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Japanese American National Museum to Host Smithsonian’s National Youth Summit on Japanese American Incarceration in World War II

Students will connect past events with present-day issues

Los Angeles

The Japanese American National Museum will host the “National Youth Summit on Japanese American Incarceration in World War II,” an online outreach program organized by the museum in partnership with the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History. The event will take place at JANM, a Smithsonian Affiliate, on Tuesday, May 17, 2016, at 10 a.m. (PDT) and will link middle and high schools students from across the country in a webcast centered on the Japanese American incarceration and its lessons for today.

President Franklin Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066 in 1942, leading to the imprisonment of Americans of Japanese ancestry. The three-page document changed the course of history for a segment of Americans and denied them their constitutional rights. Almost 120,000 Japanese Americans, two-thirds of them U.S. citizens, were forced out of their homes and into concentration camps established by the U.S. government. Many would spend the next three years living under armed guard, behind barbed wire.

Students participating in the National Youth Summit webcast will talk with a panel of experts including Karen Korematsu, founder and executive director of the Fred T. Korematsu Institute; Lorraine Bannai, director of the Fred T. Korematsu Center for Law and Equality at Seattle University School of Law; Hussam Ayloush, executive director of the Los Angeles office of the Council on American Islamic Relations; Bill Shishima, a camp survivor who now serves as a docent at JANM; and Mariko Fujimoto Rooks, a mixed race high school student and Japanese American community activist. David Ono, co-anchor of ABC7 Eyewitness News, will moderate the panel discussion and Lily Anne Welty Tamai, curator of history at JANM, will moderate a live online chat room for the event from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. (PDT).

The students who will be present at JANM for the discussion in its Tateuchi Democracy Forum will be from Santa Monica High School and the Academy of Medical Arts at Carson Complex.

The National Youth Summit was designed by the National Museum of American History to provide students with an opportunity to share their views and debate an issue, and the program aligns with the Common Core Standards for Speaking and Listening. Panelists and the audience will explore the history of Japanese American incarceration and will consider how fear and prejudice can upset the delicate balance between the rights of citizens and the power of the state. Questions such as what was Japanese American incarceration, could it happen again, and what responsibilities do individuals have to uphold the rights of others will be discussed. The program will also focus on the role of young people in shaping America’s past and future. Classroom teachers and other participants will receive a conversation kit, designed to provide ideas for leading discussions in age-appropriate ways. Interested teachers can visit to register for the webcast and find more information.

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About the Japanese American National Museum (JANM)

Established in 1985, the Japanese American National Museum promotes understanding and appreciation of America’s ethnic and cultural diversity by sharing the Japanese American experience. Located in the historic Little Tokyo district of downtown Los Angeles, JANM is a hybrid institution that straddles traditional museum categories and strives to provide a voice for Japanese Americans as well as a forum that enables all people to explore their own heritage and culture. Since opening to the public, JANM has presented over 70 exhibitions onsite and traveled 17 of its exhibitions to locations around the world, including the Smithsonian Institution and the Ellis Island Museum in the United States, and several leading cultural museums in Japan and South America.

JANM is located at 100 N. Central Ave., Los Angeles. Museum hours are Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Thursday from noon to 8 p.m. General admission is $9 adults, $5 students and seniors, free for members and children under age five. Admission is free to everyone on Thursdays from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. and every third Thursday of the month from noon to 8 p.m. General admission prices and free admission times may not apply to specially ticketed exhibitions. Closed Monday, 4th of July, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day. For more information visit or call 213.625.0414.

About Smithsonian Affiliations

Established in 1996, Smithsonian Affiliations is a national outreach program that develops long-term collaborative partnerships with museums, educational, and cultural organizations to enrich communities with Smithsonian resources. The long-term goal of Smithsonian Affiliations is to facilitate a two-way relationship among Affiliate organizations and the Smithsonian Institution to increase discovery and inspire lifelong learning in communities across America. More information about the Smithsonian Affiliations program and Affiliate activity is available at

About the National Museum of American History

Through incomparable collections, rigorous research and dynamic public outreach, the National Museum of American History explores the infinite richness and complexity of American history. We help people understand the past in order to make sense of the present and shape a more humane future. For more information, visit The museum is located at 14th Street and Constitution Avenue N.W., and is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. (closed Dec. 25). Admission is free. For Smithsonian information, the public may call 202.633.1000.



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