First Church Berkeley front lawn
An InterPlay Art Response will be held at First Church Berkeley on Sunday, February 19, 2017 to mark the 75th anniversary of Executive Order 9066 which eventually led to the mass incarceration of 120,000 people of Japanese ancestry in 1942 during WWII.
First Church was one of the assembly points where church members demonstrated acts of kindness in the midst of this horror. Ruth Kingman, a church member, asked that the church provide a dignified place for internees to assemble rather than in a parking lot as originally planned. For four days local church women came to offer food and support while Berkeley’s Japanese-Americans registered, then boarded buses for the camps.
An Art Response, which includes words, movement, music, poetry and silence provides a deeper grace to a location where tragedy has happened. First Church member Milton Fujii will read passages from accounts of the church’s involvement that he has found in the archives. First Church member and InterPlay co-founder Cynthia Winton-Henry will lead with InterPlayers Angela Urata, Coke Tani and several musicians.
Phil Porter will also preach about the Executive Order and the mass incarceration in the context of the current hostility toward Muslims during the 10 am worship service that morning.