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Call for stories to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Peace Corps
The series will include four volumes, each with its own editor: Africa and the Middle East (Dennis Cordell); Asia and the Pacific (Jane Albritton); South America, Central America and the Caribbean (Pat Alter); and After the Cold War: Russia, Eastern Europe and Central Asia (Jay Chen). “We are all aware that the Peace Corps experience was not always rosy or uplifting,” Albritton said. “Sometimes volunteers can’t avoid scary, ethically murky situations. We are prepared to include well-told stories that recount those parts of the Peace Corps experience along with the more familiar memories of just what do you do when presented with a plate of freshly fried crickets by a smiling girl from Chad?”
Call for stories to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Peace Corps
The Editors of Peace Corps At 50 call for stories to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Peace Corps.
Call for Stories
The Peace Corps will turn 50 in 2011. To celebrate the occasion, the editors of Peace Corps at 50 invite all volunteers, in-country staff and trainers to submit their best stories to a four-volume anniversary collection. The site www.PeaceCorpsAt50.org marks the spot with information on the project, the editors, and writers’ guidelines.
“Everyone who has served in the Peace Corps has a story,” said series editor Jane Albritton. “We tell them when we get together; our families know them by heart (our kids sometimes roll their eyes). We include at least some of them in job interviews and when we meet new friends.”
However, the editors agreed that even good stories can get lost in time, and with them vanishes a piece of vital knowledge about an organization that has to date sent roughly 187, 000 volunteers into 139 different countries. These four books and the stories in them will document that we in this country can engage fully with other cultures, have our preconceptions smashed to smithereens, and live to tell the tale.
The First Equal Opportunity Adventure
“Most people may not remember, or ever have known, that before Martin Luther King delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech in 1963, there were three African American volunteers in Pakistan,” Albritton said. “Before the Civil Rights Act of 1964 made it illegal for employers to discriminate on the basis of race and sex, Pauline Birky-Kruetzer had completed her appointment as in-country director for Pakistan 1. Peace Corps was way ahead of the curve.”
In those days it might not have been entirely wise to give a woman a leadership role in a Muslim country, but director Sargent Shriver was adamant. Birky-Kruetzer prevailed, winning the respect of even the rugged Pathans. Birky-Kruetzer, now 91, has vivid memories of those times.
“Willie Douglas, who was very dark, taught agriculture up in Pathan territory where farmers worked the fields with guns on their shoulders,” she recalled. “They loved him and wanted another volunteer just like him.”
Four for the 50th
The series will include four volumes, each with its own editor: Africa and the Middle East (Dennis Cordell); Asia and the Pacific (Jane Albritton); South America, Central America and the Caribbean (Pat Alter); and After the Cold War: Russia, Eastern Europe and Central Asia (Jay Chen). (Please see the site for biographical information.)
“We are all aware that the Peace Corps experience was not always rosy or uplifting,” Albritton said. “Sometimes volunteers can’t avoid scary, ethically murky situations. We are prepared to include well-told stories that recount those parts of the Peace Corps experience along with the more familiar memories of just what do you do when presented with a plate of freshly fried crickets by a smiling girl from Chad?”
For further information on this project please visit the website or contact any of the editors at the following addresses:
firstname.lastname@example.org (Asia and the Pacific)
email@example.com (South America, Central America, Caribbean)
firstname.lastname@example.org (Russia, Eastern Europe, Central Asia)
email@example.com (Africa and the Middle East)
Project Title: Peace Corps At 50 ( www.peacecorpsat50.org)
Purpose: To create four books of stories to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Peace Corps and to maintain a website with additional stories until 2011 and beyond.
Scope: Nonfiction stories that reflect the full range of experience in the Peace Corps, from the hilarious to the grim. Each book will be divided into sections that focus loosely on Expectations, Peace Corps Tasks, Unexpected Shadows, and the Context of History. If the Peace Corps were a person, these stories would be her memoir.
Contributors: RPCVs, Peace Corps staff and trainers from 1961 to the present
Time frame: First deadline for story submissions, January 2008
Site Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Links to Related Topics (Tags):
Headlines: June, 2007; Writing; Announcements; Peace Corps Bibliography; Peace Corps Directory; Peace Corps History; Bulletin Board; Peace Corps Headlines
When this story was posted in June 2007, this was on the front page of PCOL:
Peace Corps Online The Independent News Forum serving Returned Peace Corps Volunteers
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Story Source: Peace Corps at 50
This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; Fiftieth; Writing; Announcements