U.S. Department of State Hosts "The Spirit of Volunteerism": Initiative to Honor the 50th Anniversary of the Peace Corps

Media Note
Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
September 23, 2011

Honoring the 50th anniversary of the Peace Corps and building on Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton’s vision of “Leading through Civilian Power,” the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs announced today “The Spirit of Volunteerism,” an international exchange that brings 51 international visitors to the United States to partner and collaborate with the Peace Corps and civil society on ways to strengthen the global community through volunteerism.

From September 25 through October 15, the International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) will bring 51 men and women from countries where there is a Peace Corps presence to the United States to better understand how to expand community-based volunteer activities in their own countries. All participants have influenced the Peace Corps programs in their countries and led volunteering efforts in their local communities.

As part of the exchange, the group will volunteer in cities across America in a variety of projects that include planting trees in an inner city park in Washington, DC, meeting with children who are refugees in Rochester, NY, and assisting with medical supply preparation for relief efforts in Pittsburgh, PA, where they will work side-by-side with alumni of the Peace Corps.

The group will begin their experience as participants in the Peace Corps’ ongoing 50th anniversary events in Washington, DC, which includes a gathering of thousands of returned Peace Corps volunteers. The participants will join the 50th Anniversary Procession of Flags from Arlington National Cemetery to the Lincoln Memorial.

Other cities that the participants will visit during their three-week program include Boston, MA; Boulder, CO; Bozeman, MT; Greensboro, NC; Pensacola, FL; Riverside, CA; Salt Lake City, UT; San Antonio, TX; Santa Fe, NM; and Seattle, WA. The project will conclude in Chicago, IL, where the groups will reunite after their small-group city visits to participate in a symposium on corporate social responsibility and social entrepreneurship.

Now in its 70th year, the IVLP is the U.S. Department of State’s premier professional exchange program, connecting current and emerging foreign leaders with their American counterparts through short-term programs to build mutual understanding on foreign policy issues. Nearly 200,000 distinguished individuals have participated in the program, including more than 320 current and former chiefs of state and heads of government, and thousands of leaders from the public and private sectors. More information on the IVLP can be found on http://exchanges.state.gov/ivlp.

For more information, please contact Talley Sergent, U.S. Department of State, at SergentRT@state.gov.

PRN: 2011/1584