This Black History Month, we will be honoring a cross-section of Union’s Black alums and faculty. Today, we honor the Rev. Dr. James Herman Robinson ’38, the founder of @operationcrossroadsafrica and a former vice president and advisor of the @peacecorps. He became a leader in New York’s Harlem community when he established the Church of the Master and the Morningside Community Center in 1938.

In 1958, he expanded his effort for community development to Africa through Operations Crossroads Africa. During the first year of the organization, he recruited 58 students from the United States and Canada to live and work in five African countries in the first OCA programs. In 1959, he became a member of the American Society on African Culture. In 1960, he expanded OCA and took 183 students and 20 leaders to 10 countries in West Africa. He established an in-service teacher training program in 1961 for several African nations and started two pilot programs in East Africa. In 1961, Robert Sargent Shriver, President John F. Kennedy, and Warren W. Wiggins appealed to Robinson to give “expert advice” on the establishment of the Peace Corps.

by unionseminary

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