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What It Means To Be An American: Lesson Plans on Race and the Media in Times of Crisis (curricula)

Creators: Japanese American Citizens League


Published by the Japanese American Citizens League in 2004, this 24-page booklet provides a middle/high school curriculum that addresses the parallels between the World War II experience of Japanese Americans and the post-September 11th experience of Arab and Muslim Americans. The unit is organized into three lessons "Hidden Truths – The Use of Spin," "Opinion-Editorials," "Political Cartoons," with a total of ten learning activities. The booklet also includes background information about the World War II Japanese American incarceration, the impact of September 11 on Arab and Muslim Americans, and myths and stereotypes.

Most of the handouts needed for the lessons are not contained within the booklet, but can be accessed through online links. Some of these links are broken, but may be accessible through an online search using the document's name and author.

The booklet was funded through the September 11th Anti-Bias Project joint initiative of the National Conference for Community and Justice (NCCJ) and the Chevron Texaco Foundation. The Japanese American Citizens League developed teacher workshops held in Dearborn, San Francisco and Houston. The lesson plans contained in the booklet are an outgrowth of these workshops, adapted by Kay Nomura. Contributing teachers: Jodi Mackley Berger, Avondale High School Auburn Hills, Michigan; Tim Brooks, Adams High Schook, Rochester Hills, Michigan; Audrey Suratos, Irvington High School, Fremont, California; Kourtney Thompson, Avondale High School, Auburn Hills, Michigan.

Authored by Janet Hayakawa , Densho