AVAILABLE SPEAKERS

JAMsj provides speakers who will go to schools or organizations to give first-hand accounts of life in the internment camps and explain how the former incarcerees reestablished themselves after their release. The speakers program only covers grades 8 and higher. For more information, please contact the JAMsj Outreach Coordinator at (408) 294-3138 or please send email to outreach@jamsj.org.





Paul DeWitt
Paul is a retired government teacher and department chairperson. For 12 years he coordinated Japanese American Internment programs at his high school, and has conducted numerous workshops on the Internment for teachers in California. The topics he can cover are the pre-war period of discrimination, the process of internment, the 442nd and MIS, the challenges confronting the internees when they tried to return home and the relevance of internment on current issues in today's society.

Preferred age groups: grades 5 - 12, college and adults.

Alice Hikido

Alice is a retired occupational therapist. She spent her childhood years from 9 to 13 in the Puyalllup Assembly Center and the Minidoka Relocation Center. Alice speaks about her experience as a child and describes how internment impacted the family. Besides talking about her first-person accounts, she also likes to illuminate stories about people outside of the Japanese American community who acknowledged the injustice of the government's action and supported the Japanese-Americans in different ways.

Preferred Groups: Middle School and High School



Roy Matsuzaki
Roy is a retired Hewlett Packard employee and former civil servant with the Air Force and Navy. He was incarcerated in Fresno Assembly Center and Jerome and Rohwer Relocation Centers. Roy was 9 years old when he was first detained. The topics that Roy can personally address for your class are: the reasons for incarceration, being a child in the camps, and postwar resettlement.

Preferred age group: grades 10-12.



Art Okuno
Art is a retired NASA aerospace engineer who was incarcerated in Pomona Assembly Center and Heart Mountain Relocation Center. He was a 20 year old sophomore at University of California, Berkeley, majoring in Mechanical Engineering at the time of Pearl Harbor. He worked in the Engineering Department of Heart Mountain. Since he received his Eagle Scout badge in Troop 12 in San Francisco, he was recruited as the Scout Master for Troop 343 in camp.



Aki Okuno
Aki, now retired, was a Medical Laboratory Technologist until becoming the mother of four. She volunteered with Friends Outside, a non-profit organization working with jail families, while the children were little and was subsequently employed there until her retirement in 1991. Aki relates experiences of her life in camp in the Salinas Assembly Center and Colorado River Relocation Center (commonly called Poston). Aki was a high school student in camp and later became an office worker before leaving camp for college.
   


Jimi Yamaichi
Jimi is a retired construction manager, general contractor and cabinet shop owner. He was incarcerated in Pomona Assembly Center, Heart Mountain and Tule Lake Segregation Centers. Jimi was 20 years old when he was first incarcerated. The topics that he can bring to life for your group are the history of San Jose Japantown, prewar Japanese American farming, discrimination, the WWII camp experience, and postwar resettlement in the San Jose area.

Preferred age groups: grades 10-12, college and adult.

Joe Yasutake
Joe is a retired organizational psychologist who has worked for Lockheed, the Electric Power Research Institute and the Air Force. He was incarcerated in Puyallup Assembly Center, Minidoka Relocation Center, and Crystal City Internment Camp. Joe was first incarcerated when he was 9 years old. The topics Joe can highlight for your class or organization are the WWII camp experience, postwar resettlement in the Midwest, and the relevance of the Japanese American experience to current events.

Preferred age groups: grades 10-12, college and adult.