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Advocate Speaks to Hopkins Nursing for Peace Corps Week Celebration


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Posted: 3/2/2010

The Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing (JHUSON) will host an evening with Josh Swiller, an international advocate for the deaf and disabled and author of The Unheard: A Memoir of Deafness and Africa, Wednesday, March 3. The event, sponsored by the school’s Peace Corps Fellows Program, coincides with the international celebration of Peace Corps Week, March 1-7. Swiller, a former Peace Corps Volunteer, was born with moderate hearing loss and was deaf by the age of four. He is a graduate of Yale University and currently teaches at Gallaudet University in Washington, DC.

“This event has inspired a lot of discussion at the school about deaf culture — ways that we as nurses and healthcare providers can connect with this community, and the direction our school is headed in terms of accommodating these communities with technology in our classrooms and auditoriums,” said Annie Mascorro, accelerated ’10 and a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer (Guinea), who has organized and co-planned the event.

The event begins at 6 p.m. in SON Room 305 and will be followed by a book signing and dinner reception. It marks the conclusion of the school’s Diversity Week/Peace Corps Week celebrations.

Diversity Week activities included displays celebrating various countries and cultures, an international food court, and a screening of Death of Two Sons, a documentary film about the intertwined lives and deaths of a West African immigrant in New York and a Peace Corps Volunteer in Guinea.

The School of Nursing’s Returned Peace Corps Volunteers/Fellows hosted a Community Service Day on Saturday, February 27, with 57 participants. Volunteers helped clean up the Jones Falls watershed, prepared meals at Moveable Feast, tutored students at the East Baltimore Community School, performed health screenings at a Mount Vernon soup kitchen, and educated a Severna Park Girl Scout troop about world poverty and hunger. See photos from the events on Flickr.

Diversity Week began at the School of Nursing in 2001 and typically coincides with Peace Corps Week.

“Diversity Week has always been about sharing experiences from around the world,” said School of Nursing Instructor Lori Edwards, MPH, RN, APRN, BC, who directs the school’s RPCV Fellows Program. “It fulfills the third goal of Peace Corps bringing the world back home and promoting understanding.”

There are currently 39 baccalaureate students in the school’s Peace Corps Fellows Program. Since 1991, the School of Nursing has graduated more than 300 RCPVs. The goal of the program is to provide Fellows with every resource needed to prepare them for their futures as nurses.

The Peace Corps, founded in 1961, has volunteers serving in 74 countries, collaborating with community members in areas that include education, youth outreach and community development, the environment, and information technology.