Film: Bully: Awareness, Perspective, and Prevention

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Film & Other Media

Oct 201320

Japanese American Museum of San Jose
535 N. Fifth Street
San Jose, California, 95112
United States

On October 20, JAMsj Youth will be hosting an event entitled "Bully: Awareness, Perspective, and Prevention." The purpose of this event is to spread awareness about bullying in the context of WWII Japanese experiences. The event will begin with a screening of the movie Bully, a PG-13 documentary detailing the lives of five American high school students struggling with bullying.

The documentary film Bully, directed by Sundance and Emmy-award winning filmmaker, Lee Hirsch, brings human scale to this startling statistic, offering an intimate, unflinching look at how bullying has touched five kids and their families. Photo courtesy of the National Japanese American Historical Society.
After the film, there will be a panel discussion followed by an answer and question session with education and mental health professionals.
The panel will consist of:

Dean Adachi, lecturer of US History and Asian American Studies at Laney College in Oakland
Ann Brownell, Mother and Founder of the Amanda Network
Carla Holtzclaw, Chair of Santa Clara County Mental Health Board
Miharu Yamamoto, ASW, PPSC, Clinic and School-based Mental Health  Services
Angela Yung, Youth President Japanese American Museum of San Jose

Discrimination against Japanese Americans during WWII parallels bullying in American schools. Bullying in its many forms-online, verbal, physical-impacts everyone in a community in different ways: observers, victims, and aggressors. Bullying is often a form of discrimination against people of different backgrounds, appearances, and cultures. Overcoming these differences and accepting others are key to building a strong community, both in schools and in society.  

Much in the same way, discrimination shaped the Japanese American experience during and after WWII. Historically, Japanese Americans have suffered from discrimination due to their distinct appearances and culture. Many unfair laws prevented Japanese Americans from owning their own land and inhibited immigration, but they often managed to succeed despite these societal constraints. 

In the confusion of WWII, many Japanese Americans were sent to internment centers against their will, regardless of their patriotism or adoption of American cultures. This stereotypical prejudice against Japanese Americans, based solely on their nationality and culture, reflects the prejudice and discrimination associated with bullying in American schools today.  

             Even for a while after the war, Japanese Americans had a hard time overcoming stereotypes and difficulties created during their internment. However, through hard work, strong character, and the help of others, they gained greater acceptance both in society and in the workplace. As with overcoming bullying, overcoming discrimination against Japanese Americans was a slow, yet rewarding process.

Because celebrating diverse cultures is keyto fighting bullying, JAMsj Youth is proud to present this movie screening to spread awareness on bullying and foster reflection on the Japanese American experience. Examining this experience will create a better understanding of bullying in American schools, advise how to tackle this problem, and show how to create stronger communities. In fact, we hope that the JAMsj Youth event will provide more insight into how to stop bullying and discrimination at all levels.

JAMsj Youth is led by students of any background who are dedicated to spreading Japanese American culture and history in innovative ways. We would like to remind the public that there are many cultures that make up America and that each and every culture, as well as each individual, is unique. We fight to preserve cultures, focusing on the Japanese American culture of the South Bay. 

RSVP required. Cost: Free with admission to the museum (non-members, $5; students and seniors over age 65, $3; JAMsj members and children under 12, free)

Contact or calling (408) 510-8609 to reserve your spot.

More Info on JAMsj visit:   
More info. on Bully film visit:



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JAMsj . Last modified Oct 13, 2013 6:41 p.m.


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