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Doing Good

Leaving things better than we found them? Always our goal. From holistic design to creative wellness, we're on a quest to make some good. We're proud of all of the projects we've supported to this point, but right now we're working on something especially close to our hearts...

The Ted K. Tajima High School Project

The story of Ted K. Tajima makes for compelling narrative.

A first generation Japanese-American, Ted was born in Salt Lake City in 1922 to Japanese immigrant parents. He was a student at Occidental College when World War II started, putting his college career on hold while family and friends were forcibly removed to internment camps, losing property, money, educational opportunities and connection to loved ones.

Left to get through college without the support systems available to most students, Ted persevered and graduated from Occidental College after the war. He was drafted into the U.S. Army and assigned to a counterintelligence unit, tasked with teaching Japanese to U.S. personnel. Realizing many of them could not write English well, he took it upon himself to teach them that, too.

After his service, Ted sought out jobs in print journalism—but despite a strong command of language and first-rate writing skills, mainstream press outlets had no desire for an Asian-American voice. Rather than becoming embittered, Ted instead turned to education, starting a long career as an English teacher and award-winning journalism advisor at Alhambra High School. Among his alumni are professors, writers, editors, documentarians and television producers.

Ted Tajima nurtured generations of students, many into the journalism careers that were closed to him. That legacy is the reason his family, friends, and students decided the most fitting tribute would be to establish a school in his name. They partnered with Alliance College-Ready Public Schools to rename CRAHS 16, a high-performing public charter school founded in 2011, to the Alliance Ted K. Tajima High School. In September 2015, thanks to $700,000 raised in Ted’s name, the school was able to move from temporary facilities into its permanent home at 1552 West Rockwood Street in Los Angeles, where it services 600 high school students annually.

But that $700,000 is only 70% of the total funds needed to rename CRAHS 16 and help ensure the long-term viability of Alliance Ted K. Tajima High School. We’re raising the final $300,000 and asking for your help, either by pledging your support to the campaign, or as a sponsor of “Creativity and Learning in the Digital Age.” It’s a stimulating panel discussion being held on the evening of March 10, 2016 at USC’s Town and Gown, featuring:

  • Willow Bay, Director, USC Annenberg School of Journalism
  • Brent Schlender, Co-Author, Becoming Steve Jobs; former Editor-at-Large, Fortune
  • Rick Tetzeli, Co-Author, Becoming Steve Jobs; Editor-at-Large, Fast Company
  • Chris Twyman, Founder, BoomWriter Media and Skrawl
  • Alan Arkatov, USC Katzman Chair for Educational Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Technology

 

We hope you'll join us in this endeavor. It’s a great way to honor Ted’s legacy and invest in our future. For more information see below:

The Event

The School and Campaign

Become a Sponsor / Buy Tickets

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American Cancer Society
Global Nuclear Disarmament Fund
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Institute for OneWorld Health
Shinnyo-en Foundation
Women Beyond Borders
World of Children