Finding aid for the Civil Liberties Public Education Fund Grant Program Records

Marlon Romero
Japanese American National Museum
100 North Central Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Phone: (213) 830-5615
© 2010
Japanese American National Museum. All rights reserved.

Finding aid for the Civil Liberties Public Education Fund Grant Program Records

Collection number: 99.98

Japanese American National Museum

Los Angeles, California
Processed by:
Marlon Romero
Encoded by:
Yoko Shimojo
© 2010 Japanese American National Museum. All rights reserved.

Descriptive Summary

Title: Civil Liberties Public Education Fund Grant Program records
Dates: 1997-1998
Collection number: 99.98
Creator: Civil Liberties Public Education Fund
Collection Size: 12.5 linear feet
Repository: Japanese American National Museum (Los Angeles, Calif.)
Los Angeles, California 90012
Abstract: The Civil Liberties Public Education Fund (CLPEF) was a government-sponsored program that developed from the Civil Liberties Act of 1988. The CLPEF's mission was to educate the public on the issues surrounding the wartime incarceration of Americans of Japanese ancestry. This collection contains the applications and projects of the CLPEF grant recipients.
Physical location: Japanese American National Museum 100 North Central Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90012


By appointment only. Please Contact the Collections Management and Access Unit by email ( or telephone (213-830-5615).

Publication Rights

All requests for permission to publish, reproduce, or quote from materials in this collection must be submitted to the Hirasaki National Resource Center at the Japanese American National Museum (

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Civil Liberties Public Education Fund Grant Program records. 99.98, Japanese American National Museum. Los Angeles, CA.

Project Information

This finding aid was created as part of a project funded by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission. The project started in 2007. Project Director was Cris Paschild. Project Archivists were Yoko Shimojo and Marlon Romero.

Organizational History

In 1980, Congress established the Commission on Wartime Relocation and Internment of Civilians (CWRIC). This committee was directed to review the facts and circumstances regarding Executive Order 9066. In 1983 the Commission issued its findings in the report Personal Justice Denied, stating that a grave injustice was done to both citizens and permanent resident aliens of Japanese ancestry by the evacuation, relocation, and internment of civilians during World War II. The CWRIC had recommended legislative remedies of redress consisting of: (1) an official U.S. Government apology; (2) redress payments of $20,000 to each of the survivors; (3) a public education fund to help ensure that this type of incarceration based on racial prejudice will not happen again.
The Civil Liberties Public Education Fund (CLPEF) was established in large part by the findings of the CWRIC. The goal of the CLPEF was to educate the public about the lessons to be learned from the forced removal and internment of civilians and permanent resident aliens of Japanese ancestry.
The CLPEF effort included holding several community meetings throughout the country to get feedback on the creation of the grant criteria and how the grants would be distributed. In total, the CLPEF issued 135 grants totaling over 3 million dollars. The projects taught lessons from the incarceration from many different cultural and institutional perspectives. The different characteristics of diversity include:
1. Projects located in 20 different states and the District of Columbia.

2. Projects covering seven subject areas including curriculum, landmarks/exhibits, art/media, community development, research, research resources, and national fellowships. These projects cover a wide diversity of projects and range in funding from $2,000 to $100,000.

3. Projects reaching different audiences: those who were never aware that the incarceration occurred, academic scholars, those viewing exhibits and monuments, law students learning the coram. nobis cases, those who are active in the Japanese American community, students in public schools and institutions of postsecondary education, and those who appreciate the arts, literature, and films, Southeast Asian and Chinese immigrant students, and African American and Latino students in low income communities.

4. Projects informing the public about the diverse experiences before, during, and after the incarceration: Nisei veterans, the role of Nisei women, Japanese Latin Peruvians, those interned at the Department of Justice camps, the effects of incarceration on Sansei and Yonsei, the experience of Hawaiians during World War II, the role of the Military Intelligence Services, those who resisted incarceration, and the redress movement.

5. Projects recipients have diverse backgrounds and make meaningful contributions by teaching the lessons learned from the incarceration. They include museums, resource libraries, state arts and humanities councils, K- 12 school teachers, universities, research institutes, community colleges, National Asian American organizations, artists and theater groups, graduate students, those who were incarcerated and other talented individuals knowledgeable about the lessons learned from the incarceration.
On August 27, 1997, over 50 curriculum grant recipients, applicants, educators, and facilitators gathered on the campus of San Francisco State University for a summit sponsored by the CLPEF.
From June 28-30, 1998, a national conference was held in San Francisco for all of the CLPEF grantees with over 200 people attending. Co-sponsored by the Asian American Studies Program of UC Berkeley, the CLPEF conference enabled grant recipients to present their projects and findings to the public.
In November 1998 the Civil Liberties Public Education Fund closed its offices. For more information on the activities of the CLPEF, see:

Scope and Content of Collection

The series titles in this collection are divided into seven subject areas: Arts and Media; Community Development; Curriculum; Landmarks and Institutions; National Fellowships; Research Projects; Research Resources. Within the series each folder is arranged alphabetically by the name of the grant recipient. The folders contain the recipients grant applications and projects. These projects are represented in various material types such as, CD-ROM's, VHS cassettes, audiocassettes, and manuscripts. The complete listing of grant projects can be found on the CLPEF Network website:

Indexing Terms

The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
Japanese Americans--Evacuation and relocation, 1942-1945.
Japanese Americans
Civil Liberties Public Education Fund

Collection Contents


Series 1 Arts and Media

Series Scope and Content Summary

This series contains CLPEF applications and projects focusing on the arts and media. There are projects such as Documentaries, Short Stories, Novels, Plays, Concert Performances, Theater Productions, Animated Videos, and Graphic Novels.

Series 2 Community Development

Series Scope and Content Summary

This series focuses on grant applications and projects that help aid communities in developing awareness and understanding of the Japanese American incarceration. There are Oral Histories, Educational Materials, Books, Questionnaires, and National Studies.

Series 3 Curriculum

Series Scope and Content Summary

This series focuses on building educational programs and lesson plans for students. Examples of curriculum include: Teacher training workshops on incarceration; 6-week study circle on racism using the incarceration experience as focus; and a panel presentations on the incarceration experiencing targeted to cross cultural audiences. Grant applicants include the San Mateo JACL Chapter, Pan American Nikkei, Oregon State University, and the School District of Philadelphia.

Series 4 Landmarks and Institutions

Series Scope and Content Summary

The Landmarks and Institutions series focuses on the creation and development of memorials and exhibits representing the Japanese American experience during WWII and incarceration. Some of the institutions and historic sites that received CLPEF grants are The Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation, the Manzanar Committee, and the National Japanese American Memorial Foundation.

Series 5 National Fellowships

Series Scope and Content Summary

The National Fellowship grants were awarded to Ph.D. and MA students conducting research, cultural analysis, and dissertations on the Japanese American experience. The grant recipients came from diverse educational backgrounds such as Art History, Education, Asian American studies, and Mass Communication.

Series 6 Research Projects

Series Scope and Content Summary

The Research Projects grants were awarded to professors and programs from well renowned institutions throughout the United States such as the University of Michigan's Asian/Pacific American Studies Program, Georgetown University's School of Law, and University of Hawaii's Social Science Research Institute.

Series 7 Research Resources

Series Scope and Content Summary

The Research Resources series contains grant applications and projects from research institutions such as the Japanese American National Museum, California State University Sacramento, and the Japanese American National Library. These projects focused on cataloging materials, digital archiving, and film restoration.