Call to Serve: Clara E. Breed & the Japanese American Incarceration

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Clara E. Breed directed the San Diego Public Library for 42 years as a public servant advocating on numerous fronts, including the promotion of youth services, championing a child’s right to read by encouraging international and multicultural collections, undertaking an unprecedented expansion of the City’s Library system, and most significantly, advocating on behalf of the hundreds of Japanese American families that were incarcerated due to Executive Order 9066.

Breed was ahead of her time in her interest to promote cultural understanding and fight prejudice. Her steadfast commitment and activism broaden our insights about the role libraries play in working toward a more equitable, diverse, and inclusionary future.

Call to Serve: Clara E. Breed & The Japanese American Incarceration is co-organized by guest curators Susan Hasegawa, Linda Salem, and the San Diego Public Library. This exhibition was made possible by a collaboration between the City of San Diego Commission for Arts and Culture, the Japanese American National Museum, the Japanese American Historical Society of San Diego, San Diego State University Library, and Simmons University Archives. This project was made possible with support from California Humanities, a non-profit partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities.


This exhibit opening reception is part of the program series The Rebellious Miss Breed: San Diego Public Library and the Japanese American Incarceration.This project was made possible with support from California Humanities, a partner of the NEH. Visit