SANTA MONICA—The Venice Japanese American Memorial Monument Committee thanked young volunteers at YouthBuild of Venice Community Housing for resuming monthly sweeping around its VJAMM obelisk.

On their website, the Venice Japanese American Memorial Monument Committee (VJAMM) reported that “Orlando Nava, Venice Community Housing YouthBuild Case Manager, supervises YouthBuild volunteers Windexing the VJAMM and sweeping up the sidewalk and curb debris” on September 25. They also thanked the young volunteers by listing their names: Kaylyn, Jose, Alexandria, Joseph, Geo, and Joey, and Orlando. They offered a lunch bowl from Rutt’s Hawaiian Café for each volunteer, thanks to the donation from Dr. Thomas Yoshikawa.

The VJAMM obelisk, known as “the Venice Japanese American Memorial Monument,” is made of black granite and located at the northwest corner of Venice and Lincoln Boulevards. The VJAMM Committee dedicated the monument on April 27, 2017. It reminds us that during World War Ⅱ, Japanese Americans and Japanese people were imprisoned and taken to concentration camps under the war relocation authority. Its front reads “May this Venice Japanese American Memorial Monument remind us to be forever vigilant about defending our constitutional rights.”

YouthBuild had once postponed its activities in the spring and early summer of 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. On June 26, YouthBuild Case Manager Marisol Perez met three YouthBuild volunteers when they came to clean the monument, and YouthBuild Case Manager Brandy Alonzo met eight volunteers on July 17.

Venice YouthBuild is a comprehensive program providing education, job training and leadership development services to young people who do not go to school or work between the ages of 18 and 24. The students work towards earning their high school diploma or equivalent and job training certificates.