(GALVESTON, TX) March 2, 2015 – Galveston leaders of local grassroots/nonprofit organizations, local government groups, and business groups involved in post-disaster community rebuilding have been invited to partake in a three-year dialogue and travel exchange project. Five delegates from Galveston will participate in the program along with delegations from New Orleans, Louisiana and Miyako and Kobe, Japan. Galveston organizations invited to participate in the program and their representatives include:
- St. Vincent’s House – Reverend Freda Marie Brown, Executive Director
- Gulf Coast Interfaith – Joe Compian, Community Organizer/Leader/Board Member
- Artist Boat – Betty Massey, President of the Board of Directors
- City of Galveston – Dustin Henry, Project Manager
- Galveston Regional Chamber of Commerce – Gina Spagnola, President
In June, the Galveston delegation will accompany their New Orleans counterparts in traveling to Japan to learn of the disaster recovery efforts taking place in Miyako following the 2011 Tohuko earthquake and tsunami, and in Kobe, which was located at the epicenter of the 1995 Great Hanshin earthquake. In March 2016 the Japanese delegations will visit New Orleans and Galveston to learn of recovery efforts taking place in the aftermath of Hurricanes Katrina (2005) and Ike (2008), respectively. All delegation members will then be invited to join in a dialogue at a capstone program at the University of Pennsylvania in the fall of 2017. The exchange program is being organized by the East-West Center, an institution with the mission of promoting better relations and understanding among the people of the United States, Asia, and the Pacific through cooperative study, research, and dialogue. Funding for this program is provided by the Japan Foundation Center for Global Partnership, an organization established to promote collaboration between the people of Japan, the United States, and beyond in order to address issues of global concern. For more information about the East-West Center, please visit http://www.eastwestcenter.org/. For additional information, please contact Dustin Henry at (409) 797-3672 or firstname.lastname@example.org.