OCA Mourns the Loss of Yuri Kochiyama
Thursday, June 5, 2014
Posted by: Kham Moua
of you may already be aware, Yuri Kochiyama passed away over the weekend at the
age of 93. She was a prominent and influential Asian American social justice,
human rights, and civil rights activist who served as an inspiration to all
civil rights leaders. Yuri was a lifelong advocate who staunchly supported and
advanced civil rights, redress and reparations for Japanese Americans, various
movements for ethnic studies, and other causes.
demonstrated the need for our community to work within and outside ourselves.
She was perhaps most well-known for her friendship with Malcom X, her work
within the African American and Native American movements, and the bridges she
built between communities of color. Civil rights is not a zero sum game and her
work has single handedly demonstrated this principle. Yuri has shown us that
the movement cannot only lift one community but must simultaneously uplift all
of us. In 2001, we were honored to award her with the OCA Outstanding Citizen
Achievement Award at our National Convention in Seattle, Washington for her
work and passion for our community.
paved many roads for our communities and built strong bonds with other
communities through her work and dedication to justice. Though she may no
longer be with us, her legacy lives on as a new generation of leaders continues
the march toward equality and equity for all. Let us remember her with
gratitude and open minds.
[Correction: Yuri Kochiyama passed away at the age of 93. A previous version indicated that she was 92 at her time of death.]