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  • Sargent Shriver Peace Institute - News Blaze: American Idealist, The Story of Sargent Shriver
    to do so today He created and ran the Peace Corps which since 1961 sent over 200 000 volunteers to serve around the world Reluctantly he took the lead on The War on Poverty pressed into that leadership role by President Lyndon Johnson in 1964 Once Shriver conducted research to discover what he was to wage war on he knew this was something that needed to be done and that he must do it Every single person in America knows of at least one thing that he created but many don t realize it because he didn t promote himself Sargent Shriver was the leader of many social initiatives including the Peace Corps and The Office of Equal Opportunity which spawned Head Start Youth Corps and Legal Services for the Poor VISTA Job Corps Upward Bound Work Study Community Action and Foster Grandparents For all his achievements Shriver was constantly embattled President Eisenhower ridiculed the Peace Corps as the Kiddie Corps Shriver s commitment to civil rights and the poor led powerful conservative senators to charge that his antipoverty programs exceeded the role of the federal government Democratic governors and mayors resented Shriver s call for community action because it stirred social protest Even the man who picked Shriver to run the war on poverty President Lyndon Johnson complained Shriver had created a damn revolution Present at many of the watershed events of modern history Shriver s vision took shape in a momentous era that included the Depression the Holocaust World War II as well as the mass struggle for black freedom The documentary film American Idealist tells the story of a man who touched more lives than any American since Franklin Roosevelt American Idealist was written directed and produced by Bruce Orenstein founder and executive director of the Chicago

    Original URL path: http://www.sargentshriver.org/article/news-blaze-american-idealist-the-story-of-sargent-shriver (2015-03-27)
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  • Sargent Shriver Peace Institute - The Washington Post: Politician-Activist Sargent Shriver: He's the Real Ideal
    Kennedy pronounced it contributed to the impression that Shriver was a Kennedy by blood but it was by marriage He and Eunice Kennedy were wed on May 23 1953 with Eunice eventually giving birth to a Kennedyesque five children There were times as the documentary recalls when being a de facto Kennedy was a decided advantage for Shriver but others when it was in the argot of the times a bummer as when Shriver had to decline being Hubert Humphrey s running mate because the Kennedys feared Shriver s popularity might some day interfere with Teddy s political ambitions Bill Moyers who contributes reminiscence calls Shriver the best all around politician I ve ever seen but in addition Shriver did seem to be that rare thing a politician with stubbornly high ideals instilling in followers what Moyers calls a sense of almost infinite possibilities So it was that Lyndon Johnson saw in Shriver the perfect man to run the ambitious war on poverty a war declared by LBJ to help bring about the Great Society that Johnson insisted was within our grasp Probably the rarest piece of memorabilia in the documentary is an excerpt from the recording of a phone call that LBJ made to Shriver still running the Peace Corps in an effort to persuade him to take on the new job I m just giving you a billion dollars more to work with Johnson says as only Johnson could He taunts Shriver by saying that maybe he doesn t have the glands to take on such an enormous task Shriver finally capitulated and became special assistant to the president The war proved essentially unwinnable however especially once Southern congressmen some still openly segregationist got hold of it and says the narrator terrorized it Instead of investigating the causes of American poverty such warped old timers as Sen John Stennis D Miss instead launched investigations into the programs themselves among them the seemingly unassailable Operation Head Start which helped impoverished and disadvantaged kids Some 12 000 benefited from Head Start in Mississippi alone before the program there was coldly closed down Perhaps heroes and villains were easier to spot then Shriver seemed clearly to think in socially heroic terms and to be the target of the ignorant The Special Olympics another legacy that has flourished in ensuing years was born in the Shrivers big back yard we are reminded As for the War on Poverty it was finally done in decisively by another war the one in Vietnam and the 60s became a blood bath in more ways than one In fairly recent footage Coretta Scott King who died two years ago speaks warmly of Shriver and his role in the civil rights struggle making the documentary appropriate viewing for Martin Luther King Jr Day In 1960 King was arrested by small town officials in Georgia and given the preposterous sentence of four years at hard labor for a traffic violation There was every reason to fear for King

    Original URL path: http://www.sargentshriver.org/article/the-washington-post-politician-activist-sargent-shriver-hes-the-real-ideal (2015-03-27)
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  • Sargent Shriver Peace Institute - New York Sun: The Great American Volunteer
