Bridging Communities Program

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and the Islamic Shura Council of Southern California, in partnership with the Japanese American Citizens League - Pacific Southwest District (JACL PSW) and Nikkei for Civil Rights & Redress (NCRR), announce the launch of the Bridging Communities program to connect the youth of the Muslim American community to the Japanese American community by celebrating the strengths and differences that bind us as a community.
WHAT: Through a series of interactive sessions, 40 high school students will engage in workshops with discussions and group activities as well as visit sites that will allow the participants to fully engage and learn about the Muslim and Japanese cultures. These sessions will focus on topics ranging from ethnic identity, culture/religion, civil rights, and activism.
WHY: Since 9/11 and the start of the Iraq War, Muslim communities throughout the nation have experienced heightened hostility, discrimination, and policies that work against them simply because of their religious identity. JACL and NCRR recognize the hostilities and civil rights infringements on Muslim communities as those that were similarly forced upon Japanese Americans during WWII. The joint effort of both communities will heighten awareness through education to the youth. 
WHERE: Tentative sites include the Japanese American Cultural & Community Center, an Islamic center, Little Tokyo, and Manzanar.
WHEN: Four Saturday sessions in Spring 2009: 2/21/09, 3/14/09, 4/4/09, 4/25/09
Applications for the program will be accepted until January 31, 2009. There is a $100 registration fee payable upon acceptance into the program. For an application or further information, contact CAIR-LA at 714-776-1847 or e-mail ashaikh@cair.comManzanar Documentary 2008
In April 2008, CAIR Greater Los Angeles Area led a group of over 100 Southern California Muslims on an educational trip to Manzanar, the first Japanese American internment camp established during World War II. Along with Southland Muslims, some 1,500 people from California and beyond attended the 39th Annual Pilgrimage to Manzanar.



Editor: Akhtar M. Faruqui
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