NASW Foundation National Programs
NASW Social Work Pioneers®
Yuriko Domoto Tsukada (1915 - 2004)
Yuriko Domoto Tsukada provided professional social work assistance to many of the 120,000 Japanese American families and children who were evacuated and interned as a result of Executive Order 9066. Before the Commission on Wartime Relocation in 1981, many families were suddenly confronted with many difficult psychosocial problems which they had been able to handle prior to the order in their own communities and families. She provided support for families dealing with separation, providing for special needs of children and family members and comforting family members on the death of loved ones at Amache.
Her testimony to the Commission on Wartime Relocation and Internment of Civilians provided documentation on the hardships that Japanese American families had experienced as a result of the relocation. Her report, along with those of more than 750 witnesses, contributed significant knowledge and evidence that resulted in Congressional action signed by President Reagan that not only formally apologized for the United States’ actions committed against Japanese American citizens between 1942 and 1945, but also resulted in the historic reparations paid to each of the survivors of the internment.
Tsukada received her MSW from Simmons College. She established the first Emergency Room Rape Crisis Program in the early 1970’s in New York state at Jacobi Hospital in the Bronx. Later, she was Director of Services for Abused and Sexually Assaulted, Department of Social Work, at Bronx Municipal Hospital Center. She created ground breaking protocol for providing social work services to victims of rape and sexual assault that became a model for subsequent rape crisis/trauma care programs.