OWWCC Delegations to Manzanar


Imagine having the opportunity to walk the grounds of the former Manzanar Concentration in the shoes of Japanese American residents of your community who had been incarcerated there during WWII. OWWCC organizes delegations of Bainbridge Island educators paired with current and former citizens of Bainbridge Island who lived through WWII and the experience of internment, to retrace the 1942 journey of the Bainbridge Island Japanese community to the Manzanar Concentration Camp, in California. The four-day journey gives delegates the opportunity to explore historic sites; walk where they and/or their friends walked seven decades ago; discover artifacts; interact with subject experts; and do research. With new friendships and expanded access to resources, delegates bring back extraordinary ideas for enhancing curriculum and meaningful experiences to share with their students and community.

These Delegations to Manzanar paired Bainbridge Island survivors with local educators with the aim of enriching, enhancing, and anchoring school curriculum and identity. Our delegations have brought the youngest and oldest living generations of former internees and their peers, from Fumiko Hayashida who just turned 101, to her daughter Natalie who was just a over a year old when she arrived at Manzanar. We have brought teachers, librarians and principals from Wilkes Elementary, Briedablik Elementary, Sakai Intermediate School and Woodward Middle School. The latter two schools are named after Bainbridge Island families who were caught up in the exclusion. Sakai and Woodward family members have joined us as delegates and guides for their school counterparts.

The powerful learning that Sakai teachers experienced left an indelible mark in our hearts and minds, and is already being transformed into an incredible learning opportunity for students.” – Jim Corsetti, 2010 Delegate and Sakai Intermediate School Principal

These conscientious educators with deep understanding teaching the ‘Internment Experience’ makes the community and world a better place.” – Kay Sakai Nakao, 2009 & 2010 Delegate and Sakai family member

The short documentary below titled “What They Could Carry…Return to Manzanar” tells the story of the Only What We Can Carry Delegation to Manzanar in 2012. The video was filmed and produced by videographer and former EduCulture Board Member Brenda Berry and her colleague Scott Rouse. The documentary features OWWCC’s 4th delegation of former internees and current Island educators and community leaders, who together retraced the historic 1942 forced relocation of the Bainbridge Island Japanese Community to the former Manzanar Relocation Center, in Independence, California.