    s dealings with President Lyndon Johnson and especially the Kennedy family And it raises an interesting point about the power of ideas to shape politics Current presidential candidates from both parties might benefit from this reminder Unlike some of his more prominent in laws Mr Shriver married President Kennedy s sister Eunice in 1953 Mr Shriver now 92 is by all accounts a serious Roman Catholic His mother Hilda Shriver not only marched for women s suffrage but also helped found Commonweal magazine for decades a must read among liberal Catholic intellectuals His godfather was the archbishop of Baltimore and his entire career was animated by the social gospel associated with mid century American Catholic activists Even Mr Shriver s constant emphasis on the importance of grass roots action draws some of its inspiration from the arcane Catholic notion of subsidiarity which holds that responsibility should reside at even the lowest levels As the film footage makes abundantly clear there was plenty of volunteer work to be done among the world s poor It is tempting to conclude from some of the material on view in American Idealist and even more so from the archival footage of conditions in the pre civil rights American South that political activism was the necessary facilitator of a long overdue transformation We know from hindsight that the actual results have been mixed especially when it came to Mr Shriver s subsequent role leading Lyndon Johnson s war on poverty Thoughtful conservatives today might argue that private sector solutions and tax incentives together with strictly enforced antidiscrimination laws would have done a better job But the evidence is scarce that many conservatives thoughtful or otherwise were making such arguments when major societal change was necessary Still it s laughable or worse to blame the failures of the war on poverty on a dearth of money as this film does The trillions that have been spent on such programs in the decades since are a powerful argument that what is lacking is imagination and a basic understanding of what motivates people to both avoid social pathologies and improve their lives It s not at all clear that the surviving Kennedys will welcome this documentary None appear on camera and the film portrays President Kennedy as a cautious and tentative politician and his brother Robert Kennedy as a bullying schemer When Martin Luther King Jr was jailed on a trumped up parole issue related to a traffic violation during the 1960 presidential campaign it was Mr Shriver who urged his brother in law to at least make a phone call to Mrs King When the call was made public campaign manager Bobby was reportedly livid and almost literally jumped down Mr Shriver s throat Later on the film claims the Kennedy family blocked two efforts first by Johnson and later by Hubert Humphrey to offer Mr Shriver the vice presidential slot on the Democratic ticket When Mr Shriver finally got his chance for elective office in 1972

    Original URL path: http://www.sargentshriver.org/article/new-york-sun-the-great-american-volunteer (2015-03-27)
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  • Sargent Shriver Peace Institute - Sargent Shriver presents the Kennedy Foundation Grant to the University of Chicago
    at a major center of science learning and treatment While the long arm of coincidence puts these two events the splitting of the atom and the inauguration of this new service for the retarded in interesting juxtaposition coincidence certainly played no part in the decision by the Joseph P Kennedy Jr Foundation to commit 2 200 000 to the University of Chicago for research in this field The University was selected on its record its record for the services it has performed for the research it has conducted for its general all around excellence It is a record that certainly is enhanced by the fact that 23 Nobel prize winners an average of one for every three years of the university s existence have been associated with the University of Chicago The roll call is impressive names like those of Dr Eugene Paul Wigner Dr Karl Ziegler Maria Goeppert Mayer Dr Edward Lawrie Tatum Dr James Dewey Watsonia and of course Dr George Wells Beadle the president of this great institution I cannot fail to maintain also the name of Dr Samuel Kirk who received a graduate degree from this university and then in 1962 was one of the winners of the Annual International Awards of the Joseph P Kennedy Jr Foundation for his work for over 30 years in the field of mental retardation Today other great scientists and teachers are certainly on this campus We may not even know their names Often what impresses people most on occasions such as this is the size of the grant or the commitment and while it is true that this is the largest single grant made by the Kennedy Foundation this is not the most significant point on this occasion Most important is the plan that the University of Chicago and the Kennedy Foundation have developed to make the maximum use of the money Basically the Foundation has done two things 1 Has awarded 1 500 000 to the university for the establishment of the Joseph P Kennedy Jr Mental Retardation Research Center within the new Children s Hospital 2 Has pledged 700 000 to the university to establish a new Joseph P Kennedy Jr Mental Retardation Clinical Services and Training Center This 700 000 can attract an additional 2 000 000 from the Federal Government Thus giving the University a new multi million dollar center at no cost to the University On its part the university has pledged its complete cooperation and all of its human resources at every level and in every field What will emerge is this The University of Chicago will be the first university to have a mental retardation clinical services structure and program based on the new federal money now available a program under which parents of retarded children can find all the services available for their youngsters at one location In the language of suburbia it will be the supermarket the one stop shopping center for the parents looking for help for their retarded

