2023 Winner of the Peace Corps Writers’ Publisher’s Award

Building Community:
Answering Kennedy’s Call

Harlan Russell Green
(Turkey 1964–66)


2023 Publisher’s Award

Building Community: Answering Kennedy’s Call, Harlan Green’s memoir of his years working to build successful communities at home and abroad, shows what is possible when communities come together to improve their lives.

He describes his work as a Peace Corps Volunteer in a rural community development program in a Turkish village teaching vocational skills and convincing the villagers to develop new agricultural methods.

Green also worked as a photographer and filmmaker for the USEPA (United States Environmental Protection Agency) in its earliest days lobbying communities to implement the Clean Air and Water Acts that were enacted to mitigate the growing air and water pollution.

Harlan R. Green

He joined Cesar Chavez and the United Farmworkers of America during its mid-1970s struggle organizing seasonal farm workers to better their living conditions; and documented the grape and lettuce boycotts, and Cesar’s charismatic leadership using non-violent methods to fight violent opposition by growers and the Teamsters Union.

Hardan then brought what he learned home. There he found in his own community similar needs, and lead a neighborhood planning effort that resulted in the formation of a livable city safe for children as well as adults.

Building Community: Answering Kennedy’s Call
Harlan Russell Green (Turkey 1964–66)
Peace Corps Writers
148 pages
$9.99 (paperback), $8.95 (Kindle)



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  • That is fantastic news. Harlan Green is a true example of someone who has continued to take Peace Corps values into the rest of his life, and his work as an economist is helpful to us all. So glad to see this elegantly concise book get the recognition it deserves.

  • Review of my book, Buildingcommunityansweringkennedy’scall.

    From Peace Corp Volunteer, to filmmaker for the Environmental Protection Agency, to a journalist and filmmaker for the United Farmworkers Union, to the grassroots effort to redevelop Goleta into a “livable community,”
    Harlan Green demonstrates the power communities have to achieve common goals. Green embodies the concept of service with honesty, humility, and vision. The historical references embedded in the day-to-day work of collaborative community building brings color and warmth to this book, as do the poems Harlan has written, which literally brought tears to my eyes so moving and evocative were they. This is a book about hope and the courage to stand up for a future that believes in and builds upon the collective needs of its people.

    Thank you so much!

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