Densho eNews - January

From the Director: Tom Ikeda

Happy New Year! After clearing the holiday fog from my brain, it is an awakening experience to think about Densho's upcoming milestones in 2014. For example, in February we are at Angel Island conducting our 16th and final teacher workshop for a two-year National Park Service grant. This project allowed us to create and conduct all-day workshops with over 600 teachers from 24 different states -- the largest ever teacher training effort about the WWII Japanese American incarceration experience. Later in April we launch a bigger and more advanced digital collection of historic photographs, documents, and newspapers. This updated collection will include over 50,000 images, a big step up from our current 12,000 online collection, and feature better search and social media sharing capabilities. And in the summer we launch version 2.0 of the Densho Encyclopedia which will include over 1,000 online articles, creating the most up-to-date, comprehensive resource on the World War II Japanese American experience. Behind the scenes, we will be designing and creating new multimedia online courses about the WWII Japanese American experience, digitizing another 100,000 historic photographs and documents, and conducting and digitizing 60 more oral history interviews add to the 770 interviews already available online. 2014 will be a busy year for Densho's staff of 10!

We are inspired to work with urgency because as we create more online materials, we immediately see more people, especially youth, learning and understanding the injustice of what happened to Japanese Americans during World War II. Densho's goal is to keep this story alive so similar mistakes are not made in the future. Our simple strategy is to create compelling, accurate content on the internet and to help millions of people find and use this information.

Your support helps us this work. Donations from individuals increased 43% from $195,151 in 2012 to $278,353 in 2013. This increase in giving fueled a 42% increase in our programs work over the last two years. In other words, your donation translates into us doing more. If you like what Densho is doing and didn't make a donation in 2013, please consider an online donation today. Your donation will be put to use right away to add another oral history interview, digitize a historic newspaper edition, train a teacher, add an encyclopedia article, or create an online education course. Once this work is done, it will last for generations to come. And please send me a note at [email protected] when you make your donation. Your gift is a personal acknowledgement of the work we do and I want to thank you!

Archive Spotlight

Michiko Frances Chikahisa: Addressing Social Issues in the Japanese American Community After the War

Michiko Frances Chikahisa was a social worker in Los Angeles and Chicago directly after World War II. In this clip, she talks about the types of problems she observed among Japanese American youths and their parents upon returning home after the war. Michiko Frances Chikahisa's full interview is available in the Densho Digital Archive.

>> View the interview excerpt
>> Register for the free Densho Digital Archive

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Densho News

Angel Island Teacher Workshop - February 15th

This is the last of a series of 16 workshops conducted over the last 18 months. The ratings for these workshops have been excellent, receiving an average score of 4.9 out of 5 with the 570 teachers who have participated.

  • Angel Island - Feb 15th in partnership with Angel Island State Park

This workshop will examine how to use primary source materials to develop analysis and reasoning skills. The workshop is designed around thinking routines and content about the World War II incarceration of Japanese Americans. Funding for the workshop is provided, in part, by a grant from the Department of the Interior, National Park Service, Japanese American Confinement Sites Grant Program.

>> For more information or to register for the workshop

Volunteer Opportunity

Densho is looking for one or two volunteers to help with a mailing project in the next couple of weeks. The project involves packaging a large number of books and DVDs for shipping. The project will take one to two days, and volunteering must be done during regular business hours on a weekday. If you are interested, please contact Naoko Magasis ([email protected]) for more information.

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Community News and Events

Halt Solar Energy Facility next to Manzanar

The Manzanar Committee launched an online petition drive calling on the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) to halt its efforts to build a proposed Southern Owens Valley Solar Ranch, a 200-megawatt solar energy generating facility that would consist of solar photovoltaic panel modules and associated infrastructure. The approximately 1,200-acre project site would be located on City of Los Angeles-owned property east of the Owens River, but in a direct line of sight with the Manzanar National Historic Site, which lies to the immediate west, in California's Owens Valley.

>> For more information

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