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Rye Barcott
Born 1979
Residence North Carolina, USA
Nationality US
Occupation Author
Social entrepreneur
U.S. military
Organization Carolina for Kibera
Title Cofounder
Spouse(s) Dr. Tracy Dobbins Barcott
It Happened on the Way to War

Rye Barcott is author of It Happened on the Way to War. He is a former Marine Corps officer and cofounder of Carolina for Kibera, an acclaimed non-governmental organization that uses a unique model of participatory development to break cycles of violence and develop leaders in the Kibera slum of Nairobi, Kenya. He was named a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum in 2011.[1] President Barack Obama appointed him to the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board as a representative of the veteran community in 2012.[2]

Education[edit | edit source]

Barcott graduated in 2001 with highest honors in anthropology and economics from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He attended UNC on a four-year U.S. Marine Corps NROTC Scholarship. In 2009, Barcott graduated with an MPA and MBA from Harvard as a Reynolds Social Entrepreneurship Fellow and George Leadership Fellow. Harvard President Drew Faust appointed him to a two-year term on the Harvard Endowment's Advisory Committee on Shareholder Responsibility, and he served as a founding member of the movement to create an MBA Oath.[3]

Military service[edit | edit source]

Rye Barcott served five years on active duty in the Marine Corps, where he attained the rank of captain and deployed to Bosnia, the Horn of Africa, and Iraq.[4][5] In 2006, he provided written testimony to the Iraq Study Group and authored a controversial article about the Iraqi Military Intelligence Academy in Proceedings, the professional journal of the U.S. Navy.[6] ABC World News with Charles Gibson covered his work in Kibera and his military service in Iraq and named him a Person of the Week and a 2006 Person of the Year.[7] The ABC World News story quoted him encouraging young Americans to expose themselves "to how the majority of the world lives … and I think it'll make you a lot more appreciative of what you've got … make you a better American and a better global citizen."

Writings[edit | edit source]

Barcott is the author of the critically acclaimed[8] memoir It Happened on the Way to War (Bloomsbury Publishing). The book's dedication to Carolina For Kibera cofounders Salim Mohamed and Tabitha Atieno Festo includes a phrase that captures the central theme of the book: "Talent is universal; opportunity is not." In 2001, Barcott co-edited with Dr. Carolyn Pumphrey Armed Conflict in Africa, a book that analyzed the sources of violence in Africa. His post 9-11 letters with Salim Mohamed were published in Andrew Carroll’s Warletters: Extraordinary Correspondence from American Wars (Scribner, 2001).[9] His writing has appeared in the Washington Post,[10] New York Times,[11] and CNN.[12] In 2007 he delivered the commencement address to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Public Health.[13] As an inaugural TED Fellow, he gave a TED speech on “The Power of Participatory Development."[14] He is represented by the American Program Bureau and International Creative Management. It Happened on the Way to War was one of four books selected for the TED 2011 Book Club, and was named best nonfiction title in 2011 by the North Carolina Literary and Historical Association.[15] In 2011, Readers Digest named the book as one of four top nonfiction titles of the year.

Humanitarian Service[edit | edit source]

