Activating Social Activism Program (ASAP)

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SIIS YP program participants

Activating Social Activism Program (ASAP) engages Japanese young adults (ages 18-25) through a three-month program focused on global and local issues including women’s economic inclusion; climate change; minority community issues and rights; diversity and equity, and the importance and value of the bilateral US-Japan partnership in youth leading the next generation of social and environmental solutions.

This program is funded by US Embassy Tokyo, and has three pillars where the first and second are virtual and the third is in Japan. The funding covers:

  1. all coursework and guest speakers online and in person,
  2. tuition in Japan, and
  3. part of transportation fees.

Any other expenses are participant’s responsibility such as:

  1. transportation fees between your home and training venue in Japan,
  2. accommodation or travel outside the program period, and
  3. any other personal expenses.

Funding provided by the United States Government

US Mission Japan Embassy Seal
Online &
In-Person: 4 hours
Online: 10-11 hours
over 3 months
Primarily in English
with little to no
Japanese assistance
See above
Max 25 people

About the Program

With the support of U.S. Embassy Tokyo, iLEAP is introducing ASAP with three main phases:

Phase 1:

1 month of youth online training in social activism through a diversity and inclusion lens, to understand personal and societal connotations as related to themes.

Phase 2:

1 month of online mentorship in learning U.S.-Japan relations and global contexts and intersectionality of different themes of social activism.

Phase 3:

1 in person gathering to synthesize learning and integrate principles in a personal social activism project.

*Program participants must attend all sessions in every phase

Funding provided by the United States Government

Phase 1: Connecting to Community Course (ONLINE)

Dates: July 13, 20, 27 (2-4pm PST/5-7pm EST/6-8am next day JST)

Hours: 8 hours
Location: Online (Zoom)

During Phase 1, for the duration of one month, we focus on learning about civic participation through online meetings with people working on. We will invite 4 mentors both from U.S. and Japan from different social activism areas. Also, it includes interviews, community-based learning activities in their home communities, and ongoing reflective writing.  The topics include, but not limited to:

  • Inclusive societies through human rights paradigms and DEIB (diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging) principles
  • Self awareness of identification of qualities
  • Resources needed to be a grassroots activist

Phase 2: Learning Circle Advisors Sessions (ONLINE)

Date: Aug 3, 10, 17 (2-4pm PST/5-7pm EST/6-8am next day JST)

Hours: 1-2 hours
Location: Online (Zoom)

For Phase 2, participants will join online mentorship in learning U.S.-Japan relations and global contexts and intersectionality of different themes of social activism. Mentorship lasts for 1 to 1.5 hours over a one month period. Each group of participants will work closely with a mentor to deepen their understanding about the social issues in a global context and gain vocabulary to speak about the issues as a young activist. 

Also participants will increase their knowledge about how LGBTQ and DEIB are integrated into the U.S. support system. Additional offline/asynchronous activities are integrated with a course learning management system.

During Pillar Two, we will support participants following the session with learning circles (smaller groups of up to 5 students and a mentor) to help them define and develop new projects in their local community with ongoing mentorship through that coursework.

Phase 3: Empowerment for Action Session (IN PERSON)

Date: September

Hour: 4 hours
Location: Japan

For Phase 3, all participants will join an in-person gathering in Japan.  This is to reflect the learnings from the program and create a strong support system to sustain their project in their own communities.

Phase 3 helps create a culture of ongoing learning community among participants so it serves as a professional network beyond this program.

This gathering will be led iLEAP and the iLEAP alumni community.

Course Details


*Due to the nature of the scholarship, this program is only for those aged between 18–25 years old with Japanese citizenship.

CCFS seeks a candidate who

  • Demonstrated interest in civic participation and social activism.
  • Demonstrated interest in learning from the U.S. experts and developing mentor-mentee relationships.
  • English ability: basic conversation expected – although interpretation will be provided as needed.

Preferably, a candidate who

  • lives and/or studies in areas outside of major urban centers;
  • those directly connected to and/or advocating for historically-marginalized groups in Japan
  • is with a demonstrated interest in Japan and/or US-Japan relations.

Application Process

  1. Submit the program application via the button down below
  2. Upon passing the first round, schedule an interview with RootSpring
  3. Interview
  4. Admission decision will be notified via email

Application Deadline: April 15, 2024

Sunny Watts


Sunny Watts

For over twenty years, Sunny has been an educator with a passion for creating dynamic learning environments for individuals from diverse international backgrounds. When developing curriculum, she focuses on incorporating arts infused disciplines, so as to facilitate active learning where individuals fully participate in their growth and development. She works with GLA participants with a level of devotion, playfulness and flexibility in order to best light up their learning experience. |  Full bio>

English, Italian
Kei Kasukawa Eriksen

Kei Kasukawa Eriksen

Kei brings her two decades of experience in working with international students, young professionals, and leaders for their personal and professional development. Over the years of working at iLEAP and other colleges, she has guided youth and young professionals on their leadership journey, career paths and life transition with her deep listening and inquiry. Kei holds a Master’s degree from the SIT Graduate Institute in International Education specializing in student advising and cross cultural advising. Kei is also a Certified Professional Co-Active Coach (CPCC).

Tokyo, Japan
English, Japanese