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WorldView Winter 2020-21

Winter 2021 | Reengaging with the World

The Peace Corps community can and will play a pivotal role. Here are ideas for how to do it right. And reports from the front lines of the pandemic.


Peace in the Time of COVID

From the Editor: If this pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that approaching this endeavor with a sense of solidarity and humility and commitment is a matter of life and death.
By Steven Boyd Saum. Cover illustration by Ellen Weinstein


An Even More Towering Task

President’s Letter: An unprecedented year. And insurrection at the Capitol.
By Glenn Blumhorst



Annotation: “Ask not what your country can do for you …”

What do the words of John F. Kennedy’s inaugural address mean 60 years later? Responses from Joe Kennedy III, Maureen Orth, Peter Kok Ter, and others. Read — and tell us what they mean to you.



You Are Going to Do Something to Defeat It

Civil rights attorney and Eleanor Roosevelt Human Rights Award winner Elaine Jones in conversation with Jalina Porter




Pandemic Lessons
The pandemic has driven home  some crucial lessons — about science, community, and systems. Voices from the Peace Corps community. 


A Matter of Life and Death

Epidemiologist Anne Rimoin on the importance of listening to community. And how a public health problem anywhere can be a health problem everywhere.



On the COVID Floor

A nurse in the nation’s capital
By Rose Conklin



A Contribution to Community

A vaccine trial participant
By Tia Huggins




She Helped South Korea in Its Time of Need. In the Pandemic, It Repaid Her.

Sandra Nathan, history, and the COVID-19 survival gift box. From the New York Times.
By Choe-Sang Hun



More to This Story: The COVID-19 Survival Box from Korea

How service as Volunteers shaped careers in public health, teaching, and more — for Americans and Koreans alike. And connections forged decades ago sustain them now.




What Makes a Great Contact Tracer?

Introducing the National Peace Corps Association Emergency Response Network. With a welcome and encouragement from Dr. Anthony Fauci and Dr. Peter Kilmarx of the National Institutes of Health.
By Dan Baker




Peace Corps Connect to the Future

A Community Report on How to Reimagine, Reshape, and Retool the Peace Corps for a Changed World


Unprecedented Times Call for an Unparalleled Response

The question right now for both the United States and the Peace Corps agency isn't whether to engage the world after coronavirus. We must. The question now is how to do it. This report shows the way, with actionable recommendations for Congress, the Executive Branch and the agency, and the Peace Corps community.



People and Ideas


Quote: Linda Thomas-Greenfield on Dreams, Opportunity, and Peace Corps 

President Biden’s nominee to serve as UN Ambassador wants to see more girls from places like the one where she grew up serving as Volunteers — and ambassadors.


Meet the 2020 Winners of the Franklin H. Williams Award

Honoring six leaders in the Peace Corps community — and a civic leader with a shared commitment to Peace Corps values


We are the messengers of what Peace Corps is and can be

In a keynote address for the Franklin H. Williams Award ceremony, Ambassador Gina Abercrombie-Winstanley recounts the opportunities she helped create — and the resistances she faced — as an African American woman serving in the Peace Corps and in the U.S. Foreign Service.



Hostage to History

Iran past, present, and future — with diplomat John Limbert, one of 52 Americans held hostage in Iran from 1979 to 1981. They were released 40 years ago.



Eradicating Smallpox in Ethiopia

Another time, another place, another virus. Peace Corps Volunteers played a pivotal role then. And there are poignant lessons for today.
By Barry Hillenbrand



The Stories We Tell

Dreams and disillusionment with Altamont 1969. A 3,000-mile ultramarathon and a library in a Mayan village. Catching up with books recognized with the Peace Corps Writers Awards.



An Enormous and Panicked Bird

A revelatory tale from Owls of the Eastern Ice. It was longlisted for the National Book Award, won the Times of London best nature book of the year, and appears on best books of the year lists from NPR to the Wall Street Journal.
By Jonathan Slaght



News and Updates 


Farewell, Jody Olsen

She led the Peace Corps Agency since 2018 — and through the unprecedented global evacuation of all Volunteers from countries where they were serving. She stepped down on January 20.



