Local Hero: Alan Nishio

Alan Nishio photo by Ed KriegerAlan Nishio is a highly dedicated and respected leader in the Southern California Japanese American community who has spent more than four decades working with multiple generations in social and civic engagement programs.

Currently, Mr. Nishio is President of the Board of Directors for the Little Tokyo Service Center, the leading Asian Pacific American community development corporation in the region. He is also a past President and member of the Board of The California Conference for Equality and Justice, a human relations organization based in Long Beach. He is a founding member and chair of the California Japanese American Community Leadership Council, a statewide coalition that seeks to preserve and protect California's remaining Japantowns.

Mr. Nishio's work for the past five decades addresses Asian American rights and cultural issues that have defined the history and shape the future of the community. Mr. Nishio is founder and co-chair of the National Coalition for Redress/Reparations. Born in the Manzanar internment camp, Mr. Nishio was actively involved in the successful campaign to gain redress for Japanese Americans who were unjustly incarcerated during World War II. Mr. Nishio's other community leadership roles include serving as a Board Member for the Japanese American Cultural and Community Center as well as an Advisory Council Member for Kizuna whose mission is to build a vibrant Nikkei community.
Mr. Nishio formerly served as the Associate Vice President for Student Services at California State University, Long Beach (CSULB). In this capacity, he was responsible for a variety of student service programs at CSULB including student retention and diversity and educational equity. Mr. Nishio also taught in the Department of Asian and Asian American Studies.

Past honors for his work include the 2005 National Conference for Community Justice - Humanitarian Award and the 2011 Kokoro - Local Community Heroes Awards.

To learn more about the Little Tokyo Service Center, visit www.ltsc.org.

Read our interviews with Alan Nishio here.

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