The Pomona Public Library’s annual Together We Read program will once again kick off at Western University of Health Sciences.

This year’s book selection is “Farewell to Manzanar” by Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston and James D. Houston. The memoir describes the experiences of Wakatsuki and her family before, during and after their imprisonment in the Manzanar internment camp during World War II.

“Farewell to Manzanar” addresses the nature of prejudice and the struggles experienced by those who are discriminated against, said Pomona Public Library Senior Librarian Pat Lambert.

“Sadly, prejudice is still with us, which is why this book is just as relevant as it was when it was first written,” she said. “There are many survivors of the Japanese American internment, giving us opportunities for youth to hear from those who experienced this sad chapter in history firsthand. Lastly, the book addresses the difficulty in understanding one’s identity. This is a timeless theme, which has lessons for all of us.”

The kick-off event will be held Friday, Oct. 4, 2013 in WesternU’s Health Education Center, Lecture Hall 2, 701 E. Second St., Pomona, Calif. 91766. A reception will be held from 6 to 7 p.m., followed by the main speaking event. Bruce Embrey, co-chair of the Manzanar Committee, will serve as the guest speaker. Click here to view a flier.

The Manzanar Committee is dedicated to educating and raising public awareness about the incarceration and violation of civil rights of persons of Japanese ancestry during World War II, and to the continuing struggle of all peoples when constitutional rights are in danger. The committee organizes the annual Manzanar Pilgrimage on the last Saturday of April.

Embrey has been instrumental in keeping this chapter in history alive so that the experience of the Manzanar internees will not be forgotten, Lambert said.

The discussion will continue Saturday, Oct. 5 at the Pomona Public Library, with featured speakers Joyce Okazaki from the Manzanar Committee and Jim Nakano, a former internee. Together We Read events will continue in Pomona through Dec. 10. Call 909-620-2043 or 909-469-5323 for more information.

The Pomona Public Library will hold its first 3K Walk-A-Thon, “Together We Walk, Together We Read,” on Saturday, Oct. 12, 2013. Click here to view a flier.

The Together We Read event, sponsored by the Pomona Public Library, the city of Pomona and Western University of Health Sciences, is designed to foster an appreciation and love for reading.