Whiles an undergraduate in 2001, Barcott founded Carolina for Kibera (CFK) in Kenya with Salim Mohamed and the Tabitha Atieno Festo, who each shared the conviction that the poor have the solutions to the problems they face. CFK started as a small inter-ethnic soccer program and medical clinic run out of Tabitha Festo’s ten-by-ten foot shack. Today over 5,000 youth participate in its holistic youth programs, and the Tabitha Clinic treats more than 40,000 patients a year in collaboration with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.[16] Because of CFK's innovations in youth programming and participatory development, TIME Magazine and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation named CFK a "Hero of Global Health" at the Global Health Summit in 2005.[17] TIME for Kids featured CFK on the cover of its March 30, 2007 edition.[18] In 2004, Canadian Musician Sarah McLachlan concluded her award-winning music video “World on Fire” with footage of CFK’s soccer tournaments and medical clinic in Kibera. Two years later, CFK published LIGHTBOX: Expressions of Hope from Young Women in the Kibera Slum. This book of narratives and photographs from disposable cameras gives voice to the young and courageous women of CFK's Binti Pamoja (Daughters United) Center.[19] In 2007, then Senator Barack Obama visited CFK’s youth center and gave a speech calling for ethnic unity and education in Kibera.[20] CFK played an important role in providing emergency aid during the Kenyan post-election violence in 2008, and for its efforts the Oklahoma City National Memorial and Museum honored CFK as its recipient of the Reflections of Hope Award in a ceremony with the former ABC World News Anchor Bob Woodruff and his wife Lee.[21] Film producer Beth-Ann Kutchma and Director Jason Arthurs completed a documentary that profiles two young leaders from different ethnic groups who are part of CFK and compete in the organization's annual Champions Football League. The film, Without a Fight, released at the Full Frame Documentary Festival in Spring 2012.[22]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. World Economic Forum 2011 Young Global Leaders Honourees, March 9, 2011
  2. "President Obama Announces More Key Administration Posts | The White House". Whitehouse.gov. 2012-03-02. http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2012/03/02/president-obama-announces-more-key-administration-posts. Retrieved 2012-09-18. 
  3. MBA Oath
  4. U.S. Marine Corps Officer Profile and Interview
  5. Barcott on It Happened on the Way to War at the Pritzker Military Museum & Library
  6. Naval Institute Proceedings Article
  7. ABC World News Story
  8. Ghosh, Bobby (2011-05-23). "Do Former Soldiers Make the Best Social Workers? | World | TIME.com". Globalspin.blogs.time.com. http://globalspin.blogs.time.com/2011/05/23/a-devil-dog-find-his-best-angels/. Retrieved 2012-09-18. 
  9. Rye Barcott and Salim Mohamed Post 9-11 Letters
  10. Rye Barcott (2011-05-30). "All Americans have a duty to honor Memorial Day". The Washington Post. http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/all-americans-have-a-duty-to-honor-memorial-day/2011/05/27/AGvgVNEH_story.html. Retrieved 2012-09-18. 
  11. Barcott, Rye (2011-05-18). "When It Comes to Helping Others: Just Do It - NYTimes.com". Kristof.blogs.nytimes.com. http://kristof.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/05/18/when-it-comes-to-helping-others-just-do-it/. Retrieved 2012-09-18. 
  12. Barcott, Rye (2011-07-15). "Why military veterans make great employees". CNN. http://articles.cnn.com/2011-07-15/opinion/barcott.veterans.jobs_1_military-veterans-military-service-post-traumatic-stress-disorder?_s=PM:OPINION. Retrieved 2012-09-18. 
  13. UNC School of Public Health 2007 Commencement
  14. TED Fellows
  15. "North Carolina Literary and Historical Association". History.ncdcr.gov. http://www.history.ncdcr.gov/affiliates/lit-hist/awards/onsan.htm. Retrieved 2012-09-18. 
  16. Center For Strategic and International Studies, The Commission on Smart Global Health Policy, August 10, 2009
  17. CFK named "TIME Magazine" Hero of Global Health
  18. "TIME For Kids" Cover Story
  19. Lightbox: Reflections of Hope from Young Women in the Kibera Slum © 2006
  20. "Associated Press", Senator Obama Visits Nairobi Slum, August 27, 2006
  21. Oklahoma City National Memorial 2008 Reflections of Hope Recipient
  22. Ladye Jane @ New Raleigh. "Raleigh Director, Jason Arthurs’, Film ‘Without A Fight’ at Full Frame 2012". New Raleigh. http://www.newraleigh.com/article/raleigh-director-jason-arthurs-film-without-a-fight-at-full-frame-2012/. Retrieved 2012-09-18. 

External links[edit | edit source]

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