Japanese American Citizens League, Livingston/Merced Chapter
Striving to educate the community of Merced, the Japanese American Citizens League plans to construct a memorial that commemorates the city's history of Japanese American internment at the Merced Assembly Center. During the summer of 1942, the Merced Assembly Center housed 4,660 Japanese American internees. However, the local community of Merced remains almost unaware of this site's historical significance. In remembrance of the past and to stir public awareness, JACL will construct the memorial at the Merced County Fairgrounds, the former site of the Merced Assembly Center. The memorial will include five interpretive storyboards. Each storyboard will trace the Japanese American experience of internment through the incorporation of images into a narrative. With many of the local Nisei nearing their 80s and 90s, the JACL recognizes the urgency in documenting their experiences. That is why the JACL will develop a documentary based on the internment of Japanese Americans at the Merced Assembly Center in conjunction with the memorial. The documentary will blend interviews from Nisei internees and local community members in an effort to preserve their memories. This documentary will be made available to teachers through DVDs and the website for the County Office of Education. To aid in the design, fabrication and installation of the five storyboards, and the development of the documentary, this project was awarded $25,000.
Kara Miyagishima, JACS Program Manager, 303-969-2885