San Francisco, CA -- The Japanese American Citizens League (JACL), the oldest and largest Asian American civil and human rights organization in the nation, congratulates grant recipients which were announced by the National Park Service. The nineteen new grants which total $960,000 are to help preserve and interpret many of the historic locations where more than 110,000 Japanese Americans were incarcerated during World War II. After the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066, which authorized the forced removal of these men, women and children, most of them American citizens, of Japanese ancestry.
The 2009 grant awards are part of the Japanese American Confinement Sites Program established by Congress in 2006 (under Public Law 109-441, 16 USC 461) to preserve and interpret the places where Japanese Americans were detained during the war. The law authorizes up to $38 million for the life of the grant program to identify, research, evaluate, interpret, protect, restore, repair, and acquire historic confinement sites. The goals of the program are to teach and inspire present and future generations about the injustice of the internment program and to demonstrate the nation's commitment since that time for equal justice under the law.
Congress appropriated $1 million for grants in the current fiscal year. The grants were awarded in a competitive process, matching $2 in federal money for every $1 in non-federal funds and "in-kind" contributions raised by groups working to preserve the sites and their histories. The grants range in size from $5,000 to $282,253.
Seattle, WA, $112,500; Heart Mountain, Wyoming Foundation, Powell, WY, $282,253.
Floyd Mori, National Executive Director of the JACL, stated, "The JACL is grateful to Congress for making these grants possible and to the National Park Service for implementing this program which was a difficult assignment with the many worthy applications which were submitted. These grants will help to move the camp preservation programs forward."