A Gardena resident, Nishio has been fighting for the rights of Asians and Asian Americans for five decades – experiencing racism his entire life.
He began to understand that the internment camps 120,000 Japanese Americans were sent to were prisons in 1966 as a senior college.
That silence was part of what the Nisei, or second generation Japanese Americans, came to be known for – choosing to persevere with quiet strength.
And speaking limited English as a Kibei – second generation Japanese American educated in Japan – he joined thousands of other Japanese American men coming out of camps and became a gardener.
He formerly served as the Associate Vice President for Student Services at California State University, Long Beach (CSULB) and taught in the Department of Asian and Asian American Studies, and was a founding staff member of the UCLA Asian American Studies Center.