LOS ANGELES — Sharing stories and experiences from the unjust incarceration of Japanese Americans in concentration camps during World War II and connecting this history to present-day issues will be the focus of the 2018 Manzanar At Dusk program, sponsored by the Manzanar Committee, scheduled from 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM on Saturday, April 28, 2018, at the Lone Pine High School gymnasium, located at 538 South Main Street (U.S. Highway 395), in Lone Pine, California, across the street from McDonald’s (see map below).
The Manzanar At Dusk program follows the 49th Annual Manzanar Pilgrimage that same day, at the Manzanar National Historic Site, between the towns of Lone Pine and Independence, approximately 230 miles north of Los Angeles (see map below).
A performance by UCLA Kyodo Taiko will open the Pilgrimage at 11:30 AM PDT, while the main portion of the program starts at 12:00 PM.
Now in its 21st year, Manzanar At Dusk is co-sponsored by the Nikkei Student Unions at California State University, Long Beach, California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, the University of California, Los Angeles, and the University of California, San Diego.
Through a creative presentation, small group discussions, and an open mic session, participants will have the opportunity to interact with former incarcerees in attendance and others to hear their personal stories. Participants will also be able to share their own experiences and discuss the relevance of the Japanese American Incarceration experience to present-day issues.
This year’s Manzanar Pilgrimage will commemorate the 30th anniversary of the Civil Liberties Act of 1988, the legislation that provided redress and reparations, along with a formal apology to surviving Japanese and Japanese Americans (or their immediate families) for their unjust incarceration during World War II. In that same spirit, the Manzanar At Dusk program will also look at this important anniversary with an opening panel discussion about the redress and reparations movement and its significance, given the current political climate.
“Our theme is the redress and reparations movement,” said Juli Yoshinaga, President of the CSULB Nikkei Student Union. “Japanese Americans fought to get reparations and justice for being imprisoned during the war. We want to teach and discuss more about this topic, as well as the Japanese Latin Americans fight for redress that isn’t nearly as well-known.”
“This year will be my fourth year attending the Manzanar Pilgrimage,” added Yoshinaga. “Manzanar At Dusk teaches participants about the Japanese/Japanese American incarcerees’ narrative and how it relates to current-day marginalization. At Manzanar At Dusk, we strive to learn more about one another’s backgrounds and stories to create a safe community for all. I hope everyone takes something valuable away from Manzanar At Dusk, whether it’s a better understanding of what happened in our history, learning more about other people’s experiences, or supporting others if there are injustices they’ve experienced.”
“Manzanar At Dusk is a time for the community to collectively reflect on their experience being a part of the Pilgrimage, as well as take time to talk about the American History they just learned,” said Lauren Matsumoto of the UCSD Nikkei Student Union. “For the Japanese American community, it is a time to share memories and stories, whether they are from former incarcerees or the children, grandchildren, or even great-grandchildren who have been greatly affected by this history. I believe it is important that we take the time to have these conservations in order to prevent history from repeating itself and becoming better allies for our communities.”
Manzanar At Dusk Co-Coordinator Wendi Yamashita noted the importance of working with college students as co-sponsors of the program.
“Manzanar At Dusk is a really important part of the Manzanar Pilgrimage weekend that fosters a collaborative working relationship between the Manzanar Committee and Japanese American college students,” she said. “This year, we had the opportunity to launch our pilot project, Keeping Japanese American Incarceration Stories Alive, where we got to take these student leaders to Manzanar for a two-day, intensive training. As a group, [students, Manzanar Committee members, and National Parks Service staff], we learned so much together and grew as a team. These students are now better equipped to help teach others about this important history and I’m so excited for the program our students have been working on.”
“Manzanar At Dusk is my favorite part of the Pilgrimage weekend,” added Yamashita. “The small group discussions allow participants to process everything they have learned and seen throughout the day and think about it in relation to their own lives.”
Both the daytime Pilgrimage program and the Manzanar At Dusk event are free and open to the public. For more information, call (323) 662-5102 or send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Manzanar Committee is dedicated to educating and raising public awareness about the incarceration and violation of civil rights of persons of Japanese ancestry during World War II and to the continuing struggle of all peoples when Constitutional rights are in danger. A non-profit organization that has sponsored the annual Manzanar Pilgrimage since 1969, along with other educational programs, the Manzanar Committee has also played a key role in the establishment and continued development of the Manzanar National Historic Site. For more information, check out our web site at https://manzanarcommittee.org, call us at (323) 662-5102, and e-mail us at email@example.com. You can also follow the Manzanar Commitee on Facebook, on Twitter at @manzanarcomm, on Instagram at @manzanarcommittee, on Pinterest and on YouTube.
LEAD PHOTO: One of the small group discussions during the 2017 Manzanar At Dusk program Photo: Gann Matsuda/Manzanar Committee.
Lone Pine High School via Google Maps
Manzanar National Historic Site via Google Maps
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