NEW YORK, N.Y., January 28, 2014 – The Peace Corps and Face2Face Africa will co-host a forum on the Afro-American experience in the Peace Corps at Hostelling International in New York on Thursday, February 6. The “Re-imagining Blackness: Afro-Americans in the Peace Corps” panel discussion, which is free and open to the public, begins at 6:30 p.m.
“This interactive discussion will focus on the ways that black identity is reconstructed and redefined during Peace Corps service,” said James Kostenblatt (Mozambique 2005 to 2009), the Peace Corps representative based at New York University. “African-Americans have been making a difference in communities overseas as Peace Corps volunteers since 1961. We are pleased to collaborate with Face2Face Africa to host this forum and celebrate that rich legacy.”
Abena Agyeman-Fisher, Senior Editor at NewsOne, will moderate the forum. Panelists will include LaShaya Howie of the Weeksville Heritage Center; Herman L. De Bose, Ph. D., Chair and Professor of the Sociology Department of California State University, Northridge; LaVera Butler, graduate student at New York University; Byron Williams, returned Peace Corps volunteer (Lesotho 2003to 2005, Ukraine 2011 to 2013); and German Rochez, Youth Counselor at P.U.L.S.E High School in the Bronx.
In addition, Peace Corps recruiter and returned volunteer Carey Clinton (Bulgaria 2005 to 2007) will provide information about current opportunities for American adults of all ages to serve in Africa and countries around the world.
WHAT: Re-imagining Blackness: The Afro-American Experience in Peace Corps
WHEN: Thursday, February 6, 2014
WHERE: Hostelling International
891 Amsterdam Ave
New York, N.Y. 10025
TIME: 6:30 p.m.
The New York metropolitan area is currently ranked as the No. 1 Peace Corps volunteer-producing region in the nation. Three-hundred-thirty (330) currently-serving Peace Corps volunteers are from the greater New York City area, which includes New York City, Long Island and northern New Jersey. New York City also held the top spot in the 2012 rankings.
New York State, meanwhile, is ranked as the No. 2 producing state in the nation, with 420 state residents currently serving as volunteers. Since the Peace Corps was established in 1961, 13,085 Peace Corps volunteers from New York have traveled abroad to serve their country in the cause of peace by living and working in developing countries.
About the Peace Corps: As the preeminent international service organization of the United States, the Peace Corps sends Americans abroad to tackle the most pressing needs of people around the world. Peace Corps volunteers work at the grassroots level with local governments, schools, communities, small businesses and entrepreneurs to develop sustainable solutions that address challenges in education, health, economic development, agriculture, environment and youth development. When they return home, volunteers bring their knowledge and experiences – and a global outlook – back to the United States that enriches the lives of those around them. President John F. Kennedy established the Peace Corps in 1961 to foster a better understanding among Americans and people of other countries. Since then, more than 215,000 Americans of all ages have served in 139 countries worldwide. Visit www.peacecorps.gov to learn more.