Sue Kunitomi Embrey (1923-2006), who was incarcerated at Manzanar during World War II, dedicated much of her life to the preservation of the site. (Courtesy of Manzanar Committee)

On Oct. 30, the Manzanar Committee, sponsors of the annual Manzanar Pilgrimage and Manzanar At Dusk program, along with the youth education project Katari: Keeping Japanese American Stories Alive, announced their seventh 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 awards program, named after the late chair of the Manzanar Committee who was one of the founders of the annual Manzanar Pilgrimage and was the driving force behind the creation of the Manzanar National Historic Site, 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.

“The Sue Kunitomi Embrey Student Awards Program provides students an opportunity to demonstrate their understanding of social justice issues, both past and present,” said Manzanar Committee member Janet Fujii, co-chair of the awards program. “We hope to empower students to educate themselves and others while considering what actions each person can take to address the continuing struggles for basic human and civil rights facing our communities.”

K-12 students may participate by submitting creative works depicting their understanding of the impact of the World War II American concentration camps, the efforts of the 100th Battalion/442nd Regimental Combat Team, the Japanese American draft resisters, or their awareness of today’s climate of racial profiling, racism, immigration issues,and social justice concerns, whether it be a written product (essay, short story, poetry), a visual arts product (painting, drawing, collage, poster, etc.), or a technology-based product (podcast, public service announcement, movie, video, recordings, etc.).

Winning entrants will receive up to $100, and their work will be recognized during the Manzanar Pilgrimage, and may be published in the pilgrimage program, on the Manzanar Committee’s website (, in the Sue Kunitomi Embrey Student Awards printed program, and in the Manzanar Committee’s newsletter, the Manzanar Messenger. The Manzanar Committee will determine the final award amounts.

The deadline for submissions is Feb. 28, 2022. Winners will be contacted shortly after that date.

Program information and application forms can be downloaded at:

For more information, email or call (323) 662-5102.

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