travesty of justice could easily happen to any other group...
Educating people about the incarceration of one group will help
prevent its happening to other minorities in our American democracy."
"Personal Justice Denied: Report of the Commission on Wartime
Relocation and Internment of Civilians"
The Children of
the Camps Project was initiated by Dr.
Satsuki Ina with the following primary goals:
- To develop a documentary
that explores the ongoing emotional, familial and psychological
consequences of the WW II internment camp experience for those
who were "children of the camps", and that documents
their personal journey to healing from the wounds of racism.
Former internees report lifelong struggles with chronic depression,
psychosomatic illnesses, low self-esteem and the stresses of
over-achieving. Consonant with Japanese American values, these
individuals have internalized their suffering in an effort to
secure their acceptance in their own country.
- To facilitate a healing
experience for the Japanese American community by holding workshops where former internees and
their families can view the documentary and further explore the
personal and intergenerational impact of the internment experience,
perhaps for the first time. As a response to cultural constraints
and fear of repercussion, many have buried their pain and endured
the psychological consequences of this unresolved trauma.
- To educate the general
public regarding the long term effects of the World War II internment
trauma on Japanese Americans, the harmful impact of institutionalized
racism in general, and the need for understanding and healing
of both victim and perpetrator. The project will achieve this
broadcast of the documentary
on PBS through April 2003;
screenings in local
of the video to schools,
universities, mental health agencies, as well to individuals
for personal use.
- To train mental health
providers regarding the interplay of culture and oppression on
the psychological well-being of ethnic minorities as exemplified
by the coping strategies of the Japanese Americans in response
to the WW II internment experience. Research supported by the
National Institute of Mental Health and the National Research
Center on Asian American Mental Health has reported the continued
underutilization of mental health resources by Asian Americans.
A training program will demonstrate culturally sensitive strategies
that can serve to increase the perceived value of seeking mental
health care and limit premature termination of treatment by Asian
Americans. Training programs will be offered at social service
agencies, professional conferences, and graduate programs.
To learn more about how to
schedule a workshop or screening in your community, see the workshops page.
a detailed mental health rationale for this project, see Dr.
Ina's remarks from the Tule Lake Reunion Symposium, or download/view a copy of the Children
of the Camps Teacher's Guide by Dr. Ina.
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