New York, NY (October 3, 2013) — To kick off Diversity Awareness Month, the national law firm of Epstein Becker Green (EBG) will host a cocktail reception on October 3 to celebrate the collaboration between the National Consortium on Racial and Ethnic Fairness in the Courts (NCREFC) and the Heart Mountain Wyoming Foundation.

This event will preview the NCREFC's 26th Annual Meeting, hosted by the Heart Mountain Wyoming Foundation in June 2014 on the site of the former Heart Mountain Relocation Center and in nearby Cody, Wyoming. The site is a compelling venue for this event as it commemorates the nearly 14,000 people of Japanese ancestry--two thirds of whom were American citizens--who were forcibly relocated during World War II. The Heart Mountain Wyoming Foundation's Interpretive Center educates the public on the wartime incarceration of Japanese Americans and the violation of their civil liberties and civil rights, and addresses the broader issues of race and social justice in America.

During the reception, Epstein Becker Green will recognize Shirley Ann Higuchi, Esq., Chair of the Heart Mountain Wyoming Foundation, with its "Make A Difference" Award for her work in helping to create an interpretive center dedicated to the memory of the former Heart Mountain internees. Ms. Higuchi's parents were among those forcibly removed to Wyoming. Ms. Higuchi serves as the Associate Executive Director of Legal and Regulatory Affairs for the American Psychological Association and is Past President, Treasurer, and Board Member of the District of Columbia Bar. She was the first Asian American President of the D.C. Bar. Prior to joining APA, Ms. Higuchi was a Member of EBG's Health Care and Life Sciences practice in the Washington, D.C., office.

"EBG's Diversity and Professional Development Committee is proud to recognize and honor Shirley with our 'Make A Difference' Award. Her heartfelt commitment and dedication in bringing about awareness of such an important issue, which impacts not only Japanese Americans but all of us in general, exemplifies what the award is all about," said Carrie Valiant, Chair of the Committee.

Higuchi said, "I am honored to receive this award for diversity. As children and American citizens, my parents were imprisoned without cause and without a trial. Both Heart Mountain and the National Consortium are committed to the fair and equal treatment of all individuals in this country."

The cocktail reception will be held on Thursday, October 3, 2013, from 6:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at the Fairmont Hotel, which is located at 2401 M Street, NW, in Washington, D.C. To register for the event, click here.

Other notable guests in attendance at the reception will be Hon. Anna Blackburne-Rigsby, Associate Judge, D.C. Court of Appeals and Board Member and Chair of the 25th Anniversary Conference for NCREFC, and Hon. Edward C. Clifton, Associate Justice, Superior Court of Rhode Island and President of NCREFC.

About Heart Mountain Wyoming Foundation

The Foundation is a non-profit dedicated to preserving the site of the Heart Mountain Relocation Camp and the history of Japanese American incarceration. Its mission is to memorialize the place and events that have come to symbolize the fragility of democracy; educate the public about the history surrounding the tragic and illegal imprisonment of Japanese Americans at Heart Mountain during World War II; and support inquiry and research so that future generations understand the still relevant lessons of the Japanese American incarceration experience. For more information, visit

About National Consortium on Racial and Ethnic Fairness in the Courts

The NCREFC is committed to encouraging the highest courts of each state to create commissions to examine the treatment accorded minorities in their courts; sharing the collective knowledge of task forces and commissions with courts, law enforcement, and the community; and providing technical assistance and expertise to commissions, task forces, and other interested organizations and individuals on the subject of racial and ethnic fairness. For more information, visit

About Epstein Becker Green

Epstein Becker & Green, P.C., founded in 1973, is a national law firm with approximately 275 lawyers practicing in nine offices, in Boston, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, Newark, San Francisco, Stamford, and Washington, D.C. The firm is uncompromising in its pursuit of legal excellence and client service in its areas of practice: Health Care and Life Sciences, Labor and Employment, Litigation, Corporate Services, and Employee Benefits. Epstein Becker Green was founded to serve the health care industry and has been at the forefront of health care legal developments since 1973. The firm is also proud to be a trusted advisor to clients in the financial services, retail, and hospitality industries, among others, representing entities from startups to Fortune 100 companies. Our commitment to these practices and industries reflects the founders' belief in focused proficiency paired with seasoned experience. For more information, visit

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