6/08: Social worker Yasuko Sakamoto and Bill Watanabe to be honored with UCLA Social Welfare Alumni award

Social worker Yasuko Sakamoto, left, and Bill Watanabe

UCLA Department of Luskin Social Welfare will hold a reception and short program to celebrate two trailblazing alumni, Yasuko Sakamoto and Bill Watanabe for the 2024 Joseph A. Nunn Social Welfare Alumni of the Year at the Terasaki Budokan in Little Tokyo on Saturday, June 8, from 12 noon – 2 p.m.

As two of three original staff members at the Little Tokyo Service Center, Bill Watanabe, MSW ’72, and Yasuko Sakamoto, MSW ’83, worked together for over 32 years to provide linguistically and culturally sensitive social and mental health services, affordable housing and community development to the Japanese American community in Southern California.

Their legacy includes the ongoing work of more than 120 MSW interns, who were guided by their exceptional mentorship and embodiment of social work values and ethics.

UCLA Luskin Social Welfare in honoring the visionary leadership and commitment to social justice demonstrated by Watanabe and Sakamoto, whose impact has been felt nationally, in the Asian American Pacific Islander community and beyond.