Lillian Kimura. In April 1942, Lillian Kimura and her family were removed from their home and imprisoned, along with more than 100,000 others, simply because they were Japanese Americans or of Japanese descent. Lillian was thirteen years old when she was incarcerated and spent the next three and a half years in Manzanar War Relocation Center in the barren, miserable desert west of “Death Valley”. One of the last families to leave Manzanar, the Kimuras received $25 and one-way train tickets as compensation. In the 1970’s, she emerged as one of the important voices in the Redress Movement – the effort to acknowledge and compensate the terrible injustice done to Japanese Americans, which culminated twenty years ago when President Reagan signed the Civil Rights Act of 1988.
Judge Melissa Powers. In 1980, bullets from a high-powered rifle killed two Black children, 14-year-old Darrell Lane and 13-year-old Dante Evans Brown. For sixteen years, the families of Darrell and Dante were haunted by two questions—who killed their boys and why? Melissa Powers was an assistant prosecutor in Cincinnati, Ohio in 1997 when her bossed asked her to help close the case. To do so, Ms. Powers had to win the trust of one of the nation’s most prolific racist serial killers – Joseph Paul Franklin. She began writing Franklin, and after winning his trust met with him face-to-face in prison. Ms. Powers was able to secure Franklin’s confession in Darrell and Dante’s murders, as well as a confession that led to the release of a man wrongly convicted of killing two female hitchhikers.
Ronit Tubol. In 2002, Ronit boarded a bus for the trip downtown to police headquarters, where she worked in the intelligence unit. Jerusalem was on high alert following reports that a suicide bomber was on his way to the city. In fact, it was Ronit’s own unit that was trying to find the bomber. Based on the intelligence reports, they believed the bomber was coming from the north. But he entered Jerusalem from the south. There, he boarded the bus, and, standing directly behind Ronit, blew himself up, the force of the explosion propelling her out of the bus through a hole in the roof and onto the street. Miraculously, she survived, but she suffered serious wounds and brain damage. Ronit could not talk or use her arms and legs, and her next four months would be spent in the hospital undergoing intensive physical and speech therapy. Six years after the attack Ronit speaks about her experiences to other terror attack survivors and law enforcement groups visiting Israel.
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