    Original URL path: http://www.sargentshriver.org/speech-article/the-kennedy-foundation-grant-to-the-university-of-chicago (2015-03-27)
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  • Sargent Shriver Peace Institute - Sargent Shriver's Address to the National Civil Service League
    me that he has another job in store for me If we make headway against Poverty he assures me that next I can take on Pestilence But seriously what I have seen convinces me that the Civil Service is a great and vital part of something even greater the wider Public Service which includes all parts and professions of our nation serving the common good And I am convinced that the volunteer spirit is an essential element in this general Public Service that it is now as it was when de Toqueville studied us over a century ago the secret of American success These are two big points for us to keep in mind First the need for a good relationship between government service and this wider public service that includes the professions and the universities and other private institutions and second the need for volunteers and the voluntary principle The relationships between government servants the Civil Service proper and the general Public Service becomes more complex and more important all the time From our Peace Corps experience we can throw light on only a part of this larger problem We are making progress in developing a good working relationship with universities and private agencies in developing ways of increasing the contribution to the public service of American higher education American colleges and universities and private agencies are built into our program as an integral operating element Nearly 30 percent of our overseas programs about 2 000 of our 7 000 Volunteers are now being professionally supported or actually administered by universities such as Ohio and Wisconsin or groups of universities such as the Indiana Conference on Higher Education or by private agencies such as CARE Heifer Project 4 H Foundation or the National Grange Perhaps most important of all almost one hundred percent of our training programs take place on the campuses of America are managed and run by the faculties of our colleges and universities We have now had training programs for over 300 projects in 46 countries at 77 colleges and universities The long range effect of all this on both the Peace Corps and on American higher education should be considerable It places the Peace Corps in the right perspective it makes the two or three year overseas experience part of the whole educational experience of a Volunteer But more significant it makes Peace Corps training part of American higher education s program to extend itself to the world It is this idea of the world this idea of American education preparing our citizens for service in the world for citizenship in the world that now is becoming a reality on our campuses Congress had this in mind when it decided that world understanding is the object of two of the three purposes of the Peace Corps When we began we looked for those universities that already had overseas experience or had on the faculty men and women with such experience in particular countries For example we arranged for our training for Malaya to take place at Northern Illinois University because we found there one of the few academic experts on Malaya When we couldn t find colleges already equipped with past expertise we went to other colleges and universities with little or no overseas experience With them we are learning by doing by working out effective training programs together We went to them because we believed that our colleges and universities were the proper agencies for Peace Corps training and because we had confidence that they were ready and able to extend themselves to world understanding and service Now we are taking further steps to deepen and improve our training programs and to deepen and improve our relationship with American higher education We have already started a Senior Year Program which will enlist trainees for overseas programs and train them during the summer between their junior and senior years in college Then they will have a second training program after their graduation But during their senior year in college they will know that they are going overseas they will know the area probably the country they are going to and the kind of work they are going to do If they are to teach English in French speaking Africa they will be able to continue study of French and take some courses during their senior year or get practice in teaching A trainee who knows that after graduation he is going to spend two years in Latin America speaking almost nothing but Spanish can be expected to study Spanish more seriously during his senior year Thus by lengthening our training program and building part of it into the curriculum during the trainees senior year at college we are getting deeper into the life of the college But we are ready