September 28, 2023


Future Depends on What You Do

Sam Mihara Named Receiver of 2023 Salem Award for Human Legal rights and Social Justice

SALEM, Mass. — History educator and author Sam Mihara is the receiver of the 2023 Salem Award for Human Legal rights and Social Justice, Voices In opposition to Injustice announced on Aug. 11.

Sam Mihara (Picture by Willow Belden)

The once-a-year award recognizes and celebrates folks and organizations who confront concern and social injustice with bravery.

As a survivor of Japanese American incarceration throughout Environment War II, Mihara has invested more than 20 yrs speaking to audiences about each his family’s knowledge and contemporary injustices around mass incarceration and the detention of undocumented immigrants.

In 2014, Mihara joined the Board of Directors of the Coronary heart Mountain Wyoming Foundation, which “works to protect what stays of the Environment War II Japanese American confinement internet site in Park County, Wyoming, and to convey to the stories of the a lot more than 14,000 people unjustly incarcerated at the website.”

Mihara is also the creator of “Blindsided: The Daily life and Occasions of Sam Mihara,” which describes his family’s harrowing experience with Japanese American incarceration. In 2022, he been given the Japanese American of the Biennium Award for Education and learning and Humanities. The award honored his function educating far more than 100,000 learners and instructors globally by sharing the record of the incarceration and the human costs of detention.

Mihara was nominated for the Salem Award by The House of the 7 Gables Executive Director Dakota Russell. As the previous executive director of the Coronary heart Mountain Wyoming Foundation, Russell states, “Sam evokes me since he made a option, late in existence, to revisit this distressing chapter in his family’s tale. He was eager to do that since he believed he could spark a minor empathy and encourage other individuals to see the entire world via different eyes.

“It will take a good deal of bravery to get up in entrance of audiences throughout the country — audiences who frequently maintain fully opposing views — and inform a story that private.”

“The board is honored to identify Sam Mihara as this year’s award winner,” suggests VAI Co-chair Sara Moore. “His willingness to share his family’s deeply personal story, and to connect the legacy of Japanese American detention to modern day social justice problems, gives an invaluable opportunity for both equally schooling and motion.”

Voices Versus Injustice, previously the Salem Award Basis, has chosen award recipients considering the fact that 1992, the tercentenary of the Salem Witch Trials. VAI fosters empathy and reconciliation by encouraging the community to “remember, honor, and act.” The corporation publicly acknowledges people and organizations functioning to aid people who encounter discrimination and injustice, supports the Salem Witch Trials Memorial in downtown Salem, and features educational programming that broadens the community’s recognition and understanding of present-day human rights and social justice troubles.

Of receiving the award, Mihara says, “There is a commonality among the goal of the Salem Award and the objective of the Coronary heart Mountain Wyoming Foundation, that social injustice and the violation of human legal rights took area in the two locations. Such injustice should under no circumstances transpire yet again to everyone.”

Mihara is a member of the SELANOCO (Southeast Los Angeles-North Orange County) Chapter of the JACL. Visti his site at

An awards function honoring Mihara will be held Friday, Nov. 10 at The Property of the 7 Gables. For more data or to submit a nomination for subsequent year’s award, go to, e mail [email protected], or observe VAI on social media. VAI accepts award nominations calendar year-spherical.