News Release

National Park Service Announces $1.2 Million in Grants to Preserve and Interpret World War II Japanese American Confinement Sites

Japanese American Family during World War II
Among the grant projects, Densho is expanding its online resources to share new stories connected to the Japanese American WWII incarceration.

Photo by Dorothea Lange. Image courtesy of Densho (National Archives and Records Administration Collection)

News Release Date: August 17, 2017

Contact: Victoria Stauffenberg, 202-208-6843

WASHINGTON – The National Park Service announced today $1.2 million in grants to fund preservation, restoration, and education projects at several Japanese American confinement sites, in addition to $1.6 million awarded earlier this year for a total of $2.8 million. The 10 additional grantees in six states will tell the story of the more than 120,000 Japanese Americans, two-thirds of whom were U.S. citizens, who were imprisoned by the U.S. government following the December 7, 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor by Japan.

“These grants tell a more complete history of the home front experience during World War II, highlighting the strength and resilience of Japanese Americans facing incarceration,” said Acting National Park Service Director Michael T. Reynolds. “The National Park Service is excited to work with various partners that use modern, innovative methods to preserve sites and stories for future generations.”

Congress established the Japanese American Confinement Sites grant program in 2006, authorizing a total of $38 million in funding for the life of the program. Today’s announcement brings the current award total, since the program began, to more than $23 million.

The grants will fund a diverse array of projects that will tell this important story in a variety of ways. Using grant funds, Yale University will convene a 2-day public symposium and develop related high school curriculum in partnership with Brown University to mark the 75th Anniversary of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s signing of Executive Order 9066, which led to the incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II. The Chicago Chapter of the Japanese American Citizens League will use grant funds to engage college-aged students in learning about the impacts of incarceration on Japanese American communities during World War II through educational trips to Los Angeles’ Little Tokyo neighborhood and the Manzanar National Historic Site, and through educational projects and curriculum development, which will be shared with the Chicago community as the project concludes.

Japanese American Confinement Sites grants may be awarded to projects associated with the 10 War Relocation Authority centers established in 1942 and more than 40 additional confinement sites. The program’s mission is to teach future generations about the injustice of the World War II confinement of Japanese Americans and to inspire commitment to equal justice under the law. Successful proposals are chosen through a competitive process that requires applicants to match the grant award with $1 in non-federal funds or “in-kind” contributions for every $2 they receive in federal money.

A list of the winning projects is below. For more details about these projects, visit

For more information on the incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II, visit

Project Title
Project Site
Grant Award Amount
Chicago Chapter of the Japanese American Citizens League, Chicago, Illinois
“The Kansha Project”       
Manzanar Relocation Center, Inyo County, Calif.     
Densho, Seattle, Washington
“Sites of Shame: A Comprehensive Online Resource of the Confinement Sites” 
Multiple Sites  
Heart Mountain, Wyoming Foundation, Powell, Wyoming 
“Building a Japanese American Confinement Sites Consortium”   
Multiple Sites 
Japanese American National Museum, Los Angeles, California
“Digitization and Accessibility of JANM’s Moving Image Collection, Phase II”
Multiple Sites 
Los Angeles Conservation Corps, Los Angeles, California
“Los Angeles Conservation Corps Cultural Landscape Stabilization”
Manzanar Relocation Center, Inyo County, Calif.
National Japanese American Historical Society, Inc., San Francisco, California
“Dislocation and Divergence: Causes and Consequences of Executive Order 9066”
Multiple Sites  
National Japanese American Historical Society, Inc., San Francisco, California
“From the Camps They Served: Nisei Soldier Digital Collections”
Multiple Sites  
The Regents of the University of California, Berkeley, California
“Japanese American Internment Sites: A Digital Archive”
Multiple Sites  
The Tides Center, National Veterans Network, San Francisco, California 
“Sharing the Lessons of Japanese American WWII Soldiers from WRA Confinement Sites”
Multiple Sites
Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut
“Out of the Desert: Public Symposium, Comprehensive Curriculum Development, and Immersive Digital Portal”       
Multiple Sites  
Total $1,237,922

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Last updated: July 25, 2019

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