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WorldView | 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.

January 30, 2021

Peace in the Time of COVID

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   This is not the magazine we wanted to publish. How could it be? Instead of marking six […]

January 29, 2021

An Even More Towering Task

An Unprecedented Year. And Insurrection at the Capitol. By Glenn Blumhorst Photo: Makeshift Fence Memorials to Capitol Police Officers Brian D. Sicknick and Howard Liebengood. By Elvert Barnes   For so many of us, the year 2020 seemed the challenge of a lifetime. But if anyone was built to persevere through the crises these months presented, it’s […]

January 29, 2021

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

How do the words President John F. Kennedy spoke on January 20, 1961 resonate across the decades?   On January 20, 1961, John F. Kennedy delivered his inaugural address. The conclusion of that speech inspired a generation — and profoundly shaped the launch of the Peace Corps in 1961. Here are the last three paragraphs. For the 60th […]

January 29, 2021

You Are Going to Do Something to Defeat It

Civil rights attorney Elaine Jones talks with Jalina Porter Photo: Elaine Jones. Courtesy Elaine Jones   Elaine Jones has led a landmark career that has included being the first woman to direct the NAACP Legal Defense Fund and the first African American woman to attend law school at the University of Virginia. Where she learned the […]

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

January 29, 2021

A Matter of Life and Death

Pandemic Lessons: Epidemiologist Anne Rimoin on the importance of listening to community. And how a public health problem anywhere can be a public health problem everywhere. From a conversation with WorldView editor Steven Boyd Saum Photo by Peter Israel   In epidemiology, you have to look at things holistically. And in the midst of this pandemic, as an epidemiologist whose whole […]

January 29, 2021

On the COVID Floor

Pandemic Lessons: A nurse in the nation’s capital By Rose Conklin Illustration by Maria Carluccio   The end of March, April, we were getting hit hard with COVID in Washington, D.C. It was really still an unknown illness, but it was everywhere. I had started a float position as a registered nurse at George Washington […]

January 29, 2021

A Contribution to Community

Pandemic Lessons: A vaccine trial participant By Tia Huggins Illustration by Maria Carluccio    For the past six years I’ve served as director of care coordination at Imperial Beach Community Clinic, south of San Diego. Last year one provider at the clinic put out an email about the trial for the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine. I thought, I […]

January 25, 2021

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

Decades ago, a young American woman served an impoverished South Korea as a Peace Corps Volunteer. Now the country is an economic powerhouse, and it decided to send her a token of its gratitude. By Choe Sang-Hun Photo: Sandra Nathan teaching in South Korea. Courtesy Sandra Nathan Sandra Nathan spent 1966 to 1968 in a […]

January 25, 2021

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 By NPCA Staff Photo: Survival box, delivered to Gary Krzic, President of Friends of Korea. Photo courtesy Gary Krzic   The gifts of more than 500 COVID-19 survival boxes to Returned Peace Corps Volunteers who served in […]

November 3, 2020

Dr. Anthony Fauci Sends Words of Encouragement as NPCA Launches Emergency Response Network with Contact Tracers Helping During the Pandemic

Welcomed by Dr. Anthony Fauci and Dr. Peter Kilmarx from the National Institutes of Health, the first cohort of NPCA contact tracers is training to begin work in King County, Washington. By Dan Baker   Renowned infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci offered words of encouragement and inspiration as the first cohort of the National Peace Corps Association […]

Peace Corps Connect to the Future

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 & Ideas

January 29, 2021

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

Linda Thomas-Greenfield wants to see more girls from places like she grew up as Volunteers — and ambassadors.         As a young girl growing up in Baker, one of my biggest dreams was joining the Peace Corps. —Linda Thomas-Greenfield Nominated by President Joe Biden to serve as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations […]

December 15, 2020

Meet the 2020 Winners of the Franklin H. Williams Award

Honoring six Returned Peace Corps Volunteers who have served around the world — and a leader who has worked to close the racial and wealth gaps in the Chicago area. By NPCA Staff   On December 15 the Peace Corps recognized leaders in the Peace Corps community — and a civic leader with a shared […]

December 23, 2020

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.   By Gina Abercrombie-Winstanley   On December 15, 2020, the Peace Corps recognized six leaders in the […]

January 24, 2021

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 this month. From a conversation at the National Peace Corps Association 2020 Shriver Leadership Summit Photo: The U.S. Embassy in Tehran, seal defaced   Storming the Compound My […]

January 25, 2021

Eradicating Smallpox in Ethiopia

Another time, another place, another virus By Barry Hillenbrand    ”Eradicating Smallpox in Ethiopia” is a hefty and important book that rightfully deserves an honored place on any shelf of serious books about epidemiology and public health. The book tells the tale of the work that some 73 Peace Corps Volunteers did in the 1970s with […]

January 26, 2021

The Stories We Tell

Dreams and disillusionment. A 3,000-mile ultramarathon and a library in a Mayan village. Catching up with books recognized with the Peace Corps Writers Awards.   Baked into the mission of the whole Peace Corps experience is the work of telling stories: of listening, catching, giving voice and shape and form with a sense of fidelity to people […]

