The Venice Japanese American Memorial Monument (VJAMM) Committee and Manzanar Committee announce the second annual Arnold Maeda Manzanar Pilgrimage Grant for 2022. Maeda, who died on September 10, 2020 at the age of 94, inspired the Venice Japanese American Memorial Monument Committee of which he served as a founding member. Arnold proved to be a willing and articulate speaker and an invaluable fundraiser. The VJAMM Committee inaugurated the VJAMM on April 27, 2017 on the northwest corner of Venice and Lincoln Boulevards in Venice, California. This is the place where about 1,000 people of Japanese descent were forcibly evicted from Venice, Santa Monica and Malibu with only what they could carry for their day-long bus ride to the Manzanar American concentration camp. Maeda recalled that day in his quote engraved on the memorial:
“Instead of worrying about where we were going, I became obsessed with breaking up with my constant companion, my dog Boy. For a fifteen year old it was an unforgettable trauma. “
Despite the trauma of being forcibly uprooted from Santa Monica and losing his family their home and kindergarten, Arnold excelled at Manzanar. He took part in musical and drama productions, lifted weights, worked as a kitchen helper and nurse, and became president of his senior class at Manzanar High School in 1944. After the end of World War II, Arnold began volunteering for the Manzanar Reunion Committee, the Santa Monica Nikkei Hall, and in 2010 the Venice Japanese American Memorial Monument Committee. Applicants learn about Arnold Maeda by finding his many interviews and articles online, and describe his life and legacy in an essay, short story or poem.
Applicants will address three or more areas of reflection: who Maeda was and how he became a role model for the Japanese-American community; how Maeda’s legacy affected the applicant; how the applicant will apply the lessons learned from Maeda to his or her life today; how Maeda’s life in the American concentration camp Manzanar compares / contrasts with the life of the student today; how collaboration and service to others have affected the applicant’s life; how and why working with the Manzanar Committee on the Manzanar Pilgrimage 2022 will help the applicant better understand Maeda’s life and legacy.
The two recipients of the Arnold Maeda Manzanar Pilgrimage Grant 2022 will each receive a grant of USD 500 for their participation in planning meetings and for their participation in the Manzanar Pilgrimage Weekend of 29 (transportation, room and board). Application deadline: January 7, 2022; all applicants will be informed of the evaluation results by the end of January 2022.
To read Leslie Aguilar’s 2021 Scholarship Winner Essay, please go to
Download the information pack and application form from www.venicejamm.org or https://manzanarcommittee.org. Questions can be sent to the following address: [email protected]
Submitted by Phyllis Hayashibara