Japanese American Post-War Resettlement in Chicago, 1943-1950

National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) K-12 Institute
Now inviting K-12 teachers to apply for our summer 2024 institute!
15 days total – hybrid virtual and in-person institute
  • 4 virtual days during the weeks of July 8th and  July 15th, 2024
  • 8 in-person days in Chicago, July 21 - 28, 2024
  • 3 virtual days during the weeks of July 29th and August 6th, 2024
Applications due Tuesday, March 5, 2024 at 11:59pm PT
  • Applicants will be notified of application status on April 5, 2024
  • Invited applications must confirm or decline their participation by April 19, 2024

Important Dates

Upcoming events:
Virtural
March 5, 2024
11:59 PT
Virtual
April 5, 2024
April 5, 2024
NEH K12 Application Decisions Released
NEH K12 Application Decisions Released
Virtual and Chicago, IL
July 9 - August 6, 2024
NEH K12 Institute “Japanese American Post-War Resettlement in Chicago, 1943 - 1950"
NEH K12 Institute “Japanese American Post-War Resettlement in Chicago, 1943 - 1950"

Overview

What were the consequences of the U.S. government pressuring Japanese Americans to absorb the shame and trauma of forced removal and wrongful imprisonment in order to be free?

What relationship do participants’ local communities have to the history of Japanese American resettlement?

The subject of Japanese American incarceration during WWII is often limited to a passing acknowledgement in K-12 standard curricula. But what happened to the 120,000 people of Japanese ancestry after they were forcibly displaced and unjustly incarcerated almost never appears in textbooks—an omission that dehumanizes the survivors of the concentration camps and their families. Focusing on the history of Japanese Americans’ resettlement after incarceration, this institute will invite teachers to consider the impact on the Japanese American community of being displaced multiple times over and forced to assimilate into white American culture to prove they were not the enemy society had painted them to be. Of paramount importance, the institute will approach the topic of resettlement in a way that centers the human experience and promotes compassion from participants and healing for the Japanese American community.

Overview

We are currently inviting a cohort of K-12 educators to apply to our summer 2024 institute on Japanese American Post-War Resettlement in Chicago from 1943 to 1950. Accepted applicants will have the opportunity to learn about the history of resettlement while engaging with Japanese American community members on-site in Chicago. All of the programming for the institute is designed to equip educators with the background and tools to confidently teach and think through the history and socio-political ramifications of Japanese American incarceration and resettlement. Participants will attend learning and collaboration activities both virtually and in-person between July 8 and August 9, 2024: a virtual preparatory stage (4 days during the weeks of July 8 and July 15), an intensive week of in-person engagement in Chicago (8 days, July 21 - 28), and a virtual concluding wrap-up and dissemination stage (3 days during the weeks of July 28 and August 5).

Key questions and learning outcomes that this institute will ask participants to engage with include:
  • What were the consequences of the U.S. government pressuring Japanese Americans to absorb the shame and trauma of forced removal and wrongful imprisonment in order to be free?
  • What relationship do participants’ local communities have to the history of Japanese American resettlement?
The subject of Japanese American incarceration during WWII is often limited to a passing acknowledgment in K-12 standard curricula. But what happened to the 120,000 people of Japanese ancestry after they were forcibly displaced and unjustly incarcerated almost never appears in textbooks—an omission that dehumanizes the survivors of the concentration camps and their families. Even after Japanese Americans were released from camp, they were forced to prove over and over again that they were not the enemy that society painted them to be.

Focusing on the history of Japanese Americans’ resettlement after incarceration, we invite teachers to consider how repeated displacement and forced assimilation into white American culture impacted the Japanese American community. Of paramount importance, the institute will approach the topic of resettlement in a way that centers the human experience and promotes compassion from participants and healing for the Japanese American community.

