Preview Opening: Celebrating 100th Birthday of Miné Okubo

Preview Opening: Celebrating 100th Birthday of Miné Okubo

On June 27, 2012, the 100th anniversary of Miné Okubo’s birth, Riverside Community College District held a special preview opening of the Center and celebrated the impact of RCC alumnae Miné Okubo’s life on American understanding of social justice.

More than 500 people attended the event, including members of the Okubo family, former U.S. Secretary of Transportation Norm Mineta (himself a World War II camp internee), and the Counsul General of Japan in Los Angeles, the Honorable Jun Niimi, and local dignitaries. Distinguished speakers addressed the audience in White Park, adjacent to the new Center. Among them were Riverside Mayor Ron Loveridge, RCC alumnus and retired U.S. Superior Court Justice John Gabbert, and Seiko Buckingham, Miné Okubo’s niece, and RCCD Chancellor Gregory Gray.

Following the official program, guests gathered for the official ribbon cutting, then toured the Center. Volunteer docents from the local chapter of the Japanese American Citizens League and Riverside City College students were on hand to answer questions and direct guests through the Riverside Stories exhibitions and The Okubo Collection.

The evening’s festivities continued past 8 o’clock as guests lingered in the new Center, watching a specially commissioned video, “Where There’s A Fight,” which highlights civil rights and social justice events in America, and sharing remembrances of personal or family experiences.

As the first event associated with a planned RCCD Renaissance Block, the Center’s opening set the stage for the future openings of the Coil School for the Arts and the Riverside City College Culinary Arts Academy--both slated to open 2016.