On March 17, the Manzanar Committee announced that Manjusha Kulkarni and Dr. Arthur A. Hansen will be among the featured speakers at the 54th annual Manzanar Pilgrimage, which will be held live and in-person, conditions permitting, at the Manzanar National Historic Site on Saturday, April 29, at 12 p.m.
The committee also announced that bus transportation to the pilgrimage will be available from Los Angeles.
Kulkarni is the executive director of the AAPI Equity Alliance and a co-founder of Stop AAPI Hate. Hansen, one of the leading scholars documenting and researching Manzanar and the Japanese American incarceration, is the author of a new book, “Manzanar Mosaic: Essays and Oral Histories on America’s First World War II Japanese American Concentration Camp.”
Also featured will be Brenda Ling, superintendent of Manzanar National Historic Site, and James Matsuoka, son of Jim Matsuoka.
“Our Legacy: Generational Struggles For Democracy” is the theme for this year’s Pilgrimage, which will be dedicated to the late Jim Matsuoka of Nikkei for Civil Rights and Redress and the late Rev. Alfred Tsuyuki of Konko Church of Los Angeles.
“Our 54th pilgrimage is being held nearly 78 years after Manzanar was shuttered,” said Manzanar Committee Co-Chair Bruce Embrey. “Yet many of the challenges and issues our community faced remain with us today. We continue to fight for democracy and talk about equality and racist violence.
“Manzanar, for many reasons, symbolized the negation of democracy. But we believe it is as important as ever to lift up Manzanar as a beacon for democracy and human rights. It is a place where we can gather to demand a better America precisely because it is a place where our community struggled to preserve democratic values. It is a place where our families, even while living behind barbed wire, worked to hold our nation accountable to the promise of equal treatment under the law. This is what we mean when we say our legacy is one of struggling for democracy.
“Our families fought for decades to be heard and to regain their rights. The decades-long battle to rebuild shattered lives and disrupted communities, to gain political representation, for redress, for ethnic studies — that’s our legacy. We want to lift this up in gratitude and so that we all remember democracy must be nurtured and guarded. The challenges facing our community, our country, must be confronted with strength and determination if we wish to be true to our legacy.”
For the daytime pilgrimage program, cultural performances will begin at 11:30 a.m., while the main portion of the program begins at 12 p.m.
The committee has also announced that seats on the bus to the pilgrimage from Little Tokyo are now available. The bus will depart at 7 a.m., arriving at the pilgrimage at approximately 11:30 a.m., and will also take participants to the Visitor Center at the Manzanar National Historic Site following the afternoon program. The bus should arrive back in Los Angeles at approximately 8:30 p.m.
Reservations will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. The non-refundable fare is $60 per seat. Complimentary fares are available for those who were incarcerated at any of the former American concentration camps or other confinement sites during World War II.
Anyone wishing to attend the Manzanar At Dusk program that evening should make other transportation arrangements.
To reserve seats on the bus, call (323) 662-5102, or go to https://manzanarcommittee.org/2023bus-0reservations
The 2023 Manzanar At Dusk program will follow the afternoon pilgrimage program, conditions permitting, at 5 p.m. at Lone Pine High School gymnasium, located in Lone Pine, approximately eight miles south of the Manzanar National Historic Site.
Now in its 25th year, Manzanar At Dusk is co-sponsored by the Nikkei Student Unions at California Polytechnic University-Pomona, CSU Fullerton, CSU Long Beach, UCLA and UC San Diego.
Both the Manzanar Pilgrimage and the Manzanar At Dusk program are free and open to the public. For more information, call (323) 662-5102, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.