Connecting the injustices of the past with similar injustices of the present will be the focus of the 2021 Manzanar At Dusk program, part of annual Manzanar Pilgrimage, which is scheduled from 5 to 8 p.m. (Pacific Time) on Saturday, April 24, live and online via Zoom.
The Manzanar At Dusk program follows the 52nd annual Manzanar Pilgrimage that same day, to be released at noon PT on the Manzanar Committee’s YouTube channel, https://www.youtube.com/manzanarcommittee.
Now in its 23rd year, Manzanar At Dusk is co-sponsored by the Manzanar Committee and the Nikkei Student Unions (NSU) at California Polytechnic University, Pomona, CSU Fullerton, CSU Long Beach, UCLA, UC Riverside, and UC San Diego.
“Manzanar At Dusk is a collaborative effort between the Manzanar Committee and Japanese American college students to continue educating others about the significance of the Japanese American Incarceration experience,” said Wendi Yamashita, Ph.D., assistant professor, Center for the Study of Culture, Race, and Ethnicity, Ithaca College, who serves as co-coordinator of the event. “These students attend a two-day, intensive training and work on this program throughout the school year, despite their busy schedules as college students and organizers. It means a lot to me to be a part of this team and to see our students learn and grow.
“I have always loved Manzanar At Dusk because it allows for meaningful conversations and connections to emerge as we all process together how Japanese American Incarceration has impacted the lives of all Americans, not just Japanese Americans. All of our communities are more connected in our struggles than we realize. Understanding that is so powerful.”
Through a panel and small group discussions, participants will have the opportunity to interact with each other to share 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.
“CSUF NSU decided to help organize Manzanar At Dusk because we know that learning about Japanese American Incarceration can help our members realize how our history can be related to the many problems that other POC (people of color) communities face today,” said Megan Matsumoto, president, CSUF NSU. “Manzanar At Dusk is important for people of all ages to participate in because it really shows that the history of Japanese American incarceration isn’t just history; it’s happening now. Families are still being held in camps, and people are being separated from their families.”
“We believe that it is important for UCLA’s Nikkei Student Union to be a part of Manzanar At Dusk and the Manzanar At Dusk Organizing Committee, as it is so important to continue to remember the history of Japanese American World War II incarceration, and to connect the past to the current moment,” UCLA’s NSU said in a statement. “It allows us to reconnect with the legacy of the Japanese American draft resisters and other organizers in the Japanese American and Asian American communities, and it gives us the blueprint to continue their work of solidarity and community organizing.
“This year, the Katari program gave us a chance to reflect on our identities and experiences as Japanese Americans, and as people of color, in general. We hope that this year’s Manzanar At Dusk program will allow those who attend to do the same and remember their histories so that we can all develop more connections and take action to be a part of the movements that are happening today.”
Further details about the Manzanar At Dusk program, including panelists and other information, will be announced at a later date.
Both the daytime pilgrimage program and the Manzanar At Dusk event are free and open to the public. Registration is required for Manzanar At Dusk. To register, go to: https://forms.gle/x6xwLTU1iH3XJyzy5.
For more information, call (323) 662-5102 or email [email protected].