to go further We have been meeting with college and university officers in order to build Peace Corps training into the whole college experience into two or three summer vacations and into the curriculum over a two or three year period Last Saturday in his inaugural address as President of Yale Kingman Brewster proposed that the Peace Corps be given no less academic house room than military and naval training He proposed a Peace Reserve Training Corps We welcome this proposal and are ready to work it out with University leaders The idea however is very different from a military R O T C Training for Peace Corps service must remain as the Volunteer s service remains entirely voluntary even after enlistment We have no general courts martial or brigs And Peace Corps training is not and should not be seen as something separate from or peripheral to higher education Peace Corps service is not a diversion from a person s education or career as military service too often is Rather it is a step in his education and in a career of public service So the point is not to bring in an outside

    Original URL path: http://www.sargentshriver.org/speech-article/address-to-the-national-civil-service-league-in-1964 (2015-03-27)
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  • Sargent Shriver Peace Institute - Sargent Shriver's Address at the Annual Dinner of the YMCA of Greater New York
    a gang which had been disrupting their Y activities The Volunteers stepped in to break up the fight and found themselves attacked by the gang Then something very interesting happened Observers on Latin America and slum areas everywhere for that matter were amazed at the outcome The older men looking on the fight came to the defense of the Peace Corps Volunteers Not to the defense of the gang Not to chase off the Volunteers But to help them They pulled the young toughs off and sent them on their way in a fashion that was bound to sting for days Anyone who has seen the reaction of adults to teenage slum fights knows the outsider does not come out of it very well The Volunteers won that victory because they were not outsiders They are respected members of the community and they have earned that respect Four Volunteers started a Y summer camp near Caracas Six months ago says one of them this was a forest Now there are eleven brand new tents The ground has been cleared we have a kitchen and latrines a basketball back board and a number of play areas We re in business Take another example A number of experts raised their eyebrows when we were asked to send instructors to teach in Latin American universities You will run into students who are virulently anti American we were warned They play campus politics for keeps knowing that it may be their steppingstone to future success They can be fanatical We knew that But we also knew that universities in Latin America are the cradle of future leaders political professional technical and cultural We knew too that they play significant roles in contemporary life To avoid them would be to brand off limits opportunities Americans have not often had in Latin America As was expected the Peace Corps Volunteers did have confrontations with the communists This is a sign of the impact the Volunteer teachers were having At one university left wing students and faculty members demanded the ouster of Volunteer teachers unless their academic credentials were made available The university administration approved the request and the Volunteers presented their degrees all of them satisfactory Now there s a twist to the story The university administration decided the communists had a good idea so they requested the academic backgrounds of all faculty members It turned out that several teachers who professed communism had inadequate credentials The Peace Corps Volunteers won an unexpected victory and the communist s demagoguery was exposed for what it was The Volunteers followed up this vote of confidence by getting down to the business of teaching and doing a good job of it Today 143 Volunteers are teaching in 38 universities in 7 countries in Latin America We have already received requests for three hundred additional Volunteers to teach on the university level next year and we intend to fill those requests Still a third program which the skeptics advised us to ignore in Latin America is educational television But we re in it Colombia s government owned television network is one of the largest in Latin America Within its reach are 85 of the population and 94 of the nation s schools The Peace Corps program will affect approximately1500 of those schools Sixteen Peace Corps Volunteers are already down there They are helping Colombia co workers to plan create write and produce programs Other Volunteers arrive in January to serve in remote rural areas where the programs will be received they will visit classrooms distribute instructional materials and help Colombian teachers to use educational programs They will be the first Americans to work closely with the people of Colombia in a massive educational campaign It can be the beginning of an extraordinary effort to bring education to the campesinos of rural Colombia Peace Corps Volunteers returning from Latin America tell us that only extraordinary efforts will work now Anything less than an enthusiastic crusade will be too little and too late The communists know this is true And it accounts for the disproportionate influence they exert in Latin America especially among student groups