California Civil Liberties Program

The California Civil Liberties Public Education Program (California Civil Liberties Program) is a state-funded grant project of the California State Library.

The competitive grant program supports the creation and dissemination of educational and public awareness resources concerning the history and the lessons of civil rights violations or civil liberties injustices carried out against communities or populations. These include, but are 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.

Projects to guide civil liberties educational discussions and learning

Many recently funded California Civil Liberties projects are available now for classrooms and community discussions – from an interactive online experience of the hardships and decisions for Japanese Americans during World War II, to multiple documentaries and podcasts from public broadcasting organizations and nonprofits, to performing and visual arts programming, to teacher’s guides and lesson suggestions with primary source materials and articles. There’s even a STEM project involving Minecraft! See the list below – it’s always growing.

Recent California Civil Liberties projects for education

Advisory Committee

Legislation in 2017, AB 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) was most recently at the Greater Los Angeles Area office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-LA) for two and a half years, where she served as the Policy Manager for the organization. CAIR is the nation’s largest grassroots Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, and as policy manager, Ahmed advocated 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)

Carin Fujisaki (Walnut Creek) has served as an associate justice at the First District Court of Appeal since 2018. She served as principal attorney to the chief justice at the California Supreme Court from 2015 to 2018, where she was a judicial staff attorney from 1991 to 2014 and a staff attorney from 1990 to 1991. She was an associate at Howard, Rice, Nemerovski, Canady, Robertson, and Falk from 1986 to 1990, a research attorney in the Civil Law and Motion Department at the San Francisco County Superior Court from 1985 to 1986, and a paid student extern at the San Francisco City Attorney’s Office from 1983 to 1985. Fujisaki earned a Juris Doctor degree from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law. (Appointed by Gov. Jerry Brown)

Manjusha “Manju” P. Kulkarni (Los Angeles) is Executive Director of Asian Pacific Policy and Planning Council – also known as A3PCON. A3PCON is a coalition of over forty community-based organizations that serves and represents the 1.5 million Asian Pacific Islanders in Los Angeles County. Kulkarni also serves as a Lecturer in the Asian American Studies Department of UCLA, teaching “Ethnic, Cultural and Gender Issues in America’s Health Care Systems” and “South Asian American Communities.” Prior to joining A3PCON, Kulkarni was Executive Director of the South Asian Network, which advances the civil rights, violence prevention and health and health care access of South Asians in Southern California. Early in her career, she served as pro bono counsel for a group of Japanese Latin Americans who were abducted and interned by the United States government during World War II and helped to secure for them an apology and redress payment. Kulkarni received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and a Certificate in Women’s Studies from Duke University and a Juris Doctor degree from Boston University School of Law. In April 2014, she received the White House Champions of Change award for her dedication to improving health care access for South Asian Americans. (Appointed by the California Speaker of the Assembly)

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 (Governor’s Office) – Yet to be appointed

Member (Senate Committee on Rules) – Yet to be appointed

Meetings of the California Civil Liberties Public Education Program’s advisory board are held on an as-needed basis. Please check back here for an agenda and additional information.

Next Meeting

Previous Meetings

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.

Information about the California Civil Liberties Program

Eligible projects may include educational materials, preservation projects, public media, and artistic and documentary projects (i.e. film, books, performances, exhibits, oral histories, multi-media, public art, and others). Please see the Guidelines for full details.

This program’s central purpose and original intent is to ensure that the events surrounding the exclusion, forced removal, and internment of civilians and permanent resident aliens of Japanese ancestry during World War II will be remembered and that the causes and circumstance of these and other similar civil-liberty violations may be illuminated and understood.

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.

Contact Us

Like to receive updates about the California Civil Liberties program? Please join our mailing list.

For additional information about California Civil Liberties Public Education Program, contact:

Phone

Mary Beth Barber
Special Projects and Assistant to the State Librarian
Office of the State Librarian
Phone: (916) 323-9843
Marybeth.Barber@library.ca.gov

Mailing Address

California State Library
P.O. Box 942837
Sacramento, CA 94237-0001

Physical Address

California State Library
900 N Street, Room 155
Sacramento, CA 95814

Application Information

Past Grantee List, California Civil Liberties Program 1998-2011

Past projects from the first decade of the program that resulted in books, films, curriculum, etc., have been cataloged at the California State Library. Not every California Civil Liberties Program project resulted in a tangible product that could be included in the California State Library catalog, but we have a comprehensive list below.

California Civil Liberties Public Education Program Grants Fiscal Year 1998-1999 through Fiscal Year 2010-2011 (PDF)

To search for a specific project from the list, enter the project number in the search box next to “Type word or phrase” onthis page of the catalog.

History

Black and white photo of pre-school children of Japanese decent in front of a temporary building at a relocation camp.

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 ofCalifornians 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 years living under these conditions and suffered enormous personal and economic losses.