Teachers will also explore what their own local community’s relationship was to Japanese American resettlement. Participants will be guided and supported at each step of this inquiry by an assigned historical consultant, with whom they will meet virtually during the preparatory phase and closing wrap-up phase, who will help curate available online sources and local resources, archives, and collections specific to their locale. For example, teachers will work with their historical consultant to consider how their local community’s newspaper relayed news about Japanese American incarceration and the closing of the camps to ask what perspective was afforded to people in their community when resettlement began. Participants will also learn how to read silences or gaps in a record as important signifiers of a community’s relationship to a specific history. 

A crucial component to both the residential and virtual components of the institute will be the small group cohorts, which we call "sensemaking groups." Each day, participants will have significant time set aside to connect in small groups to process, digest, synthesize, and raise questions about what they are learning. In addition to building in partners for inquiry and creation, participants’ time with their sensemaking groups will help establish a sense of community amongst the teachers and provide opportunities for solidarity. Teaching new things in new ways can be a lonely endeavor, but the sensemaking groups will ensure that no single individual charts their path alone.

Why Chicago,
why now?

This is a timely moment to offer such an institute. In 2022, we marked the 80th anniversary since President Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066, which violated a core constitutional right by authorizing the forced removal of all persons of Japanese ancestry living on the West Coast without due process or any specific accusation. This order set into motion the policies that would eventually result in roughly half of the Japanese American population being “resettled” in a place they had never been.

U.S. state education systems, however, have yet to acknowledge and include Japanese American’s wartime and postwar experiences as part of our national history, much less follow through with the inclusion of how E.O. 9066 impacted hundreds of thousands of people over multiple generations. Expanding the canonical U.S. history of World War II and deepening it through place-based and community-centered learning, this institute allows educators to reclaim and humanize this hidden history in their classrooms.

While in Chicago, participants will go on field trips, visiting archives and special collections of resettlement archives, touring historic resettlement neighborhoods, and conducting interviews with Japanese American elders who actually lived this history. The Japanese American community in Chicago has a rich history relevant to this institute. Toward the end of the war, the War Relocation Authority and the Department of Justice pressured Japanese Americans to permanently abandon the western states they were taken from. Some 20,000 Japanese Americans relocated to Chicago in the 1940s—making it not only the largest resettlement area outside of the West Coast after the war, but also the ideal location for this institute to take place. 

Why Chicago,
why now?

This is a timely moment to offer such an institute. In 2022, we marked the 80th anniversary since President Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066, violating a core constitutional right by authorizing the forced removal of all persons of Japanese ancestry living on the West Coast without due process or any specific accusation—setting into motion the policies that would eventually result in roughly half of the Japanese American population being “resettled” in a place they had never been. U.S. state education systems, however, have yet to acknowledge and include this history as American history, much less follow through with an inclusion of how E.O. 9066 has deeply impacted hundreds of thousands of people over multiple generations. Expanding the canonical U.S. history of World War II and deepening it through place-based and community-centered learning, this institute provides educators the opportunity to reclaim and humanize this hidden history in their classrooms.

Program of study / Schedule

Institute Goals:

  • To help participants develop their knowledge of the history of Japanese Americans resettlement 
  • To provide opportunities for in-person engagement with community archives, historic resettlement neighborhoods, and Japanese American elders
  • To empower teachers to conduct research and create teaching materials that explores the connections between Japanese American resettlement history and their own local communities

What were the consequences of the U.S. government pressuring Japanese Americans to absorb the shame of forced removal and wrongful imprisonment in order to be free?

  1. Placing resettlement in the dominant narrative of U.S. history
  2. The political project of displacement and assimilation
  3. Being (in) the in-between
  4. Re-humanizing history by centering community

What relationship do participants’ local community have to the history of resettlement?

