April 2017
From Executive Director Tom Ikeda

Dear Friends,

Over the past several months we've been working overtime to convert ideas into action. We feel a deep sense of urgency to provide materials to teachers and students to help them have effective conversations about racism and discrimination.

With so much being said and written in the media about these topics, educators want classroom activities and materials to not only help recognize racism and bigotry, but to be able to identify ways to respond. As an approach, we know that vivid personal stories can make people feel connected and engaged. So after partnering with organizations from the Muslim, Native American, Black, Latinx, Jewish, and Asian American communities, we’ve put together a new classroom curriculum titled “Examining Race and Discrimination: Learning from Oral History to Become Agents of Change Today” that we are launching this spring with teacher workshops. 

On March 25, we held our first all-day workshop with 35 educators in Seattle and got very positive, encouraging reviews from the participating teachers. Using the oral histories of a Japanese American, an African American, and an American Muslim, we examined past and present discrimination and how to identify the roles of target, perpetrator, and bystander. The training and ensuing discussions led to strategies and actions individuals can take when they see or experience discrimination. In the coming weeks we will be traveling to Spokane, Washington; Birmingham, Alabama; and New York City to work with more teachers to try out and refine the curriculum. 

If you want to help, we need funding to conduct additional workshops and to create an online workshop to reach more teachers with this promising approach to classroom discussions of racism and bigotry in our society today. 

Contact me at tom.ikeda@densho.org with your ideas and thoughts.


Tom Ikeda

Examining Race and Discrimination
Seattle-area educators participated in the first "Examining Race and Discrimination: Learning from Oral History to Become Agents of Change Today" workshop on March 25. 

What teachers had to say after the workshop: 

"Excellent professional development!" 

"I appreciated the variety of different activities to help keep things varied and interesting." 

"A really great use of my time; excellent discussions and a very responsive and authentic approach to our work today." 
Oral History Spotlight

Saffiyah Hrahsheh was interviewed by Densho in March 2017 as a result of our collaboration with the Council on American Islamic Relations. She is 21 years old and moved to Seattle just over a year ago from Alabama. She identifies as mixed race European and Cherokee, and was educated in the Indian Education Program before moving to Holland with her mother. It was in Holland that she was exposed to Islam and decided to convert at age fourteen. In this clip, she discusses being discriminated against while on a flight to visit her friends and family. 

>> Watch interview clip

A recent episode of the popular 99% Invisible podcast featured the history of Manzanar concentration camp, including excerpts from our interview with activist, educator, writer and longtime Manzanar Committee chair, Sue Kunitomi Embrey. 

>>Listen to the episode. 

Blog Highlight: Exclusion Order No. 1, Bainbridge Island

March 30th marked the 75th anniversary of Exclusion Order No. 1, which forced Japanese Americans living on Washington's Bainbridge Island to relocate to Manzanar concentration camp. We compiled a photo essay to commemorate this sad occasion. 

>> See more. 

Visit the Densho blog for a herstory lesson about some little-known Issei trailblazers who were slaying stereotypes, undermining the patriarchy, and proving immigrants #MakeAmericaGreatAgain since before you were born.

>> Read more. 

Densho is happy to announce that we are participating in GiveBIG 2017, the day when the entire Greater Seattle region comes together to support the nonprofits that make our community a stronger, more vibrant place for all.

Please consider supporting Densho and other inspiring nonprofits that are a critical part of our region’s fabric.

Schedule your donations beginning on April 27 , or make a gift on this year's day of giving: May 10, 2017

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