A benefit for Operation Respect draws RPCV crowd


Thanks to a ‘heads up’ from Geri Critchley (Senegal 1971-72) —


A BENEFIT WAS HELD ON JUNE 7th in Washington, DC for Operation Respect.  Created in 1999, Operation Respect offers free resources and training for addressing anti-bullying and respect for differences, and are distributed to schools worldwide. It was co-founded by Peter Yarrow (of “Peter, Paul and Mary” fame). OR was catapulted to success by the song “Don’t Laugh at Me” that was introduced to Peter by his daughter Bethany, and subsequently he recorded it with Paul and Mary.

The benefit was chaired by Geri Critchley (Senegal 1971–72), and hosted by  Elizabeth Frawley Bagley, former Ambassador to Portugal.

At the benefit, former Secretary of State John Kerry and Senator Harris Wofford (Ethiopia CD 1962–64) were honored for their service. After hearing Yarrow lead a rousing sing-along, Kerry was prompted to remark that he now could “believe in the country’s ability to weather a storm.” (Kerry and Yarrow’s friendship goes back to their participation in the anti-war protests of the ’60s.)

Many RPCVs and former staff were on the benefit committee or contributed in some way.

Peter Yarrow has performed pro bono at many RPCV events over decades starting with singing at the Washington Monument for the Peace Corps’s 30th anniversary, NPCA conferences and even at Peace Corps Director Carrie Hessler Radelet’s inauguration. He recently stepped down from Operation Respect and is primarily working with Better Angels to create dialogue and understanding between our cultural/political divide. It has just started the “One America Bus Tour.”  If interested in using your ccross-cultural skills to good use back home, you may want to get involved with the One America  Bus Tour and Better Angels.

Check out “One America” videos below and/or contact: geri.critchley@gmail.com

PASSWORD: 2mandu
One America Gathering 6 minute with “This Land”.  https://vimeo.com/222443074
One America Gathering 9 minutes with 3 Songs:  https://vimeo.com/222896388

At the benefit —

Peter Yarrow, Geri Critchley, Harris Wofford,
Elizabeth Vale

John Kerry, Harris Wofford, Elizabeth Bagley,
Corey Arnez Griffin, Peter Yarrow

Matthew Charlton, Harris Wofford and Geri Critchley, Committee Chair

Maureen Orth (Colombia 1964-66) and Congressman John Garamendi (Ethiopia 1966-68)

RPCVS: Maureen Orth, John Garamendi, Pam and Dennis Lucey

Harris Wofford reading W.B. Yeats’s poem “Brown Penny”

Brown Penny
I whispered, “I am too young,”
And then, ‘I am old enough’;
Wherefore I threw a penny

To find out if I might love.

“Go and love, go and love, young man,
If the lady be young and fair.”
Ah, penny, brown penny, brown penny,

I am looped in the loops of her hair.

O love is the crooked thing,
There is nobody wise enough
To find out all that is in it,
For he would be thinking of love
Till the stars had run away
And the shadows eaten the moon.
Ah, penny, brown penny, brown penny
One cannot begin it too soon.

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