They have found that it is not necessary to be a majority group to change things What they lack in numbers they make up in zeal organization and enthusiasm Communist student leaders in Latin America place their highest premium on dedication and hard work Although relatively small in terms of membership they are able to win and hold controlling positions in key organizations To them their cause is a crusade This enthusiasm is not limited to students Ambassador John Bartlow Martin recently pointed out that the hard core communists throughout Latin America are marked for one common characteristic zeal A leading theoretician of the extreme left in Latin America has made that clear He contends that the only solution for Latin America today is to destroy its feudal structure once and for all He tells us that agrarian reform is doomed It can only be brought about he says by revolution with a gun in hand Listen to him Revolution Yes because only revolution can destroy feudalism not aspirin and good wishes Revolution Yes because as shown armed revolution can destroy forever the armies which guard the old order Revolution Yes because only a revolution can bring about the structural changes necessary to modernize our countries put stagnating natural resources to work recoup ill spent and estranged resources carry through agrarian reform create an internal market diversity production promote popular education and industrialization Revolution You cry out and put your hands to your heads weeping to see the violence and the spilling of blood Yes because unfortunately it has never been possible to convince the ruling classes of a feudal country that their hour is come Blood Yes historical delay is paid for in blood From Spartacus to Fidel Castro through Protestant English French United States Mexican and Russian revolutions revolutions have been violent Revolutions are not

    Original URL path: http://www.sargentshriver.org/speech-article/address-at-the-annual-dinner-of-the-ymca-of-greater-new-york (2015-03-27)
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  • Sargent Shriver Peace Institute - Sargent Shriver speaks to the National Press Club
    be available to us They are what we are looking for And finally the Peace Corps is having a current important impact abroad all over the world Six days ago down in Puerto Rico an eighty six year old man a revered artist and a world renown disciple of freedom spoke these words This is new and it is also very old he said We have in a sense come full circle We have come from the tyranny of the enormous awesome discordant machines back to a realization that the beginning and the end are man that it is man who is important not the machine that it is man who accounts for growth not just dollars or factories and above all that it is man who is the object of all of our efforts This was Pablo Casals and he was speaking to those of us who were in attendance at conference on the world s manpower needs There were forty three nations represented at that conference It marked the first time that the developed and the developing nations of the world ever sat down together and talked seriously about manpower needs It is a complex world we live in today While one man orbits the earth in a space capsule another man squats for hours besides an Asian rice paddy trying to catch a fish only as big as your thumb While some men manufacture computers other men plow with sticks Can t these other men be trained and trained quicker somehow to meet the need for skills in today s quick world What is the proper relationship between the highly industrialized nations of the world and the developing nations What is our proper duty to them and theirs to us and to themselves This is what we sat down to talk about in Puerto Rico There were foreign ministers there and labor ministers ministers of health and economic affairs and education and finance and community development all gathered to discuss ways the world can act to meet its critical shortage of trained men and women And just as De Tocqueville taught us more about our democracy than we knew ourselves so did these men and women from abroad tell us more about the Peace Corps than we had ever realized All of us the press the Peace Corps staff itself have missed the significant fact the lead about the Peace Corps We have talked and you have written about so many Volunteers going to so many countries But in Puerto Rico these people talked of the Peace Corps as a dramatic world movement as a way to disgorge the earth s richest resource its people To these people the Peace Corps is not just a nice experiment in brotherhood and goodwill it is a major breakthrough in economic theory and practice for the underdeveloped world As the delegate from Pakistan said It is possible to beg borrow or steal money But it is impossible to beg borrow or steal qualified people And so the Peace Corps this vague thing we thought just might work a year and a half ago has been seized by these nations as a way to weave human capital into the fabric of economic development Having seen our Peace Corps operate they are now building this concept into their own development programs and growth policies Jamaica Chile and Honduras all announced that they are starting Peace Corps type programs of their own at home We are going to create a manpower force that no government can hire We are going to bring all existing voluntary services together in one dynamic effort said Jamaica s minister of development And the