Story Corps, a national nonprofit organization dedicated to recording, preserving, and sharing the stories of Americans from all backgrounds and beliefs, will visit the University of Wisconsin-Madison from March 24-26 as part of ”Peace Corps and Africa: 50 Years.” 

StoryCorps and the African Studies Program, will record three days of interviews with former volunteers.

Abby Lesnick, the project’s coordinator for StoryCorps, says,  ”the Peace Corps and Africa event is the perfect opportunity to capture powerful conversations about lives transformed.”

StoryCorps interviews are 40-minute conversations between two people who know each other well, or want to get to know each other better. A trained StoryCorps facilitator guides the participants through the interview process. At the end of each recording session, participants receive a complimentary CD copy of their interview.

With their permission, a second copy is archived at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress, and at the Oral History Program at the University of Wisconsin Archives. Segments of select interviews may also air nationally on NPR’s “Morning Edition.”

“The recorded human voice has the power to engage, to enlighten, and inspire. The stories we document with StoryCorps will provide a valuable archive of Wisconsin’s own voices to be shared with future generations, and also help trace Peace Corps histories spanning 50 years,” says Catherine Reiland, assistant director of the African Studies Program.

Other notable highlights of the “Peace Corps and Africa: 50 Years” program include talks and roundtables with Johnnie Carson, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs; former U.S. Ambassadors Mark Green, John Lange, and John Campbell; founder of Africare C. Payne Lucas; and award-winning poet Sandra Meek.

To register for the conference (and be considered for participation in StoryCorps’ Madison) you must do so by March 1.

Peace Corps and Africa is hosted by the African Studies Program in partnership with the Returned Peace Corps Volunteers of Madison and with support of the UW-Madison Division of International Studies, the Wisconsin Alumni Association, Global Studies, the International Institute, the Morgridge Center for Public Service, Wisconsin Public Radio, and the Chicago Peace Corps Regional Recruitment Office. The event is open to the general public. Registration is required.