  1. Designing for inclusion
  2. Fostering agency through storytelling
  3. Being (in) the in-between
  4. Re-humanizing history by centering community

Day 1: Virtual
Tuesday July 9th at 9-12 PT / 11-2 CT / 12-3 ET

  • Intro and welcome session

Day 2: Virtual
Wednesday, July 10th at 9-12 PT / 11-2 CT / 12-3 ET

  • JusticexDesign introductory session

Day 3: Virtual
Individually sign up during week of July 15 (no synchronous meeting)

  • One on one meetings with historical consultants

Day 4: Virtual
Independent reading day during week of July 15 (no synchronous meeting)

  • Examine existing knowledge of resettlement history and pedagogical frameworks

Day 5: Residential
Sunday, July 21

  • Arrive in Chicago
  • Welcome to Chicago: introduce team; get to know cohorts in person; overview of week
  • Lecture: Jasmine Alinder - Placing Resettlement in History

Day 6: Residential 
Monday, July 22

  • Lecture: Meredith Oda - Assimilative Resettlement
  • JusticexDesign pedagogy workshop #1
  • Sensemaking groups
  • Explore a community archive

Day 7: Residential
Tuesday, July 23

  • Lecture: Charlotte Brooks - Navigating the racial landscape: how Japanese Americans resettled in Chicago
  • Presentation: Erik Matsunaga and Kat Nagasawa - Mapping Chicago’s resettled Japanese American community
  • Group lunch in Lakeview neighborhood
  • Chicago neighborhood walking tour lead by Katherine Nagasawa and Erik Matsunaga

Day 8: Residential 
Wednesday, July 24

  • Lecture: Ashley Cheyemi McNeil - An ethic of care: “Doing” community-engaged research
  • Lecture: Mary Doi - Perspectives from an oral historian - REgenerations Oral History Project
  • Sensemaking groups
  • Midwest Buddhist Temple – Community conversation with Japanese American elders, facilitated by Mary Doi

Day 9: Residential
Thursday, July 25

  • Presentation: K-12 Leaders Patrick Hall and Stephanie Nishimoto-Lorenzo - Localized meaning from national histories: Teaching Japanese American Resettlement in Rural Kentucky and Teaching JA Resettlement in a Resettled City
  • JusticexDesign pedagogy workshop #2
  • Sensemaking groups
  • Newberry Library – Collection presentation and tutorial on how to do archival research

Day 10: Residential
Friday, July 26

  • JusticexDesign pedagogy workshop #3
  • Sensemaking groups
  • Optional: Lincoln Park walking tour (early evening)

Day 11: Residential
Saturday, July 27

  • Community “wrap party”!
  • Gallery walk of sensemaking groups’ posters
  • Optional: Tour Chicago Cultural Center and explore the Learning Lab

Day 12: Residential
Sunday, July 28

  • Review and reflect on time in Chicago
  • Travel home

Day 13: Virtual
Independent reading day during week of July 29 (no synchronous meeting)

  • Independent work and local research

Day 14: Virtual
Individually sign up during week of July 29 (no synchronous meeting)

  • Second one on one meeting with historical consultants.
  • Review drafted research and classroom materials

Day 15: Virtual
Tuesday, August 6th at 9-12 PT / 11-2 CT / 12-3 ET

  • Presentation: Drs. Alinder and McNeil –  How to orchestrate a Professional Development / Continuing Education session for your educational network

About us

Full Spectrum Education is a division of Full Spectrum Features, a Chicago-based nonprofit organization dedicated to driving equity in the independent film industry and providing education about social and cultural issues through the power of cinema.

Full Spectrum Education focuses its educational filmmaking projects on exploring parts of history that are often untold in classrooms, recognizing our collective need to more fully understand the many facets of U.S. history.

Faculty

Project Directors

Dr. Ashley Cheyemi McNeil
Director of Education and Research,
Full Spectrum Features

Dr. Ashley Cheyemi McNeil is a public scholar and humanist with extensive experience working with cross-disciplinary teams of students, faculty, and community partners to create public-facing projects that disseminate stories and research. Her academic training is in Literary Studies and American Studies, in which she has a bi-national dual-PhD. In her postdoctoral work she helped build a Mellon-funded interdisciplinary humanities PhD program and was awarded a Leading Edge fellowship through the American Council of Learned Societies. She serves as the Director of Education and Research at FSF.

