First “Around the World” Peace Corps Expo Slated for Jacksonville, Fla.
By Erica Burman on Tuesday, February 15th, 2011
The First Coast Returned Peace Corps Volunteers (FCRPCV) may be a relatively new – founded in 2005 – group, but what they lack in age they more than make up in enthusiasm!
They’re one of the reasons why the National Peace Corps Association (NPCA) and the Peace Corps chose Jacksonville, Fla. as the site of the first Around the World Expo, to be held there on Sunday, Feb. 27. This Expo is one of nine regional events nationwide that will highlight the contributions of Peace Corps volunteers and celebrate the Peace Corps’ 50th anniversary. Learn more about the Expos here.
“Our goal is to highlight the accomplishments of the Peace Corps over the last 50 years while inspiring the next generation of volunteers,” said Kevin Quigley, president of the National Peace Corps Association Thailand, 1976-79). “These Expos will be a way for people who have only heard about the Peace Corps to come see it up close.”
A collaborative effort between NPCA, the Peace Corps and local member groups, the Expos will provide an opportunity for the general public and RPCVs to celebrate the countries where Peace Corps Volunteers have served. Attendees will be able to hear firsthand from former Volunteers about their experiences and projects around the world. Peace Corps and NPCA staff members will be on hand to lead workshops and answer questions on various recruitment and education initiatives.
The Jacksonville, Fla. Expo will be held at the conference center at the main public library at 303 North Laurel St. Registration opens at 1:30 p.m. (Map and RSVP here). According to FCRPCV board member David Miron, FCRPCV members representing 12 Peace Corps countries will offer Around the World displays to share their Peace Corps experience. (Click here for complete Expo information.) Scheduled speakers include Kenton Ayers (Ecuador 79-81), regional manager for the Peace Corps in Atlanta, Ga.; NPCA Vice President Anne Baker (Fij 85-87); and Michael Fackler (Poland 96-98), president of First Coast Returned Peace Corps Volunteers.
“The anniversary Expos provide an opportunity for everyone to get a hands-on experience through story-telling, workshops and demonstrations,” adds Quigley. “In essence, we’ll be bringing the world home to help inspire a new generation of volunteers.”
For FCRPCV, the Expo is just beginning of their effort to “bring the world home” in this Peace Corps anniversary year. Other Jacksonville events include:
- March 1-May 2, 2011 — Memorabilia Exhibit in the Thomas G. Carpenter Library, University North FL
- March 1-May 2, 2011 — Exhibit, entitled, “We All Need Peace,” Lufrano Gallery, Intercultural Center for Peace, UNF Student Union East Building
- March 3, 2011 — 50th Anniversary Panel, chaired by Michael Fackler, Carpenter Library UNF. 3:00-4:30 pm. Members: David D’Agostino Leavitt PC/Atlanta, EllenSiler, CEO Hubbard House, Kamele Oupa Seane, UNF
- March 3, 2011 — Opening night reception for “We All Need Peace,” exhibit Lufrano Gallery UNF 5:30-7:00pm
- March 5, 2011 — Birthday Party for the Peace Corps, University Center, UNF. Reception 6:00pm, Dinner 7:00pm, Remembrances and Entertainment, Conclusion 10:00pm
FCRPCV is working tirelessly with the local media to generate coverage about the Peace Corps experience. On the day of the Expo, the Florida Times-Union will profile an RPCV from each of the 5 decades on its front page and on its website. On the same day, the St. Augustine Record will do a front page story on RPCVs living there. A profile of David and Bernadette Miron, titled “A Peace Corps Love Story,” appeared in the Ponte Vedra Recorder in time for Valentine’s Day.
To learn more about the Around the World Expos, visit: http://www.peacecorpsconnect.org/resources/peace-corps-50th-anniversary/50thexpos/