Densho and GFBNEC Hold Fundraisers

Densho and GFBNEC Hold Fundraisers

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Photo of World War II Nisei veterans of the 100th Infantry Battalion, 442nd

Byrnes Yamashita
Special to The Hawai‘i Herald

I recently attended fundraising events for two national organizations that have been documenting and memorializing the Japanese American experience, with a strong emphasis on World War II. The objective of both these organizations — Denshö, based in Seattle, Wash., and the Go For Broke National Education Center, headquartered in Los Angeles — is to make the Japanese American story relevant and accessible to modern-day America.

Photo of NEC board chair Bill Seki (left) and interim executive director Dr. Mitch Maki present the organization’s “Defining Courage Award” to former U.S. Transportation (and Commerce) Secretary Norman Mineta

Go For Broke NEC board chair Bill Seki (left) and interim executive director Dr. Mitch Maki present the organization’s “Defining Courage Award” to former U.S. Transportation (and Commerce) Secretary Norman Mineta. (Photo courtesy of GFBNEC)

Denshö celebrated its 20th anniversary with a gala at the Sheraton Seattle Downtown Hotel on Sept. 24. The city’s Japanese American community turned out to support Denshö, which has been preserving, documenting and sharing stories and information about the Japanese American internment experience, primarily online, to ensure that what happened in 1942 never happens again to any ethnic, racial or religious group.

Denshö executive director Tom Ikeda recalled the early ideas behind the nonprofit organization and its evolution into a nationally recognized reference source for researchers and an educational resource for teachers and scholars.

Denshö recently completed its 900th internee oral history and has published over 1,000 educational articles on various aspects of Japanese American history. It has also received several national awards for its website, Denshö.org

In addition to its award-winning website, Denshö also created an online educational program that is presently being used to teach both high school- and college-level students about the World War II internment camps and about the civil rights violations that occurred during that period.

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