Author - Joanne Roll

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An Update from the RPCV Oral History Project
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60 Years of Peace Corps History Preserved Through New, Continuing Partnerships With UK Libraries’ Nunn Center
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Peace Corps Volunteers will Aid FEMA with COVID Response
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What Worked and Why and What Did Not Work and Why
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The Legacy of Dr. Robert Textor (DC staff)
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To Review and Recommend Polices for the Peace Corps of the Future.
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Congressman John Garamendi introduces Peace Corps Reauthorization Act
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Colorado Public Radio commemorates Peace Corps 60th Anniversary
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RPCV’s letter published in the Washington Post
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Acting PC Director Carol Spahn replies to Jerry Norris’ letter about the work of RPCV Maureen Orth

An Update from the RPCV Oral History Project

  The RPCV Oral History Project was begun by Robert Klein (Ghana I) more than twenty years ago.  After his death in 2012, RPCVs continued his work, collaborating with the JFK Library and now the University of Kentucky.  The Oral History Project is a NPCA Affiliate group.  All RPCVs are eligible to participate. The Oral History team includes RPCVs Evelyn Ganzglass, Pat Wand, and Cedar Wolf. To learn more about the archive CLICK HERE Here is more information from the Oral History Project newsletter: “Over the past few months, we’ve been focusing primarily on two topics: COVID-19 Evacuees, and Many Faces Peace Corps. We have interviewed 60 PCVs who were evacuated from their sites due to Peace Corps suspension of programs in March 2020.  The Many Faces of Peace Corps collection focuses on the diverse Peace Corps community, particularly those from under-represented populations.  Excerpts of some of those interviews have been compiled into . . .

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60 Years of Peace Corps History Preserved Through New, Continuing Partnerships With UK Libraries’ Nunn Center

  The University of Kentucky is the home of the Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History.  It has now partnered with the RPCV Oral History Project. Here is the story from University of Kentucky’s Campus News. • LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 2, 2021) — On March 1, 1961, President John F. Kennedy signed an executive order that established the Peace Corps as a volunteer agency in the U.S Department of State. Sixty years later, as the agency celebrates its diamond anniversary, University of Kentucky Libraries’ Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History is continuing its work with local and national partners to preserve many of the stories and experiences of the more than 241,000 Americans who have served in the Peace Corps. From stories of volunteers evacuated from their host countries at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic to accounts from some of the first groups to volunteer with the . . .

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Peace Corps Volunteers will Aid FEMA with COVID Response

News Release from Peace Corps. https://www.peacecorps.gov/news/library/peace-corps-volunteers-aid-us-covid-19-response-deploying-fema-supported-community-vaccination-centers/ March 31, 2021 The partnership marks second time in Peace Corps’ 60-year history that the agency has deployed volunteers in U.S., the first following Hurricane Katrina. WASHINGTON – Today, the Peace Corps and FEMA announced they have struck a historic partnership to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. For the second time in the agency’s history, Peace Corps volunteers will serve a domestic deployment, at FEMA’s request – the first following Hurricane Katrina and now at federally supported Community Vaccination Centers (CVCs) across the country. “The Peace Corps works hand-in-hand with communities on their most pressing challenges, and right now the U.S. faces some of the biggest challenges in our country’s history,” said Peace Corps Acting Director Carol Spahn. “The volunteers who contribute to this effort will bring valuable cross-cultural experience, language skills and adaptability fostered during their time overseas as they contribute to an equitable . . .

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What Worked and Why and What Did Not Work and Why

  Peace Corps was created in the golden glow of Post-World War II America. That war was won with our fossil fuel based industrial might. With the Marshall Plan, our ideals, our resources, our technology, we rebuilt our enemies, Germany and Japan,  into strong capitalist economics and laid the foundation for their democratic governments. Both countries became our strong, independent allies. At home, the GI Bill gave veterans a college education and support to own a home, building blocks for our growing middle class. Our economy was a golden cornucopia spewing forth millions of products, from a polio vaccine to pastel, scented toilet paper. In his Inaugural Address, President Kennedy acknowledged our wealth and our success with this call: Now the trumpet summons us again — not as a call to bear arms, though arms we need — not as a call to battle, though embattled we are — but . . .

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The Legacy of Dr. Robert Textor (DC staff)

  This was originally posted on Peace Corps Worldwide on February 2, 2014.  Dr. Textor believed that RPCVs should ultimately be the ones staffing Peace Corps administration.  Perhaps in this time of proposing improvement to Peace Corps, it would be good to revisit his ideas. • This is a good time to remember how very much Robert Textor contributed to the Peace Corps. He was one of the original Peace Corps staffers. He believed passionately in the Volunteer and just as importantly, the RPCV. Textor was the  author of the “In, Up, and Out” policy or as it is more commonly known, “the five year rule.” But, he insisted that tenure should be eight years, not five. He envisioned a Peace Corps agency staffed 90% by RPCVs, arguing that the cross-cultural experience of the Volunteer was transformative and should be incorporated into every function of the Peace Corps agency. In the months before his passing, . . .

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To Review and Recommend Polices for the Peace Corps of the Future.

