Last month, JBHE reported that Howard University in Washington, D.C., was the only historically Black college or university that was listed among the educational institutions that has most graduates who currently volunteer for the Peace Corps. This year there are 18 graduates from Howard University working in the Peace Corps. This puts Howard in 16th place on the list of medium-size colleges and universities that have 5,000 to 15,000 undergraduate students. This is the first time a HBCU ever appeared on the national list of the top 25 colleges and universities sending the most graduates on to volunteer service with the Peace Corps.
But where do the other HBCUs stand in terms of Peace Corps volunteers? The Peace Corps announced that Spelman College ranked second among HBCUs in sending graduates on to the Peace Corps. But there are only six Spelman graduates currently serving as volunteers.
In third place is Norfolk State University in Virginia. There are five graduates of Norfolk State currently serving in the Peace Corps.
Carrie Hessler-Radelet, acting director of the Peace Corps, stated, “America is a beautiful multicultural country, and we want Peace Corps volunteers to represent the very best of the United States and show the world the rich diversity of the American people.”
A survey conducted several years ago found that only 3 percent of Peace Corps volunteers were African Americans. So much work needs to be done for the Peace Corps to reach director Hessler-Radelet’s goal.