narratives of Japanese American incarceration as they intersect with colonial mythologies of the Western frontier, environmental transformation, and Indigenous lands. She is a member of the Southern Alameda County Buddhist Church and gives thanks to her opportunities to be in community with the Nikkei Student Union at UC San Diego, the Nikkei Community Internship Program, the Kakehashi Project, and JACL’s Midwest District Council. Alongside Celeste Goedert, she co-curates the JACL Detroit Chapter’s grassroots exhibit of Japanese American community in metro Detroit, Exiled to Motown.

Committee Co-Chair

Celeste Shimoura Goedert (She/Her)

Celeste Shimoura Goedert is a yonsei of mixed heritage and descendant of family incarcerated in Topaz. She graduated from the University of Michigan in 2017 with a degree in Social Theory & Practice. She is currently based in Southeast Michigan and spends her time between museum work at the Detroit Institute of Arts and, alongside Mika Kennedy, co-curating the JACL Detroit Chapter's community history exhibit Exiled to Motown. Inspired by the legacy of Detroiter Grace Lee Boggs, Celeste is interested in understanding how women of color build spaces that help us to heal from cultural assimilation and racial capitalism while building solidarity amongst BIPOC communities.

Committees​ Co-Chair

Katharine Hirata (She/Her)

Katharine is a yonsei civil rights advocate living in Los Angeles. She co-chairs the Policy & Advocacy Committee. Previously, she worked at JACL National in Washington, DC as the Norman Mineta Policy Fellow to advance progressive civil rights policy around education and immigration. Originally from the Bay Area, she earned a B.A. in history from UC Berkeley, where she wrote her thesis about her grandmother's experience of wartime incarceration and the collective historical memory of the Poston camps. She is currently pursuing a J.D. at UCLA; she hopes to become a labor attorney to defend workers' rights and civil rights, and contribute to collective organizing for racial and economic justice.

Committee Co-Chair

Satsuki Ina (She/Her)

Writer, activist, and psychotherapist, Satsuki Ina, has spent her professional career seeking to understand the long-term impact of collective and historic trauma. She was born in the Tule Lake Segregation, a maximum security American concentration camp during WWII. She is Professor Emeritus at California State University, Sacramento. She currently provides consultation to organizations and communities addressing collective and intergenerational trauma. She is co-organizer of Tsuru for Solidarity, a grassroots coalition formed to protest current policies that echo and reverberate the racism and hate so resonant of the historical Japanese American incarceration. She has produced two documentary films, Children of the Camps and From A Silk Cocoon.

Committees Co-Chair

Nora Yasumura (She/Her)

Nora Yasumura holds a Masters in Social Work (MSW) degree from New York University with a professional background in cultural & racial identity exploration, community organizing, as well as human behavior & counseling. She brings over 20 years of experience as an administrator and educator in higher education and K-12 schools. She is also a national diversity consultant and trainer.

Committees Co-Chair

Lisa Nakamura (She/Her)

Lisa Nakamura, Psy.D., is a clinical psychologist who has a history of being active within the Japanese American community, helping organize Day of Remembrance events in San Jose, California and serving on the Tule Lake Committee to organize pilgrimages. She also has a history of working with Asian and Pacific Islander youth involved in the juvenile justice system in San Francisco. She later provided therapy and collaborative, therapeutic assessments with youth and young adults in the foster care system and on Medical in Alameda and San Francisco counties. She currently serves on the Healing Circles Committee with Tsuru for Solidarity to provide opportunities to deepen solidarity between and within communities of color in advancing social justice.