StoryCorps Chicago: “Our Liberation Is Bound With Each Others’ ”

Lisa Doi and Mary Doi.
Lisa Doi, left, and her mother, Mary Doi. Courtesy of Mary Doi
Lisa Doi and Mary Doi.
Lisa Doi, left, and her mother, Mary Doi. Courtesy of Mary Doi

StoryCorps Chicago: “Our Liberation Is Bound With Each Others’ ”

For more than a thousand years, the crane has been a symbol in Japanese culture. In 2019, a group of social justice activists started using the Japanese word for crane, Tsuru, as part of their organizing strategy.

Tsuru for Solidarity is a group working to end immigrant detention in the United States. Mary Doi lives in Evanston. Both sets of her grandparents were incarcerated by the U.S. during WWII. She says recent immigration policies that separate parents from their children feel reminiscent of the way her parents and grandparents were treated. Her daughter, 29-year old Lisa Doi, is a Chicago-based organizer with Tsuru for Solidarity.

Recently they spoke as part of our StoryCorps series about the folding of paper origami cranes and what the symbol means to them.

Paper cranes hang outside Cook County Jail
In June 2020, Tsuru for Solidarity hung paper cranes outside Cook County Jail to protest mass incarceration and police brutality towards black and brown people. Katherine Nagasawa / WBEZ

This interview was facilitated by StoryCorps Chicago’s Rocio Santos.

Bill Healy produces StoryCorps Chicago for WBEZ and teaches journalism at Northwestern University. Follow him @chicagoan.

The interview was recorded as part of a partnership between StoryCorps and the Chicago Cultural Alliance.