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“Civil Society and the 3/11 Virtuous Cycle”

Saturday, March 20, 2021   12:00 - 13:30

  • Sarajean Rossitto (Instructor and Independent Consultant, Temple University Japan Campus)
  • Angela Marie Ortiz (Representative Director for non-profit O.G.A. for Aid)
  • Kayleigh Ward (Dual Doctoral Candidate in Sociology and Environmental Science & Policy, Michigan State University)


The occasion of the ten year anniversary of what befell Japan in the 2011 Tohoku disasters has led us to contemplate the meaning of these events for Japan and how we think of such culture defining events. With a decade now separating us from the dramatic events of March 11 and its immediate aftermath, we now are at a point where we can examine the disaster trajectory as it has played out over time, as survivors have attempted to cultivate the resiliency necessary to forge ahead to rebuild their communities.

This panel brings together leaders who have worked closely with NGO and civil society organizations to help communities to address the many challenges they face to rebuild – the economic burdens they have had to overcome, the ever-present threat of radiation exposure close in to the nuclear hot zone, and the psychological weight of moving forward into an uncertain future. Each of the panelists bring a wealth of knowledge based on first-hand experience working in the disaster zone, and can relate the views of citizens they have helped support and collaborated with in long process of recovery. This discussion will not only be a historical remembrance and reflection on what has unfolded in the long trajectory of the disaster aftermath, but an occasion for these experts to dialogue on lessons-learned, and share their vision of how the communities most affected by the tragic events of 3/11 can effectively move forward as they establish a new, post-disaster identity.


“Civil Society and the 3/11 Virtuous Cycle”

Saturday, March 20   |   12 noon start (Tokyo, JST)

I-CAST Webinar

Join via Zoom Meeting


Date & Time:
Saturday, March 20, 2021   12:00 - 13:30
Kyle Cleveland (ICAS Co-Director) | Email: kylecl@temple.edu
Registration is encouraged (e-mail to icas@tuj.temple.edu), but not required. 登録なしでも参加できますので、直接会場へお越しください。

This event is organized by Institute of Contemporary Asian Studies (ICAS).

Note: All ICAS events are held in English, open to the public, and admission is free unless otherwise noted.


Sarajean Rossitto

Instructor and Independent Consultant, Temple University Japan Campus

Sarajean Rossitto has worked with nonprofit NGOs in Japan for over 20 years. She has conducted skill-based trainings, and coordinated programs on themes as varied as humanitarian response, rights of PWDs and HIV/AIDS in Japan. She has assisted corporations in developing effective community engagement, CSR and philanthropy programs. Sarajean has also represented US organizations in Japan and has taught courses on social movements, civil society and conflict mediation at Sophia University and Temple University Japan Campus. She is an Advisor for Japanese organizations such as The Asian Rural Institute, A Place to Grow and Mirai no Mori. She holds a Columbia University Masters of International Affairs degree with a focus on human rights in East Asia.
Website: https://sarajeanrossitto.wordpress.com/

Angela Marie Ortiz

Representative Director for non-profit O.G.A. for Aid

Angela Marie Ortiz is a Colombian American multinational, long-term resident of Japan, with over 30+ years living in rural Japan and Tokyo. She is a social impact entrepreneur, CSR professional, author and fitness enthusiast. Her career began as an early childhood educator in Tokyo in 2005. She transitioned into social impact after the 2011 earthquake and tsunami disasters of northeast Japan where she established her own company, Place To Grow – a community building nonprofit using fitness and language exchange to Inspire and connect children in the rural province of Tohoku. In 2016 she moved into the corporate sector, supporting companies like H&M and adidas Japan launch and grow social and environmental sustainability programs. She supports with project management, impact marketing, cross sector stakeholder engagement & partnership development. She also has a wealth of experience in public speaking.

Kayleigh Ward

Dual Doctoral Candidate in Sociology and Environmental Science & Policy, Michigan State University

Kayleigh Ward has worked with NPOs in Japan since 2014 and continues to support disaster affected communities in Japan by studying their social networks and relationships, by providing consultation on common rural problems, and by providing other information or resources. Her interests focus mainly on community development and sustainability in post-disaster communities, especially in Miyagi, Japan after the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake. She focuses on the intersection of disaster and environmental, social, political, and economic problems. She has several years of experience with NGOs in Japan and in the US. She currently collaborates with NGOs in the following areas: community sustainability and redevelopment, economic empowerment, and community organizing. She is a dual doctoral candidate in Sociology and Environmental Science & Policy at Michigan State University. Last year she was a Fulbright-Japan Graduate Research Fellow.