Satsuki Ina

Honorary Degrees

San Francisco State University

Writer, activist and psychotherapist, Satsuki Ina has spent her professional career seeking to understand the long-term impact of collective and historic trauma. She was born in the Tule Lake Segregation, a maximum-security American concentration camp during World War II. She is professor emeritus at California State University, Sacramento. She currently provides consultation to organizations and communities addressing collective and intergenerational trauma. She is co-organizer of Tsuru for Solidarity, a grassroots coalition formed to protest current policies that echo and reverberate the racism and hate so resonant of the historical Japanese American incarceration. She has produced two documentary films, “Children of the Camps" and “From A Silk Cocoon".

In 2019, Tsuru for Solidarity organized a pilgrimage of Japanese American incarceration camp survivors to Texas to protest the incarceration camps being used to imprison children separated from their parents—asylum seekers crossing the U.S.-Mexico border. Since then Tsuru for Solidarity is working to end detention sites and support immigrant and refugee communities. The goal of Tsuru for Solidarity is: to educate, advocate and protest to close incarceration camps; to build solidarity with other communities of color that have experienced forced removal, detention, deportation, separation of families and other forms of racial and state violence; and to coordinate intergenerational, cross-community healing circles addressing the trauma of our shared histories.

Ms. Ina has said of her early life: “When I was a year old, my father was taken from us and held in a separate prison in North Dakota. Finally reunited after four-and-a-half years of prison life, we were leaving the Crystal City, Texas, Family Internment Camp by train on July 9, 1946. Our destination held an uncertain promise. I had only known life surrounded by guard towers and barbed wire fences."

In recognition of her resilience, passion and dedication for educating communities on the lasting effects of trauma, the Board of Trustees of the California State University and San Francisco State University are proud to confer upon Satsuki Ina  the degree of Doctor of Humane Letters.