HISTORY OF THE POSTON COMMUNITY ALLIANCE
In 2003, we held a Strategic Visioning Session held over three days with members of the Japanese American and Native American communities resulting in the creation of our mission and vision. The session was funded by the California Civil Liberties Public Education Program, the National Trust for Historic Preservation, the Colorado River Indian Tribe Education Department and private donations. The following year, the Colorado River Indian Tribal Council passed a resolution dedicating 40 acres for the historic preservation of the Poston confinement site – Poston Camp I.
In 2007, we received nonprofit status from the Internal Revenue Service and became a 501 (c) (3) organization. The Advisory Board of the National Park System voted in 2010 to recommend National Historic Landmark designation for the Poston Elementary School Site, Unit 1. With a grant of $25,100 from the U.S. National Park Service, Japanese American Confinement Sites Grant Program awarded in 2010 and matching funds of $18,000, former Poston internees were interviewed and 62 oral histories were digitized.
In 2011, we relocated and rehabilitated a historic barrack located in Parker, Arizona and returned it to the Poston Camp I site with funding of $31,000 from the U.S. National Park Service, Japanese American Confinement Sites Grant Program and matching funds met by donations. Production of our documentary film For the Sake of the Children began in 2012 after receiving a grant of $62,000 from the U.S. National Park Service, Japanese American Confinement Sites Grant Program.
It was a historic moment in October 2012 when we received final approval for
designation of Poston Elementary School, Unit I, as a NATIONAL HISTORIC LANDMARK. We were fortunate to be awarded grant funding in 2014 of $20,000 from the National Endowment for the Arts for our documentary film: For the Sake of the Children. Matching funds of $20,000 were met. That same year we were awarded a grant of $163,750 for a Historic Structures Assessment and Stabilization of Poston Elementary School Site from the National Park Service, Japanese American Confinement Sites Grant Program. Matching funds of $81,875 were met from other sources such as the National Trust for Historic Preservation, private foundations and individual donations.
2017 marked the year for several accomplishments including the release of our documentary film – For the Sake of the Children – and screening on February 19 at the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles. That same year, stabilization of the Poston Elementary School Site adobe classrooms was completed.
Currently we are restoring the former library on the Poston Elementary School Site I, with funding from the National Park Service’s Japanese American Confinement Sites Grant Program, for use as a future visitor center. On April 5, 2018, Poston’s first pilgrimage took place with support from the tribal community of the Colorado River Indian Tribes and approximately 250 people attending from throughout the U.S.