The National Park Service (NPS) is seeking public input related to the recently established  Norman Y. Mineta Japanese American Confinement Education Grant Program.

The opportunity  for the Japanese American community, eligible organizations and the general public  to help  shape the grant program’s guidelines and evaluation criteria is available until Sept. 15.    

Norman Y. Mineta (1931-2022)

“These new grants will help raise awareness and educate people about a dark chapter of American history when citizens were denied basic rights,”  said NPS Director Chuck Sams.  “The grants are an important step in the right direction to tell a more diverse and inclusive history of our nation as we approach its 250th  anniversary in 2026.” 

Since 2009, the NPS  Japanese American Confinement (JACS) grant program has supported 302 projects across the country, providing  more than $41 million in funding to private nonprofit organizations; educational institutions; state, local, and tribal governments; and other public entities. The grant recipients leverage federal dollars with their own resources to develop partnerships that identify, preserve and interpret significant stories and sites related to the incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II.  

The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2023 reauthorized the current JACS grant program and provided an additional $42 million in federal funds. This increased potential funding for the program from its original authorization of $38 million brings the total to $80 million. As it has for the last 14 years, the JACS  program will continue to award grants each fiscal year as funds become available through annual appropriations made by Congress.    

The recent legislation also established the Norman Y. Mineta Japanese American Confinement Education Grants, named in memory of a former Heart Mountain incarceree who became mayor of San Jose, a member of Congress and the first Asian American to serve in the Cabinet (secretary of commerce for President Bill Clinton and secretary of transportation for President George W. Bush).

The  NPS invites the public to learn more about this new category of grants, and to share input to help develop guidelines and evaluation criteria at by  Friday, Sept. 15.   

A listening session will be held on online on Thursday, Sept. 7, at 10:30 p.m. PST.  Link to Teams meeting here.  Call-in number if you don’t have the ability to use Teams: (202) 640-1187. Conference ID:73003165#   

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