SAN FRANCISCO — The Japanese American Citizens League (JACL), in collaboration with the San Francisco Bay Area Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and the Tule Lake Committee, will be sponsoring a program whose goal is to bridge communities and build partnerships of understanding.

Participants in a previous “Bridging Communities” program. (JACL photo)

Titled “Bridging Communities: Preserving the Legacy,” the program is funded by the National Park Service Japanese American Confinement Sites (JACS) Grant Program.

The program is designed to educate and empower Japanese American, American Muslim and other high school youth through a narrative workshop on May 25, and a four-day, intensive leadership summit at the Tule Lake concentration camp site from June 10 to13. The 2013 program is being dedicated to the memory of local community philanthropist Sadako Ishizaki.

The program will feature reflective and skills-building workshops, as well as a collaborative service learning project with the National Park Service at Tule Lake. Through interactive workshops, participants will engage in a variety of topics such as intersections of identity, American Muslim and Japanese American history, civil rights and activism. A culmination will follow, where participants will share their interpretations of the camps, as seen through the eyes of their generation.

Now entering its second year in the San Francisco Bay Area, “Bridging Communities: Preserving the Legacy” arose from the realization that post-9/11, American Muslims faced discrimination and hostilities similar to that experienced by Japanese Americans during World War II. The program is designed for youth to learn about the strengths and differences between the Japanese American and American Muslim communities so that a sense of compassion and future solidarity persists and history is not forgotten.

The program is open to Bay Area high school students of all ethnic and religious backgrounds. Applications are now available, and are due by Friday, April 19. Completed applications should be sent to Bridging Communities Sadako Ishizaki Intern Jess Kyo at There is a $100 registration fee upon acceptance into the program (need-based scholarships are available upon request).

For more information and applications, visit, or contact Jess Kyo via email or JACL Regional Director Patty Wada at (415) 345-1075.

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