Tino Calabia studied at Georgetown, Columbia, and the University of Munich, was a Peace Corps Volunteer (Peru, 1963-65), then headed a Bronx antipoverty agency. He directed planning projects with residents of New York’s poverty neighborhoods, and authored numerous federal studies with topics ranging from the rights of female offenders to bias on college campuses. He has served on national Asian American boards, and presented seminars in former Eastern bloc countries for exchange students he had mentored while they lived in the U.S.
Tino wrote Marian and me this note, and responding to it, Marian has established a petition at SignOn.org that we hope you will sign.
This is what Tino had to say:
Last month’s tragic deaths of Ambassador Christopher Stevens (Morocco 1982–85) and three American colleagues in Libya have been turned into fuel for the firestorm of partisan attacks during the closing national campaigns to win the White House and Congress. After the first shocking days following the heavy weapons destruction of the U.S. compounds in the coastal city of Benghazi, the media’s focus seized on questions suddenly raised by one side in the campaigns: What really happened in Benghazi on September 11th? Who knew what and when? And who must pay the price for the outcome?
Lost in that babble is the story of the exemplary life of Chris Stevens who worked for peace throughout his career. Thirty years ago he effectively brought his natural talents and skills to his work as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Morocco. He then built on that experience to become a highly respected U.S. diplomat specializing in U.S./Mid-East affairs serving in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Syria, Israel and Libya. During the time of the Libyan uprising against Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, Chris served as the American Envoy to the Libyan Transitions National Council in Benghazi — he was our man in Libya during that dangerous time. In May of this year, Chris was named U.S. Ambassador to Libya.
Fortunately, the “gotcha” gamesmanship confronting us every day ends in less than three weeks, and the partisan wrangling will fade away like the horrible dream it is. Perhaps as time goes on, the lessons to be learned from Chris’s wonderful career can be shared for more to admire.
Meanwhile, I call on members of the Peace Corps community — the 200,000 of us who have served and are serving around the world — to join together in a call for a lasting way to honor our fallen fellow Volunteer. Much as I would like, it would take an act of Congress to change the name of the Peace Corps building, so I am suggesting that within HQ, a space of significance be named after Ambassador Chris Stevens. Would you be in favor of naming the senior staff conference room or the lobby of the Peace Corps building in Washington in Chris Stevens’ name?
If you agree that doing so might lead to one enduring way of honoring the model RPCV that Chris was, please sign this petition “Honor RPCV Ambassador Chris Stevens“, and also urge your fellow RPCVs and PCVs to consider doing so as well. Thanks for considering the idea.
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See: “Ambassador Stevens Memorial” page – http://www.facebook.com/ChristopherStephensMemorial?fref=ts