The Solidarity Arts Fellowship builds upon a decade-long commitment of Muslim Americans and Japanese Americans building a new culture of solidarity and resistance together - now needed more than ever.
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.
The six month fellowship provides rare experiences of deepening understanding, awareness and greater solidarity amongst our communities through leadership development, arts-based organizing, and field trips. These field trips include transformative and immersive experiences into community, including visits to the Manzanar Historic Incarceration Site, a SoCal masjid/mosque, the Japanese American Cultural and Community Center’s Aratani Theatre for a special viewing of PULLproject Ensemble’s theatre piece called “Tales of Clamor”, and much more.
Fellows gain access to facilitation, training, and mentorship from long-time/experienced leaders and artists from the Muslim and Japanese American communities.
“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
Applications are now open for the six-month fellowship, running from January - June 2019! Apply by December 14th, 2018.