2015 Fellows Talk at Tokyo Women’s Christian University

Two of our 2015 Fellows, Kei Yoshidome and Akiko Ishiyama, gave a talk at their alma mater, Tokyo Women’s Christian University in February. The gathering was hosted by the university’s alumni association and served as an opportunity for the Fellows to speak to fellow alumni about what they learned through JWLI. Fifteen participants within a wide age range (30~80 years old) were also able to engage in discussions about women’s leadership and the role of women’s colleges.

Screen Shot 2016-05-05 at 3.17.20 PM

The President and Dean of the University were among the attendees of the event, and were highly interested in learning more about the fellows’ experiences at Simmons College. We would like to extend a word of gratitude to the University leaders for spreading the word about JWLI and our fellows’ continued work in their respective fields!

2015 Fellows Host Reporting Event in Osaka

Akiko Ishiyama, Yuko Nakaona, Junko Tsuda, and Kei Yoshidome, our 2015 Fellows, participated in the event organized by JWLI Alumni in Osaka on the 27th of February.

The theme of the conference was “Women’s Leadership and Management of NonProfit Organizations”. The fellows spoke about their own work in the nonprofit sector, as well as themes of philanthropy, leadership and public-private partnership that they were able to explore in depth during their visit to Boston.

Event participants as well as fellow speakers were particularly moved and inspired by a speaker who shared her own experiences of being a leader in nonprofit work based in developing countries, as well as in Northern Japan.



2015 JWLI Fellows Program Report

Thanks to the collaboration and efforts of our alumni, the 2015 JWLI Fellows Program Report was published in January this year. This annual report contains weekly reports of the month-long leadership program in Boston, as well as the fellows’ stories of their experiences throughout their involvement with JWLI.

“The JWLI program gave me a lot of power and courage to change myself from the inside,” says Kei Yoshidome, who is part of the Human Resource Development Group at JOICFP. “It helped me realize my inner strength…and showed me ways to think of how I could use my strength for the organization and society”

Another fellow, Junko Tsuda who is passionate about the capacity building of nonprofit organizations, writes:
“Inspired by the collective efforts we saw in the Asian American community, I am seeking to make an association based on alliances among agencies supporting women in tough situations. I made my life mission to make these associations where all women can maximize their abilities. Combining small voices, we can make a big movement.”

We would like to thank our four wonderful Fellows for all of their work and dedication to this program.

Atsuko Fish Featured in ACCJ Journal’s Article

December 1, 2015 / Tokyo, Japan – JWLI Founder Atsuko Fish is recently featured in an article about her participation as a speaker in the first TOMODACHI Generation Summit in Tokyo. The TOMODACHI Initiative is a public–private partnership between the U.S. Japan Council and the Embassy of the United States in Tokyo. With over 150 Japanese and American alumni of the program, the summit strived for creating the identity and network of the TOMODACHI Generation and developing regional leadership groups. Keynote speakers included former U.S. Ambassador to Japan John Roos, and President of the U.S.–Japan Council Irene Hirano Inouye.

The article is written by John Amari of The American Chamber of Commerce in Japan (ACCJ) on “The Journal.” Check here  to read the whole article:

2014 Fellow Publishes Article about JWLI

スクリーンショット 2016-01-22 9.36.28 AMA December 2015 issue of Philanthropy, a magazine published by the Japanese Philanthropy Association (日本フィランソロピー協会), included an article written by JWLI 2014 fellow, Yumiko Nagai. She is the Executive Director of Japanese Philanthropy Association. The article covered our reporting event on Saturday 11/7 at Tokyo Women’s Plaza in Tokyo where our 2015 Fellows gave presentations on their learning and experience from the program in Boston. Nearly 100 people, including Fellows’ colleagues, supervisors, friends and family, attended the event.


2009 Fellow Receives a Women Leadership award

Congratulations to our 2009 Fellow, Masako Kurita for receiving the Shining Women (Kagayaku Josei) Award from the Gunma prefecture in November 2015. The award was given in recognition of her 15-year work on women’s empowerment in Gunma. Masako plays an important role in advancing women’s empowerment in Gunma. She has served on the board of Gunma Prefectural Women’s Liaison Group and Ayumi-no-kai, an organization that supports female foreign residents. She is also a member of the Japanese Association of International Women’s Rights. Masako is currently concentrating her time and efforts on Women’s Will Gunma, which she founded to promote active civic engagement and political leadership among women and gender equality. She has advocated for women’s leadership through hosting lectures, workshops, and courses that encourage women to be active participants in society.

2015 Fellows’ Reporting Event

November 7, 2015 / Tokyo, Japan – This year’s JWLI program started on September 8th and ended on October 6th. For the first time ever, our Fellows – Akiko Ishiyama, Yuko Nakaoka, Junko Tsuda and Kei Yoshidome – developed their Action Plans during their regular schedule of visiting our host organizations and participating in an intense 5-day Simmons College course in Boston. They gave impressive and nerve-racking presentations in front of a panel of experts, followed by a Q&A session. This exciting change has helped our fellows be more than ready to host the reporting event, together with past JWLI Fellows in Tokyo on November 7th. During the event, the 2015 Fellows discussed their learning and experience with our host organizations. They also presented their Action Plans. Despite that the event was held on a beautiful Saturday, nearly 100 people attended the event!

Atsuko Fish Honored by the White House

The White House honors 15 Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander women as “Champions of Change” who are doing extraordinary work to create a safer, more equal, and more prosperous future for their communities and the U.S. in May 2013. JWLI founder, Atsuko Fish, is being honored as a “Champion of Change”. As a first generation Japanese American who is committed to innovation and social change in the U.S. and Japan, Atsuko is honored for her work that empowers women and promotes understanding between the two cultures. Specifically, the founding of JWLI and the creation of the Japanese Disaster Relief Fund-Boston are the examples of Atsuko’s commitment recognized by her “Champion of Change” award.

Click here to check out Atsuko’s article about her story of commitment to public service.


JWLI Forum Featured in Article

The 2012 JWLI Forum which was held in Yokohama is featured in the article, titled “NPO・女性・横浜がもつ大きな可能性” in April, and attended nearly by 120 people. The keynote speaker was the mayor of Yokohama, 林文子. The participants had great discussions on women’s leadership in non-profit organizations. Specifically, the goal of the forum is to encourage women to become leaders, especially in the nonprofit sector, which is more important than ever in the aftermath of the 3.11 disaster in Japan.

Click here to read more about the forum in Yokohama.