Digital Storytelling Project

The Digital Storytelling Project is a seed project of the Foundation that is meant to inspire a young generation to engage in civil rights, the study of the Constitution, and America’s checkered history. High-school students from diverse backgrounds were selected to research one internment camp, conduct interviews with former incarcerees and their families, and then received training from Jeff MacIntyre, an Emmy-award-winning documentarian. They produced these videos, or “digital stories” all while participating in a pilgrimage to a Japanese American Internment camp. 




rohwer: crossroads of injustice

Kendall Matsumoto experiences two different reactions to incarceration from her paternal grandfather and her maternal grandmother. Indignation and protest on one hand, pride and patience on the other. Kendall grapples with two different legacies in this video.

The 2017 Digital Storytelling Projects, premiered at the 2017 Minidoka Pilgrimage:

Minidoka: A Portrait of America

Becca Jackson created this video linking the experiences of her grandmother, Hisako Yasuda, to the kaleidoscopic paintings of Roger Shimomura, depicting daily life at camp Minidoka in Idaho.

Gila River: sTEALING hOME

Annie Schillo illustrates the distinctly American life that internees at Gila River in Arizona nurtured through baseball, defying the expectation of un-Americanness that placed them there in the first place. 


Ryan Nguyen relates the tribulations of his mother,  Le My Doan, as a Vietnamese refugee, to the experiences of Japanese-American internees at Jerome in Arkansas, discussing the loss of basic human rights. 

Tule Lake: Fighting the Fence

Jackson Sousa created this video honoring his grandfather, Asa Yonemura, who was interned at Granada (Amache) in Colorado. He parallels the experiences of his grandfather to Tule Lake internees, focusing around the recent development of Tule Lake Airport, which threatens to take over the internment site.

The 2016 Digital Storytelling Projects, premiered at the 2016 Heart Mountain Pilgrimage:

Amache: never Forget

Halle Sousa details the experiences of her grandfather, Asa Yonemura, in Amache (Granada) in Colorado, and uncovers some relics of his time there.

Heart Mountain: Racial Profiling Then and Now

Connor Yu recounts the lives of Takashi Hoshizaki and Former Secretary Norman Mineta and their experiences at Heart Mountain in Wyoming, paralleling the anti-Japanese rhetoric with modern-day Islamophobia.

Manzanar: One Camp, Ten Thousand Lives

Julia Shin created this video connecting the social activism of her father, James Bumshik Shin, to Sue Embrey's efforts to memorialize her experiences at Manzanar in California.

We have to continue telling this story, so our fellow Americans never forget how fragile freedom is.
— Connor Yu


Reed Leventis connects the narrow escape of his grandparents from the Holocaust to the injustice faced by Japanese-Americans at Poston in Arizona.


Carolyn Hoover created this video honoring her grandparents, Mary and Raymond Murakami and their experiences at Topaz in Utah.