January 27, 2021

An Enormous and Panicked Bird

From Owls of the Eastern Ice By Jonathan Slaght Photo: Blakiston’s Fish Owl chick in Primorye, Russia. Photo by Jonathan Slaght   A revelatory tale from biologist Jonathan Slaght. Among the many accolades for Owls of the Eastern Ice: It was longlisted for the National Book Award and won the Times of London best nature book of the year. It appeared […]

New & Updates

January 26, 2021

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. By NPCA Staff   On January 20, Jody Olsen stepped down from her post as Director of the Peace Corps to make way for a new team to be appointed by the […]

January 28, 2021

Carol Spahn Named Acting Director of Peace Corps

Updated March 4: The Biden Administration continues to fill out political appointments for staff at the agency. By NPCA Staff   On January 20, Carol Spahn was named Acting Director of the Peace Corps by President Biden. Spahn had been serving as the Peace Corps chief of operations for Africa. She succeeds Jody Olsen, who stepped down as director on January […]

January 29, 2021

Let’s Climb This Hill Together

Unprecedented times, yes. But history still offers a few pointers. By Jonathan Pearson   Over many years with National Peace Corps Association, I have navigated the corridors and rooms of Capitol Hill to attend meetings, drop off documents, or prepare event logistics. This includes countless visits to the venerable Russell Senate and Cannon House Office […]

January 26, 2021

A Presidential Welcome: El Salvador in 2022

Volunteers will return to a program suspended in 2016 By NPCA Staff   The President of El Salvador, Nayib Armando Bukele Ortez, tweeted news about the Peace Corps to his 2.2 million followers on a Saturday morning in November: “Ahora, que hemos dado grandes avances en seguridad, regresan,” he wrote. Now that we have made great advances in safety, […]

January 23, 2021

Return to Service Postponed

Last fall, Peace Corps announced that, barring unforeseen changes, Volunteers would begin returning to the field as early as January 2021: to Saint Lucia in the Eastern Caribbean, to Cambodia, and to Rwanda. Volunteers would also be given priority regarding the vaccine. Then came new waves of the pandemic in regions across the United States […]

January 26, 2021

Volunteers in the House

The 2020 congressional elections mark the end of an era for Peace Corps in Congress: Now there’s only one. And he is working on new legislation to support and improve the Peace Corps. By Jonathan Pearson Photo: John Garamendi   The 2020 congressional elections mark the end of an era for Peace Corps in Congress: […]

January 16, 2021

Budget Victory

Full funding of $410.5 million for fiscal year 2021. And Peace Corps must put together a plan to provide access to menstrual hygiene products wherever Volunteers are serving. By Jonathan Pearson   Peace Corps received good news on the budget front in December: Congress approved level funding for the agency at $410.5 million. The House had […]

January 23, 2021

A Lasting Tribute

A concluding moment to the service of Joe Kennedy III in the House: legislation to enable work on the Peace Corps Commemorative to carry forward By Jonathan Pearson and Steven Boyd Saum Illustration by Edward Rooks   Joseph Kennedy III served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in the Dominican Republic. After he was elected to represent […]

January 24, 2021

TCP Global Hits $1 Million

A Volunteer-led project now serves communities in the Americas, Asia, and Africa — and just hit a big milestone. Olla Milagrosa (Fundacion, Magdalena, Colombia), which has benefited from earnings through TCP Global, has distributed food and facemasks during the COVID-19 pandemic. Photo courtesy TCP Global   Two decades ago, when 25,000 families were displaced annually by […]

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.

January 11, 2021

Carrying the Torch: Rafer Johnson

First Black captain of the U.S. Olympic team. Greatest athlete in the world. And a humanitarian who was at the side of those in need in the most dire moments. Rafer Johnson carried the American flag at the 1960 Olympic Games and won the decathlon. He was esteemed the greatest athlete in the world. In […]

January 4, 2021

Pioneer in Justice: Drew S. Days III

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. Photo Courtesy Yale Law School   Drew S. Days III was appointed to the Department of Justince in 1977 under President Jimmy Carter. He later served as solicitor general […]


January 24, 2021

Letters Winter 2021: WorldView Readers Write

Letters, emails, Facebook posts, tweets, Instagram comments: Readers respond to the stories in words and images in our fall 2020 edition. We’re happy to continue the conversation.Write us: [email protected] Renew, retool, return? I suspect the Peace Corps will see a renewal following the Biden administration. Service to our country and promoting peace, prosperity, and democracy will take on […]

You can make a difference.

August 31, 2020

Where We’re Going

We’ve got some learning and some work to do. That’s true for the Peace Corps community. For this nation. For this planet. We’re facing hard questions and grappling with systemic injustices that have been centuries in the making. We envision a vibrant and united community, here at home and around the world. What we do know: Working together as partners is essential. Rok Locksley is […]

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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, commentary and analysis, politics, arts, and ideas with a global perspective. We publish quarterly in print, with digital features throughout the year.

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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 is editor of WorldView. For more than two decades he has edited award-winning magazines in the San Francisco Bay Area. His journalism, essays, and fiction have appeared in OrionThe BelieverCreative NonfictionThe Kenyon ReviewChristian Science Monitor, on KQED FM, and in 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: [email protected].


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