Interview with Dahna Marie Taylor, October 8, 2020
Project: Peace Corps: The Returned Peace Corps Volunteer Oral History Project
Interview SummaryInspired by John F. Kennedy's vision of the Peace Corps, Dahna Marie Taylor joined the Peace Corps after college. She was a blind mobility volunteer in Casablanca, Morocco from 1988 to 1990, where she worked with children at the Royal School for the Blind and roomed with a fellow Peace Corps volunteer in the city. Taylor extended her service in Ibarra, Ecuador from 1990-1992, where she provided home tutoring to adults, trained special education teachers, and helped launch an Association for the Blind in her host community. In her interview, Taylor talks about her motivations for joining the Peace Corps, her extensive Peace Corps job training at the Arkansas School for the Blind in Little Rock, Arabic and Spanish language learning, lasting Peace Corps friendships, and her post-Peace Corps career as a special education teacher in San Diego County. She reflects on her experiences serving in places where "people looked like me" while being one of a handful of Black Peace Corps volunteers serving in Morocco and the only woman of color in her Peace Corps Ecuador cohort. She discusses the lack of diversity in her local RPCV chapter when she returned to San Diego after her service and how that group and the Peace Corps more generally appear to be more diverse today. Throughout the interview, Taylor stresses the importance of service and volunteerism.
Interview KeywordMorocco (Country of service) 1988-1990 (Date of service) Ecuador (Country of service) 1990-1992 (Date of service) Peace Corps Volunteer Job: Blind Mobility Peace Corps (U.S.)--1980-1990 Peace Corps (U.S.)--1990-2000 Arabic (Language) Spanish (Language) Language training Cultural training Training Black Americans California Peace Corps Volunteer Job: Special education Diversity in the Peace Corps African Americans Blind people
Interview LC SubjectPeace Corps (U.S.) Peace Corps (U.S.)--Morocco Morocco Peace Corps (U.S.)--Ecuador Ecuador Acculturation Communication and culture Culture Culture shock Intercultural communication Interpersonal communication and culture Interpersonal relations Interpersonal relations and culture Language and culture Language and languages Lifestyles Manners and customs Voluntarism Volunteers Teachers Teaching Volunteer workers in education Blind children. Blind children--Orientation and mobility. Blind--Education. Blind--Orientation and mobility Blind--Services for Teachers of the blind
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Interviews may only be reproduced with permission from Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.
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Taylor, Dahna Marie Interview by Olivia Donaldson. 08 Oct. 2020. Lexington, KY: Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.
Taylor, D.M. (2020, October 08). Interview by O. Donaldson. Peace Corps: The Returned Peace Corps Volunteer Oral History Project. Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries, Lexington.
Taylor, Dahna Marie, interview by Olivia Donaldson. October 08, 2020, Peace Corps: The Returned Peace Corps Volunteer Oral History Project, Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.
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