November 29, 2021

Breaking hearts and minds — Joan Barker ’04

Joan Barker ’04, who majored in French and history, spent much of her career abroad as a government consultant for language and cross-cultural training. Her experience includes two years teaching English to members of the Afghan Air Force, where she got to know many Afghan interpreters. After the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan in August, Barker became an advocate for these vulnerable Afghans left behind, writing op-eds calling for government accountability and organizing aid and assistance. She discussed how her time in the Peace Corps and how The Cowl alumni network helped her get published.

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Read Barker’s op-eds:

  • Military Times: “Breaking hearts and minds: The strategy of surrender”
  • Orlando Sentinel: “Congress took last hope for those left behind in Afghanistan”
  • Mother Jones: “I Taught English to Afghan Soldiers. Now I’m Part of the ‘Digital Dunkirk’ Trying to Get Them Out.”

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