Funds to Support, Expand Public Education on Nisei WWII Veterans’ Legacy
Go For Broke National Education Center (GFBNEC) today announced the awarding of two grants from the Aratani Foundation and Keiro® that will support the nonprofit center’s national efforts to preserve and expand the legacy of Japanese American WWII veterans.
The substantial grant from the Aratani Foundation will support GFBNEC’s “Defining Courage” educational exhibit in Little Tokyo by underwriting complimentary admission for teachers and students, as well as families, on designated dates in 2018. The grant also will help GFBNEC launch a new national exhibition that is currently under development, and will further support the organization’s annual Evening of Aloha gala fundraiser.
The Aratani Foundation was launched in 1994 by Nisei entrepreneur and philanthropist George Aratani and his wife, Sakaye. Following his incarceration at the Gila River concentration camp during WWII, George Aratani served as a bilingual instructor at the Military Intelligence Service language school at Camp Savage, Minn.
“The Aratani family has supported GFBNEC since its inception in 1989, and we’re extremely grateful for their generosity in helping us to educate the public about our Nisei veterans’ values of duty, sacrifice, humility and honor,” Dr. Mitchell T. Maki, GFBNEC’s President and Chief Executive Officer, said. “Today, the Aratani Foundation is helping us to reach a broader spectrum of Americans, both regionally and nationally, at a time when patriotism and social justice are more relevant than ever.”
Separately, Keiro® has awarded GFBNEC a grant of $16,900 to provide transportation and support that will enable Nisei veterans to participate in the organization’s regular meetings, special events and educational programs. Founded in 1961, Keiro® is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to improving the quality of senior life in the Japanese American and Japanese community.
“Keiro®’s support makes it possible for many of our Nisei veterans, who are in their 90s or even older, to attend GFBNEC’s regular meetings and help to direct the organization’s future,” Dr. Maki said. “It’s such a privilege to have our senior veterans share their experience and wisdom with schools, community groups and the public—they’re part of our living history. The Keiro® grant helps ensure that our vets can participate in a wonderful range of activities, from educational events and multigenerational social activities to our annual Evening of Aloha gala.”
Note to Media: “Go For Broke” was the motto of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, a segregated Army unit composed of Japanese Americans from Hawaii and the mainland. The term was Hawaiian slang for “shooting the works,” or risking everything for the big win in gambling—as the Nisei soldiers did while fighting in the field in WWII and facing prejudice at home in the U.S.
Keiro® is expanding its reach to broadly engage and support Japanese American and Japanese older adults wherever they call home. Serving primarily Los Angeles, Orange and Ventura counties, Keiro® provides services to older adults and caregivers, along with programs for residents of Keiro®’s former facilities. For more information, please visit www.keiro.org
About Go For Broke National Education Center
Go For Broke National Education Center (GFBNEC) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that educates the public on the valor of Japanese American veterans of World War II and their contributions to democracy. Our goal is to inspire new generations to embody the Nisei veterans’ core values of courage, sacrifice, equality, humility and patriotism. Founded in 1989, GFBNEC maintains the Go For Broke Monument and the interactive “GFBNEC’s Defining Courage Exhibition” in downtown Los Angeles, as well as extensive oral histories and archives, education and training programs, and other initiatives. For more information, please visit http://www.goforbroke.org.