(Olympia, Wash.) The stories of local Japanese Americans who were incarcerated in Idaho concentration camps during World War II are the subject of a talk by Tom Ikeda, founder and executive director of Densho: The Japanese American Legacy Project, on Thursday, February 27th, at 7:00 p.m. at the Longhouse Cultural Center on the Evergreen campus in Olympia. Admission is free and open to the public.
Ikeda’s presentation, “When Citizenship Didn’t Matter: Personal Stories from Japanese Americans Incarcerated during World War II,” will explore issues of democracy, intolerance, wartime hysteria and civil rights, based on hundreds of oral histories conducted by Densho over the last 18 years.
Ikeda was born and raised in Seattle. His parents and grandparents were incarcerated during World War II at Minidoka, Idaho. A former manager at Microsoft, Ikeda graduated from the University of Washington. He has received numerous awards for his historical contributions, including the Humanities Washington Award for outstanding achievement in the public humanities, the National JACL Japanese American of the Biennium award for Education, and the Microsoft Alumni Fellows Award.
Ikeda’s presentation takes place under the banner of the Willi Unsoeld Seminar, a speaker series honoring Unsoeld, a founding faculty member of The Evergreen State College.
“Each year, faculty, staff, and students focus on a theme linked to the college’s core values,” said Evergreen faculty member Nancy Koppelman. “This year, the theme is 'listening', and why listening is essential to education.”
Evergreen launched the academic year by assigning NPR Story Corps creator Dave Isay’s book, Listening is an Act of Love, to all students, and he spoke on campus in September 2013. Ikeda’s presentation continues and elaborates on the theme.
The Willi Unsoeld Seminar honors the philosopher, educator and mountaineer who helped Evergreen develop its emphasis on student-directed learning, interdisciplinary programs, collaboration and personal responsibility. Unsoeld lost his life in an avalanche during a mountaineering expedition with Evergreen students on Mt. Rainier on March 4, 1979.
The Evergreen State College is located at 2700 Evergreen Parkway in Olympia. Buses #41 and #48 from downtown Olympia stop at campus every 15 minutes. Parking is $2.00