Learning from the Past, Visioning a Sustainable Future

Panelists will share experiences of ARI graduates from the past 40 years as rural leaders: both impact and challenges in working with families, communities, and organisations. ARI will use learnings from this study to adapt programs to better respond to the needs of a changing world.

Thurs. April 20, 7:00-8:30pm

@Sophia University, bldg. 10, room 301



Tomoko Arakawa, Asian Rural Institute (ARI) Director

Tomoko has been engaged in the work of nurturing and training grassroots rural community leaders from developing countries at the Asian Rural Institute (ARI) in Tochigi prefecture since 1995. She became Director in April 2015, after serving as served as the General Manager / Associate Director since 2009 and Curriculum Director (2003-2009). In 1995, after working as an English and Japanese language teacher at junior high schools for several years, she completed her MA in Sociology at Michigan State University. She graduated from International Christian University in Tokyo in 1990.

Steven Cutting, Graduate Impact Study Co-Coordinator Asian Rural Institute

Steven joined the staff of the Asian Rural Institute (ARI) in 2004 and served for nine years as the coordinator for Ecumenical Relations, a position in which he cultivated and maintained relationships with the many overseas organizations and individuals that support ARI. Previous to that he served as Associate Professor in the English departments of Tokai University and Kanda University of International Studies. He holds a MA in English Language/Linguistics and a BA in Russian, both from the University of Arizona.

Bev Abma, Board Director of American Friends of the Asian Rural Institute, Emeritus Board Director of Foods Resource Bank.

Bev has worked for more than 30 years in international development, working closely with multiple agencies in planning, implementing and evaluating sustainable food security programming. One of the founders of American based Foods Resource Bank, she was instrumental in establishing opportunities for mutual leaning relationships between communities and was a nominee for the World Food Prize. She was also the external consultant for ARI’s Graduate Impact Study.


Sarajean Rossitto is a Tokyo-based Nonprofit NGO consultant, teaching about civil society development and NGOs at Sophia

University and several other universities


David H. Slater is a Professor of Cultural Anthropology in the Faculty of Liberal Arts, Sophia University, and the Director of The

Institute of Comparative Culture.

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