After he was expelled from college for "inciting a riot" while fighting for African Americans' civil rights and protesting the Vietnam War, Warren Furutani decided it was time to galvanize a Japanese American community that had experienced mass incarceration two decades earlier.

Just 22 years old at the time of his first pilgrimage to the Manzanar internment camp site in 1969, Furutani, now 71, said recently from his home in Gardena, California, "As Japanese Americans and Asian Americans, we were looking for an issue that would bring people together around civil rights or human rights."

On April 27, Furutani took part in the 50th pilgrimage to Manzanar, where an annual interfaith service pays homage to the 10,000 Japanese Americans who were forcibly taken to the site.