Dr. Jasmine Alinder
Dean of the Humanities,
UC Santa Cruz

Dr. Jasmine Alinder is an interdisciplinary, community-engaged scholar and teacher of public history, history of photography, and history of Japanese Americans during World War II Her public and traditional scholarship explores struggles for human rights and civil liberties, with a focus on the United States from the 1940s through the present. Her research focuses on photography as a representational practice. She currently serves as the Dean of Humanities and a Professor of History at the University of California-Santa Cruz. She served as the lead academic advisor and content curator for The Orange Story and Resettlement: Chicago Story.

Faculty

Teacher Leads

Stephanie Nishimoto-Lorenzo
Teacher, Francis W. Parker School

Stephanie Nishimoto-Lorenzo, whose own family resettled to Chicago post-WWII, will be the other K-12 co-lead for the institute. In addition to being very familiar with Chicago and its Japanese American community, Nishimoto-Lorenzo brings her middle school teaching experience and previous training with JxD to her leadership.

Patrick Hall
Teacher, Hazard High School

Patrick Hall is the faculty liaison for community-led initiatives at Hazard High School in Kentucky where he teaches a range of social studies and history classes. Hall is a community-engaged researcher and brings his scholarship and public school teaching to his leadership for this institute.

Faculty

Guest Speakers

Dr. Meredith Oda
Grace A. Griffen Endowed Chair in American History; Associate Professor
University of Nevada - Reno

Dr. Meredith Oda is Associate Professor of History at the University of Nevada Reno. Her first book is The Gateway to the Pacific: Japanese Americans and the Remaking of San Francisco and she’s now working on a second book exploring Japanese American resettlement from the WWII incarceration camps.

Dr. Charlotte Brooks
Professor of History at Baruch College

Dr. Charlotte Brooks is a Professor of History at CUNY Baruch College and has published widely on Asian American history, including her book Alien Neighbors, Foreign Friends: Asian Americans, Housing, and the Transformation of Urban California.

Katherine Nagasawa
Creative Producer and Journalist 

is a multimedia journalist with a passion for community-driven storytelling. She has extensive experience reporting and producing stories and web experiences around Midwest Japanese American history related to resettlement and the Redress Movement.

Erik Matsunaga
Community Reporter

Erik Matsunaga is a community scholar and has been featured by the Japanese American National Museum, WBEZ Radio, WGN News, and Newberry Library. He curates @windycitynikkei and frequently publishes his reporting in Discover Nikkei.

Dr. Mary Doi
Board member of Chicago Japanese Historical Society

Dr. Mary Doi is a qualitative gerontologist and oral historian with a PhD in Human Development and Aging from UC San Francisco. She was the Midwest lead for the Japanese American National Museum’s REgenerations Oral History project which focused on Japanese American Resettlement in Chicago after WWII incarceration. 

Faculty

Pedagogy Workshop Facilitator

Sarah Sheya
Founder, JusticexDesignManager, Project Zero at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education

Sarah Sheya founded and directs JusticexDesign, a research initiative that investigates how young people engage critically with design, representation, power, and participation. Sheya is also a Project Manager at the Project Zero research team at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education.

Participant Information

(01)
Stipends
Each participant will receive a $2,850 stipend; please note that it is taxable as income.

Stipends are intended to compensate participants for their time commitment and to help defray the costs of participation, which may include expenses such as travel, lodging, and meals (for residential programs), and technical support (for virtual and combined programs).

Stipend amounts are determined by NEH based on the duration and format of the program.
(02)
Lodging
About lodging

In Spring 2024 we will have a reduced rate block of rooms reserved at a centrally located hotel. Participants are not required to use these accommodations if they prefer an alternative.
(03)
Participant Eligibility Criteria

NEH-funded Institutes are professional development programs that convene K-12 educators or higher education faculty from across the nation to deepen their understanding of significant topics in the humanities and enrich their capacity for effective scholarship and teaching.

