The Peace Corps

Agency history, current news and stories of the people who are/were both on staff and Volunteers.

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Journals of Peace–U.S. Capital Readings Remembered
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Peace Corps Graphics
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Republicans in the House of Representatives want to defund EPCVs COVID-19 support
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Quelle Movies reviews A TOWERING TASK
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The Peace Corps Is Suspended—Here’s Why We Need to Make Sure It Returns
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Josephine Olsen Cuts & Runs — Africa Will Remember
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Early Peace Corps Staff: William F. Haddad, journalist, political operative and businessman, dies at 91
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COVID-19 ended my Peace Corps service, but I’m still grateful
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Your chance to see A Towering Task
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Promote the virtually screening of A Towering Task

Journals of Peace–U.S. Capital Readings Remembered

A 24-hour vigil at the U. S. Capital never happened before, or since. It was a day and night for America and for Returned Peace Corps Volunteers that should never be forgotten. I will over the next months publish a number of those addresses read by former Volunteers in the Rotunda of the U.S Capitol. All of these original essays I have and will give to the new NPCA museum in Washington, D.C. so that the history of the first generations of Volunteers will be kept, remembered, and understood by generations to come. In these sad days of the Trump Administration, we can now look back and read back what Volunteers did for America and the Third World as we approach the 60th anniversary of the Peace Corps in 2021. It is especially important at a time when Peace Corps Volunteers have been pulled out of service, and we have . . .

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Peace Corps Graphics

Thanks for the ‘heads up’ from Gerry Allan Schwinn (Nigeria 1963-65) Lou Stovall, Peace Corps, 1970, silkscreen, 35″ x 23″ Washington Color School artist Paul Reed commissioned this poster in 1970 while he was Director of Graphics at the Peace Corps. In the late 1960s and early 1970s, Lou Stovall created limited edition silkscreen prints for Reed and other Color School artists, including Thomas Downing, Gene Davis and Sam Gilliam, as well as posters for Vista, Job Corps and other service-oriented organizations. Stovall chose the following quote from Nobel Peace Prize winner Albert Schweizer to capture the mission of the Peace Corps: “I don’t know what your destiny will be but one thing I know, the only ones among you who will be really happy are those who have sought and found how to serve.” Images and text courtesy of Will Stovall.

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Republicans in the House of Representatives want to defund EPCVs COVID-19 support

    The NPCA is reporting this possible action and asking the RPCV Community to rally and contact their Congress Representative. From the NPCA Newsletter comes the alarming news: “Legislation would jeopardize funds that provided for health and safety of more than 7,300 evacuated Peace Corps Volunteers amid global pandemic. Let’s keep that from happening. While there has been significant legislation introduced to support Peace Corps and evacuated volunteers, a South Carolina Congressman has announced legislation that would — in part — rescind the $88 million in emergency appropriations approved earlier for Peace Corps. Congressman Jeff Duncan (R-SC) has introduced H.R. 6657, the Working Under Humanity’s Actual Needs (WUHAN) Rescissions Act, which calls for eliminating more than $27 billion from the CARES Act legislation that was overwhelmingly approved by Congress and signed by President Trump in late March. Included in the new legislation is the proposed return of the $88 million appropriated . . .

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Quelle Movies reviews A TOWERING TASK

    A Towering Task: The Story of the Peace Corps “Helping other nations build the strength to meet their own problems, to satisfy their own aspirations, to surmount their own dangers. The problems in achieving this goal are towering and unprecedented. The response must be towering and unprecedented.”  — President John F. Kennedy • The Ugly American by William J. Lederer and Eugene Burdick, published in 1958, demonstrated how Americans working abroad failed to integrate with local communities allowing Russians, who did in fact integrate, to spread Communism. President John F. Kennedy read the book and was spurred to action. His goal was to have Americans volunteer to combat hunger, fight for civil rights and promote world peace by working within the communities they were helping. On September 22nd, 1961, Congress voted to make the Peace Corps a permanent agency. “To help young Americans understand the rest of the world is . . .

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The Peace Corps Is Suspended—Here’s Why We Need to Make Sure It Returns

Thanks for the ‘heads up’ from Paul Koprowski (Ethiopia 1962-64) The Peace Corps Is Suspended—Here’s Why We Need to Make Sure It Returns By Jessie Beck (Madagascar 2011-13) AFAR Travel Magazine 04.30.20   Ninety-two percent of Peace Corps volunteers say the experience has changed their lives. In the Peace Corps, you learn that travel isn’t just about hotels and the sights. It’s about the people and connections you make. On March 15, 2020, the Peace Corps announced the evacuation of all 7,000+ volunteers from 60+ countries and suspension of all operations. With just 24 hours’ notice, all volunteers were asked to pack up their bags, say goodbye to their host communities, and return to the United States. I can only imagine it was a difficult, but necessary, decision. Keeping volunteers safe and healthy is a top priority for the organization, and it would have been a struggle to provide adequate healthcare to . . .

