History of The Solidarity Arts Fellowship
This program originates from Bridging Communities (BC), which started in 2007 as a proactive partnership between Nikkei for Civil Rights and Redress (NCRR), the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) and the Japanese American Citizens League (JACL) in the long aftermath of 9/11. Originally a high school program, Bridging Communities was the first youth program of its kind to draw connections between the history of Japanese Americans post Pearl Harbor and the similar, yet distinct, experiences of Muslim Americans today.
Multigenerational leadership of BC has now evolved the program into a Solidarity Arts Fellowship for college students to experience creative organizing and radical relationship building. This fellowship is committed to empowering emerging leaders with a foundation of solidarity to resist Islamophobia and to support the fellows in their community work beyond the program.
“REMEMBER THAT CONSCIOUSNESS IS POWER. CONSCIOUSNESS IS EDUCATION AND KNOWLEDGE. CONSCIOUSNESS IS BECOMING AWARE. IT IS THE PERFECT VEHICLE FOR STUDENTS. CONSCIOUSNESS-RAISING IS PERTINENT FOR POWER, AND BE SURE THAT POWER WILL NOT BE ABUSIVELY USED, BUT USED FOR BUILDING TRUST AND GOODWILL DOMESTICALLY AND INTERNATIONALLY. TOMORROW’S WORLD IS YOURS TO BUILD.”
— Yuri Kochiyama, incarcerated in Jerome, Arkansas during WWII