On April 22, the Consulate General of Japan in Los Angeles, together with Japan Foundation Los Angeles and the United Methodist Church (UMC), California-Pacific Conference, co-sponsored an online origami workshop with instructor Kathleen Sheridan of the nonprofit organization Origami and You.
This was the second event of the Japan and Black L.A. Initiative, which grew out of conversations between the Consulate General of Japan in Los Angeles and pastors of predominantly Black churches of the UMC West District in the Greater Los Angeles area.
Through the hands-on experience of making origami creations together virtually, the participants of the workshop deepened cultural and mutual understanding, enhancing the ties between the Japanese and Black communities.
Close to 30 participants spanning multiple generations of the Black congregations involved participated in the virtual workshop. After a presentation on the art of origami, participants used the origami paper they had received prior to the workshop to make origami, guided by their online instructor.
One participant remarked: “I think it is so important to narrow the divide between people in our communities. It’s really time to come together. These workshops are a great start to that effort.”
The Japan & Black L.A. Initiative aims to work with children, youth, and adults in the Los Angeles community – a city that represents the diversity of the United States – to share aspects of Japanese and African American culture that will broaden mutual understanding as global citizens.