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Josephine Olsen Cuts & Runs — Africa Will Remember

    In a Washington Post article published on May 1, 2020, award-winning journalists Edward H. Carpenter and Charli Carpenter published an article entitled, “East Africa has weathered pandemics — and has a few things to teach the U.S.” In the article, they write how African leaders have managed the crisis much better than the U.S. They write: These factors make it all the more remarkable that emerging economies of East Africa are far better prepared for this crisis than the United States was even two weeks ago. These countries include some of the more stable African nations (Uganda, Kenya, Ethiopia and Eritrea) and some of the most unstable (Somalia, Sudan and South Sudan). What they share is a relatively low incidence of the coronavirus and a strong, proactive and coordinated response to the crisis. The current pandemic won’t be the last the world faces. And while it is functionally too late for the United . . .

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Early Peace Corps Staff: William F. Haddad, journalist, political operative and businessman, dies at 91

      Haddad became involved with the JFK presidential campaign and got back into politics as a special assistant to Robert Kennedy, and it was the Attorney General who brought him to the attention of Sargent Shriver and the Peace Corps. — JCNote.   By Matt Schudel Washington Post May 2, 2020 During his varied and sometimes adventurous career, William F. Haddad was a teenage sailor with the Merchant Marine, a reporter who helped expose corruption in New York’s political machine, a founding official of the Peace Corps, a newspaper publisher and an advocate for breaking the pharmaceutical industry’s control over drug prices. He was the author of several books, including one about his experiences as an executive for John Z. DeLorean, a charismatic car designer who launched a once-revolutionary automotive company, only to be disgraced amid a far-reaching scandal. Mr. Haddad, a ubiquitous and restless figure who was a . . .

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COVID-19 ended my Peace Corps service, but I’m still grateful

Thanks for the ‘heads up’ from Mark Walker( Guatemala 1971-73)   The Red & Black Publishing April 30, 2020   COVID-19 ended my Peace Corps service, but I’m still grateful Brun Baringer 2018-2020 • My colleague greeted me with a premonition: “tsudi otsneba mqonda” — “I had a bad dream.” His implication was clear: my time here would be cut short. I was working in the Georgian Black Sea port city of Poti through the Peace Corps, consulting a civic development non-governmental organization and a TV station. We were meeting on a sunless Saturday afternoon to discuss a grant proposal for a collaborative advocacy project between the two organizations, but immediately on this premonition the clouds crept inside, brooding over our conversation. I had been living in the Eurasian country of Georgia for close to a year. It is an amazing place with some unbelievable mountains, incredible cuisine and a culture of inspirational hospitality — . . .

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Your chance to see A Towering Task

  First Run Features presents A TOWERING TASK The Story of the Peace Corps Virtual Theatrical Release Begins May 22 First Run Features is pleased to announce that A Towering Task: The Story of the Peace Corps will have virtual theatrical runs across the U.S. beginning May 22, 2020. After sold-out screenings at the Kennedy Center and the Denver Film Festival, numerous community screenings from Alaska to Washington, DC to Hawaii and Florida, not to mention international screenings in Colombia and Afghanistan, the film will finally be available to American cinema-goers…albeit via streaming. Directed by Alana DeJoseph and narrated by Annette Bening, the documentary features indelible interviews of current and Returned Peace Corps Volunteers, current and former staff, scholars and journalists, community members and leaders around the world (including Presidents Jimmy Carter and Ellen Johnson Sirleaf). Remarkable archival materials and stunning footage from around the globe by cinematographer Vanessa Carr bring to life an agency that . . .

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Promote the virtually screening of A Towering Task

Now, more than ever, Peace Corps needs to be kept in the public eye. RPCV Alana de Joseph, Producer of the Peace Corps Documentary, A Towering Task,  has a request. “RPCVs and friends of the Peace Corps can now approach their local movie theaters to virtually screen A Towering Task. Here is the link that can be sent to movie theaters: https://firstrunfeatures.activehosted.com/index.php?action=social&chash=5f2c22cb4a5380af7ca75622a6426917.912&s=f7dd23ab00b1845d65665ab7eef54a0a It’s a great way to support a local business and at the same time get the story out about the Peace Corps.”

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