Donna Graves is a historian and urban planner, and the Director of the Preserving California's Japantowns project. Preserving California's Japantowns is the first statewide project to document historic resources from the State's pre-World War II Japantowns. The project goal is to "reclaim the stories of buildings and landscapes of California’s historic Japantowns, including the majority of Nihonmachi that were transformed following WWII internment."
The City of Riverside has one of the few Japanese American sites that hold the highest designation as a National Historic Landmark, the Harada House, which was the subject of an important court case that challenged the discriminatory Alien Land Law. The City received funding from the California Office of Historic Preservation and hired me to work with them and students from UC Riverside to identify and document additional sites that reflect the larger history of Japanese Americans in that area.
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