PACOIMA — The JACL Pacific Southwest District’s first-ever multigenerational oral history program will start Thursday, June 14, at 6 p.m. at the San Fernando Japanese American Community Center, 12953 Branford St, Pacoima.

Katarou Histories is a program designed to engage Nikkei youth (ages 15-21) and adults in the preservation of Japanese American history in the San Fernando Valley through the sharing of personal stories. Katarou (語ろう) means “let’s share stories” in Japanese and this is the primary purpose — to tell our stories for our communities across generations.

Through a series of interactive sessions, youth and adult participants will gain an understanding of identity and community and the importance of preserving the oral histories of the Japanese American community. As the torch is passed from the Nisei and Sansei generation to the Yonsei and Gosei, it becomes even more critical for youth to become invested in the community.

Changes being made to the community now will effect these generations and their children for years to come. During workshops, the younger participants will have a chance to connect with the older generation on a one-on-one level and learn how to preserve stories.

For their final project, the participants will have the opportunity to create an oral history video/multimedia project that will connect each individual project onto a larger Japanese American narrative.

With the exception of a mid-session retreat on July 14-15, the sessions will be held Thursday nights from 6 to 9:30 p.m. on June 14, 21, 28; July 12, 19, 26; and Aug. 2, 9, 16. The culmination will be on Aug. 23.

For more information, call (213) 626-4471, email or visit Apply here:

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