Karie Cross

Karie Cross (Backward Society Education - BASE): Karie studied English and political science at Harding University in Searcy, Arkansas, where she graduated with honors. In Arkansas she also interned in Governor Mike Beebe's communications office. At the time of her fellowship, Karie was working on a Master’s of Public Policy at the University of Maryland, with a specialization in International Development. Karie also served as a teaching assistant at the University of Maryland. After her fellowship, Karie wrote: "I feel as if I should never be afraid of anything ever again. I have gained confidence, cultural sensitivity, networking skills, technical skills and self-sufficiency. I see myself as someone who can really make a difference. All I have to do is have the strength to try something new."

The Curious Life of a Virtual Peace Fellow

22 Apr

NPR wastepickers piece

Eight days ago, the Advocacy Project invited me to become a Peace Fellow for the summer of 2010. I only had to consider the offer for about seven seconds. (Maybe even six.) Not only am I psyched about the spectacular convergence of environmental advocacy and development work which my partner organization, Chintan, represents, but I am also thrilled to get to spend the summer in New Delhi, India.

Although I’m currently a grad student at the University of Maryland, just outside of Washington, D.C., I hail from the backwoods of Greenbrier, Arkansas. Coming to D.C. was a big move. Re-locating to India for the summer will assuredly change my life, which leads me to ruminate upon the curious, liminal state I now find myself in. As soon as I signed my contract with the Advocacy Project, I became a Virtual Peace Fellow. I’m now responsible for advocating on behalf of the waste-pickers of New Delhi, also known as people that I have never met in a place that I have never been. But that doesn’t mean I can’t start making a difference right now.

You may have heard a piece on NPR about the waste-pickers just last week. My jaw dropped when, instead of groggily awakening to a piece on health care or financial reform, I found myself listening to a detailed story on the waste-pickers of New Delhi. MY waste-pickers. Mind you, this was the day after I accepted this (currently virtual) peace fellowship. Clearly I was fated to go to India this summer. Anyway, here’s my first bit of virtual advocacy, on behalf of the wonderful people of Chintan whom I cannot wait to meet.

Give the NPR piece a listen, and learn more about what I’ll be doing this summer. Once you’ve heard it, you’ll know about as much as I currently do! As long as I’m a mere virtual peace fellow, India will be a mysterious land of fragrant curries, Bollywood dancing, and luxurious saris. But soon enough, New Delhi will be my temporary home. I fully expect to gain far more from Chintan and the waste-pickers than I could ever hope to give to them.

Posted By Karie Cross

Posted Apr 22nd, 2010

1 Comment

  • Molly Morris

    June 15, 2010


    I just listened to the story. Karie, I’m so excited for you to be there working with these people. I can’t wait to hear about the people you meet and the people you help. I’m sure you will be a blessing to everyone you get to know in Delhi. You’ll be on my mind, in my prayers, and always near the top of my outbox.

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