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Japanese American National Museum Develops Lesson Plans for Instructions to All Persons Exhibition

LOS ANGELES, April 24, 2017—The Japanese American National Museum has developed a series of lesson plans for teachers to complement its Instructions to All Persons: Reflections on Executive Order 9066 exhibition and enhance student learning of the 75th anniversary of President Franklin Roosevelt’s signing of the order that led to the tragic and unlawful incarceration of 120,000 individuals of Japanese ancestry during World War II. Now available on the museum’s website, the lessons are intended for middle and high school students and can be used both when visiting the museum and in the classroom. Development of the lesson plans was funded by The Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation, which also funded a two-day teacher workshop at the museum March 31-April 1.

Each of the six lessons now available at is intended to encourage reflection and discussion about the experience of Japanese Americans during World War II and its continuing relevance today. The lessons are:

Bill of Rights: Violated or Upheld?
Instructions to All Persons: Document Analysis
Do Words Matter? Civilian Exclusion Order
A Dream Deferred
Instructions to All Persons
Looking at Current Executive Orders

“We hope that the lessons we’ve developed will help educators guide their students into meaningful thought and conversation about what happened during World War II, what similarities and differences they observe in the world today, and why it’s important for everyone to be vigilant about protecting the democracy of the United States,” said Allyson Nakamoto, the museum’s Director of Education. “The Japanese American National Museum opened to the public 25 years ago and while the World War II experience has always been at the core of our mission and work, making sure that younger generations connect with what happened and understand the ramifications of certain actions, or lack of action, seems especially vital right now. We’re grateful to The Broad Foundation for its support in helping us bring these lesson plans to fruition.”

The two-day teacher workshop brought together educators from the Los Angeles Unified School District and local charter schools, experts, and first-person voices to gain a better understanding of how listening to and learning about other people’s stories is so important when teaching young people. A first-grade teacher reflected, “This workshop inspired me to bring more marginalized voices and histories to my classroom and gave me concrete tools and support to do so. The speakers were amazing and discussion was quite mind-opening. It’s such an important time to be doing this work. I feel incredibly grateful to have had this experience.”

“The incarceration that resulted from Executive Order 9066 75 years ago is increasingly relevant today, and it’s vitally important that parents and teachers instill lessons of the past in our children so that shameful injustices never happen again,” said Gerun Riley, president of The Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation. “We are pleased to support lesson materials and professional development that allow teachers to make learning even more impactful for their students.”



Instructions to All Persons: Reflections on Executive Order 9066
Through August 13, 2017
Instructions to All Persons: Reflections on Executive Order 9066, commemorates the 75th anniversary of President Franklin Roosevelt’s signing of Executive Order 9066, which led to the tragic and unlawful incarceration of 120,000 individuals of Japanese ancestry during World War II. Instructions to All Persons is intended to engage visitors in critical discussions of the Japanese American incarceration experience and its continuing relevance today. It aims to examine the social impact of language and encourage viewers to contemplate the lessons of the past, as well as to compare World War II experiences with current events.

New Frontiers: The Many Worlds of George Takei
Through August 20, 2017
New Frontiers: The Many Worlds of George Takei explores the life and career of pioneering actor, activist, and social media icon George Takei. By examining Takei’s diverse experiences and achievements, this entertaining and interactive exhibition creates a portrait of a unique individual while offering an innovative means of engaging with the social history of America.

Common Ground: The Heart of Community
Incorporating hundreds of objects, documents and photographs collected by JANM, this exhibition chronicles 130 years of Japanese American history, from the early days of the Issei pioneers through the World War II incarceration to the present.

About The Broad Foundations
The Broad Foundations, which include The Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation and The Broad Art Foundation, were established to advance entrepreneurship for the public good in education, science and the arts. For more information, visit

About the Japanese American National Museum (JANM)
Established in 1985, the Japanese American National Museum promotes understanding and appreciation of America’s ethnic and cultural diversity by sharing the Japanese American experience. Located in the historic Little Tokyo district of downtown Los Angeles, JANM is a hybrid institution that straddles traditional museum categories and strives to provide a voice for Japanese Americans as well as a forum that enables all people to explore their own heritage and culture. Since opening to the public, JANM has presented over 70 exhibitions onsite and traveled 17 of its exhibitions to locations around the world, including the Smithsonian Institution and the Ellis Island Museum in the United States, and several leading cultural museums in Japan and South America.

JANM is located at 100 N. Central Ave., Los Angeles. Museum hours are Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Thursday from noon to 8 p.m. General admission is $10 adults, $6 students and seniors, free for members and children under age five. Admission is free to everyone on Thursdays from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. and every third Thursday of the month from noon to 8 p.m. General admission prices and free admission times may not apply to specially ticketed exhibitions. Closed Monday, 4th of July, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day. For more information visit or call 213.625.0414.

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