The Time of Remembrance Program was created in 1983 by the late Mary Tsukamoto, Elk Grove educator and lifelong civil rights activist. In 1942, Mary, her husband Al, and daughter Marielle were forced to leave their home with whatever possessions they could carry and relocate to an internment camp in Jerome, Arizona. It was not until 1945 that Mary and her family returned to California, hoping to pick up the pieces of their lives in an atmosphere that was still charged with racial prejudices against Japanese-Americans. With much determination and courage, she pursued a career in teaching and became one of California's first Japanese-American teachers. Throughout her career, she worked tirelessly with local communities and schools to bring all races and ethnic backgrounds together. Part of her continuing local legacy is the Time of Remembrance Program, which she organized to bring Elk Grove students into contact with former internees to listen to their stories and to learn what it means to be an American citizen.
As the Time of Remembrance Program has grown and evolved over the years, it has also changed locations. In order to educate a broader sector of K12 students and the California community at large, the TOR Program has moved from EGUSD's District Office to the California Museum for History, Women, and the Arts, close to the State Capital.
The exhibit surveys approximately one hundred years of Japanese American history in California. Students and their teachers have the opportunity to meet with former internees to learn firsthand about the discrimination Japanese-Americans living on the West Coast faced during World War II, including the most flagrant offense against them - the forced removal and internment. They can also step inside a replica internment camp barracks, view a model guard tower, and learn about some of the men and women of Japanese ancestry who built communities, served their country, and stood up for their rights.
For a schedule of EGUSD workshops and contact information for the California Museum of History, Women, and the Arts, check to TOR Calendar. To download the Museum's 5th grade teacher and student packets, click on Teacher Part 1, Teacher Part 2, and Student Packet.