The Kindness of Color: A Fundamental Story in California’s History of Segregation and Desegregation
with author Janice Munemitsu

Joined by a panel from the Orange County Department of Education
Special Welcome by Dr. Al Mijares, Ora​nge County Superintendent of Schools

Wednesday, March 9, 2022 at 2:30 - 4:00pm via Zoom

VIRTUAL CONVERSATION: The Kindness of Color is a new book about the true story of two immigrant families, their struggle against racism in the 1940s Southern California, and the kindnesses that helped them toward a brighter future. The Munemitsu family endured the unjust incarceration of the Japanese Americans during WWII while the Mendez family and many others were denied equal access to public school education because of their last name and color of their skin. Unexpectedly, the Munemitsu and Mendez stories intersected on the path to desegregating public schools in Orange County and across California, ultimately helping to pave the way for the 1947 landmark federal court case Mendez, et al. v. Westminster and the desegregation of California public schools, seven years before 1954 Brown v. Board of Education. In The Kindness of Color, Janice tells the true story of her family and the Mendez family, focusing on the power of collaboration and kindness in the midst of adversity and racism. She reflects on how we can work toward greater unity and collaboration in our diverse multi-racial and multi-cultural communities.

Following Ms. Munemitsu’s presentation she will be joined by Dennis Cole, Director of District Partnerships and Operations, ACCESS, OCDE, and Dr. Jeff Hittenberger, Professor of Education, Graduate Education Program, Vanguard University to engage us in a discussion on how they have applied this story in Orange County schools and their insights and guidance for all California educators.

Participants will receive a signed copy of the book in the mail. It is recommended for grade 9 level readers and up.

Janice Munemitsu is a third-generation Japanese American Sansei. A native of Orange County, California, Janice worked on the family farm from age five through high school. She is a graduate of the University of Southern California and Biola University. After a corporate career serving as Vice President, Consumer Brands at ConAgra Foods, Janice currently is a spiritual director in private practice and participates on a number of non-profit boards. The Kindness of Color is her first book.