  The Tributes to John and Marian, also, continue. John has been the heart of the RPCV community and Marian’s support of RPCV books and their authors will support that legacy.  I am one of so many RPCVs who have benefited from their generosity  and support.  I will be forever grateful. I appreciate the opportunity to post these thoughts that were written before I knew of the John’s decision. • There are no Peace Corps Volunteers serving now and no dates certain forreturning to host countries. However, there is much interest in looking towards to how the Peace Corps can improve in the future. Representative Garmandi  introduced the Peace Corps Reauthorization Act. (https://peacecorpsworldwide.org/congressman-john-garamendi-introduces-peace-corps-reauthorization-act/) Peace Corps responded to President Biden’s Executive order on advancing racial equity and supporting underserved communities.( https://www.peacecorps.gov/news/library/the-peace-corps-responds-to-president-bidens-executive-order-on-advancing-racial-equity-and-support-for-underserved-communities-through-the-federal-government/). The NPCA held Town Halls through the summer with RPCVs and has published “Time for a Change” (https://www.peacecorpsconnect.org/articles/now-is-the-time-for-historic-changes-that-includes-the-peace-corps) I think . . .

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Congressman John Garamendi introduces Peace Corps Reauthorization Act

  WASHINGTON, DC—Today, Congressman John Garamendi (D-CA), returned Peace Corps volunteer (Ethiopia 1966-1968) and co-chair of the Congressional Peace Corps Caucus, reintroduced the “Peace Corps Reauthorization Act.” The reintroduction coincides with the  60th anniversary of the Peace Corps’ founding by President John F. Kennedy, and the start of National Peace Corps Week. The bill’s original cosponsors include Representative Garret Graves (R-LA)—co-chair of the Congressional Peace Corps Caucus with Congressman Garamendi—and Representatives Grace Meng (D-NY), Aumua Amata Coleman Radewagen (R-AS), Dean Phillips (D-MN), Ed Case (D-HI), and Albio Sires (D-NJ). The bill is endorsed by the National Peace Corps Association and the National Whistleblower Center. Representative Garamendi (Ethiopia 1966-1968) is a returned Peace Corps volunteer and Representative Aumua Amata was a former Peace Corps staffer (Northern Mariana Islands 1967-1968). The “Peace Corps Reauthorization Act of 2021” would provide additional federal funding and resources to advance the Peace Corps’ mission around the . . .

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Colorado Public Radio commemorates Peace Corps 60th Anniversary

  The Challenges Ahead As The Peace Corps Turns 60 an interview by Ryan Warner for ”Colorado Matters” of CPR News March 1, 2021 On March 1, 2021, Colorado Public Radio interviewed  RPCVs about their Peace Corps experiences. RPCV Hunter Herold, RPCV Dylon Evans and Calvin Brophy were evacuated last March and discussed the work they did, the friends they made, and the difficulty of  being evacuated  abruptly due to COVID-19. Then, RPCV Alana deJoseph, producer director of  the Peace Corps documentary “A Towering Task”, was interviewed about her service and how she sees the future of the Peace Corps. CLICK  to go to “The Challenges Ahead As The Peace Corps Turns 60,” then click on the “LISTEN NOW” orange rectangle in the upper right of the page to hear the program.    

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RPCV’s letter published in the Washington Post

  In its February 16, 2021 issue,  the Washington Post published a news article describing  how hydrofluorocarbons, a dangerous environmental pollutant, were leaking from supermarket freezers. It also described the Biden administration’s efforts to regulate and eliminate the problem. https://www.washingtonpost.com/climate-environment/2021/02/15/these-gases-your-grocerys-freezer-are-fueling-climate-change-biden-wants-fix-that/ RPCV Evelyn Ganzglass  (Somalia 1966-68) wrote this letter to the Washington Post urging consumer action to deal with the  pollution issue. The Post published it, included that she was a  member in the Returned Peace Corps Volunteers for Environmental Action.  In her letter, Ganzglass stresses pollution is a global problem and hurts everyone all over the world. Thank you to Evelyn Ganzglass for sharing the letter. • “Consumer activism could have a real impact on the environment. Let’s all use the money we spend on groceries to exert market pressure on supermarkets to immediately fix leaks in refrigeration systems that release hydrofluorocarbons into the atmosphere and accelerate the pace of replacing these . . .

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Acting PC Director Carol Spahn replies to Jerry Norris’ letter about the work of RPCV Maureen Orth

  Jerry Norris (Colombia 1963-65) has been researching efforts of RPCVs in pursuit of the Third Goal and posting them here as “Profiles in Courage.” Maureen Orth (Colombia 1964-66) was one such Profile. Jerry Norris wrote Acting Peace Corps Director Carol Spahn about the Orth Foundation which helps Colombian students become bilingual and skilled in computer technology. See: https://peacecorpsworldwide.org/a-profile-in-citizenship-colombia/ • He shares Spahn’s response here: Dear Mr. Norris: Thank you for reaching out to share the story of RPCV Maureen Orth and her inspiring work with the Marina Orth Foundation, as it relates to the Peace Corps’ domestic dividend. As you point out, both she and Donna Shalala have truly gone above and beyond when it comes to our Third Goal. It’s always nice to hear from Returned Volunteers and I so appreciate that you felt compelled to respond to my open letter. As you say, the full impact of the . . .

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