Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Minidoka Symposium and Pilgrimage

I returned this week to Seattle from the annual Minidoka Symposium and Minidoka Pilgrimage. This was the 6th year for the pilgrimage and the 3rd year for the symposium. Although both events are centered in Twin Falls (Idaho) at about the same time, the symposium and pilgrimage are separate events with only about a dozen or so folks who attend both.

Both events are high quality, and both had record turnouts this year. The symposium saw a 50% increase (100 to 150) from last year. This audience is predominantly local (Idaho students and teachers) and this year the focus was the relationship of the media to civil liberties. I spoke at the Symposium about how the media in the 1940s portrayed Japanese Americans.

The pilgrimage grew from about 150 to 250 this year. This audience is predominantly Japanese Americans who come from Seattle and Portland. I went to the first pilgrimage and the difference is that there are many more young people who attended this 6th Minidoka pilgrimage.

What I would love to see in the future is more overlap between the symposium and the pilgrimage. I think participants would benefit from mingling and talking with participants from the other event.

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