NEH-funded Landmarks of American History and Culture programs support a series of one-week residential, virtual, and combined format professional development workshops across the nation to enhance how K-12educators, higher education faculty, and humanities professionals incorporate place-based approaches to humanities teaching and scholarship.
(04)
Participant Expectations

Eligibility and Applying: To be considered, you must submit a complete application as indicated on the
individual project’s website. Prospective participants must follow the stated application and acceptance deadlines. In
general, application extensions will not be granted. Any questions about applying should be directed to the
individual project team. Participant eligibility criteria are determined by NEH. Application review and offer
decisions are determined by individual project teams in accordance with NEH eligibility requirements.

Participant Acceptance: In any given year, an individual may attend only one Institute or Landmarks workshop.Participants may not accept an additional offer or withdraw in order to accept a different offer once they haveaccepted an offer to attend an NEH Institutes or Landmarks program. Endowment programs do not discriminate onthe basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, disability, or age.

Principles of Civility: Project teams and program participants must adhere to the Principles of Civility for NEHProfessional Development Programs detailed here: https://www.neh.gov/grants/principles-civility

Participant Stipends and Attendance: Stipends provide compensation to participants for their time commitment and help to defray participation costs, such as travel, program activities, lodging, and meals (for residential programs), and technical support (for virtual programs). For residential programs, participants cover their own costs for travel to/from a program, lodging, and meals. Stipends are taxable as income.

Participant Evaluations: The NEH requires project directors to collect anonymous participant evaluations at the
conclusion of their programs. Unedited participant evaluation responses will be included in the project’s final report
to the NEH and any future Institutes or Landmarks applications.

Continuing Education, In-Service, and Graduate Credits for K-12 Programs: Project teams may opt to offer continuing education, in-service, or graduate credit. These opportunities sometimes require additional work by participants beyond the program, such as writing a research paper, and participants are responsible for associated costs or fees unless otherwise noted. See individual project websites for additional information.
(05)
Principles of Civility

NEH Seminars, Institutes, and Landmarks programs are intended to extend and deepen knowledge and understanding of the humanities by focusing on significant topics, texts, and issues; contribute to the intellectual vitality and professional development of participants; and foster a community of inquiry that provides models of excellence in scholarship and teaching.
01

Stipends

Stipends

Stipends

Stipends are intended to compensate participants for their time commitment and to help defray the costs of participation, which may include expenses such as travel, lodging, and meals (for residential programs), and technical support (for virtual and combined programs).

Stipend amounts are determined by NEH based on the duration and format of the program.

Each participant will receive a $2,850 stipend; please note that it is taxable as income.

02

Lodging

Lodging

Lodging

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03

Participant Eligibility Criteria

Participant Eligibility Criteria

Participant Eligibility Criteria

Open PDF to check criteria
NEH-funded Institutes are professional development programs that convene K-12 educators or higher education
faculty from across the nation to deepen their understanding of significant topics in the humanities and enrich their
capacity for effective scholarship and teaching.

NEH-funded Landmarks of American History and Culture programs support a series of one-week residential,virtual, and combined format professional development workshops across the nation to enhance how K-12educators, higher education faculty, and humanities professionals incorporate place-based approaches tohumanities teaching and scholarship.
04

Participant Expectations

Participant Expectations

Participant Expectations

Open PDF to check expectations
05

Principles of Civility

Principles of Civility

Principles of Civility

Open PDF to check principles
NEH Seminars, Institutes, and Landmarks programs are intended to extend and deepen knowledge and understanding of the humanities by focusing on significant topics, texts, and issues; contribute to the intellectual vitality and professional development of participants; and foster a community of inquiry that provides models of excellence in scholarship and teaching.