Brief History: In commemoration of the 20th anniversary of NJ-ALPHA, in the summer of 2023, officers and other active members of NJ-ALPHA met, discussed, and decided that NJ-ALPHA should continue its objective, because not only that its original objective is still valid, furthermore its importance is even more critical today, because history may repeat itself as the world is moving toward more conflicts and wars, even involving nuclear wars.
First, we want to summarize what NJ-ALPHA has done in the past 20 years in the area of improving education and understanding of the atrocities experienced by millions of Asians during WWII.
When the founding leaders of NJ-ALPHA were contemplating what activities NJ-ALPHA could do to help improve the high school education in their history and civics courses, it was decided that NJ-ALPHA could organize study tours in China and Asia for high school teachers and educators focusing on that part of history, and they can incorporate that part of history in their high school history, civics, and other courses. Such study tours were initiated by NJ-ALPHA in 2006. Another such study tour was organized in 2008. Several participants of these study tours worked together with NJ-ALPHA to develop a Curriculum Guide for Secondary Teachers titled “The Nanking Massacre and Other Japanese Atrocities Committed During Asia-Pacific War 1931-1945.” That led to close collaboration between NJ-ALPHA and the “NJ Commission on Holocaust Education,” a NJ state government agency with a core mission to promote Holocaust and related education throughout the state by surveying, designing, encouraging and promoting Holocaust and genocide education and awareness.
Then ALPHA-like organizations in other parts of the U.S. and Canada also joined and expanded the study tours to include other parts of Asia (e.g., South Korea), and helped generate many other educational documents on that part of history. Therefore, NJ-ALPHA and other ALPHA organizations did make a significant impact in helping to educate American and Canadian high school students on the sufferings and atrocities experienced by Chinese and other Asians during WWII. After a pause of 3-4 years from the Covid-19 pandemic, we want to continue that work.
Path Forward: Starting with a program planned for late 2023 or early 2024, NJ-ALPHA will be working on more activities toward its objective. Information on the next Peace and Reconciliation China Study Tour, planned for the summer of 2025, can be found in the “Study Tour” page of the NJ-ALPHA website, or its future updates.
Besides a Peace & Reconciliation China Study Tour in 2025, we may also organize smaller projects that do not require as much funding as a large study tour. Perhaps we can organize writing competition(s) (e.g., under magazines like Sino Monthly or regional Chinese School organizations) on a related relevant topic (e.g., best allocation of civil-minded projects with limited funds, how best to compensate past atrocities, similarities and differences between different generations of Chinese or Asian Americans, …). Such projects could lead to better use of the NJ-ALPHA funds which we have worked so hard to get.