PSW JACL staff Marissa Kitazawa, Eri Kameyama and intern, Molly Serizawa have brought to the SFV JACL a pilot historical preservation program with a focus on the San Fernando Valley Japanese Americans. The 10-week program is designed to familiarize participants with their fellow class members by sharing their individual stories and experiences through fun games and interactive exercises in the process building trust and understanding of inter-generational concerns and issues.
The class members for this years programs range in age from fifteen years to early 80s. The participants are Nisei, Kibei, Sansei, Yonsei, Gosei and a young shin Issei. The diverse perspectives of the members have provided the organizers and participants an exciting opportunity to interact and learn from each other not just from the lecturers and leaders. Every participating visitor has introduced new incite into our Japanese American history and added to the richness of the experience. One visitor in particular, Executive Director, Priscilla Ouchida shared insightful legal history, in part from her own experience while working in Washington D.C.
As a member of the class, the most remarkable part of the program I am witnessing is the blossoming of the members as we share our experiences. Not only are we building community, cementing our generational network but providing a forum for each of us to grow our talents and demonstrate our abilities.
We are only half way through the program and our final project is to produce a film, power point presentation or art work that illustrates the history of the Japanese Americans in the San Fernando Valley. The culmination session will be held at the Community Center on Thursday, August 23rd. Members, family and friends are invited to view the product of this enriching program.
Takayama is a San Fernando Valley JACL Board member and has recently overseen the chapter's campaign against hate-speech on talk radio.