Honduras delegate declared his belief that this movement now can serve to place Latin America on a new threshold comparable to the 17th Century s advent of knowledge in Western Europe Further Norway Germany and Denmark and Belgium all announced at the conference that they are establishing volunteer programs similar to our own designed to operate in the world s underdeveloped nations And so the Peace Corps is making a difference a difference that the world is taking note of There are nearly 300 Peace Corps Volunteers serving as secondary school teachers in Ethiopia today Their arrival meant that Ethiopia s secondary school enrollment was doubled overnight In Sierra Leone today the Peace Corps the United States Peace Corps supplies 25 per cent of all that nation s secondary school teachers We supply 50 percent of all the qualified teachers There are 40 high schools in Sierra Leone Peace Corps Volunteers teach in 35 of them There are six teachers colleges Peace Corps Volunteers teach in four of them At the Puerto Rican conference the Liberian minister of education Mr James Weeks told the delegates that the Peace Corps Volunteers who recently arrived in his country would increase by 180 per cent the number of college graduates teaching in Liberian secondary schools and would directly affect 90 per cent of the total school population in Liberia Furthermore he added they will decrease our dropout rate and improve our basic curricula By their thorough professional attitude they will cut down teacher absenteeism late classes and improper preparation The effect ultimately on Liberia s total economic situation will be in his words revolutionary Does this make a difference I think it does You are helping to create a new community Mk S K Dey India s minister of community development said in Puerto Rico last week in a material sense but in a profoundly spiritual sense as well economically as well as socially According to the Sierra Leone minister of education The Peace Corps has built a bridge between the developed world and underdeveloped world These are not after all Soviet teachers in Ethiopia They are Americans That would be a news story wouldn t it 300 Soviet secondary school teachers go on duty in Ethiopia These are not Communist technicians at work in Brazil s

    Original URL path: http://www.sargentshriver.org/speech-article/speech-to-the-national-press-club (2015-03-27)
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  • Sargent Shriver Peace Institute - Sargent Shriver addresses the National Farmers Union in St. Paul, 1964
    help each community solve its own problem of poverty in its own way under its own leadership Local leadership will be called upon to study the problem of poverty as it exists in each local area The local leaders will prepare a plan designed to attack all the social ills which create that poverty The plan will include such elements as improved health care and education recreation programs and feeding programs care for the children of working mothers and special training for unemployed fathers It should have all the components necessary to meet local poverty as local leaders see the problem When those plans are prepared and approved by our Office in Washington the federal government will finance up to 90 of the additional cost for the first two years These will not be mammoth plans put together by bureaucrats in Washington They will be prepared by those that know their own problems best Their success will directly depend on the amount of initiative and effort and imagination that goes into them at the local level Although this Community Action program will help rural communities and areas as well as cities the small impoverished farmer needs special attention There are 12 million farm families with incomes of under 3 000 most of them in the South Then we have a most important section of the bill called Rural Economic Opportunity Its purpose is to make farmers self sufficient on the land rather than an object of relief in crowded cities Rural and urban America alike will benefit if we can stem the migration of ill prepared rural families to the cities Our cities already have more such families than they can absorb Too many rural communities are becoming ghost towns through loss of population So how do we help low income farmers stay in farming The need in most cases is for a little capital The success of the Farmers Home Administration over the years shows how a small amount of capital can often help a low income farmer lift his family out of poverty Secretary of Agriculture Freeman who initiated the ideas that make up Title III has given us some case histories One young farm family for instance had a total net farm income of S800 in 1958 With a loan of 4 800 from FHA they have managed to raise their income o 33 000 per annum and increase their net worth from 57 000 to 29 000 But many of our most needy farm families have to be rejected by the FHA because they are not credit worthy Take the case of Charlie Hamlin for instance Mr Hamlin has a 90 acre farm but is not farming it because he cannot raise the capital necessary for seed fertilizer and livestock He has nine children and subsisted last year on a net income of 715 He owes 2 300 and FHA had to reject his loan application for lack of debt paying ability He is an experienced

    Original URL path: http://www.sargentshriver.org/speech-article/address-to-the-national-farmers-union-in-1964 (2015-03-27)
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