Laura Misumi is Managing Director at Detroit Action. Daughter of Don Misumi. She is a former Workers’ Rights staff attorney at the Community Development Project (CDP) of the Urban Justice Center. CDP’s model is to provide legal, participatory research and policy support to strengthen the work of grassroots and community-based groups in NYC to dismantle racial, economic, and social oppression.
Laura Misumi is Yonsei born in San Francisco like her father and grandparents, and grew up in Massachusetts, near where her maternal grandparents resettled after getting out of the camps. Laura’s Sansei parents were very much involved with the grassroots organizing of the redress and reparations movement, and worked in solidarity with other people of color and other oppressed folx for liberation and self-determination. Laura’s grandparents helped found the Nisei Student Relocation Commemorative Fund, a scholarship organization for Southeast Asian refugees with other Nisei in New England in the spirit of ongaeshi. Laura seeks to follow in her parents’ footsteps and honor her grandparents’ legacy through her work and life, and also hopes that this conversation will clarify JAs’ particular role to play in solidarity with other folx being targeted today.
Laura supports Michigan Action (Detroit Action) as Managing Director, building out systems to ground the work of organizing Black and Brown Detroiters for power in healing justice and sustainability. She also serves as the part-time Executive Director and Board President of Rising Voices of Asian American Families/Action Fund, organizing Asian American women in Michigan. Prior to Michigan Action, Laura served as in-house counsel for SEIU Healthcare Michigan, Workers’ Rights Staff Attorney for the Community Development Project (now TakeRoot Justice), and as Home Care Law Fellow at SEIU International in the Legal Department. She obtained her B.A. in Political Science and Latin American and Caribbean Studies from the University of Michigan and her J.D. from Northeastern University School of Law. She seeks to apply her skills as a lawyer and interest in food and storytelling to move the projects of Detroit Action forward.
- Northeastern University School of Law. Doctor of Law (J.D.). Labor and Employment Law. 2011 – 2014.
- University of Michigan B.A.Political Science & Latin American and Caribbean Studies, A/PIA Studies Minor. 2005 – 2009
- Universidad San Francisco de Quito Liberal Arts. International Relations. 2008 – 2008.
Open Letter to the Biden Campaign on “Unprepared”
Open Letter to the Biden Campaign on “Unprepared” was released May 12 2020.
":Our demands: The country’s greatest priority at this moment is to beat the COVID-19 crisis, and this requires embracing principles of antiracist solidarity and international cooperation. The Biden campaign can and should beat Trump and the GOP with a message centered on our real public health needs and the progressive values that are required to meet those needs. The “Unprepared” ad must be taken down, and all campaign messaging that fuels anti-Asian racism and China-bashing must end. We refuse to allow the Biden campaign to sacrifice our dignity in the name of political expediency."
- Michelle Chen, Journalist
- Wei Chen, Asian Pacific Islander Political Alliance (Philadelphia, PA)
- Calvin Cheung-Miaw, PhD student, Stanford University
- Tobita Chow, Director, Justice is Global
- Michelle Liang, NAKASEC Action Fund
- Timmy Lu, Executive Director, AAPIs For Civic Empowerment
- Laura Misumi, Executive Director, Michigan Asian American Progressives
- Grace Pai, Director of Movement Politics, Asian American Midwest Progressives (Chicago, IL)
Movement Activist Apprenticeship Program
- Center for Third World Organizing website: Alumni Network (accessed on Aug. 16, 2010)