August 11, 2004: Headlines: NPCA: NPCA: 25th Anniversary Conference in Chicago -- Friday Highlights

Peace Corps Online: Peace Corps News: Library: Peace Corps: National Peace Corps Association (NPCA): National Peace Corps Association: Archived Stories: August 11, 2004: Headlines: NPCA: NPCA: 25th Anniversary Conference in Chicago -- Friday Highlights

By Admin1 (admin) ( - on Tuesday, August 24, 2004 - 5:30 pm: Edit Post

25th Anniversary Conference in Chicago -- Friday Highlights

25th Anniversary Conference in Chicago -- Friday Highlights

25th Anniversary Conference in Chicago -- Friday Highlights

25th Anniversary Conference in Chicago -- Friday Highlights

Opening Ceremony

RPCVs streamed into the Palmer House Grand Ballroom for the Opening Ceremony of the conference. Peace Corps country flags draped the walls of the vast and ornate room. Things got off to a rousing start with the projection of Teresa Heinz Kerry’s Democratic National Convention remarks about Peace Corps onto a giant screen. Welcoming remarks were made by CAPCA Conference Co-Chairs Trina Janes (Morocco 91-93) and Chuck Sheftel (India 69-72), NPCA President Kevin Quigley (Thailand 76-79), Jane Adams Hull House Association President Clarence Wood, Bank One Executive Vice President Linda Bammann (Philippines 78-80), and U.S. Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky.

Peace Corps Director Gaddi Vasquez lauded the work of the returned volunteer community, and provided a snapshot of today’s Peace Corps. Speaking of how today’s Peace Corps increasingly “looks like America,” he shared the story of a Philippine woman living in the U.S. who had been so inspired by Peace Corps teachers that she wanted to join the Peace Corps. She visited the recruiting office but was rebuffed because she wasn’t a citizen. Two years later she returned, having obtained her citizenship, and went on to serve in Romania. To Director Vasquez’s complete surprise and the audience’s delight, that very volunteer was in the room! (See her photo below.)

Speeches were also made by Ohio Governor Bob Taft (Tanzania 63-65), incoming NPCA Board Chair Ken Hill (Turkey 65-67), Wisconsin Governor Jim and First Lady Jessica Doyle (Tunisia 67-69) and Dr. Surin Pitsuwan. Dazzling dance performances by Muntu Dance Theater and Natya Dance Theater punctuated the program.

The Sargent Shriver Award for Distinguished Humanitarian Service was presented to Dr. Kevin Denny (Malawi 64-66) and the Loret Miller Ruppe Award for Outstanding Community Service was presented to the RPCVs of Hawaii.

International MarketPlace

Participants browsed through the stalls of 102 vendors participating in the conference’s International MarketPlace. NGOs large and small, graduate schools, government agencies, RPCV affiliates, and businesses of all kind were well represented.


Nineteen workshops on a wide range of topics got underway on Friday afternoon., an NPCA affiliate, organized author readings throughout the day. The film festival also had wide range of films for viewing, in a schedule that extended through Saturday.

Country of Service Events

In the evening RPCVs fanned out across Chicago to take part in country of service reunions and dinners.

When this story was prepared, here was the front page of PCOL magazine:

This Month's Issue: August 2004 This Month's Issue: August 2004
Teresa Heinz Kerry celebrates the Peace Corps Volunteer as one of the best faces America has ever projected in a speech to the Democratic Convention. The National Review disagreed and said that Heinz's celebration of the PCV was "truly offensive." What's your opinion and who can come up with the funniest caption for our Current Events Funny?

Exclusive: Director Vasquez speaks out in an op-ed published exclusively on the web by Peace Corps Online saying the Dayton Daily News' portrayal of Peace Corps "doesn't jibe with facts."

In other news, the NPCA makes the case for improving governance and explains the challenges facing the organization, RPCV Bob Shaconis says Peace Corps has been a "sacred cow", RPCV Shaun McNally picks up support for his Aug 10 primary and has a plan to win in Connecticut, and the movie "Open Water" based on the negligent deaths of two RPCVs in Australia opens August 6. Op-ed's by RPCVs: Cops of the World is not a good goal and Peace Corps must emphasize community development.

Read the stories and leave your comments.

Some postings on Peace Corps Online are provided to the individual members of this group without permission of the copyright owner for the non-profit purposes of criticism, comment, education, scholarship, and research under the "Fair Use" provisions of U.S. Government copyright laws and they may not be distributed further without permission of the copyright owner. Peace Corps Online does not vouch for the accuracy of the content of the postings, which is the sole responsibility of the copyright holder.

Story Source: NPCA

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; NPCA



Add a Message

This is a public posting area. Enter your username and password if you have an account. Otherwise, enter your full name as your username and leave the password blank. Your e-mail address is optional.