KANJI SAHARA, EMERITUS
Kanji Sahara was born in Hiroshima and came to Los Angeles when he was a half year old. During WWII, his family was incarcerated at Santa Anita, Jerome and Rohwer. In 1945, his family resettled in Chicago. Dr. Sahara worked for General Dynamics in Pomona and was an Engineering Supervisor. He was also a docent for the Japanese American National Museum for many years.
NANCY K. HAYATA, PRESIDENT
Born and raised in Southern California, Nancy now resides in Torrance, California. She is a freelance graphic and web developer, and a substitute in the Torrance Unified School District as a classified employee. Nancy has a B.A. degree in Japanese from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), and a B.A. degree in Fashion Design from the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising (FIDM). She strives to share her Japanese heritage as a classical Japanese dance teacher and performer, is a board member of the Tuna Canyon Detention Station Coalition and the Historic Wintersburg Conservancy. Nancy is active in both her local community, and in the greater Los Angeles and Orange County Japanese American communities.
NANCY KYOKO ODA, VICE PRESIDENT
Nancy Kyoko Oda was born on May 20, 1945 in the Tule Lake Segregation Center, California. She was a Los Angeles Unified School District teacher, then principal for thirty-two years. She has been the president of the Tuna Canyon Detention Station Coalition since 2013. Nancy is an active member and past president of the San Fernando Valley Japanese American Community Center.
KRISTEN TANG, VICE PRESIDENT
Kristen Tang graduated from UCLA with a degree in Cognitive Science and is a software engineer at AT&T. She likes to learn about and help preserve Japanese American history, and she helped edit videos for Tadaima’s 2020 Virtual Pilgrimage.
KAITLYN TANG, TREASURER
Kaitlyn is a graduate of Stanford University, and currently works as a Data Scientist at JPMorgan Chase. She has previously worked with the Tuna Canyon Detention Station Coalition as a student ambassador and was a part of the 2019 Nikkei Community Internship Cohort. Kaitlyn enjoys studying and sharing history,especially that of Japanese Americans.
MARLEN DIAZ SANCHEZ, SECRETARY
Marlen was born in Cuba and emigrated to the United States as a very young child. She grew up and has spent most of her life in the South Bay area of Los Angeles. After using her accounting degree from CSULB in the aerospace and navigational technologies industry for 5 years, she then stayed home to raise her three boys. Her volunteer work began during that time. She held a variety of positions with the PTA, including that of president, and later was head of the academic boosters at their high school while also volunteering in various capacities at her church. Currently, she is a member of the Special Children’s League supporting programs for kids with special needs.
Ann Burroughs is the President and CEO of the Japanese American National Museum since 2017. An internationally recognized leader in the fight for human rights, she was elected as Chair of Amnesty
International’s Global Assembly and as Chair of the Japanese American Confinement Sites Consortium. Ms. Burroughs’ life-long commitment to racial and social justice was shaped by her experience as a young activist in her native South Africa when she was jailed as a political prisoner for her opposition to apartheid. She has previously served as Executive Director of the Taproot Foundation and as the Executive Director of LA Works. Ms. Burroughs also worked as a consultant for the Omidyar Network, the Rockefeller Foundation, and the government of South Africa.
Bruce Embrey is a champion of the Japanese American community as an educator on the tragedy of WWII incarceration history. An excellent and compelling speaker, he strives to raise awareness on the violation of civil liberties associated with the rights of those of Japanese ancestry during WWII. He has co-chaired the Manzanar Committee, since 2006, and is active in the Day of Remembrance in Los Angeles, the Japanese American Consortium, the United Farm Workers and was a “Manzanar Diverted” film consultant.
MEMBERS AT LARGE
FORMER TORRANCE MAYOR PATRICK J. FUREY
Patrick J. Furey was first elected to the Torrance City Council on June 3, 2008. He held the mayoral seat in 2014. As Mayor, he served as Chair of the State Legislative Advocacy and Federal Legislative Advocacy Committees. In addition, he serves as a member of the Sanitation District of Los Angeles County, the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG), and as the Chair of the Los Angeles County City Selection Committee. Prior to his election to City Council, Patrick Furey served Torrance as a civil service commissioner and a member of the Mayor’s Blue Ribbon Committee on Ethics & Integrity.
KAY SUSUMU ODA
Kay Oda was born in Poston Concentration Camp, Arizona. He attended the University of California at Riverside and Cal Poly Pomona. Kay is a retired Manager of Keyes Motors Body Shop, and now spends his time doing much in the way of volunteer work. He is a past San Fernando Valley Japanese American Community Center (SFVJACC) President, and continues to be a member of the SFVJACC Future Planning Committee. He serves as treasurer of the Tuna Canyon Detention Station Coalition.
After 37 years, Sidney Morrison retired from the Torrance Unified School District, where he served as a high school History and English teacher, a middle school and high school assistant principal, high school assistant principal, elementary, middle school and high school principal. He also served as ACSA Region President and member of the ACSA State Board of Directors before becoming the ACSA State President. He was awarded the ACSA Middle School Principal of the Year and the Marcus Foster Memorial Award for Administrative Excellence. He now works as a consultant/coach in a variety of school districts and offers training sessions in ACSA academies. A Vietnam War Veteran, he was awarded a Bronze Star for valor under fire in 1969. Married with three adult children and four grandchildren, he is also a published novelist. A novel about Frederick Douglass will be published in February 2024.