By, Yuka Ogino
The JACL Pacific Southwest District, Nikkei for Civil Rights & Redress, and the Greater Los Angeles Office of the Council of on American-Islamic Relations saw the parallels between these two communities and created a program to engage the youth of these two communities in an effort to foster leadership development and activism to sustain solidarity against injustice.
Bridging Communities was thus created in 2009 and has inspired many Japanese American and American Muslim youth to take active roles in their communities. Now in our third year, Bridging Communities is being launched in Seattle and San Francisco due to grant support from the National Park Service.
In Bridging Communities 2011, we will continue engaging students in interactive sessions that address intersections of identity, culture/religion, activism, and history. To enhance their learning, we will be visiting various sites such as a mosque, and take a one night two day trip to Manzanar internment camp, where we will participate in service learning with the National Park Service. For the first time, we are running an alumni portion where past participants will come back and delve deeper into themes presented to them in Bridging Communities, aid in the development of the current Bridging Communities participants, and utilize new concepts to create a final project.
The program will run from February to May with sessions on: February 19, March 5, April 9, April 30-May 1, and May 21. We are looking forward to new participants, experiences, and ideas.
Do you think inter-cultural collaboration is the best way to reach a more just society? What are other ways that you and your communities can do their part
Check out our website for more information.