In 2018, my friends and peers Joy Bailey and Derrick Dawson invited me (Kenji Kuramitsu) to collaborate with them to host students from Loyola Marymount University visiting Chicago on their annual Alternative Spring Break trip. Joy and Derrick then worked for an organization called Crossroads, a now former employer of mine as well. As a member of the Japanese American community in Chicago, I brought perspectives and legacies of our incarceration and resettlement experiences including my family stories and neighborhood research that my colleagues Dr. Ryan Yokota and Eric Langowski shared with me.
Joy, Derrick, and I offered the first Hyde Park walking tour – focused on the neighborhood's unique role amidst wider histories of racism and resistance in Chicago and in the United States – that year, and continued to do so for a few years annually. Since that time, I have continued to offer the tour seasonally and have now given more than a dozen tours to groups including local congregations, visiting theological education programs, young people on pilgrimages to Chicago, and 4 groups from the University of Chicago's School of Social Service Administration with the support of Dr. Eve Ewing,
Tours can be customized to include or emphasize different information related to the various experiences of communities of color in our neighborhood and city's history. Please email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule or join our email list for upcoming tour dates.