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Atlanta is hosting an event in which roughly 150 Japanese guests will partake of Southern hospitality, food, MUSIC, and home stays.
Atlanta is hosting an event in which roughly 150 Japanese guests will partake of Southern hospitality, food, MUSIC, and home stays.
12 backers pledged $4,000 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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The Japan‐America Grassroots Summit is an annual one-week cultural exchange program for Japanese and American citizens of all ages, held alternately each year in Japan and the United States. An average of 200 people travel across the Pacific to take part to strengthen the peaceful relationship between the two countries by fostering peace and friendship at the grassroots level. While we have sponsorship to help with venues and logistics we are wanting to raise money on a grassroots level for our entertainment budget to hire local artists to share gospel, bluegrass, and barbershop quartet music with our guests.

Metro-Atlanta and the surrounding areas in Georgia will be the host for The 26th Japan-America Grassroots Summit 2016 taking place October 4-11, 2016. Residents of 15 greater Atlanta cities will open their homes and hearts to the Japanese visitors for a three‐day local home-stay program after the opening in Atlanta. The host cities are:  Alpharetta/Milton, Athens, Columbus, Dahlonega, Decatur, Dublin, Elberton, Fitzgerald, Gainesville, Macon, Marietta, Newnan / Chattahoochee Hills, Peachtree City, Rome/Floyd County, and Roswell. .

The Summit honors one of the first friendships between an American and a Japanese – Captain William H. Whitfield, a whaler, and John Manjiro Nakahama, a young fisherman and the first Japanese citizen to be educated in America. Their life‐long friendship, a unique bond begun in 1841, continues through their descendants to the present day. Manjiro’s knowledge of America facilitated the opening of Japan to trade with the western world following the arrival of Commodore Matthew C. Perry in 1853. Manjiro taught English, navigation, ship‐ building and American ideas, such as democracy, to young Japanese samurai who led Japan to modernize and join the developed world.

The 2016 Japan‐America Grassroots Summit is organized by the Japan‐America Society of Georgia and the John Manjiro Whitfield Commemorative Center for International Exchange, and presented in cooperation with the Consulate‐General of Japan in Atlanta, host cities, and partnering community organizations.

日米草の根交流サミット大会は、ジョン万次郎ホイットフィールド記念国際草の根交流センター (CIE)が毎年日本とアメリカで交互に開催している約一週間の交流イベントです。この大会の目的は、日本とアメリカの市民一人ひとりが国境・言葉・生活習慣などの違いを超え、同じ人間として互いに心を通わせ合い、理解し合い、友情を深め合うことによって、日本とアメリカの良好な友好関係を築き上げていくことにあります。

日本からの参加者、開催地の来賓者、ボランティアなど運営に携わる方などが参加。歓迎の挨拶や講演などで構成される式典の後、歓迎レセプション(パーティー)で大会開始を祝います。そして、いくつかの地域に分かれて、それぞれ個性あふれる3泊4日の分科会に参加。この期間はホームステイですので、ホストファミリーやボランティアとじっくり生活レベルで草の根交流を深めることができます。その後、ホストファミリーや、全ての関係者が参加する締めのプログラム。ここでしばしのお別れとなりますが、本当の交流はここからがスタートです。今年は広域アトランタ大会で26回を数えます。第26回大会は、CIEとアトランタに本拠を置くジョージア日米協会との協力で運営されます。

Risks and challenges

The biggest risk/challenge to the Grassroots summit is it's sheer size. We have goals to meet: financial, home stay participants, event planning, etc. The Grassroots summit, however, is an event with many talented people working towards these goals: we have executive, organizing , local community, volunteer, marketing, programs, and fundraising committees and the support of both the Governor's and Mayor's offices.

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    Names will be included on an insert for the opening and closing ceremony programs.

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