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BRATTLEBORO — Following his decisive primary victory for the Democratic nomination to replace Patrick Leahy in the U.S. Senate, Rep. Peter Welch will be in Brattleboro Saturday to celebrate the connection between the Peace Corps and SIT Graduate Institute and to meet with Afghan refugees.

At 11 a.m. on Saturday, Carol Spahn, CEO of the Peace Corps, will speak at SIT’s 56th commencement ceremony, and at 2 p.m., she and Welch will be attending a marker dedication commemorating the historic significance of SIT’s origins as one of the first institutions to train outbound Peace Corps volunteers starting in the early 1960s.

Other speakers at the marker ceremony at SIT will include returned Peace Corps Volunteers Katherine Long, who served with the Peace Corps in Niger from 1988 to 1991 and today is a casework manager for Leahy, and former SIT staff member Javonni McGlaurin, who served with the Peace Corps in the Philippines from 2014 to 2016. McGlaurin will read on behalf of the family of Peace Corps Founding Director Sargent Shriver.

After the marker ceremony, Welch will meet with some of the Afghan refugees who relocated to southern Vermont following the withdrawal of U.S. troops from the country one year ago. Also in attendance will be representatives from the Brattleboro Development Credit Corporation and the Ethiopian Community Development Council, both of which have been assisting with the relocation efforts.

At 4:15 p.m., Welch will visit the Brattleboro Museum & Art Center to view Afghan murals and meet with members of the Art Lords Muralist Collective.

Kirsten Martsi, manager of education and community engagement programs at the museum, told the Reformer three of the murals are at the museum and there are another 14 others scattered around town.

Bob Audette can be contacted at