JACL Welcomes JACS Funding for “The League of Dreams"

On Tuesday, June 21, the National Park Service announced its new round of funding for the Japanese American Confinement Sites (JACS) grant program. 19 grants were funded for $3.4 million with funding directed towards Japanese American and historical organizations, institutions, and community partners aimed towards preserving the legacy and history of former Japanese American confinement sites during WWII. JACL is pleased that our proposal, “The League of Dreams”, was selected as an awardee.


“The League of Dreams,” is a joint project between JACL National and celebrated film producer Lane Nishikawa and will chronicle the history of the JACL, from its founding in 1929 to the present day. The film will document the organization’s rich 93-year history of advocacy work highlighting its work in fighting pre-war racism and discrimination directed towards Japanese Americans, JACL’s activity during WWII, postwar advocacy including immigration reform and engagement in the civil rights movement, the passage of the 1988 Civil Liberties Act, and the current focus on how our unique Japanese American experience is applicable to other civil rights struggles.


“There is an urgency I’ve felt for the last five years to document as many of our elder Nisei as we can before we lose them. Now, with the help of National JACL and the National Park Service - Japanese American Confinement Sites Program award, we will be able to accelerate our efforts exponentially," stated filmmaker Lane Nishikawa. “Already we captured some great moments with many JACL members but the most meaningful was the time I was able to spend with Norm Mineta.” This funding will enable JACL to capture more stories such as this to document our history.


With over $38 million in total grants distributed, including this most recent round, the JACS grant program, has and continues to, provide unparalleled support to the continued retelling and reinterpretation of the Japanese American experience. With these many diverse programs, newer generations of Americans will have the opportunity to learn about the legacy and the lessons of Japanese American wartime incarceration. . Unfortunately, the JACS program will soon deplete the funds authorized by Congress. We hope that based on the success and impact that the JACS program has had in its nearly 13-year history, the Senate to take up Representative Doris Matsui’s legislation, HR1931, and reauthorize the JACS program with an additional $42 million in total funding including $10 million for specialized education programs.