Welcome to the Columbia River Peace Corps Association

logo for Columbia River Peace Corps Association, Portland, Oregon President’s welcome, by Tom DeMeo (Ghana 1980-82 and Botswana 1982-84)

Welcome to the Columbia River Peace Corps Association (CRPCA), the returned Peace Corps volunteers living in the Portland, Oregon, metro area. We are committed to ideals of service and community, both at home and abroad. Connect with us if you are a potential volunteer wanting to talk with old hands, if you are an returned volunteer looking to connect with others who have shared the unique Peace Corps experience, or if you share our ideals and want to meet others of like mind! Take a look at our calendar to see what upcoming events we have planned: we hold regular service events, social gatherings, and educational opportunities that help us serve our community and engage with the world. Find something that suits your style, and join us – we’d love to have you!

Connect with us via Facebook, our website crpca.org, or by signing up for our newsletter and e-updates.

June 2015 Book Club Selection

When the World Calls
Meisler, Stanley: When the World Calls: The Inside Story of the Peace Corps and Its First Fifty Years (2011)

Discussion: Tuesday, June 9, 2015, 6:30-8:00 pm. Location at the home of Lesly Sanocki, 2090 NW Overton Ct in Beaverton, 503-690-3391. Participating in our discussion–via Skype–will be Stanley Meisler, the book’s author! Feel free to bring snacks to share.

Review: © Booklist: Few government programs enjoy the reputation of the Peace Corps, a political afterthought by President Kennedy that became one of the more enduring legacies of his administration. Succeeding administrations have had testy relations with the Peace Corps. Johnson railed against volunteers’ opposition to his invasion of the Dominican Republic, and Reagan tried to use the program to advance his agenda in Central America. Since its 1961 inception, the Peace Corps has had to manage its mission to advance peace and provide development assistance, from teaching to building wells, against political onslaughts within the U.S. and host nations even as it managed its image as symbol of American idealism rather than tool of the CIA. Meisler, a deputy director during its early years, offers informed perspective from the turbulent years of the Vietnam War, when many volunteers were conflicted about their government, to the future direction of the Peace Corps. Drawing on his experience and interviews with former volunteers, he presents the fascinating characters, locales, and political background noise from a near-universally admired program’s 50-year history.

Where to find it:
Libraries: Clackamas Co | Ft Vancouver | Multnomah Co | Washington Co
Vendors: Powell’s | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

May 2015 Potluck Program

James and Maria BeebeOn Sunday, 05/10/15, join us between 5:00 pm and 7:00 pm for a potluck gathering hosted by Edina Butler, 10210 SW Shearwater Loop in Beaverton. Note the change of date and time from the earlier announcement! Please bring a dish to share to the 5pm potluck dinner. After dinner, starting at 6pm, our featured presenters will be CRPCA members James and Maria Beebe (RPCVs who served in the Philippines), on Passion, Risk, and Adventure in the 25 Years After 50. From James and Maria:

The title of our presentation is taken from the sociologist Sara Lawrence-Lightfoot’s book, The Third Chapter: Passion, Risk, and Adventure in the 25 Years After 50. She argued there is a need to develop a compelling vision of later life: one that does not assume a trajectory of decline after fifty, but one that recognizes it as a time of change, growth, and new learning. Since retiring from full-time jobs as a Professor (James) and International Development Consultant (Maria); and moving to Portland Oregon, we have embarked on our own third chapters and have produced enough written chapters to fill three very different books.

In early October 1995 the book for which she was the chief co-editor on the leadership of global Filipina women, Disrupt. Filipina Women: Proud, Loud, Leading without a Doubt was released in the Philippines. The book is available on Amazon in both a hard copy and ebook formats. In addition to editing the book, Maria contributed a chapter on harmonizing global teams in Afghanistan and wrote the introduction and the synthesis.

In mid-October Rowman and Littlefield published the second edition of James’s’ Rapid Qualitative Inquiry: A Field Guide to Team-Based Assessment. The book is available in paperback, hardback, and ebook edition. The book was the basis for James’ Senior Fulbright Specialist assignment to De La Salle University in the Philippines in early 2015.

In late December 2014, Peace Corps Writers published James’ memoir of his Peace Corps experience in the Philippines during the late nineteen sixties, Those Were the Days: A Peace Corps Volunteer in the Philippines in the Late ‘60s.

Maria is already engaged in a follow-up book on the leadership of global Filipina women who have made significant contributions to the well fare of their fellow Overseas Filipino Workers. James is now engaged in a multi-disciplinary, anthropological exploration focused on the struggle over who received U.S. assistance in South Africa during the transition to majority rule in South Africa during the mid-nineties. The weapon in this struggle was language and the goal was to “frame” the issue in ways that supported whether or not historically disadvantaged black South African would be the primary beneficiaries of the assistance.

Both Maria and James are active in a variety of organizations, including the CRPCA Writers’ Workshop, make guest presentation in university classes, write academic papers, teach classes in the community, work with students, enjoy their beautiful 118 year old house with a walkability score of 95, and enjoy being grandparents to their wonderful grandchildren, River and Jaxon.

James Beebe's Peace Corps IDJames Beebe was a Peace Corps Volunteer in the Philippines from 1968 to 1973. He is a social scientist, practitioner-scholar, and social activist. He has 20 years of experience living and working in developing countries as a Peace Corps Volunteer, graduate student, researcher, U.S. Foreign Service Officer (United States Agency for International Development (USAID) with long-term assignments in Sudan, Philippines, Liberia, Washington DC, and South Africa), Global Technology Corps Volunteer, Senior Fulbright Specialist (Ateneo University 2003 and De La Salle University 2015 in the Philippines), and consultant. His graduate education includes a MA in Food Research (International Agricultural Development), a MA in Anthropology, and Ph.D. in International Development Education from Stanford, and a M.Div. from Meadville Lombard. James was a full Professor in the Doctoral Program in Leadership Studies at Gonzaga University 1996-2013 and while with USAID taught for two years at Oregon State University (RJCC assignment 1990-1991). After retiring from Gonzaga in 2013 James moved to Portland, Oregon. In 2014 he finished Rapid Qualitative Inquiry: A Field Guide to Team-Based Assessment (Second Edition) and Those Were the Days: A Peace Corps Volunteer in the Philippines in the Late 60s. He established and is the Director of the Center for Rapid Qualitative Inquiry, a part of Global Networks in Portland Oregon and is a visiting researcher at Portland State University.

Maria Beebe's Peace Corps IDMaria Beebe was a Peace Corps Volunteer in the Philippines from 1970 to 1973. She is a sociolinguist interested in intercultural communication and has an M.A. in Anthropology and Ph.D. in Education from Stanford University. Her 25 years of international development work and research interests led her to launch Global Networks, a Portland, OR-based consulting, research, and education not-for-profit that works at the intersection of technology, content, and pedagogy. Her research interests include critical discourse analysis, women’s leadership, and ICT for development. She co-edited the book AfricaDotEdu: IT Opportunities and Higher Education in Africa (2003) and the book DISRUPT. Filipina Women: Proud. Loud. Leading without a Doubt (2015). She has presented at international conferences; including a paper on MOOCs, m-Learning and ICT Smart Hubs at the World Summit on Information Society in Geneva in 2013. Maria had academic appointments at Washington State University and Oregon State University while working on international development programs. She is a visiting researcher at Portland State University.