Carol Spahn Named Acting Director of Peace Corps

And the Biden Administration has begun naming new staff for other top posts at the agency.





Let’s Climb This Hill Together

Unprecedented times, yes. But history still offers a few pointers. Especially when it comes to advocating for a better and stronger Peace Corps.
By Jonathan Pearson




A Presidential Welcome: El Salvador in 2022

Volunteers will return to a program suspended in 2016. El Salvador’s president wants you to know about it.





Volunteers’ Return to Service Around the World Postponed

Optimistic plans a few months ago had Volunteers projected to return to several countries in January 2021. Then the pandemic got worse.




Peace Corps in the House

The 2020 congressional elections mark the end of an era for Peace Corps in Congress: Now John Garamendi is the only returned Peace Corps Volunteer in the House or the Senate. He is working on legislation to support and improve the Peace Corps — and benefit returned Volunteers.



Budget Victory and Other News from Congress

Full funding for Peace Corps in 2021. And Peace Corps must put forward a plan to ensure Volunteers have adequate access to menstrual hygiene products wherever they are serving.




A Lasting Tribute

In the closing days of service by Joe Kennedy III in the House of Representatives, he and others secured passage of a time extension that will allow work on the Peace Corps Commemorative to carry forward.



TCP Global Hits $1 million

A micro-loan project launched two decades ago in Colombia has grown into a network serving 14 countries in Asia, Africa, and the Americas. And they recently hit a big milestone. 




Profiles in Courage and Grace 

First Black captain of the U.S. Olympic team. First African American to lead the Civil Rights Division at the Department of Justice. 


Carrying the Torch: Rafer Johnson

He was esteemed the greatest athlete in the world. In spring 1961, on the heels of Olympic victory, he lent his prestige and renown to help launch the Peace Corps.



Pioneer in Justice: Drew S. Days III

The first African American to lead the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice — and the first
Black man to lead any division at Justice, period.







“How many of you …?”

JFK at the Union, October 1960. Reader comments on the speech that launched the Peace Corps. And on whether it’s time to renew, retool, and return.




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.
Read more




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WorldView magazine brings you stories from and about the greater Peace Corps community, with connections to the wider world. We feature news, profiles, comment, politics, arts, and ideas with a global perspective. We publish quarterly in print, with digital features throughout the year.


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Current edition: Winter 2021
Previous editions of WorldView digital: Fall 2020 | Summer 2020 | Spring 2020

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Submission Guidelines

We welcome pitches and, on rare occasions, completed pieces. What are we looking for? Stories that speak to the Peace Corps community. That might be focused on work connected to Peace Corps, returned Volunteers, communities and countries where Volunteers have served, connections to experiences and work in the U.S. and globally. We’re interested in ideas and impact and stories that connect with readers on a human level.

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About the Editor

Steven Boyd Saum has served as editor of WorldView since January 2020. For more than two decades he has edited award-winning magazines in the San Francisco Bay Area, earning national recognition for writing, design, photography, illustration, and overall excellence. His journalism, essays, and fiction have appeared in OrionThe BelieverCreative NonfictionThe Kenyon ReviewChristian Science Monitor, on KQED FM, and other magazines and newspapers in the U.S. and internationally. He served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Ukraine, where he also directed the Fulbright program and hosted a radio show. Send a letter to the editor:

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The quarterly print edition of  WorldView reaches some 60,000 readers. The magazine is available free of charge to more than 7,000 recently evacuated Peace Corps Volunteers — and thousands more Returned Peace Corps Volunteers and staff. They’re part of a committed and dynamic community of nearly a quarter million. 


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What Our Readers Are Saying

“I would like to thank you for all of the amazing work you put into WorldView  magazine. Reading it gives me a great feeling of solidarity with other Volunteers and RPCVs around the world and always serves to remind me that I’m part of something very special, and something that is much bigger than I am.”

Anna Waterfield (Tanzania 2012–14)


“I have read WorldView for years now and it was FABULOUS to get at post. It’s important to know someone, somewhere out there is doing what you are doing, with a twist, and that’s what keeps Volunteers serving and communities asking for more … this publication really does make a difference.”

Rachael Miller (Benin 2006–08)

Contributor guidelines here.





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