Panel Discussion at Thirsters on the Relevance of Peace Corps

The Columbia River Peace Corps Association, based in Portland, Oregon is promoting a presentation at Thirsters on Thursday, May 28th, 2015. For those of you lucky enough to live in Portland, here is the information from the Columbia River Peace Corps Association’s newsletter: (Columbia is spelled correctly here, it refers to the River, not the country.)

“Maria and James Beebe (RPCVs Philippines) are leading a panel discusion at a Thirsters meeting on May 28 on the relevance of Peace Corps. They need volunteers for the panel discussion and help with the short presentations. Please email beebe@gonzaga.edu ( It may be necessary to copy and paste this email address.)

Brief introduction to the history of Peace Corps, including the three goals.

Brief comments on the contribution to Peace Corps of Robert Textor, the founder of Thirsters, Brief comments on the current status of Peace Corps and the local Columbia River Peace Corps Association.

Panel discussion of returned Peace Corps Volunteers on their experience as volunteers and their views on the relevance of Peace Corps.

Thirsters was originally organized by Robert B. Textor (Professor Emeritus of Anthropology and Education, Stanford) as a  worldwide network in about 1997. Thirsters is an informal group of Returned Peace Corps Volunteers, academics,  public servants, business leaders, and other questioning individuals who discuss issues of peace, freedom, creativity, development, ethics, fairness, sustainabilityand respect for cultural differences. Most often examining topics through a social science lens, Thirster meetings have been described as “a  salon that comes together for camaraderie, pitcher beer and to discuss issues of commoninterest.  “Intercultural understanding” has often been identified as primary concern of Thirsters.”

Bob Textor’s reminder to Thirsters:  “We forgather at our Toping Tables EVERY Thursday of the year except holidays – rain or shine, earthquake, fire or flood — between 7 and 11 PM [presentations start at 8 PM].   Pop in when you wish, leave when you wish. Join us at: MCMENAMINS BROADWAY PUB, 1504 NE BROADWAY (AT NE 15th AVE), PORTLAND 97232.   Whenever logistics permit and mood conduces — which we hope will be often — please feel free to join us at our Tables.”

Sadly, Dr. Textor died in 2013. He was a member of the early Peace Corps staff and the author of the original “In, Up, and Out,” policy.  Dr. Textor was a staff trainer with Thailand I and a life long supporter of Peace Corps Volunteers and RPCVs.  He was a cultural anthropologist and wrote the classic: Cultural Frontier of the Peace Corps. Dr. Textor’s Home Page is still present and this book and other publications about the Peace Corps can be read at: http://web.stanford.edu/~rbtextor/publications.html

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if Peace Corps Washington had a “Thirsters” like group meeting every week at Peace Corps/Washington. The Reading Room at PC/HQ could be open to the public and RPCVs could present, debate, and promote “issues of peace, freedom, creativity, development, ethics, fairness, sustain ability and respect for cultural differences.”  RPCVs could even offer to “buy a beer” for the non-RPCV staff !

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