Spring 2021 | THE TIME IS NOW!
Sixty years of Peace Corps. And big work ahead.
An Historic Moment
President’s Letter: A time to honor the past — and commit to a different future
By Glenn Blumhorst. Cover illustration by Richard Borge
An Invitation: Now Is the Time
From the Editor: Listen, learn — and roll up our sleeves. A letter from JFK in 1961. And an invitation on hold for over a year.
By Steven Boyd Saum.
“If I had three minutes to talk to President Biden about the Peace Corps…”
Here’s what eleven former Peace Corps directors would say.
Legislation for a Changed World
It has been decades since Congress tackled Peace Corps legislation this sweeping. Along with important reforms, it would lead to 10,000 Volunteers serving in the field — a number not seen in half a century.
By Jonathan Pearson
Peace Corps Service: Then and Now
Sixty years since the Peace Corps was founded. Beginnings in a troubled world. Amid an unprecedented time, an anniversary like no other. And unfinished business in an age of divisiveness and uncertainty.
Annotation: Changing World
The globe in 1961, the year nine countries welcomed the first Peace Corps Volunteers — and the year after 17 nations in Africa gained independence.
1961: Towering Task Edition
A look at the year in which the Peace Corps was founded with great aspirations — and the troubled world into which it emerged.
Peace Corps Week 2021
Snapshots of how we have celebrated 60 years. And how we’re working to reimagine and reshape Peace Corps for a changed world.
Once More, with Feeling
What could a Volunteer in Nepal, just out of college in the ’70s, single, and eager to save the world possibly have in common with a father and grandfather serving together with his wife in Moldova in the 21st century?
By David Jarmul
Our Stories Are America’s Stories
In Moldova, my work partners and our host family weren’t expecting someone like me. Instead of being young and white, I was older and Asian. And born near Mount Everest.
By Champa Jarmul
Make it Cool, Make it Last
Take a community-based approach to service at home and around the world. And learn from Black Americans making their mark abroad.
By Jerome Moore [As told to Jake Arce]
This Isn’t Over
One year after being evacuated from the Philippines, a Peace Corps Volunteer grapples with the trauma of leaving, the country in turmoil to which he returned, and a question that’s impossible to answer.
By Rok Locksley
In It Together
Before Milana Baish served as a Volunteer, she interviewed 15 who had served across the decades. Then came the global evacuation.
Interview by Jordana Comiter
Triage, Respite, and Isolation
COVID-19 and the Lord Baltimore Hotel
By Marik Moen
News and Updates
Peace Corps Response Calls for Volunteers at FEMA Centers
Evacuated Volunteers will put their skills and experience to work at home helping during the pandemic. It’s only the second time that Response Volunteers have been deployed in the United States.
Shining a Light on Sexual Assault in the Peace Corps
An in-depth work of investigative journalism by USA TODAY brings together deeply troubling stories of harm suffered by women who have been victims of sexual assault while serving as Volunteers. Peace Corps must do better.
Appointments at the Agency
President Biden has yet to name a new Peace Corps director. But the rest of the team has been taking shape since January. Here are some in leadership roles.
What Lies Ahead for the Peace Corps
An update from Acting Director Carol Spahn
Peace Corps Connect 2021: Global Virtual Conference September 23 – 25
We mark 60 years since the founding of the Peace Corps. In addition to joining us for a global conference, take part in pre-conference events beginning September 18, 2021.
Virtual Volunteering in the Time of COVID-19
The evacuation of Volunteers from around the globe interrupted service everywhere. And while Volunteers have yet to return to the field, last year Peace Corps launched a program for communiities and Volunteers to work together — virtually.
By Luca Mariotti and MiKayla Wolf
A Plea: End for Violence in Tigray
An open letter from 350 Returned Peace Corps Volunteers who have served in Ethiopia and Eritrea — signed by former U.S. ambassadors and more.
Quote: “What we can do together” – a message to the Peace Corps Community from Senator Elizabeth Warren
A video message of gratitude in honor of 60 years of service by Peace Corps Volunteers around the world — working with communities to build a better future together when it comes to education, health, food security, and so much more.
People and Ideas
First Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer for the State Department. Chief Economist for U.S. Department of Labor. And Principal Deputy Spokesperson for the State Department.
Notable: National Security Council Policy Lead for the Western Hemisphere. Buildings of the Earth.
A new role in the Americas for an experienced diplomat. And recognition for a veteran architect whose career has been devoted to changing the way we build — with the goal of making new buildings and renovations carbon neutral by 2030.
Let’s Talk Politics
In the U.S. Congress, John Garamendi (D-CA) is currently the sole Returned Peace Corps Volunteer. What about at the state level? After recent elections, here’s where you’ll find a few.
We’ll Always Have Sefrou
Evacuation, some Peace Corps history, and #apush4peace. A review of “When Coronavirus Unmapped the Peace Corps' Journey” by Jeffrey Aubuchon.
By Jake Arce and Steven Boyd Saum
What Guides Us?
Equality and justice. Empathy and compassion.
Support work guided by Peace Corps values. Become an NPCA Mission Partner.
Breaking Ground — and Nurturing the Earth
Trailblazing Filmmaker: A Portrait of Judy Irola
“You can be creative, and you can be managerial and spirited,” Judy Irola said of her work as a cinematographer.
Fierce Advocate for the Land: A Remembrance of Paul Johnson
Paul Johnson understood what it means to tend the earth. He was a farmer and a state and national leader in the movement to conserve soil and water.
“Ask not what your country can do for you …”
Reader comments on annotating JFK’s inaugural address. How Peace Corps inspired Linda Thomas-Greenfield, the new U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations. The “Peace Corps Connect to the Future” report.
You can make a difference.
Where We’re Going
Our work is just starting. Support Volunteers back in the States and their ongoing work around the globe through the NPCA Community Fund.
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