Give Peace a Chance at UCLA Events

The 50th anniversary of the Peace Corps is being honored this week.

UCLA is celebrating the 50th anniversary of President John F. Kennedy's signing of the executive order creating the Peace Corps with a series of on-campus events this week.

Chris Matthews, host of MSNBC's Hardball, will moderate a panel entitled "Peace Corps: The Next 50 Years," Wednesday night at 7 p.m. in Royce Hall. The panel, exploring the legacy and future of the Peace Corps, will be followed by a dessert reception at Royce Hall and and the opening of an exhibit on UCLA–Peace Corps history at Powell Library. 

The exhibit, "No Greater Service: UCLA and the Peace Corps" transports visitors to Los Angeles in the 1960s and to countries in Africa, Latin America and Asia, tracing the experiences of early Peace Corps volunteers as they traveled the world to make a difference.

On Thursday, from 11 a.m.-2 p.m., UCLA students will have an opportunity to learn about the countries in which Peace Corps volunteers serve. Participants will be asked to engage in cultural challenges like practicing a new language, learning a few dance steps or preparing a local food specialty in order to earn stamps on a special passport.  

At 7:30 p.m., documentary A Small Act will screen in the James Bridges Theater. A Small Act tells the inspiring story of Chris Mburu, a native of Kenya who became a successful Harvard-trained lawyer and human-rights activist, and his search for the anonymous woman who funded his elementary education, changing his life. Tickets for the screening are free and are first come, first served.

On Saturday from 9 a.m.-1:30 p.m., Bruins and former and aspiring Peace Corps volunteers will participate in beautification projects at the West Los Angeles Veterans Home, a new facility for elderly and disabled veterans. (The event is being sponsored by Liberty Mutual and led by the UCLA Volunteer Center .) 

UCLA trained more than 2,100 Peace Corps volunteers from across the U.S. on campus between 1961 and 1969 and has sent more than 1,800 alumni into service.

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