Japanese American National Museum Fighting for Democracy Traveling Exhibit

Fighting for Democracy uses World War II as a framework to examine the concept of democracy and its relation to minorities. Presented in a multimedia narrative format, the exhibit chronicles the lives of seven ethnically diverse Americans during the World War II era.Despite the racist, sexist, and anti-immigrant sentiments they regularly encountered, these seven individuals served their country in the armed forces during the war and helped advance the domestic fight for full civil rights. Their stories all point toward the thematic question of the exhibit: “Who is the ‘we’ in ‘We the People’?” The exhibit is divided into three chapters that document these individuals’ experiences. The first chapter introduces the individuals and their lives before WWII. The second chapter, the heart of the exhibit, narrates the war-time experiences of each character in videos, using viewing booths styled after military tents. The third chapter contains interactive screens, allowing visitors to piece together what happened to the characters and their families after the war. The exhibit provides a unique educational experience for students learning about democracy and civil rights. Its interactive features facilitate a forum for discussion that teachers can moderate and use to fit their curricula. Learners of all ages are guaranteed to leave this thought-provoking exhibit with new insights and opinions. (The description above was written by the University of Texas San Antonio. We reprint it here with permission and gratitude.)