Manzanar Committee Announces Second Annual Student Awards Program

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The Manzanar Committee on Dec. 18 announced its second annual Manzanar Committee Student Awards Program, a creative works program in which K-12 students may submit essays, short stories, poetry, works of art, including drawings, collages, posters, and works involving technology, including animation, podcasts, movies or videos.

The awards program will recognize students who demonstrate an understanding of their guiding principles of social justice in today’s society. Winning entries will be eligible for prizes up to $100.00, and their works may be presented at the 48th annual Manzanar Pilgrimage on April 29, 2017, and on the committee’s website (www.manzanarcommittee.org) and/or blog (https://blog.manzanarcommittee.org).

“Our mission statement reads, ‘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,’ and the Student Awards Program is one way that we work to fulfill that mission,” said Manzanar Committee Co-Chair Jenny Chomori. “It’s a vehicle for students to demonstrate their understanding of human and civil rights today and to show how they will be able to help educate others on the current issues facing our communities.”

This year’s program expands on the success of last year’s program.

“This year, we are trying to reach out to more schools and students,” said Chomori. “Even with the short timeline last year, I feel that for our first Student Awards Program, it was a success. We did not get a lot of projects — we received quality, not quantity — and the awardees were very informed on the topic of the concentration camps in the United States. Some were shocked to learn about the camps and were able to apply what could possibly happen to them and their families. They also stated how they would go about educating others on the topic. This was very enlightening and inspiring to see students take a stand in their projects.”

Categories for submissions include short prose genres, art, and technology. The deadline for entries is March 31, 2017. Winners will be contacted before this date so that they may make plans, if they so choose, to attend the Manzanar Pilgrimage, where they will be presented with their award.

Entry forms, and further information, including program rules, can be downloaded at: https://blog.manzanarcommittee.org/2016/12/18/studentawards2017

For more information, email studentawardsprg@manzanarcommittee.org or call (323) 662-5102.

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