JETAA USA held their annual National Conference (NatCon) from August 3rd to the 6th in Washington, DC.
This year's conference was held in conjunction with the JET30 Reunion on the 4th and 5th, hosted by USJETAA, the new national nonprofit organization created to support the chapters and alumni in the US alongside JETAA USA, which is the American counterpart of JETAA UK, JETAA Canada, and the other national chapter groupings.
NatCon sessions focused on topics such as strengthening the chapters, including issues such as finances, member services, and governance, as well as inter-chapter collaboration and providing online support through webinars, podcasts, and other resources.
The JET30 Reunion included a series of talks and panel discussions featuring alumni engaged in various endeavours such as strengthening US-Japan relations, education, working with diverse communities, and supporting the JET Program and JET alumni networks. There was a networking breakfast where participants were seated according to their years on JET and a lunch where seating was by the prefecture in which they were placed. Evening events included a spectacular reception held at the Ambassador’s Residence and hosted by the Embassy, as well as a gala dinner and reception hosted by CLAIR and the Japan Foundation, Center for Global Partnership. Attendees dressed in their finest yukata, jinbei, or happi to enjoy the evening.
NatCon was, as always, an invaluable opportunity to meet face to face and discuss how to further strengthen and improve the chapters and the national network, and the JET30 Reunion was the first time such a large-scale gathering of former JET Program (and Monbusho English Fellows) participants had come together to celebrate their time on the Program, reminisce, and reconnect with old friends. Alumni from Canada and Jamaica joined the celebrations for JET30, and the Canada Rep and one chapter representative participated in NatCon, as well.
The theme for JET30 was “Natsukashii”, and participants clearly left with a renewed sense of shared experience and community, and thinking about how to work together to help even more alumni reconnect with the people who really understand about jikoshoukai, enkai, and the hazards of kanchou.
For further, more detailed reports on the events in Washington, DC, along with A LOT more photos, please take a look at Facebook for posts from: