As plans to build the Go For Broke National Education Center in the Little Tokyo area of Downtown Los Angeles at Temple and Alameda Streets move forward, the United States Congress has approved an additional $1.5 million toward construction, following $4 million awarded to the nonprofit organization for 2009. The new headquarters for Go For Broke National Education Center is being located beside the Go For Broke Monument that the organization completed in 1999.
"On behalf of Go For Broke National Education Center, we’re thrilled to again receive funding from the United States Congress in recognition of the World War II Japanese American veterans’ service and sacrifice,” said Christine Sato-Yamazaki, president and chief executive officer of the National Education Center. “This funding brings us closer to our vision to build a world-class center where we can educate the public on the rights and responsibilities of American citizenship.”
Acknowledging members of the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate who played critical roles in securing the funds for the nonprofit organization, Sato-Yamazaki added, “We are especially grateful to our local representatives, Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard and Congressman Adam Schiff, who worked hard to obtain this funding. We also thank Senator Daniel Akaka, Congressman Neil Abercrombie and Congressman Michael Honda for their support of this project and our mission. Each of these leaders embodies the Go For Broke spirit and played an important role in making the funding a reality.”
The funding is part of the Fiscal Year 2010 Defense Appropriations Bill passed by the United States House of Representatives (HR 3326) on Dec. 16, 2009 and approved by the Senate on Dec. 19, 2009. The legislation invests in troop support at home as well as on the battlefields, and includes a military pay raise, improvements in medical care and needed programs for military families.
“It’s a pleasure to work in partnership with the Go For Broke National Education Center under the dedicated leadership of Christine Sato-Yamazaki and the many veterans whose vision and commitment to preserving the courageous legacy of the Nisei World War II veterans remain the driving force behind this historic effort,” said Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard who represents the Downtown area of Los Angeles where Little Tokyo is located and worked to secure federal funds for the organization’s teacher training program and planned educational center from her seat on Appropriations. “The center will provide a valuable resource to educate the public about the inspirational stories of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team and the 100th Infantry Battalion, the most decorated combat unit for its size in U.S. military history. It will also serve as a reminder to future generations of the tragic consequences of ignorance, racism, discrimination and injustice.”
The new Go For Broke National Education Center will provide public and student access to interactive exhibits using videotaped oral histories of men and women who served in the 100th Infantry Battalion, 442nd Regimental Combat Team, Military Intelligence Service (MIS) and other units that operated overseas during World War II, including in Occupied Japan. It will serve as the center for teacher training and groundbreaking educational programs offered through school districts nationwide. It will also be a center for research and storehouse for a vast digital library of oral histories that continues to grow, lesson plans, historical content, interactive educational initiatives and more.
“The Go For Broke National Education Center will ensure that the bravery and sacrifice of the World War II Japanese American soldiers remains meaningful for generations to come,” said Congressman Adam Schiff (CA-29). “It will be a center where teachers, schoolchildren and the public can all access their great stories.”
The design concept for the Go For Broke National Education Center features a two-story, 14,999-sq.-ft. building that includes a Legacy Wall with names of 15,000 veterans of Japanese American ancestry who served the United States during World War II that are in addition to the more than 16,000 already engraved on the Go For Broke Monument. The national education center will both serve as a backdrop for the Go For Broke Monument and complement it.
Go For Broke National Education Center has created the largest oral history archive of its kind though its increasingly urgent Hanashi Oral History Program and provides educational curricula for schools in California, Hawaii, Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C. In early 2010, the nonprofit organization will train teachers and introduce its social studies and history curriculum in schools in Houston, TX. Information about Go For Broke National Education Center, including membership, is available at www.goforbroke.org.
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