“What I know for sure is that speaking your truth is the most powerful tool we all have.”
Oprah Winfrey, 2018 Golden Globe Awards Speech
The words of Oprah Winfrey – and so many other brave women shining light on injustices past and present – resonate with me as I think of the 900 oral history interviews of Japanese Americans unjustly incarcerated during World War II that Densho has curated on our website. These personal testimonies are a powerful tool to heal the scars of historical trauma and reach the hearts and minds of those who doubt the existence and pain of racism. Densho’s mission is to keep these stories alive and relevant – to help us see the negative consequences of when we cave in to fear and bigotry.
In 2018, we promise to boldly share these stories. We’ll be traveling to faraway places we have never visited to give presentations; training hundreds of teachers around the country to bring these tools into the classroom; adding tens of thousands of historic photographs and documents to our ever-growing online collection to illuminate untold stories; and working with the media and adding new online resources to help millions learn from this history. We also promise to elevate voices that are too often ignored, and to engage others in meaningful discussion, including those whose opinions differ from our own.
Above all, we promise to listen, learn, and grow while we continue to share the Japanese American story