Enduring Democracy: The monterey Petition

Enduring Democracy: The Monterey Petition" tells the story of the courage and compassion demonstrated by Monterey residents as Japanese Americans return to their hometown after being released from incarceration in the World War II Interment Camps.

About The Documentary

The Japanese Citizens League of the Monterey Peninsula was founded in January 1932 to fight against discriminatory legislation and racial prejudice.  The chapter today continues to fight for tolerance and diversity and the preservation of their cultural heritage.  In 2008, the Heritage Project made a commitment to develop a local resource center to house artifacts and documents of the Issei and Nisei generations contributions in many fields:  fishing our oceans for abalone and sardines, farming the rich land, working in canneries on Cannery Row, operating retail fish businesses on old Fisherman’s Wharf, and the universal pastime of baseball. 

More about the film

The Project archives artifacts and information to increase understanding of the impact of the wartime experience on the post-1945 lives of the Monterey Peninsula Issei and the Japanese American community.The Heritage Project was invited to participate as part of the Go For Broke Foundation’s Courage and Compassion grant.   The Heritage Project commitment was to produce a 25-minute classroom film highlighting the story of the Monterey Petition and what the brave citizens of Monterey did at the close of World War II to support their Japanese American neighbors.As the story grew, the concept of the classroom film was expanded into a 58-minute documentary film that includes history, interviews, and connections with events occurring today.This film tells how the original petition was discovered, replays the historical context, reflects on how Monterey was different, and raises questions of racial prejudice and civil rights both then and now.


Heritage Project Co-Chairperson


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