Archive - January 2016

1
Leaving El Salvador the First Time
2
More on El Salvador and The Peace Corps
3
JFK Library Has Four RPCV Oral Histories Online: Listen
4
Bill Moyers and Harris Wofford: A Conversation at the New York Public Library
5
Sarge Calls JFK About CIA Trying to Place Agents in the Peace Corps
6
El Salvador Deemed Too Dangerous For Peace Corps, But Not For Deportees
7
The Peace Corps El Salvador Program Suspended
8
Harris Wofford Event Wednesday at New York Public Library
9
Peace Corps Volunteers petition to reinstate sexual assault victims’ advocate who was pushed out
10
Gearan Center for the Performing Arts–Former Peace Corps Director (1995-99) Honored at HWS College

Leaving El Salvador the First Time

Leaving El Salvador 1980 – Peace Corps left El Salvador in the Spring of 1981  for the first time.  The documents describing what was happening in El Salvador and Peace Corps were made available by the Digital National Security Archives at George Washington University.  The security situation was dominated by political tensions in Guatemala. Also, Richard Celeste was relatively newly appointed as Director of the Peace Corps. One of the issues was who would have the final decision on suspending the Peace Corps program, the Director of the Peace Corps or the Ambassador of the Country.  Here is a summary of what happened. Posted by Joanne Roll on Friday, March 9th 2012     http://peacecorpsworldwide.org/leaving-el-salvador-1980-final/ PCV Deborah Loff, who had been taken hostage on December 11 with a group of Salvadorans from a market place, was released after eleven days. Loff was home for Christmas. But, Peace Corps continued to struggle with . . .

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More on El Salvador and The Peace Corps

Peace Corps suspends El Salvador program as violence surges Thanks to a ‘Heads Up’ from Barry Hillenbrand (Ethiopia 1963-65) By Jerry Markon January 14 at 5:14 PM Washington Post The Peace Corps has suspended its half-century-old program in El Salvador, highlighting the violence that has wracked the Central American nation and helped propel a wave of migration to the United States. In a statement, the agency begun by President John F. Kennedy said it is pulling out its 55 volunteers, who work on youth development and community economic development projects, “due to the ongoing security environment.” El Salvador has suffered a rash of gang and drug-related violence, though Peace Corps officials said no specific security incidents or threats triggered the suspension. The gang wars helped fuel a renewed surge in recent months of undocumented families with children flocking across America’s southwest border, the vast majority from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras. That, in . . .

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JFK Library Has Four RPCV Oral Histories Online: Listen

One of the many hidden treasures of Peace Corps history is the RPCV Oral History Collection at the JFK Library, begun more than fifteen years ago by RPCV Robert Klein,(Ghana I). Bob interviewed members of Ghana I for his book, Being First: An Informal History of the Early Peace Corps Robert Klein (Ghana 1961-63) Wheatmark, 2010 and realized how valuable those taped interviews were. He decided to expand to interview as many RPCVs as possible, at his own expense. For years, he crisscrossed the country, interviewing RPCVs and teaching them how to interview others. The JFK Library agreed to archive the tapes. There are now APPROXIMATELY 400 individual RECORDED interviews, one to three hours long. Years of service represented go from 1961 through 2015. All RPCVs may participate.  Sadly, Bob died in 2012.  His partner, RPCV Phyllis Noble, (Nigeria 65-67) has continued his work.. In an email, Phyllis wrote: “I’m delighted to talk to people about . . .

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Bill Moyers and Harris Wofford: A Conversation at the New York Public Library

On Wednesday night, January 13, 2016 at the New York Public Library there was a wonderful discussion between Bill Moyers, one of the founders of the Peace Corps and later deputy director of the Peace Corps, and Harris Wofford, former ‘everything’ in the government, including being the first Peace Corps Director to Ethiopia to then U.S. Senator from Pennsylvania. Two hundred plus attended the library event to support a new documentary film being made by Jacob Finkel (jsfinkel@civicdocumentaries.org). Driving in from Kuntzville, Pennsylvania to attend were Ethiopia I (1962-64)  Adrienne and Elton Katter. Among the Ethiopian RPCVs who attended the event were these Volunteers: (l-r) Margaret O’Brien Donohoe (1962-64); John Coyne (1962-64); Suzanne Wofford, Harris’ daughter, Dean of the Gallatin School of Individualized Study at New York University. (Suzanne was ten when she went with her family to Addis Ababa); David Forster (1966-68); and Bill Donohoe (1962-64). Concetta Bencivenga (Thailand . . .

