Geri Handa

Geri Handa was born in San Jose, California, in 1948, and studied in the early 1970s at the School of Social Welfare at the University of California, Los Angeles, with a focus on community organizing and social services for seniors. She joined Asians for Community Actions in San Jose and worked at Keiro Nursing Home in Los Angeles while she was still attending the school. In the early 1980s, Handa became involved with Friends of Hibakusha, a group created in support of US survivors of the atomic bombings. Since then, she has been one of the most active members of the organization. A Sansei, Handa has worked with Sansei lawyers and attorneys who took interest in US hibakusha from civil rights viewpoints, including Donald K. Tamaki whose oral history is part of this collection. She has worked with representatives of the Asian Law Alliances, the Asian Law Caucus, and the Japanese American Citizens League, in order to secure US government's recognition of US survivors. Although their effort ultimately failed, Handa says that it is "remarkable" that US survivors gained recognition and support for treating their radiation illnesses from the Japanese government. She has been a key organizer of the medical checkups conducted by Japanese physicians in San Francisco every other year since 1977. Throughout the interview, Handa emphasizes the importance of community engagement, multiculturalism, and lasting connections made through her work for US hibakusha.


Geri Handa Interview — ddr-densho-1021-2
20-Jul-11. San Francisco, California.
1:20:21 — 18 segments.
Geri Handa