Winners of the fifth annual Manzanar Committee Student Awards Program. (Photo by Jason Fujii/Manzanar Committee)

On Feb. 15, the Manzanar Committee announced its sixth annual Sue Kunitomi Embrey Student Awards Program, a creative works program in which K-12 students may submit essays, short stories, poetry, works of art, including drawings, collages, posters, and works involving technology, including animation, podcasts, movies, or videos.

The program, which was previously known as the Manzanar Committee Student Awards Program, was renamed for Sue Kunitomi Embrey, a founding member of the Manzanar Committee who was an educator, community activist, labor union organizer, and writer. She also fought tirelessly to establish Manzanar as a National Historic Site, and was instrumental in organizing the annual Manzanar Pilgrimage (now in its 52nd year) to ensure that this dark chapter of American history is never forgotten.

“Sue’s life demonstrated how a principled person of vision can impact the world,” said Manzanar Committee Co-Chair Jenny Chomori. “She is a fitting inspiration for the young students who will participate in the program.”

The program recognizes students who demonstrate an understanding of the guiding principles of social justice in today’s society. The program honors the accomplishments and insights the student has applied to his/her life. Winning entrants will receive up to $100, and their work may be published in the pilgrimage program and on the Manzanar Committee’s official website. The Manzanar Committee will determine the final award amounts.

Categories for submissions include essay, short prose genres, poetry, art, and technology.

The Manzanar Committee stressed that all students are encouraged to participate, despite perceived obstacles.

“We are available to assist all students who are interested in participating in the written, visual arts, or media/electronics categories,” said Manzanar Committee member Janet Fujii. “We are also available to meet with any teacher or community member who wants to support a participating K-12 student. There are many resources available, and we encourage all K-12 students to participate.”

The deadline for entries is May 10. Application forms and further information can be downloaded at:

For more information, send email to

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