The Society for the Promotion of Japanese Animation Implements First-Ever Youth Protection Program

Anime Expo celebrates 25th event with unprecedented online resource portal

Santa Ana, CA - (May 6, 2016) The Society for the Promotion of Japanese Animation (SPJA) will debut the Youth Protection Program in time for the 2016 Anime Expo, running from July 1 through July 4. The program includes a Youth Protection Policy with an online portal featuring resources as well as online training courses, and new SafeSpace locations at SPJA events. To help implement the new program, SPJA has partnered with the Nonprofit Risk Management Center, a trusted risk advisor to complex nonprofits, including many prominent youth-serving organizations such as Boy Scouts of America and Girl Scouts of the USA.

The unique Youth Protection Program is the first initiative of its kind in convention and exposition history. All guests can expect the events and activities to be friendly and welcoming for families, young audiences and all fans of Japanese culture and art.

"Not only does this mark a huge milestone for SPJA and our upcoming Anime Expo, we expect this move to shift the status quo for event safety and security, "said Ray Chiang, Chief Executive Officer at The Society for the Promotion of Japanese Animation." We're thrilled to spearhead this initiative and set a new tone for the preservation and enjoyment of Japanese anime and manga."

To further this goal, SPJA is undertaking several important changes and implementing new processes over the next few months leading up to Anime Expo (AX).

  • Background Screening for all employees, volunteers and other event participants and representatives. The background screening process seeks to maintain a safe environment with equipped personnel.
  • Formal Youth Protection Policy where all youth provisions and guidelines are consolidated at SPJA events. SPJA has conjoined the previously segmented guidelines and short policy provisions relating to youth, but as part of the Youth Protection Program, these provisions have been merged into one comprehensive policy where all relevant information can be accessed.
  • Online Training Courses and Resources available at www.youthprotectionportal.org/SPJA. SPJA has designed a series of online courses and resource materials for SPJA representatives and event participants. This information is available to anyone who is interested in learning more about the Youth Protection Program, as well as to those who are interested in participating in or attending SPJA events and activities.
  • SafeSpace Locations during SPJA events. SafeSpaces are areas within SPJA events and activities where attendees can go if they feel unsafe at any time, or would like to step away from the main event areas for a period of time. SafeSpaces are located throughout SPJA events, and SPJA's new Youth Protection Mascot, Chikara is featured at every SafeSpace.
  • Youth Protection Program Mascot, Chikara. Chikara is a confident young girl who represents youth protection and safety for all event attendees. Chikara is featured at every SafeSpace location.

To learn more about SPJA's Youth Protection Program, visit www.youthprotectionportal.org/SPJA.

About SPJA
SPJA is a non-profit organization dedicated to popularize and educate the American public about Japanese entertainment and pop culture, as well as provide a forum to facilitate communication between professionals and fans. For more information, please visit www.spja.org.

About Anime Expo
Anime Expo (AX) brings together fans and industry from Japan, the US, and all over the world for the largest celebration of Japanese pop culture in North America. Taking place every year since 1992, Anime Expo features the best in Japanese entertainment, music, fashion, and video games. For more information, visit www.anime-expo.org.

About Nonprofit Risk Management Center
The Nonprofit Risk Management Center's mission is to inspire effective risk management and to cultivate risk-aware leadership across the nonprofit sector. The Center creates and delivers risk management resources-including consulting services, training programs, publications and cloud applications-which enable nonprofit leaders to better identify and address risks that challenge their organizations. The Center offers assistance with risks related to youth protection, employment practices, governance, financial management, insurance, legal compliance, program and facility safety, and more. For more information, visit www.nonprofitrisk.org.

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