october, 2022

18oct6:00 pm8:00 pmJapanese American Wyomingites: multigenerational stories of a search for life, liberty, and a sense of belonging

Event Details

Most of the stories we hear about Japanese Americans in Wyoming are of those who had been living on the West Coast and were sent to Wyoming against their will—incarcerated at Heart Mountain. Most of them also left after WWII, never to return. This is a presentation about a lesser-known history – a history of Japanese Americans who were already in Wyoming prior to WWII.  Lena (Sunada-Matsumura) Newlin will share a glimpse into this history through the stories of her family members.  Heart Mountain is part of their story, but there is much more to Japanese American history in Wyoming than Heart Mountain. 

Lena (Sunada-Matsumura) Newlin, is a fourth-generation Wyomingite and a descendant of Wyoming railroaders and coal miners.  She is also a descendant of Japanese Americans incarcerated on the basis of their race during WWII at Heart Mountain.  Originally from Riverton, she has lived in Laramie since 2005.  She recently left a 22-year career in Public Health to focus on writing a book about her family history and is pursuing an MFA at UW.  Her writing appears in DoveTales: A Writing for Peace Literary Journal of the Arts, Solstice Literary Magazine, and High Desert Journal (forthcoming).  



(Tuesday) 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm