Returned Peace Corps Volunteer Oral History Archives Project July 2022 Newsletter

Returned Peace Corps Volunteer Oral History Archives Project

July 2022 Newsletter

 

Dear Valued Friend,

Welcome to our second Peace Corps Oral History newsletter of 2022. We have some important updates to share since our last issue in January.

As a reminder, the mission of the Returned Peace Corps Volunteer Oral History Archives Project (OHAP) is to preserve the Peace Corps experience through in-depth oral history interviews of Returned Peace Corps Volunteers (RPCVs) and Peace Corps staff. We are excited to announce we have recently expanded this offering to include host country nationals who were staff or interacted with Peace Corps Volunteers.

In addition to preserving history we are attempting to capture the spirit of current events as experienced by our interviewees. An amazing example of this is the Virtual Exhibit Departures: Peace Corps Pandemic Stories. Scroll down to learn more.

If you have not signed-up already, please click the button below to request an in-depth oral history video interview. Interviews are conducted remotely using Zoom by trained RPCV volunteer interviewers. Interviews follow each person’s Peace Corps path and generally take one to two hours.

 

 

OHAP is reaching out to Volunteers who served in Ukraine to talk about their experiences in country and their on-going relationships with Ukrainians, including what they are doing now to help Ukrainians during this time of war.

If you would like to support humanitarian efforts in Ukraine then please visit the RPCV Alliance for Ukraine website to find out how you can get involved or consider making a contribution to their Equity and Justice Fund to support DE&I initiatives.

 

The Peace Corps Oral History Archive is Growing

 

 

To date, OHAP interviewers have conducted over 1400 oral history interviews with RPCVs, evacuated Volunteers, Peace Corps staff and host country nationals. Of these, about 600 video interviews are archived and accessible at the University of Kentucky Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral Historyand about 800 audio-only interviews, conducted from 1999 to 2019, are archived and accessible at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum.

After a number of pilot interviews and revised procedures, OHAP is proud to offer oral history interviews to host country national counterpart / partners and staff who have worked alongside Volunteers during their service. These interviews will be archived in a new Collection at the Nunn Center and will add a much needed voice to the collective Peace Corps story.

 

 

Departures: Peace Corps Pandemic Stories

Virtual Exhibit & Gallery Installation

 

 

In 2020, when Peace Corps Volunteers were evacuated from countries throughout the world because of the COVID-19 pandemic, OHAP collected stories of evacuated Volunteers to capture their fresh feelings about their service, their displacement and their return to this country. Some of these stories were incorporated in Departures: Peace Corps Pandemic Stories, a multimedia exhibit and video led by S. Olivia Donaldson, RPCV Benin and Associate Professor at the University of Maine at Farmington.

 

 

Interview on “Jobs with Jodi” Podcast

LISTEN: Two of our board members, Evelyn Ganzglass and Violet Esipila, along with S. Olivia Donaldson, were recently featured on the National Peace Corps Association “Jobs with Jodi” podcast to talk about recent OHAP updates and projects. Click here to listen and share. Thanks Jodi!
 

 

Many Faces of Peace Corps 

Video & Discussion Activity

To inform discussions about Diversity, Equity and Inclusion issues in the Peace Corps, OHAP invited Volunteers and staff from populations underrepresented in the Peace Corps to talk about their unique Peace Corps experiences. Excerpts from these interviews were used to produce an 18-minute Many Faces video in partnership with the Museum of the Peace Corps Experience. The video and suggested discussion questions are available on the OHAP website. Click here to learn more.
 

Get Involved

 

 

In addition to being interviewed and contributing your story, you can become part of the Peace Corps Oral History team in other ways:

  • Affiliates can launch their own oral history project to engage and strengthen their geographic, country of service, or cause-based affiliate group. Interviews can be organized as on-going activities, around reunions and special anniversaries, or as a follow-up to storytelling events. Contact Evelyn Ganzglass at evelyn@ohap.org to learn more.
  • Become a volunteer Indexer. Indexers listen to recorded interviews and ready them for online access by noting important themes, creating time stamp outlines, and providing GPS coordinates for locations discussed. The OHAP and Nunn Center teams provide training and support for Indexers. Contact Peggy Walton at peggy@ohap.org to get started.
  • Use the Many Faces video to stimulate discussion in your community about diversity and inclusion issues in the Peace Corps. Learn more.
  • Donate to the Phyllis Noble Memorial Oral History Fund to support the digitization of early oral history interviews recorded on tape. These stories can then be posted online where they will be more easily accessible to researchers and the general public. Learn more.

 

 

Quick Links

 

Listen and Watch

 

Sincerely,

The Peace Corps Oral History Leadership Team

Evelyn, Jay, Candy, Pat, Violet, Peggy, Randy, Harry and Cedar

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