2016 DC Program

The TOMODACHI U.S.-Japan Youth Exchange Program is a two-way exchange, which takes place in both DC and Japan. The first part of our 2016 program started in Washington, DC from July 16-31. Our nine Japanese student participants and their chaperone, Sosha Mitsunaga, arrived from Japan on Saturday afternoon, July 16 and joined our nine DC students, and their chaperone, Amanda Zigmond, at a dormitory on the campus of the George Washington University for a three-day residential stay to kick off this year’s program. This was a great opportunity for bonding and jumping headfirst into our busy schedule. Here’s what we did:

Sat, July 16

All students check-in at Thurston Hall at GWU

Sun, July 17

Easy sightseeing on the Mall – visit Smithsonian museums
Welcome Orientation Program – part I

Mon, July 18

Orientation – part 2 at American Councils
Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting – Photojournalism Workshop and #Everyday DC
City Exploration by charter bus
Follow-up workshop with Pulitzer Center

Tues, July 19

Operation Understanding DC – Workshop on stereotypes and prejudice
Katherine Burgess – Presentation on urban resilience and disaster prevention
Soul Food lunch at Thurgood Marshall Center
Discussion of African American issues – with Rock Newman and Ronald Hampton
Check out of dormitory – Japanese students to home stays

Wed, July 20

Visit to David Nakamura, Washington Post reporter
Toyota Briefing and Tour, lunch, and Career Panel: The US-Japan Relationship
Mary Murakami and Al Goshi – Japanese American Experience in World War II
Melvin Hardy on the Hiroshima Children’s Drawings Project

Thurs, July 21

Tour and Program at the US Holocaust Memorial Museum
Walking tour of MLK Memorial, Lincoln Memorial, World War II and Vietnam Memorials

Fri, July 22

Program at Cardozo Senior High School on the immigrant youth experience
Neighborhood walk and lunch in two ethnic restaurants – El Tamarindo (Mexican/Salvadoran) and Dukem (Ethiopian)
End of week reflection

Sat, July 23 – Sun, July 24 – WEEKEND OFF

Mon, July 25

LearnServe International workshop on social entrepreneurship
Lunch at Union Station
Visit to Memorial to Japanese American Patriotism in World War II
Visit to DC Central Kitchen
Meeting with Thomas Penny, General Manager at Courtyard by Marriott

Tues, July 26

Anacostia River Experience – visit to the Aquatic Resources Education Center and boat ride with Anacostia Riverkeeper
Visit to Amidon-Bowen Elementary School to teach classes on Japanese culture

Wed, July 27

Morning at the National Zoo
Quilting workshop with Jacqueline Corbett Armstrong
Free Minds Book Club & Writing Workshop
Evening activity: Hip hop classes at Words Beats & Life

Thurs, July 28

Visit to Halcyon House – an incubator for social entrepreneurs in Georgetown
Presentation by Mary Beth Tinker on Youth Activism
Dessert and meeting with Andy Shallal at Busboys & Poets

Fri, July 29

Meeting with Dan Davidson, President of American Councils
Student presentation for invited guests