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Turning Tragedy into Compassion: A Parent's Story

March 5th, 2009

On March 12, Hartnell College welcomes back Al and Jane Nakatani, a Japanese-American couple who survived the tragic and heart-wrenching deaths of their three sons. Their mission now is to devote their lives to being agents of social change.

The Nakatanis will tell their story in two different public presentations on Thursday, March 12: one at 9:30 a.m. in room 125 of the Performing Arts building, and one at 6 p.m. in Steinbeck Hall of the College Center on Hartnell’s main campus at 411 Central Avenue in Salinas. Both 90-minute presentations are free and open to the public.

The Nakatanis’ story has been told in Molly Fumia’s book Honor Thy Children. They have made hundreds of appearances throughout the country, telling how prejudice, discrimination, and ignorance lead to human denigration. Their personal account of losing two sons to AIDS and one to random violence inspires their listeners to accept human diversity and greet others with love and acceptance.

Both the book and a DVD of the same title are available in the Hartnell College Library.

For more information, please contact Dr. Yoshiko Matsushita-Arao, Hartnell psychology instructor, at 831-755-6781 or yarao@hartnell.edu.