Ed.note: this is the final piece that spotlights the recipients of the 2017 AKCHO Awards. Special thanks to the Pat Filer, the AKCHO Awards Committee, Judie Romeo, the AKCHO Board, and all of the sponsors (highlighted earlier in Heritage Advisor) who made the Awards Program possible. And congratulations here to Charles Payton Award honoree Tom Ikeda, whose civil rights advocacy today is a reaction to the injustices suffered by his ancestors.
Tom Ikeda is a sansei (third generation Japanese American) who was born and raised in Seattle. Tom’s parents and grandparents were incarcerated during World War II at Minidoka, Idaho.
Tom had always realized the importance of preserving the stories of the Japanese Americans, like his family members, who had been unjustly removed from their homes and businesses so in 1996 he helped start a new non-profit to digitally preserve and share the personal stories of Japanese Americans who were incarcerated during World War II. They named this project “Densho” which means “to Pass on to the next generation” or “to leave a legacy.” On Densho’s website, there are over 900 in-depth video interviews and 50,000 historic photographs, documents, and newspapers. (more…)