Kathy was born and raised in multicultural Boyle Heights and came of age during the late 60’s when Vietnam War and Asian American Studies at UC Berkeley. These experiences shaped her values and direction. Since 1971, she has worked on issues related to youth, workers, housing in Little Tokyo, Los Angeles and redress for Japanese Americans. Currently Cochair of the Nikkei for Civil Rights & Redress, she served on the Editorial Team for the book, “NCRR: The Grassroots Struggle for Japanese American Redress and Reparations”, helped to educate the American public about the camps through the film/curriculum, “Stand Up for Justice” and was part of the NCRR 9/11 Committee which worked to build relationships with the American Muslim community after 9/11.
Kathy was honored to represent NCRR in Japan to support the rights of Koreans and other minorities in 1988 and is currently involved with NCRR, Nikkei Progressives, Vigilant Love, and the Sustainable Little Tokyo project. She continues to work on reparations for Comfort Women who were used as sexual slaves during WWII by the Japanese military and through the Nikkei Progressives/NCRR Reparations Committee she is able to help build solidarity in support of long overdue reparations for African Americans and much needed structural changes. Retired from teaching at an LAUSD continuation high school in 2011, she lives in Los Angeles (Tongva land) with Mark Masaoka. They have a daughter Mayumi and son Dan and grandsons, Yuma and Leo.