My First Manzanar Pilgrimage

Kelsey Nakamura, President of the UCSD Nikkei Student Union, participated in her first Manzanar Pilgrimage and Manzanar At Dusk program on April 25, 2015. She shared her perspectives with us here.


Kelsey Nakamura, shown here during the open mic portion of the 2015 Manzanar At Dusk program, April 25, 2015, at Lone Pine
High School in Lone Pine, California.
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: Gann Matsuda/Manzanar Committee

This was my first year attending the Manzanar Pilgrimage, and I didn’t know what to expect.

I was swamped with school work, midterms, and events within our own organization, the UCSD Nikkei Student Union, not to mention work at my lab, and planning the Manzanar At Dusk opening. So, to say the least, I was pretty stressed with several things on my mind, and was hoping the weekend would be a smooth one.

Upon arriving at Manzanar, my friends who have been there before told me that we would be walking from the parking lot to the Pilgrimage. They warned me that it was about a 15-20 minute walk. I was quite thirsty by the time I arrived at the site, and my hair was a mess from the wind.

I realized that this is what the incarcerees had to live with every day.

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46th Annual Manzanar Pilgrimage – Official Photo Essay

Photo: Mark Kirchner/Manzanar Committee

We are, once again, honored and privileged to feature the tremendous photographs of professional photographers Mark Kirchner and Geri Ferguson in our official photo essay from the 46th Annual Manzanar Pilgrimage on April 25, 2015.

As they have in previous years, Kirchner and Ferguson have captured this year’s Pilgrimage like very, very few photographers have done, and we are grateful to them and proud to feature their work.

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Florin JACL, CAIR-Sacramento Valley Members Allege Racism, Denial of Service At Bishop, CA Bowling Alley During Manzanar Pilgrimage Weekend

The following is a letter sent by representatives of the Florin chapter of the Japanese American Citizens League and the Council on American Islamic Relations – Sacramento Valley.


To download a printable copy of the complaint letter, click on the image above.

May 13, 2015

Mr. Thomas L. Flesia, Owner
Ms. Helen French, Manager
Ms. Trina Favel, Manager
Back Alley Bowling, Bar, and Grill
BMTI Corp.
649 N. Main Street
Bishop, CA 93514

RE: Denial of Service at Back Alley Bowl in Bishop on April 25, 2015

Dear Mr. Flesia, Ms. French and Ms. Favel:

The Florin Manzanar Pilgrimage Committee sponsored the Asian American and Muslim American young adult group [was] denied service by Back Alley Bowling, Bar, and Grill employees in Bishop on the night of Saturday, April 25, 2015. This discrimination in public accommodations deeply offended us and denied our civil rights.

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2015 Manzanar At Dusk – In Photos

One of the small group discussions during the 2015 Manzanar At Dusk program. Andy Noguchi, Co-President,
Florin JACL, is shown here, background center.
Photo: Gann Matsuda/Manzanar Committee

Following a bit later in the day after the annual Manzanar Pilgrimage is the Manzanar At Dusk program, an interactive event in which participants can hear first-hand stories from those who were incarcerated in America’s concentration camps during World War II, and talk about the issues surrounding that experience and their relevance to what’s happening in our communities today.

The event, held at Lone Pine High School, approximately nine miles south of the Manzanar National Historic Site, is attended by a very diverse crowd, in terms of ethnicity, age, and gender, that ranges from 200 to 400 people each year.

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