Our Founder Ray Shrader and first Village Director Andy Shockley at the “Peace…Picture It” Village Open Day 2010

Over its 50 year history, CISV has given hundreds of East Tennesseans the opportunity to experience the excitement and enrichment of cultural diversity. CISV’s unique approach fosters the development of cross-cultural understanding in youth and adults and empowers each participant to become global citizens striving for a more just and peaceful world. With a presence in more than 60 countries worldwide, CISV is a charitable, independent, non-political, volunteer organization founded in 1951 on the belief that peace is possible through friendship – and that the real difference can be made by starting with children.

Smoky Mountain, one of the oldest CISV USA chapters, was founded in 1965 by Dr. Raymond Shrader, a social psychology professor at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville at the time. Dr. Shrader was inspired by the efforts of Dr. Doris Allen, CISV’s visionary and founder, and ascribed to her belief that “the ultimate source for peace, long range, lay with the children.” Dr. Shrader was aided in establishing the chapter by Andy Shockley, a Knox County Schools principal, who directed the first Village hosted in East Tennessee in 1966. Since that time, thousands of East Tennesseans have participated in CISV programs including : Randy Boyd, President and CEO of Radio Systems Corporation; Amy Miles, CEO of Regal Entertainment Group; and Dale Dickey, television and film actress.

The Smoky Mountain Chapter is a charitable, independent, non-political, volunteer organization. General membershp meetings are held each fall and spring along with social and service events throughout the year. Local chapter membership is required for program participation and is renewable on an annual basis each calendar year.

Please watch the “Peace Through Children” video below.  It was created by Smoky Mountain Chapter Junior Branch member Miriam Ryburne and beautifully details the history of CISV.