CBCF President & CEO to Lead Inaugural Japan Study Abroad Delegation



Anne Williams
(202) 263-2800

WASHINGTON—The Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, Incorporated (CBCF) today announced its partnership with the Embassy of Japan in the creation of a new study abroad experience for college students. The Emerging Leaders: U.S.-Japan Kakehashi Project offers educational activities and excursions during an eight-day trip to Tokyo, Japan. As part of the organization’s commitment, CBCF president and chief executive officer, A. Shuanise Washington will lead the inaugural delegation on the eight-day trip, which begins March 15.

Students will experience Japan through seminars on Japanese culture, history, language, in addition to U.S.-Japan relations. The program includes interactions with local students and tours of cultural attractions. Through this initiative, the CBCF and the Embassy of Japan aim to promote African-American interest in careers and study options involving U.S.-Japan relations and expand opportunities for African-Americans in an era of increasing globalization.

“The U.S.-Japan Kakehashi Project embodies the CBCF’s mission to advance the global black community through explorations of diverse cultures,” said A. Shuanise Washington, president and chief executive officer of the CBCF. “We look forward to working with the Embassy of Japan to create a meaningful and long-lasting relationship.”

“A people-to-people exchange is one of the cornerstones of the Japan-U.S. relationship, so I hope these future leaders of the black community gain insights from their visits to academic, cultural, and political sites across Japan,” said Ambassador Kenichiro Sasae of the Embassy of Japan. “We are thrilled to partner with the CBCF on this important initiative.”

The inaugural cohort is comprised of 15 students representing Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) member districts. Following are inaugural cohort participants:

    • Brittany Bellinger, SUNY Empire State College
    • LaVontae Brooks, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
    • Samuel Buchanan, Morehouse College
    • Leah Castleberry, Howard University
    • David Coble, Emory University
    • Deanna-Kaye Daley, Xavier University of Louisiana
    • Maya Jenkins, The Ohio State University
    • Kylan Kester, Morehouse College
    • Alexaundria Leonard, McDaniel College
    • Ijeoma Oti, University Southern California
    • Clarece Polke, Florida A&M University
    • D’Juan Sampson, Florida State University
    • Brandon Stuart, The University of Chicago
    • Angelica Willis, North Carolina A&T State University
    • Dennzon Winley, University of South Carolina

To learn more about the Emerging Leaders: U.S.-Japan Kakehashi Project, visit

The Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, Incorporated (CBCF), established in 1976, 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.


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