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

On Dec. 4, the Manzanar Committee announced their eighth 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. It honors the accomplishments and insights the student has applied to his/her life.

“The Sue Kunitomi Embrey Student Awards Program is an opportunity for students to explore and learn about history and events  that are often not taught in schools, such as the unjust incarceration of Japanese Americans in American concentration camps during World War II,” said Janet Fujii of the Manzanar Committee. “As students become more educated about these issues, they begin to see the connections to their own lives. As they make these connections, we hope that they will consider what actions they can take now, and in the future, to address these social justice issues.”

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.

All submissions must be postmarked no later than Feb. 23, 2023. 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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