Historically, Peace Corps has evolved from a race-blind policy at its founding to race consciousness today. Participants will reflect on how their Peace Corps experience has influenced their own racial self-identity and their perception of others.
The program will be a virtual interactive and exploratory format with speakers, panel discussion, and breakout rooms for participants. Moderated by Diane Hibino, RPCV Bolivia 1967-70, and Country Director of Bolivia from 1991-96, the panel will discuss personal identity and race in the Peace Corps context. Guest speaker, Jonathan Zimmerman, RPCV Nepal 1983-85 and Professor at University of Pennsylvania, will frame the context of discussion with a summary of his research on how volunteers think about race and the Peace Corps.
Participants will be invited to breakout rooms to discuss the following questions:
1. Describe your own identity while growing up and prior to your Peace Corps experience
2. Describe how your Peace Corps experience affected your identity
3. What are your thoughts today about your identity? What have you learned?
Registration is required, attendance will be limited to first 100 registrants.
Registrants will receive zoom link to the program and resources for reading: * W.E.B. DeBois, The Souls of Black Folks. First published in the U.S. by A.C. McClung & Co. 1903. **1) Jonathan Zimmerman. “Beyond Double Consciousness: Black Peace Corps Volunteers in Africa; 1961 – 1971.” Journal of American History, Oct. 1995, pp.999-1028), Jonathan Zimmerman. “Memoirs of a White Savior.” Liberties; Culture and Politics. Advanced reader copy. pp.169-193. libertiesjournal.com.