CBCF Embarks on Second Japanese Study Abroad Internship

Program Gains 62 Percent Increase in Applicants


Muriel Cooper

WASHINGTON — The Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, Incorporated (CBCF) has selected 18 students to participate in its second partnership with the Embassy of Japan and the Japanese International Cooperation Center (JICE) for The Emerging Leaders: U.S.-Japan Kakehashi Project in Tokyo, Japan. The Project provides a study abroad experience for undergrad, graduate or recent graduates living and/or attending school in Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) members’ districts. The cohort will participate in lectures on U.S.-Japan relations, tours of cultural and historical landmarks and visits to leading technology companies March 21 – March 29.

Almost 300 students applied for the competitive internship with acceptance based on essays, recommendations, academic standing and interest in international affairs, political science, foreign relations urban planning, Japanese language or Asian Studies.

“Thanks to the strengthening of our partnership with the Japanese Embassy and JICA, we saw a 62 percent increase from highly-competitive applicants from our inaugural year in 2017,” said A. Shuanise Washington, president and chief executive officer for CBCF. “As the world continues to expand in its global, diverse outreach, CBCF through its partnerships is attracting and leading the charge of preparing young African American leaders for these international opportunities.”

To provide an enhanced experience, this year the students will participate in overnight home stay visits with selected local Japanese families. This is one of the highlights of the Kakehashi program in that it provides engagement with the Japanese local citizens and their customs and culture. In addition, all participants are required to share their experiences in Japan through social media, and create and disseminate an action plan to express their understanding of Japanese culture and society in order to enhance diplomatic relations globally.

“Our partnership with the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation is a key contributor to the continued growth of Japan-U.S. ties, and this latest CBCF delegation visit to Japan through the KAKEHASHI Project is an excellent example,” said Congressional Minister Kimi Nakamura. “After the success of the first delegation last year, I am excited that a second group of young African-American leaders will now have the opportunity to facilitate cultural and professional exchange while in Tokyo and Chiba. It is my hope that these young leaders will serve as a bridge between Japan and the African-American community in the United States.”

Established in 1976, the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, Inc. (CBCF) is a non-partisan, nonprofit, public policy, research and educational institute committed to advancing the global black community by developing leaders, informing policy and educating the public. For more information, visit

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