Lewis H. Butler - past director of the Peace Corps in Malaysia

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Malaysia: Peace Corps Malaysia : The Peace Corps in Malaysia: Lewis H. Butler - past director of the Peace Corps in Malaysia

By Admin1 (admin) on Wednesday, June 27, 2001 - 10:01 pm: Edit Post

Lewis H. Butler - past director of the Peace Corps in Malaysia - created California Tomorrow



Lewis H. Butler - past director of the Peace Corps in Malaysia

California Tomorrow was founded in 1984 by Lewis H. Butler, a former assistant secretary of the U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare, dedicated conservationist, and past director of the Peace Corps in Malaysia. Butler believed there was a need for an organization that could directly address California's changing demographics. By the beginning of the next century, California was projected to become the first majority- "minority" state in the mainland United States. These demographic shifts raised imperative questions about how California could and would function as a society. Would California invest in the well- being of all groups living within its borders and find ways to draw strength from all their diversity? For example, what was implied by the fact that, by 2000, the mean age of the state's most rapidly growing racial group--Latinos--would be 20, while the mean age of Whites would be 45? Would predominantly White voters invest in the future of a generation that did not share their racial, cultural or linguistic heritage? How would California address the growing economic inequality among its residents? Would it become a society of more and more have's and have nots, with the divisions largely falling along racial lines?

California Tomorrow was established in 1984 out of the belief that as a society, California could make the transition to a successful and healthy multiracial society without resorting to economic and political warfare. With an economy equivalent to the eighth largest nation in the world, California represented a major testing ground for participatory democracy that could have national and perhaps international implications. Butler's allies from the conservation movement enabled him to renew the name and nonprofit status of the influential environmental planning organization California Tomorrow, which after 22 years was dissolving in 1983. Equipped with an initial grant from the Alexander Gerbode Foundation and the energy and skills of a young journalist, Bruce Kelley, Butler began to develop a board for the new California Tomorrow which could model how people of diverse backgrounds might work together.

Although they knew little about each other in the beginning, the original California Tomorrow board members took on the task of creating a new culture among themselves and defining a vision for the work of a new organization built on the common interests of different racial and cultural groups. They sought to develop a process and language for coming together across a wide spectrum of experiences, interests and community affiliations. In those early years, California Tomorrow developed four major goals:

* to ask tomorrow's questions today about key issues in California
* to take those issues public,
* to break-down barriers to public involvement through building new coalitions and
* to nurture a new and diverse generation of leaders who could understand the implications of diversity and, over time, help to build a working democracy.

Out of this era came California Tomorrow Magazine, a non- commercial quarterly journal devoted to providing a public forum for the issues at the heart of the organization: the future of children and education, immigration policy and its impact on human beings, mental health services for diverse populations, environmental racism and many other topics. The magazine sought to give voice to a diversity of writers who would perhaps not otherwise be heard. California Tomorrow Magazine, edited by Bruce Kelley along with California Tomorrow journalism fellows, was published from 1986-1990. It is still recognized for its vision and its wake-up call to the state.

By Joyce E. Miller (miller) on Sunday, January 06, 2002 - 3:54 am: Edit Post

Hi Lew & Sheana, Just catching up with the past. Haven't seen you since about 14 years ago when Ross, Stu and I were in San Francisco. Do you have any Email addresses for any of Malaya I, they do not seem to be on the RPCV directory. Still living in Perth and Albany enjoying life and keeping very busy. Lots of love Joyce White (Miller)Hope all the family are well and a very Happy New Year to all of you.

By Joyce E. Miller (miller) on Sunday, January 06, 2002 - 10:21 pm: Edit Post

I forgot to give you may Email address, it is twowhites@bigpond.com

By semeniuk on Thursday, January 16, 2003 - 12:16 pm: Edit Post

0116-03
Selamat Pagi Malaya1
Exciting to find you folks-wonderful wonderful menories Have 4 kids, a husband and am still Nursing for the State of Florida. Carol Semeniuk Ewonaitis Home e-mail - largotwo@aol.com

By Susan McFadd (cache-dtc-aa04.proxy.aol.com - 205.188.116.8) on Tuesday, February 15, 2005 - 2:42 pm: Edit Post

Hi, Lew,
So good to read this news...last time I saw you it was at the Malaya V Reunion at Georgetown back in the '90's...what a wonderful weekend that was...thanks to you and everyone else who came....am now retired and doing some writing , especially poetry...sounds like you are continuing to keep busy....Regards, Susan McLaughlin McFadd


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