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Upstander Speaker Series

George Takei: Actor, Social Justice Activist, Social Media Influencer

Thursday, February 2, 2017 at 6:30 p.m. at McFarlin Auditorium, SMU

In partnership with SMU's Embrey Human Rights Program, the Dallas Holocaust Museum/Center for Education and Tolerance is thrilled to announce George Takei as the first Upstander Speaker of 2017.

George Takei has captivated audiences for decades with his acting talent as well as his charming and witty personality. Born in Los Angeles, California to Japanese-American parents, Takei speaks openly about his childhood experiences during World War II. At the age of five, he was forced to relocate with his family to internment camps in Arkansas and northern California.

Takei recalls being transported by train with his parents and siblings to an internment camp in Arkansas. The image of families waving from behind barbed wire fences, greeting them at the camp entrance, is forever etched in his mind. His childhood innocence protected him from the dark, humiliating reality his parents bore in silence; he dutifully stood with his classmates every morning and recited the Pledge of Allegiance from a guarded classroom where liberty for all was not the case.

His family returned to Los Angeles after the war. As he grew up, Takei researched the impact of the internment camps and began to understand their devastating effects on Japanese-American adults during that time. He later testified to Congress during their public hearings on the camps and sought an apology for the incarcerations.

Inspired as a teenager by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Takei took part in the Civil Rights movement and still fights for equality and justice in a better informed American democracy. Breaking through racial barriers, Takei found success as an actor and reached peak science-fiction fandom for his iconic role as Lieutenant Sulu in the Star Trek television series and movies. He continues to act on stage and screen and fervently advocates for LGBTQ rights.

George Takei will speak about his experiences at the Upstander Speaker Series event on Thursday, February 2, 2017, at McFarlin Auditorium, SMU. Tickets available through $25 General Admission; FREE for Members.

Supported By: The Dallas Morning News

Event Sponsors: Liz and Tom Halsey

Community Partners: Orchid Giving Circle

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