Evelyn Yoshimura is a former Community Organizer at Little Tokyo Service Center - Director of Community Organizing.
Born in Denver where her family had resettled after leaving the WWII concentration camp at Poston, Arizona, Evelyn Yoshimura was still a child when the family moved to the Crenshaw district of Los Angeles. Growing up in a predominately Black community during the tumultuous civil rights era of the 1960s, she witnessed firsthand the Watts Rebellion of 1965. After graduation from Dorsey High School, she attended Cal State Long Beach, where she helped to develop its fledgling Asian American Studies program. During this period, she was one of the founders of Amerasia Bookstore, a cultural institution in Little Tokyo for two decades, and was a staff member of Gidra, the Maoist Asian American publication that featured a provocative mix of journalism, graphic art, and social, cultural and political commentary.
Evelyn Yoshimura was active in the Redress campaign and served as a key community organizer for the Los Angeles Hearings of the Commission on Wartime Relocation and Internment of Civilians that took place in 1981. She is currently Community Organizing Director at LTSC (Little Tokyo Service Center), where she has worked on many projects including building connections with Arab American and Muslim communities after September 11th 2001.
Studied at California State University, Long Beach.
In the spring of 1972, Gidra learned of an opportunity to send a representative to the People's Republic of China. There were many enthusiastic volunteers, but after the excitement subsided we began to discuss not "who wanted to go" but "who should go" as our delegate. We wanted to select someone who would be able to absorb as much as possible about socialism in practice in a short period of time. After hours of discussion, they selected Evelyn Yoshimura to represent them because of her many qualities.
- Evelyn returned in the fall and gave presentations and informal talks on China with many community groups, and shared her experiences by writing articles about her trip. What we learned through her about China was an important element of our political development and understanding of socialism at work.
Gidra was edited by a changing, non-hierarchical collective that included individuals like Mike Murase, Doug Aihara, Evelyn Yoshimura, Steve Tatsukawa, and Bruce Iwasaki, along with a roster of talented graphic designers and artists that included Alan Takemoto, Dean Toji, David Monkawa, and Glenn Iwasaki.
1974 Gidra staff were Doug Aihara, Glen Iwasaki, Alan Ota, Bruce Iwasaki, Alan Takemoto, David Monkawa, Linda Fujikawa, Mike Murase Jeff Furumura, Evelyn Yoshimura, Dean Toji, Steve Tatsukawa, Carrie Furuya.
Contributors to the final April 1974 issue of the Maoist journal Gidra were Tommy Lo, Tom Hayden, Sam Rhee, Judy Chu, Carrie Furuya, Peter Hata, Seigo Hayashi, Tomo Hisamoto, Tamiko Hirano, Eddie Ikuta, Stuart Iwasaki, Miller Jew, Duane Kubo, Dan Kuramoto, June Okida Kuramoto, Sharon Machida, Danny Matsumura, Ken Minamiji, Amy Murakami, Scott Nagatani, Teri Nitta, Alan Ohashi, Henry Omori, Linda Iwataki Omori, Merle Oyadomori, Susie Partridge, Val Sakanoi, Laura Tokunaga, Richard Tokunaga, Brian Wakano, Jerry Wong, Eddie Wong, Mike Yamamoto, Mike Yanagita, Jeff Furumura, Lawson Inada, .Shin'ya Ono, Pat Sumi, Linda Iwataki Omori, Evelyn Yoshimura, Richard Tokunaga, Alan Takemoto, Ken Minamiji, Alan Ohashi, Ed Ikuta, Glen Iwasaki, Steve Tatsukawa, Alan Ota, Mike Yamamoto, Bill Watanabe, Doug Aihira, Mo Nishida, Peter Hata, Song Fong, Bruce Iwasaki.
Little Tokyo Service Center
In October 1980, Yasuko Sakamoto and Evelyn Yoshimura joined the Little Tokyo Service Center staff. Along with Bill Watanabe, they were the original staff of LTSC. Today, all three remain at LTSC and play integral roles at the organization.
National Network of Asian/Pacific Americans for Jesse Jackson
On March 9 1984, concretizing the motto, "In unity there is strength," our individual groupings formed the National Network of Asian/Pacific Americans for Jesse Jackson. Sharon Hom and Leslee Inaba-Wong (New York), Evelyn Yoshimura and Linda Mabalot (Los Angeles), Michael Liu (Boston), Ying Lee Kelley and Butch Wing (Bay Area), and Cindy Ng (Network coor dinator) signed the joint statement.
In 1985 Evelyn Yoshimura and Richard Katsuda were Los Angeles representative for the League of Revolutionary Struggle's East Wind. In 1989 Richard Katsuda, Meg Thornton, Evelyn Yoshimura were Los Angeles representatives for East Wind.
LOS ANGELES: Bruce Iwasaki, attorney and former staff of Gidra; Miya Iwataki, National Coalition for Redress/Reparations; Linda Mabalot, executive director, Visual Communications; Lillian Nakano, Nation Coalition for Redress/Reparations, Alan Nishio, National Coalition for Redress/Reparations; Philip Veracruz, Filipino labor organizer and past vice-president of the United Farm Workers Union; Evelyn Yoshimura, Little Tokyo Service Center.
- Dean Matsubayashi, Executive Director
- Erich Nakano, Deputy Director
- Chris Aihara, Director of Development
- Takao Suzuki, Director of Real Estate Development
- Scarlet Sy, Director of Finance
- Evelyn Yoshimura, Director of Community Organizing
- Remy De La Peza, Director of Planning
- Mike Murase, Director of Service Programs
- Yasuko Sakamoto, Director of Social Services
- Amy Phillips, Director of Senior Services
- Jenni Kuida, Director of Children and Family Services
Liberty Hill Funding board
The Liberty Hill Foundation Los Angeles Community Funding Board in 1989 consisted of Members of Liberty Hill's Community Funding Board in 1989, Barbara Metzenbaum, Sharon Delugach, Sylvia Castillo, Fred Mautner, Victor Griego, .Karen Bass, Paula Crisostomo, Enrique Delacruz, Larry Frank, Khader Hamide, Sarah Jacobus, Barbara Becker, Mirta Ocana, Torie Osborn, Sherry Winters, Evelyn Yoshimura and Lori Zimmerman.
- East Wind, Spring/Summer 84, page 18]
- https://www.libertyhill.org/community-funding-board-photo-gallery LH gallery]