Subject: Not junkmail; from a member and friend of Peace Corps
To:
Cc: awilliams@peacecorps.gov
Date: Tuesday, September 22, 2009, 6:17 AM

Dear Director Williams:

You might have received my letter, or my e-mail. I hope you take a moment to read my e-mail.

Greetings from Uganda! I am a Peace Corps Volunteer in Uganda. Uganda has been my home for the last seven and half months. I love my new home and am really grateful to all Americans for sending me here.

The purpose of this e-mail is to bring to your attention the unprecedented removal of Larry Brown from duty, our country director, who came to Uganda a month before we did. I am writing this e-mail on behalf of the volunteers from my group who came in February of 2009 (including my husband, Erik Jarrett, who is serving with me) and all other staff members and friends of Peace Corps who learned about this serious issue through volunteers’ efforts to get Peace Corps DC to give PC Uganda another chance to grow under Larry Brown’s diverse experience, knowledge, and leadership.

We were shocked by Peace Corps DC’s decision to remove Larry Brown from duty. We cannot understand why someone who is really motivated in bringing positive measures to strengthen PC Uganda was fired without warning. Larry Brown embodies all qualities that personifies an exemplary citizen and an extraordinary country director.

Larry cared about all Peace Corps Volunteers and staff members dearly. I felt I had a paternal figure who watched out for both my husband and me in Uganda. When my husband and I voiced concerns over the security of our house that was in sub-standard conditions before we came, Larry supported us in our choice to make our current residence fit Peace Corps standards of safety.

I believe that Larry’s termination from duty was motivated by unfair reasons, especially since no staff member in Peace Corps Uganda, or Peace Corps DC can give us a reason for his termination. His termination has brought much chaos in PC Uganda.

Many of us were affected drastically that we chose to write to you. We are all concerned by such an undemocratic action taken by an organization that we care for so much.

All I am asking is for you to investigate this serious issue that happened before you came to office. Even though this incident happened before you came, you have the power to change the decision that has disrupted so many lives. Please feel free to come to Uganda and ask us about our feelings (or give us an explanation behind this unfair decision) which no one in PC DC has bothered to do. I’m more than happy (and would be grateful) to have a conference call with you, or meet you in person in Uganda (or DC) to discuss this matter. I also hope you invite other PCV’s in Uganda who have been sending you e-mails.

From listening to your address to PC community on PC connected, I get the impression that you care about PC and the developing world. Please make the right choice by giving back Larry Brown to Ugandans and Americans.

As a naturalized citizen of the United States, I’m an American by choice. One reason I became a US citizen was to serve in the Peace Corps. Another reason I became a US citizen was because I felt the United States does a better job (than my former country of citizenship, India) in implementing the democratic ideals that I hold so dear to my heart. As a proponent of democracy and someone who loves the US and Peace Corps, I hope you give us another chance to grow under Larry’s leadership and give back to our country and the world.

Thank you for your efforts in making Peace Corps a stronger organization.

Sincerely,
___________
PC Uganda
2009-2011

PS: I plan to post this e-mail on my blog with the letter I send to President Obama concerning this matter. If you’re interested in seeing that letter, please let me know.

You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty. (Mohandas Gandhi)

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He asked them

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they killed him

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they killed him

She asked them

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He wanted change

they called him names

He made change

they fired him

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Love never ceases to live

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In the beginning, there was love

In the end, amor vincit omnia

love conquers all.

Dear President Obama:

Greetings from Uganda! I hope this note finds you well.

I am a Peace Corps Volunteer.  I am writing this letter to bring an action taken by Peace Corps Washington to your attention. You might be under enormous stress to make some positive reform in our nation’s health care, but I hope you take a few moments to see the gravity of what is happening in Peace Corps Uganda.

Larry Brown, our outstanding country director, was removed from duty.  Citing the Privacy Act, the current (acting) country director cannot disclose why he was terminated from duty.  Last week when I contacted his wife, she told me that he did not know the reason behind his removal from duty.  When I visited them, I got the same answer from him.

I find PC Washington’s decision to remove Larry Brown from duty disturbing.  Larry Brown, a former professor from Harvard and Assistant Peace Corps Director under President Carter, is an exceptional individual.  His love for PC Uganda, PCV’s, and Uganda is clearly visible when one pays attention to how quickly he gained the trust of PCV’s and Ugandans.

In the last seven months, Larry turned PC Uganda into a strong post as he increased the number of volunteers in Uganda.  PC Uganda had not only grown in number but had also transformed into a great family.

Larry Brown and his wife were an incredible support system for us.  A few weeks before he was removed from duty, his wife and he hosted a pride dinner, where all volunteers were invited, at their residence.  His wife and he supported gay and lesbian volunteers in a country where homosexuality is openly condemned in the media.  I feel honored to have known a country director who supported my fellow volunteers.  When my husband and I decided to repair the house before we moved to site to make it more safe and secure, Larry was very supportive of our choice.

Many volunteers and I are confused why PC Washington chose to remove a person from duty when he is really good at what he does.

All I am asking is for you to take a few moments to urge Mr. Aaron Williams to evaluate what happened.  Even though Mr. Williams might be overwhelmed by his responsibilities as the new PC Director, I believe he should give Larry a fair chance because I believe he was removed from duty for the wrong reasons.  If Aaron Williams does not at least hold an investigation, we would never know what happened in Washington.

A man who dedicated his life to leveling the playing field would never know why he was let go by the American government.  As a young American voter I feel my faith in our system is tested through this unjust action by PC DC.  I hope you choose to renew my hope in our system by urging Mr. Williams to give PC Uganda another chance to grow under Larry Brown’s diverse experience, knowledge and leadership.

Thank you for your efforts in making America a better place.

Sincerely,

_____________

PCV Uganda

2009-2011

The spirit of democracy cannot be imposed from without. It has to come from within. (Mahatma Gandhi)