Stand Up for Justice DVD/Curriculum Available to Calif. High School Teachers!

The NCRR Education Committee is pleased to announce that a ten-year collaboration with Visual Communications has culminated in the production of a 33-minute film about Ralph Lazo and the “Stand Up for Justice Curriculum Guide” for secondary school social sciences teachers.

 The “Stand Up for Justice” film is about 17-year-old Lazo’s World War II friendship with his Nisei high school classmates from Belmont High School.  Lazo, a Latino of Mexican and Irish descent, decided to go with them to the Manzanar concentration camp and remained at Manzanar fort more than two years.  He graduated from Manzanar High School in 1944, was drafted into the armed forces, and later became active in the movement to win reparations for Japanese Americans.  He remained life-long friends with his fellow Manzanar classmates and the Japanese American community.

After production of the film, NCRR’s Education Committee developed curriculum lessons and resource materials to accompany the Lazo docu-drama.  The lessons are especially geared for 10th grade U.S. History and 11th grade American Democracy classes.  Teachers at other grade levels have used the film to promote interethnic understanding, and, at the college level, instructors have screened the educational video in their Asian American history classes.

Due to generous grants from the California Civil Liberties Public Education Program, the Japanese American Community Services, the Henri and Tomoye Takahashi Charitable Foundation, the Aratani Foundation, and hundreds of individual donations, 2000 copies of the guide/DVD were produced and are available free to secondary school Social Studies teachers. 

During the last nine months over 400 copies were distributed to teachers who attended workshops in Southern California and in the San Francisco Bay area.  NCRR teachers have conducted workshops at conferences of the California Teachers Association, California Association for Bilingual Education, California Council for the Social Studies, as well as at United Teachers of Los Angeles (UTLA)-sponsored workshops, and workshops in the Long Beach, Torrance and LA County school districts.  A workshop was held for San Francisco high school teachers with the help of Greg Marutani of the SF JACL.

The NCRR Education Committee is exploring ways to reach teachers in Northern California, the San Joaquin Valley, and other districts that are out of the immediate Los Angeles area.  Educators who are willing to organize a workshop for 10 or more people should contact the Education Committee at  NCRR will send a teacher to conduct the workshop or arrange for the training of persons willing to do the workshops.