California Civil Liberties Program
The California Civil Liberties Public Education Program (California Civil Liberties Program) is a state-funded grant project to sponsor public educational activities and development of educational materials to ensure that the events surrounding the exclusion, forced removal, and internment of civilians and permanent resident aliens of Japanese ancestry will be remembered so that the causes and circumstance of this and similar events may be illuminated and understood. The California Civil Liberties Program is administered by the California State Library.
The agency is directed by statue to administer a competitive grant program to educate the public through the development, coordination, and distribution of new educational materials and the development of curriculum materials to complement and augment resources currently available on this subject matter regarding the history and the lessons of civil rights violations or civil liberties injustices that have been carried out against other communities or populations, including, but not limited to, civil rights violations or civil liberties injustices that are perpetrated on the basis of an individual’s race, national origin, immigration status, religion, gender, or sexual orientation.
Information about the California Civil Liberties Program
Prior to World War II, California was home to more Japanese Americans than any other state. On February 19, 1942, just weeks after the United States entered the war, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066, giving the Secretary of War the authority “to exclude any and all persons, citizens, and aliens from designated areas in order to provide for security against sabotage and espionage. …” As a result of this executive order, the lives of thousands of Californians were affected.
Over 120,000 U.S. citizens of Japanese ancestry and permanent resident aliens from Japan were removed from their homes by the Army and first taken to "assembly centers," which were temporary quarters at racetracks and fairgrounds. They were later taken to "relocation camps," which were bleak barrack camps, mostly in desolate areas of the West. Some families spent ears living under these conditions and suffered enormous personal and economic losses.
Almost 40 years after Executive Order 9066 was signed, Congress conducted a bipartisan review of the executive order’s impacts. The resulting publication, Personal Justice Denied, was published in 1982 (Part 1) and 1983 (Part 2) by the Commission on Wartime Relocation and the Internment of Civilians. The report led to a federal law was enacted to issue a public apology for internment, make individual restitution to those interned and create a public education fund. The federal public education funding lasted for approximately three years, and related projects concluded by the end of the 1980s.
In 1998, the state Legislature created the California Civil Liberties Public Education program. The program received funding of as high as $1 million annually from 1998 through 2011, when the funding was eliminated from the California budget. At the request of Assemblyman Phil Ting of San Francisco, Gov. Brown approved $1 million in one-time funding for the program in the 2016-2017 fiscal year.
Legislation in 2017 by Al Muratsuchi, AB 491, clarified administrative details, established an advisory board, and encouraged projects that provide information about civil rights violations or civil liberties injustices that are perpetrated on the basis of an individual's race, national origin, immigration status, religion, gender, or sexual orientation as well as the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II.
With support from legislators like Assembly members Ting and Muratsuchi, the governor included $3 million in the 2017-18 Budget to continue funding through June 30, 2020.
For information on the projects funded by funds from fiscal year 2016-17, please see the Civil Liberties grantees press release from spring 2017.
Legislation in 2017, 491 by Assemblymember Al Muratsuchi, established a nine-member advisory committee for the California Civil Liberties program, with five members to be appointed by the Governor, two by the Speaker of the Assembly, and two by the Senate Committee on Rules.
Asmaa Ahmed (Irvine) is the Policy Manager at the Greater Los Angeles Area chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-LA). CAIR is the nation’s largest grassroots Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization. As policy manager, Ahmed advocates for issues impacting Muslims, immigrants, refugees, women and communities of color. Ahmed was the lead organizer for the #NoMuslimBanEver March in Los Angeles, and led CAIR-LA’s advocacy campaigns for SB 31 and SB 54, two state laws that protect Muslims and immigrants in California. She is a native Southern Californian with a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology from the University of California, Los Angeles and a Master’s degree in Public Policy from Pepperdine University. (Appointed by the California Speaker of the Assembly)
Zahra Billoo (San Jose) has been director at the San Francisco Bay Area Chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations since 2009. She was an employee rights advocacy extern at the National Employment Lawyers Association from 2008 to 2009, where she was a Peggy Browning Fund fellow in 2008. Billoo was a law clerk at Bay Area Legal Aid in 2007 and a field organizer for the Service Employees International Union in 2006. She holds a Juris Doctor degree from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law and a Bachelor’s degree in political science from Long Beach State University. (Appointed by Gov. Jerry Brown)
Dale Minami (San Francisco) is a partner in the firm of Minami Tamaki LLP in San Francisco. He attended the University of Southern California and received his law degree from the University of California at Berkeley. Minami was appointed chair of the Civil Liberties Public Education Fund by President Clinton and was the lead counsel for Fred Korematsu in Korematsu’s petition to overturn his conviction for failing to report for relocation to government-run incarceration camps for Japanese Americans during World War II. Minami also co-founded the Asian Law Caucus, the Asian American Bar Association and the Minami Tamaki Yamauchi Kwok and Lee Foundation. He is the recipient of the American Bar Association’s Thurgood Marshall and Spirit of Excellence Awards. (Appointed by the Senate Committee on Rules)
Diane Miyeko Matsuda (San Francisco) has been secretary and treasurer at the Henri and Tomoye Takahashi Charitable Foundation since 2010. She served as executive director at the John Burton Foundation (also known as the John Burton Advocates for Youth) from 2008 to 2016. Matsuda was executive officer at the California Cultural and Historical Endowment from 2004 to 2008, program director at the California Civil Liberties Public Education Grant Program from 1998 to 2004 and coordinator at the Osaka International House Foundation from 1992 to 1997. She is a member of the San Francisco Historic Preservation Commission and the San Francisco Japantown Foundation. She earned a Juris Doctor degree from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law. (Appointed by Gov. Jerry Brown)
Dennis M. Robinson (Watsonville) has been senior philanthropy advisor at the Silicon Valley Community Foundation since 2015 and an independent philanthropic & social impact investment advisor and relationship strategist since 1997. He was regional advancement director at the Southern Poverty Law Center from 2012 to 2013 and development director at the St. Francis Medical Center Foundation from 2008 to 2012. Robinson was director of major gifts and planned giving at Chapman University from 2007 to 2008 and chief advancement officer for principal investments at the Arizona State University Foundation from 2006 to 2007. Robinson is also an advisor to the chief executive officer of the Real Medicine Foundation and the chairman of Laureus Sport for Good Foundation, USA. (Appointed by Gov. Jerry Brown)
Member (Speaker of the Assembly) – Yet to be appointed
Member (Senate Committee on Rules) – Yet to be appointed
Member (Governor’s Office) – Yet to be appointed
Member (Governor’s Office) – Yet to be appointed
Meetings of the California Civil Liberties Public Education Program’s advisory board are held on an as-needed basis. The next meeting will take place on October 22, 2018, at the Library & Courts Building at 914 Capitol Mall in downtown Sacramento in Room 218. Please see agenda for details.Portfolio of meeting materials (PDF)
If you are unable to utilize the PDF Portfolio of meeting materials, please see the links below. The first link has the bulk of the meeting materials, but the full packet also include the Education Code sections relating to his program as well as the bill AB 491.
Not every California Civil Liberties Program project resulted in a tangible product that could be included in the California State Library catalog. Projects that resulted in books, films, curriculum, etc., have been cataloged.
To search for a specific project from the list, enter the project number in the search box next to "Type word or phrase" on this page of the catalog.
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For additional information about California Civil Liberties Public Education Program, contact:
California State Library
P.O. Box 942837
Sacramento, CA 94237-0001
California State Library
900 N Street, Room 155
Sacramento, CA 95814