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Sarge Calls JFK About CIA Trying to Place Agents in the Peace Corps

In July 1962, in an effort to preserve an accurate record of Presidential decision-making in a highly charged atmosphere of conflicting viewpoints, strategies and tactics, John F. Kennedy installed hidden recording systems in the Oval Office and in the Cabinet Room. The result is a priceless historical archive comprising some 265 hours of taped material. JFK was elected president when Civil Rights tensions were near the boiling point, and Americans feared a nuclear war. Confronted with complex dilemmas necessitating swift and unprecedented action, President Kennedy engaged in intense discussion and debate with his cabinet members and other advisors. Now, in conjunction with the fiftieth anniversary of the Kennedy presidency, the John F. Kennedy Library and historian Ted Widmer have carefully selected the most compelling and important of these remarkable recordings for release, fully restored and re-mastered onto two 75-minute CDs for the first time. Listening In represents a uniquely unscripted, . . .

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El Salvador Deemed Too Dangerous For Peace Corps, But Not For Deportees

Thanks to a “heads up” from Tom Hebert (Nigeria 1962-64) this story from The Huffington Post El Salvador Deemed Too Dangerous For Peace Corps, But Not For Deportees The Central American country is on track to become the homicide capital of the world. Elise Foley Immigration & Politics Reporter The Huffington Post Emergency workers gather bodies after at least five people were killed, allegedly by gang members, in Ciudad Delgado on the outskirts of San Salvador, El Salvador. The Obama administration considers El Salvador too dangerous for Peace Corps volunteers, but will continue to send mothers and children with orders for deportation to the country. The Peace Corps announced Monday that it is temporarily suspending its El Salvador program “due to the ongoing security environment.” “Volunteers’ health, safety and security are the Peace Corps’ top priorities,” the agency said in a statement. “More than 2,300 Peace Corps volunteers have worked on . . .

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The Peace Corps El Salvador Program Suspended

WASHINGTON, D.C., January 11, 2016 – The Peace Corps today announced the suspension of its program in El Salvador due to the ongoing security environment. The agency will continue to monitor the security situation in collaboration with the U.S. Embassy in San Salvador to determine when the program can resume. The Peace Corps has enjoyed a long partnership with the government and people of El Salvador and is committed to resuming volunteers’ work there in a safe and secure environment. Volunteers’ health, safety and security are the Peace Corps’ top priorities. More than 2,300 Peace Corps volunteers have worked on community and youth development projects in communities throughout El Salvador since the program was established in 1962. PROGRAM OVERVIEW In 1962 the government of El Salvador invited Peace Corps into the country, and in April of that year the first 20 Peace Corps Volunteers to serve in El Salvador arrived.  By 1977, . . .

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Harris Wofford Event Wednesday at New York Public Library

Event Information By: Corporation for Civic Documentaries Event Description Support the upcoming documentary film on Harris Wofford and join us for an evening withSenator Wofford at the New York Public Library. As a special web offer, we are offering a limited number of tickets at $50 (normally $150) to enjoy the event and the reception afterwards, hosted by New York Public Library CEO Anthony Marx. The evening begins with an exclusive preview of the upcoming documentary on Harris Wofford, featuring Senator Ted Kennedy, Rep. John Lewis, James Carville, Bill Moyers, and others.  Anthony Marx then interviews Harris Wofford about the themes of the film, including national service, advancing Civil Rights with Martin Luther King and President Kennedy, helping to start the Peace Corps, and fighting for national health care in the U.S. Senate, and we will hear from other special guests. RSVP today, this special offer is only available for a limited time! . . .

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Peace Corps Volunteers petition to reinstate sexual assault victims’ advocate who was pushed out

The Peace Corps was mandated by Congress to hire its first advocate for victims of sexual assault. Now the agency has pushed her out. By Lisa Rein January 11 at 6:00 AM Washington Post (Courtesy of Kellie Greene) Two hundred current and returned Peace Corps volunteers around the world have signed a petition to Congress to reinstate an outspoken advocate for victims of sexual assault who was pushed out four years after lawmakers demanded that the agency show it was serious about volunteers’ security. “Survivors and their allies are asking for the immediate reinstatement of Kellie Greene as Director of Office of Victims Advocacy,” says the petition started on Change.org in December. “Kellie Greene has proven herself to be a fierce advocate for Peace Corps Volunteers who become victims of crimes during their Peace Corps Service,” the petition says. “She holds Peace Corps to a incredibly high but necessary standard. She has ushered in . . .

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Gearan Center for the Performing Arts–Former Peace Corps Director (1995-99) Honored at HWS College

Gearan Center for the Performing Arts The new performing arts building at the heart of the Hobart and William Smith campus – which will unite academic and performance spaces for theatre, music,dance, and media and society – has been officially named the Gearan Center for the Performing Arts in honor of President Mark D. Gearan and Mary Herlihy Gearan. Mark and Mary Herlihy Gearan and their daughter Kathleen listen as Chair of the Board of Trustees Maureen Collins Zupan announces the naming of the building The announcement was made on Friday, Oct. 23 during a commemorative cornerstone installation which brought together students, faculty, staff, alums, the Board of Trustees and the Alumni and Alumnae Councils to celebrate the occasion in advance of the Center’s grand opening in January 2016. The largest project in the history of the Colleges, the fundraising goal of $28 million for the 65,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art facility was surpassed . . .

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