PPCA COVID-19 Support Fund – still available

Due to the impacts of COVID-19, the Portland Peace Corps Association has established a special COVID-19 Support Fund to support our community members. Beginning immediately, newly evacuated PCVs and local RPCVs in NW Oregon and SW Washington may apply for funds based on their needs. Please refer to the information below to learn more about this funding opportunity and how to apply.

What: PPCA has established a special fund for one-time payments to support community members with crucial needs due to their evacuation and/or impacts from the coronavirus pandemic.

Who: Newly evacuated PCVs and local RPCVs in NW Oregon and SW Washington

Eligibility: Individual must describe how they have been impacted, their need, and what they will use the funds for.

How to apply for assistance: Take our COVID-19 Support Survey NOW at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/7H27S7V.

Note: We will never divulge anything that could be used to identify recipients, but we may paraphrase applicants’ needs to promote donations to our COVID-19 Support Fund.

When: We are considering new support applicants now! The first round of payments was made in early May, providing 6 newly evacuated PCVs with $2,300 in support. Future payments are dependent on member contributions to our COVID-19 Support Fund.

Who makes the selection decision?: PPCA has named a four-person committee to review requests and maintain confidentiality.

Amount of funds: As of May 20, thanks largely to member generosity, the total fund exceeds $750. As a result, we are willing to consider payments between $200 and $500.

Method of payment: Payments will be made via Venmo or by check.

Seeking additional donations to this fund: PPCA seeks additional donations to our COVID-19 Support Fund at http://www.crpca.org/checkout/.

June 2020 Book Club Selection

Sagebrush Collaboration
Walker, Peter*: Sagebrush Collaboration: How Harney County, Oregon, Defeated the Takeover of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge (2018)

* RPCV Sierra Leone 1986-1988

Discussion: Thursday, June 4, 2020, 6:30-8:00 pm. Online meeting via Zoom; e-mail bookclub AT crpca.org for the login information. Participating in our discussion will be Peter Walker, the book’s author!

Synopsis: Every American is co-owner of the most magnificent estate in the world—federal public forests, grazing lands, monuments, national parks, wildlife refuges, and other public places. The writer Wallace Stegner famously referred to public lands as “America’s best idea,” but there have always been some who oppose the idea for ideological reasons, or because they have a vested economic interest. In the current decade, federal public lands have been under physical threat as never before, with armed standoffs and takeovers that the US government has proved stunningly unsuccessful at prosecuting in federal courts. One such incident was the takeover of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Harney County, Oregon, in 2016. Armed militants seized the headquarters of the refuge for forty-one days and occupied the community for three months. Militants threatened and harassed local residents, pledging to “give back” the land to unnamed “rightful owners” in their effort to enact a fringe interpretation of the US Constitution. Drawing on more than two years of intensive fieldwork, Sagebrush Collaboration shows that the militants failed in their objectives because the sensible and hardworking citizens of Harney County had invested decades in collaboratively solving the very problems that the militia used to justify their anti–federal government revolution. In Sagebrush Collaboration, Peter Walker offers the first book-length study of why the 2016 takeover of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge failed. His nuanced and deeply researched account provides the full context for the takeover, including the response from local and federal officials and the grassroots community resistance. It will be essential reading for years to come for anyone who wants to understand the ongoing battle over the future of America’s public lands.

Where to find it:
FREE: to residents of Oregon (allow 2 weeks)
Libraries: Ft Vancouver | Multnomah Co | Washington Co
Vendors: Powell’s | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

May 2020 Book Club Selection

Fruit of the Drunken Tree
Contreras, Ingrid Rojas: Fruit of the Drunken Tree (2018)

Discussion: Tuesday, May 12, 2020, 6:30-8:00 pm. Online meeting via Zoom; e-mail bookclub AT crpca.org for the login information.

Review: © Booklist: In this incomparable debut novel, Contreras draws on her own experience growing up in turbulent 1990s Bogotá, Colombia, amid the violence and social instability fueled by Pablo Escobar’s narcotics trafficking. In vividly rendered prose, textured with generous Spanish, Contreras tells the story of an unlikely bond between two girls on the verge of womanhood: Chula, the daughter of a middle-class family, and Petrona, the teenager hired to serve as the family’s maid. While Chula’s family can afford to protect themselves behind the suburban walls of a gated community, Petrona must support her many siblings as they struggle to survive the inner-city slums. Despite their differences, and driven by Chula’s curiosity about Petrona’s odd habits, the two become inseparably close until decisions must be made that will alter their futures forever. Contreras’ deeply personal connection to the setting lends every scene a vital authenticity, and a seemingly unlimited reservoir of striking details brings the action to life, like the trumpets and accordions on Christmas Eve, or the messy Afro of Petrona’s suspicious new boyfriend. A riveting, powerful, and fascinating first novel.

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