March 2, 2024 #1 Local News, Forum, Information and Event Source for Venice Beach, California.

Venice Community Housing YouthBuild Helps Maintains VJAMM

By Staff Writer

On Friday, August 24, 2018, nine young adults and two directors from Venice YouthBuild, a comprehensive educational, job-training and leadership development program sponsored by Venice Community Housing (VCH), helped polish the Venice Japanese American Memorial Monument and sweep up debris from the surrounding sidewalk and street curbs. 

Young adults Tuituu Akau, Durant Dyer, Gage Fontana, Robert Funes, Victoria Guizar, Alanza Jimenez, Tahz Jones, Ramon Ortega and Shairis Plazola arrived on the northwest corner of Venice and Lincoln, accompanied by Venice YouthBuild Director Kevin Michini and YouthBuild Associate Director Tijana Quilici. Quilici had prepped the nine volunteers by screening the 2017 documentary by Abby Ginzberg and Ken Schneider, “And Then They Came for Us,” which focuses on the disturbingly current relevance of the 1942 forced removal of persons of Japanese ancestry from the West Coast, and their incarceration in ten American concentration camps under the War Relocation Authority.

Venice Japanese American Memorial Monument Committee provided cleaning supplies.

VJAMM Committee member Phyllis Hayashibara introduced the VJAMM obelisk to the YB participants, reading aloud the three-paragraph text, while the youth themselves volunteered to read aloud the five quotes from former Manzanar internees. Hayashibara explained how the Manzanar cemetery’s white obelisk, inscribed with three kanji characters, I REI TO, meaning “monument to console the dead,” inspired the VJAMM obelisk, to remind the living of our Constitutional rights and to be vigilant about protecting those rights.

I am so moved by this monument,” said YouthBuild volunteer Alanza Jimenez. “As a woman of mixed African American and Native American heritage, I know this injustice should not be forgotten, and I appreciate learning this history. In fact, I’d like to see more monuments dedicated to other groups of people who have suffered, so no one will forget, and so this will never happen again.”

The volunteers enjoyed a lunch of grilled veggie sandwiches and tuna salad sandwiches, generously donated by James’ Beach in Venice. VJAMM Committee member Suzanne Thompson had arranged for the donation, while VJAMM Committee member Kay Brown organized the pickup and delivery to the corner. The volunteers also shared a few sandwiches with a couple of women who walked up and wondered if they could have a sandwich, too.

“We have been learning to give back to the community,” said Robert Funes. “Whatever we do for the community, we get back in return.” Funes credited his wisdom to YB Director Michini, who has pledged Venice YouthBuild to help maintain the VJAMM on a regular basis as a new component of their monthly community service.

James’ Beach in Venice donated grilled veggie sandwiches and tuna salad sandwiches.

Beach Cities Carwash employee Rafael came over to thank the young adults for helping to clean up the street corner. He said the carwash plans to re-landscape the corner of the carwash with a variety of plants.

VCH’s mission statement reads, “Venice Community Housing works to reduce homelessness, maximize affordable housing, empower low-income constituents, provide social services, and advocate for public policy that protects and strengthens the economic, racial and cultural diversity of Venice and other neighborhoods on the Westside of Los Angeles.” 

VHC, a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization, celebrates thirty years of affordable housing and community development, and serves as the fiscal sponsor for the Venice Arts Council and the Venice Japanese American Memorial Monument Committee. For more information about Venice YouthBuild, please visit http://www.vchcorp.org/venice-youthbuild/

For more information about the Venice Japanese American Memorial Monument, please visit http://www.venicejamm.org or Facebook@venicejamm.

in Opinion
Related Posts

New Program Can Help Protect Southern California Homes in the Event of an Earthquake

May 13, 2023

May 13, 2023

Residents Have Until May 31 To Apply For Seismic Retrofit Grants By Janiele Maffei, Chief Mitigation Officer for the California...

Venice Shorts: Tree Trimming Underway Thanks to the Vsa!

April 28, 2023

April 28, 2023

VSA Has Taken up the Task of Trimming Italian Stone Pine Trees. By Nick Antonicello Following the recent toppling of...

Venice Stakeholders Association’s Comments on Traci Park’s Broken Bridge Housing Promise

April 24, 2023

April 24, 2023

By Marc Ryavec I have been struggling with how to address the phenomenon that someone I and many others in...

Column: Tired OF Declinists? Some Enduring New California Positives

April 18, 2023

April 18, 2023

By Thomas D. Elias California has taken a beating lately, with (mostly Republican) governors of other states blasting many aspects...

Venice Shorts: The South Venice Blvd Encampment, Is It a Candidate for a City Cleanup?

April 14, 2023

April 14, 2023

One of the last of the large encampments closest to the beach, Venetians are hopeful help is on the way!...

Venice Shorts: Averill Defeats Tyminski 63%-37% to Become President of Venice Neighborhood Council

April 3, 2023

April 3, 2023

In second bid for top spot, surfer/photographer Brian Averill coasts to an easy win against Venice attorney and outgoing Vice-President...

Column: Install at LAX Tiny Homes From The State Grant

March 31, 2023

March 31, 2023

By Clark Brown On March 16  Governor Newsom announced in Sacramento, his first stop on his State of the State of...

Venice Shorts: Night & Day – Flower & Lincoln Transformed, Back in Business

March 28, 2023

March 28, 2023

By Nick Antonicello In what was a Venice eyesore just a few months ago has been transformed into a place...

Opinion: Please Vote for Daffodil Tyminski

March 25, 2023

March 25, 2023

This is Tom Williams, your neighbor at 1011 Main Street.  With the upcoming VNC election this Sunday, I wanted to reach...

Venice Shorts: Popular Local Jim Robb Seeks Vp Slot, Endorses Brian Averill for President of the VNC!

March 23, 2023

March 23, 2023

By Nick Antonicello  VENICE – In a twist of events longtime Community Officer Jim Robb will now be seeking the...

Venice Shorts: Tabor Family Legacy Amara Hordt Seeks Seat on VNC This Sunday!

March 22, 2023

March 22, 2023

Local realtor looks to follow a family legacy of engaged community involvement here in Venice By Nick Antonicello VENICE –...

Venice Shorts: Erica Moore, A Cheerleader For Venice In Her Run For Community Officer!

March 22, 2023

March 22, 2023

By Nick Antonicello VENICE – Local caterer Erica Moore is making a second run for the Venice Neighborhood Council, but...

Venice Shorts: Running Unopposed, Nico Ruderman’s Deep Dive Into Politics and Government Continues!

March 22, 2023

March 22, 2023

By Nick Antonicello VENICE – It has been an interesting two years of political action, involvement and advocacy for Nico...

Venice Shorts: “V” for Venice Volunteer

March 20, 2023

March 20, 2023

Media professional, local business owner and Dad, Eric Alan Donaldson is defined by his volunteerism and love of Venice. By...

Deborah Keaton, a Consensus Building Candidate for VNC Community Officer!

March 20, 2023

March 20, 2023

Creative director, global brander and private business owner seeks a general consensus on what’s best for Venice moving forward.  By...