2017 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 2017 program again started in Washington, DC from July 15-30. Our six Japanese student participants and their chaperone arrived from Japan on Saturday afternoon, July 15 and joined our six DC students and their two chaperones 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 creating an intensive start to our DC program before the Japanese students moved in with their host families.

Here’s what we did in this year’s DC program:


Sat, July 15

All students check-in at Thurston Hall at GWU

Sun, July 16

Easy sightseeing on the National Mall
Welcome Orientation Program – Part I

Mon, July 17

Orientation Program – Part II at American Councils, with Mya Fisher of US-Japan Council
Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting – Photojournalism Workshop and #Everyday DC/Japan
City Exploration by charter bus
Evening debrief

Tues, July 18

Check out of dorm
Slam Poetry Workshop with Regie Cabico
Dialogue with first and second generation immigrants from Bell High School
Neighborhood walk and lunch at Dukem Ethiopian Restaurant, with immigrant students

Wed, July 19

Tour of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture
Visit to “Righting a Wrong: Japanese Americans and World War II” exhibit at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History
LearnServe International Workshop on social entrepreneurship with Scott Rechler

Thurs, July 20

Film screening, “Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard”
Discussion with Shizumi Manale, film producer
Presentation by Mary Murakami, Japanese American internee during World War II
Evening activity: Hip hop classes at Words Beats & Life

Fri, July 21

Meeting with Andy Shallal at Busboys & Poets
Community service activity: Teach Japanese culture to Lincoln MS students
Quilting workshop with Jacqueline Corbett Armstrong

Sat, July 22 – Sun, July 23  [WEEKEND OFF]


Mon, July 24

Tour of the US Holocaust Memorial Museum
Walking tour of the Tidal Basin, MLK Memorial and other Mall landmarks

Tues, July 25

Visit to David Nakamura, Washington Post reporter
Career Panel: The US-Japan Relationship, at Toyota Washington Office
Free Minds Book Club & Writing Workshop with former incarcerated program member

Wed, July 26

Operation Understanding DC Workshop on Stereotyping and Social Justice
Soul Food lunch at Thurgood Marshall Center
Presentation by Mary Beth Tinker on Youth Activism
Community service activity: Martha’s Table community food market
Evening activity: Visit to Washington Nationals Youth Baseball Academy

Thurs, July 27

Visit to Halcyon House, an incubator for social entrepreneurs in Georgetown
Prepare final presentation

Fri, July 28

Final presentation
Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting – Workshop on photojournalism and portraiture
Workshop on storytelling by Maggie Lemere