Archive - September 2018

1
Former President Obama Mentions the Peace Corps in University of Illinois speech today. A First!
2
Ethiopia’s First Peace Corps Staff, Part Three
3
Ethiopia’s First Peace Corps Staff, Part Two
4
Ethiopia’s Peace Corps First Staff
5
New books by Peace Corps writers — August 2018
6
Rachel Cowan (Ecuador), innovative rabbi, is dead at 77

Former President Obama Mentions the Peace Corps in University of Illinois speech today. A First!

And from the wreckage of world War II, we built a post-war architecture, system of alliances and institutions to underwrite freedom and oppose Soviet totalitarianism and to help poorer countries develop. American leadership across the globe wasn’t perfect. We made mistakes. At times we lost sight of our ideals. We had fierce arguments about Vietnam and we had fierce arguments about Iraq. But thanks to our leadership, a bipartisan leadership, and the efforts of diplomats and peace corps volunteers, and most of all thanks to the constant sacrifices of our men and women in uniform, we not only reduced the prospects of war between the world’s great powers, we not only won the Cold War, we helped spread a commitment to certain values and principles like the rule of law and human rights and democracy and the notion of the inherent dignity and worth of every individual.

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Ethiopia’s First Peace Corps Staff, Part Three

Harris Wofford was born in Johnson City, Tenn., and raised in Scarsdale, N.Y. While still in high school, he founded and became the first president of the Student Federalist Movement, after he was inspired by Clarence Streit’s Union Now. Enrolled in the University of Chicago’s accelerated student’s plan, he took Chicago’s famed great books curriculum and received his degree in two yers, after which he became the first holder of an accelerated degree to be admitted to Yale University Law School. He also became the first White student to be admitted to Howard University Law School since suffragette days when some White women sought to dramatize their demands for the vote by enrolling there. In 1954, he received law degrees from both Yale and Howard. In 1948, the year in which he graduated from Chicago, Wofford attended a World Youth Festival in Prague which he also covered in three articles . . .

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Ethiopia’s First Peace Corps Staff, Part Two

Bascom Story’s father was a Methodist minister who moved from small town to small town in Texas. Born in Rotan (Fisher County), Bascom went to 22 schools before he enrolled in North Texas State College in Denton, where he obtained a degree in political science in 1934. Barely in his twenties, he became principal of the high school in Lytie, a small town near San Antonio. He moved from there to Runge High School, also in south Texas, to superintendent of the Runge School District, finally to Deputy State Superintendent of Education, a job he held for three years while he worked on a master’s in educational administration. He got the degree in 1942 from Southwest Texas State at San Marcos. From 1942 to 1946, Story served in the Navy as a communications officer with amphibious forces in the Pacific, and he participated in the invasion of Okinawa. He returned . . .

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Ethiopia’s Peace Corps First Staff

Ethiopia’s First Peace Corps Staff On October 13, 1961, Emperor Haile Selassie informed the Peace Corps that Ethiopia would be interested in inviting Volunteers to one of the few Africans nations which remained independent throughout the era of colonialism. Harold Johnson, operations officer for East Africa, was dispatched to Addis Ababa on November 5, 1961. Johnson remained until November 29 while Ethiopian officials explained to him that the nation wanted Volunteer teachers and plenty of them. The request was impressive enough to send Harris Wofford to Addis Ababa twice in the following months, in January and April. Wofford, then adviser to the President on civil rights and Peace Corps matters, subsequently negotiated a program in Togo. In Ethiopia, Harris quickly determined that the nation wanted to expand its secondary school capacity without delay –at the start of the next school year in September 1962, if possible. Key to this expansion . . .

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New books by Peace Corps writers — August 2018

To purchase any of these books from Amazon.com — Click on the book cover, the bold book title, or the publishing format you would like — and Peace Corps Worldwide, an Amazon Associate, will receive a small remittance from your purchase that will help support the site and the annual Peace Corps Writers awards. We are now including a one-sentence description — provided by the author — for the books listed here in hopes of encouraging readers  1) to order the book and 2) to volunteer to review it. See a book you’d like to review for Peace Corps Worldwide? Send a note to Marian at peacecorpsworldwide@gmail.com, and we’ll send you a copy along with a few instructions. • Then Again Ben Berman (Zimbabwe 1998-2000) (Short prose pieces) Vine Leaves Press August 2018 58 pages $9.99 pre-order (paperback) The interrelated short prose pieces in Ben Berman’s Then Again explore a life outside of chronological order, bounce back and forth between foreign adventures . . .

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Rachel Cowan (Ecuador), innovative rabbi, is dead at 77

  Rabbi Rachel Cowan in 2006. She converted to Judaism in 1980 and became a leader who emphasized egalitarian small-group circles rather than large temple services. Photo: Mat Szwajkos/Getty Images byJoseph Berger  New York Times Sept 1, 2018 • Rabbi Rachel Cowan, a Mayflower descendant who converted to Judaism and became a prominent innovator in three nontraditional movements in that faith, died on Friday at her home in Manhattan. She was 77. The cause was brain cancer, her family said. Rabbi Cowan was a leader in helping couples navigate the shoals of mixed marriage, injecting contemplative practices like meditation and mindfulness into religious life, and designing “healing services” to comfort the sick and dying. After she learned of her cancer more than two years ago, her friends held twice-weekly services of songs, psalms and readings for her, and a flavor of that so-called healing movement was evident in one service. . . .

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