Office of Diversity and International Affairs at Tennessee State University Receives Grant to Strengthen Ties with Japan

University becomes one of the first HBCUs to receive funding through the Japan Foundation


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) –The Office of Diversity and International Affairs (DIA) at Tennessee State University has been awarded a $6,138 grant from the Japan Foundation Center for Global Partnerships to assist in strengthening its outreach and partnership with Japan. TSU is one of the first HBCUs to receive funding from the agency.

Motohiko Kato, Consulate General of Japan at Nashville
Motohiko Kato, Consul-General of Japan in Nashville

“We are very proud to be one of the first HBCUs to receive this grant and plan to engage in many more partnerships that allow our students the opportunity to experience education from a global perspective so that they are better prepared to meet the demands of our global world,” said Dr. Jewell Winn, DIA executive director. “TSU has always been committed to diversity and inclusion, and has opened our doors to all students desiring a quality education. We look forward to continuing to build partnerships that create strong academic and research opportunities for our students and faculty.”

The grant announcement comes at a great time for the University as it kicks off International Education Week November 10-15. The Japan Foundation has become more assertive in outreach to HBCUs. On Monday, Nov. 10, DIA will host the newly appointed Consul-General of Japan in Nashville, Motohiko Kato, at a luncheon. Discussions will focus on research, teaching, exchange and study-abroad opportunities for students and faculty members through the Japan Exchange and Teaching Program.

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“International Education Week is an opportunity to celebrate the benefits of education and exchange worldwide,” Winn said. “Tennessee State University is among the most diverse institutions in the Tennessee Board of Regents system and among HBCUs across the country, and these efforts allow us to showcase all the great things we have to offer not only to international students, but those here in the United States.”

Additionally, on Wednesday, Nov. 12, DIA will present the Ms. Collegiate International Pageant at 6 p.m. in Poag Auditorium. The pageant provides personal and professional opportunities for young women, and is the first such event offered on campus with the sole purpose of exposing the campus community to the beauty, opinions, talent and intelligence of young women from countries around the world. The pageant will have representations from Somalia, Saudi Arabia, India, the Dominican Republic, Iraq, Nigeria, Liberia, Jamaica, Laos and Panama. The winner will receive a book scholarship, along with other amenities and recognition as a campus leader representing international students. The event is free and open to the public.

On Thursday, Nov. 13, a Japanese cultural festival and exhibition will be held in Jane Elliott Hall on the main campus from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. Students from McGavock High School will participate in the festival as part of the University’s ongoing recruitment efforts. The week will conclude with joint activities with other area high schools and universities.

International Education Week began in 2000. It is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and the U.S. Department of Education. This annual observance is celebrated in November of each year across the United States and in more than 100 countries.


For more information on the Office of Diversity and International Affairs, call 615.963.4977.



Department of Media Relations
Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209

About Tennessee State University

With more than 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 42 undergraduate, 24 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at