EDR Leadership member Discusses Canada-Korea Ties

Step Up Program for ELLs in Local School Districts

ELLThe US education system has seen a massive increase in the number of multilingual students. In Boston Public School system, more than 40% of students speak a language other than English at home. With an increasing number of English Language Learners (ELLs) attending public schools, it is critical to provide additional learning opportunities to overcome linguistic and cultural barriers. ELLs have scored significantly lower on standardized exams than their native English speaking peers. Consistent underperformance results in low self-esteem, lack of motivation and discipline- problems that follow these students throughout their life.

EDR believes that all students have the ability to succeed if provided the adequate resources and support, and plans to introduce the STEP UP program to ELLs in local communities, which was developed and successfully implemented by TAHS, a partnering private educational institution.

STEP UP recognizes that academic achievement is not simply a function of cognitive ability and language proficiency but the result of a number of complex non-cognitive factors as well. Participants in the program learn to be responsible, disciplined and proactive about their own learning.

The mission of the STEP UP program is to instill low performing ELLs with adequate learning skills and confidence to help them succeed academically and professionally.

International Students Seminar

Undergraduates from Kyoto Gakuen University Japan

Faced with the concern about losing touch and failing to compete globally, the Japanese government has established programs to help the flow of international students in and out of the country.

Working closely with the University of Massachusetts Boston, EDR and TAHS successfully hosted 9 undergraduate students from Kyoto Gakuen University (Japan) in August, 2014.

Students at the Boston State House and Granary Grounds

By adopting a learner-initiated teaching model, this international student seminar introduced our students to the academic rigor required to study broad. The students’ learning outcomes were maximized through their active learning of various academic topics and participation in cultural events in Boston. From this program, they understood other cultures in the United States and cultural challenges in the globalizing world.


Students at a special seminar on gender studies at Harvard University Schlesinger Library, Cambridge, MA

Academic Forum – Africa: Looking through a Prism of Inequality


EDR hosted an academic forum inviting scholars from Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) Research Institute, the University of Massachusetts Boston, and Harvard University. Under the title of Africa: Looking through a Prism of Inequality, the participants of the forum discussed the perception of injustice, one of the largest destabilizes identified in Africa and violent conflict and reconciliation in Africa.

Event Summary

Armed conflict continues to rage in Africa regardless of how developed, politically stable, and economically prosperous some countries have become. One of the largest destabilizers identified in Africa is the perception of injustice. Based on significant analysis of conflict and reconciliation, contributors to Preventing Violent Conflict in Africa: Inequalities, Perceptions and Institutions, Prof. Yoichi Mine and Dr. Mari Katayanagi will discuss powersharing and decentralization as a vehicle for mitigating violence.


  • Prof. Yoichi Mine
    • Professor, Human Security and African Studies, Doshisha University, Japan
    • Visiting Fellow, JICA Research Institute
  • Dr. Mari Katayanagi
    • Senior Research Fellow, JICA Research Institute
  • Dr. Craig N. Murphy
    • M. Margaret Ball Professor, International Relations, Wellesley College
    • Professor, Department of Conflict Resolution, Human Security, and Global Governance,
    • McCormack Graduate School (MGS), University of Massachusetts Boston

Moderated by:

  • Dr. Timothy Shaw
    • Research Professor, Department of Conflict Resolution, Human Security, and Global Governance
    • McCormack Graduate School, University of Massachusetts Boston

This event is cosponsored by the University of Massachusetts Boston, McCormack Graduate School of Policy and Global Studies Department of Conflict Resolution, Human Security and Global Governance; and Educational Divide Reform (EDR). Special thanks go to Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) for its generous support.