Japanese Americans in front of poster with incarceration orders. • Photo courtesy of the U.S. Department of the Interior

The National Park Service has announced $1.2 million in grants to preserve and interpret World War II Japanese American Confinement Sites. This second round of grants is in addition to $1.6 million awarded earlier this year for a total of $2.8 million.

Japanese American Confinement Sites grants are awarded to outstanding organizations and entities working to preserve the history of U.S. Confinement Sites where Japanese Americans were incarcerated following the December 7, 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor by Japan. The grants will fund a variety of protects aimed to tell this important story through creative means.

The National Park Service has granted $452,582 to Densho for two of the organization’s projects, “Making Connections with the Japanese American Incarceration II: The Online Teacher Course” and “Sites of Shame – A Comprehensive Online Resource of the Confinement Sites.” The Wing Luke Memorial Foundation and Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience will receive $148,764 for the foundation’s project, “Inspiring Future Generations: Friends and Supporters Who Helped Those Incarcerated”.

According to grant recipient project summaries, Densho’s “Making Connections” project entails developing “a six to eight hour online course for teachers that connects the Japanese American World War II incarceration history with both stories of discrimination faced by other groups during World War II and similar issues that are relevant today.”

Densho’s “Sites of Shame” project consists of making “significant updates to its 2005 Sites of Shame website, which connects online content related to all of the known War Relocation Authority, Department of Justice, U.S. Army, and Wartime Civil Control Administration sites,” along with links to other online resources.

For their “Inspiring Future Generations” project, the Wing Luke – in partnership with the Seattle Nisei Veterans Committee Foundation –  “will produce a third graphic novel aimed at familiarizing middle and high school students with personal stories and critical issues arising from the Japanese American confinement. The graphic novel will feature stories of individuals outside of the Japanese American community who spoke out against incarceration, directly assisted Japanese American incarcerees, or provided assistance and comfort following incarceration.”

For more details about these grants and the program, visit https://www.nps.gov/JACS/projects.html

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