CISV Jacksonville…Building Peace since 1976

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About CISV Jacksonville

CISV Jacksonville (founded 1976) helps participants develop skills to become informed, responsible and active global citizens to make a difference in our community and the world. We believe peace is possible through mutual understanding, and offer seven international programs starting at age 11. We also have a variety of local programs, including FACES of Jacksonville (brings together 11 year-olds from across diverse Jacksonville neighborhoods and backgrounds), Junior Branch and mini-camps. CISV Jacksonville is one of 22 CISV chapters in the US (only one in Florida) and one of 70 chapters around the world.

CISV (founded 1950) is a global organization dedicated to educating and inspiring for peace through building inter-cultural friendship, cooperation and understanding. In more than 60 years CISV has given countless children and young people the experience of their lives and the opportunity to build lasting friendships through its international educational programs.

The CISV Jacksonville chapter started in 1976 and the first Jacksonville Village was held in 1978.

Read more about CISV International.

Chapter History

Dare to dream. Doris Allen did that in developing the concept of CISV. Like Doris, Dorothy Groshell was a creative thinker. After reading an article about CISV in The Saturday Review entitled “Catch Them While They’re Young,” Dorothy was excited by the opportunities CISV could offer her young sons. Learning that there was no Chapter in Jacksonville, she set about starting one.

After attending a CISV National Board Meeting in 1975, Dorothy returned to Jacksonville with Village invitations to Hexham, England and Detroit, Michigan and a Junior Counselor invitation to the Gulf Coast Village. The first Interchange with El Salvador was begun in 1976. Delegate families and leaders from these programs formed the nucleus of the Steering Committee.

Jacksonville’s first Village was held in 1978 with Ken Hammel as director. Doris Allen and Hildreth Miller were special guests. Dorothy was the guiding force in the production of “The Children in the Sun Village” film which captured highlights of the first Village.

Wanting to expand experiences, the Chapter held a Seminar Camp in 1983 and its first Summer Camp in 1992. Many local families were involved in hosting the 1986 CISV International Board Meeting on behalf of CISV-USA. Doris Allen was an honored guest when the Chapter celebrated its 20th Anniversary 1996 at the Bartram School campus, the site of the first Village.

Dorothy’s special spirit and boundless energy in founding the Chapter have resulted in unique experiences for many youth and adults in the Jacksonville area. Thanks to the efforts of the Chapter members and the annual Extravaganza fundraiser, the Chapter hosts a Village every two years.

Even as she battled cancer, Dorothy remained upbeat. Her death on July 4, 1995 did not diminish her dream. In 2016, the Chapter celebrated its 40th year. Dorothy Groshell’s vision continues today:

“The variety of international experiences CISV offers our children expand their horizon of global understanding and tolerance in hopes of world peace.”