It's A Wrap!—2021 Affiliate Group Network Annual Meeting (AGNAM)
Thank you to all participants for a very productive Affiliate Group Network Annual Meeting (AGNAM). From the NPCA Leadership Town Hall through inspiring presentations by this year's Ruppe Award nominees and two sets of roundtables — lots of networking and sharing of best practices.
The 2021 Loret Miller Ruppe Award is Presented to The Peace Corps Community For Refugees
The 2021 Loret Miller Ruppe Award for Outstanding Community Service recognizes the critical work of The Peace Corps Community for Refugees. PCC4R launched in 2016 with a core of just five people with an idea to engage the Peace Corps community in the support of refugees in the U.S. and around the world. The group now encompasses a network of over 1,200 people working in partnership with resettlement agencies, NPCA affiliate groups, and others — focusing on community engagement in education, advocacy, and refugee resettlement. The Ruppe Award recognizes NPCA affiliate groups’ efforts to strengthen Americans’ understanding about the world and its peoples. Read more.
Fight For Funding: Peace Corps Funding Affiliate Group Sign-On Letter
In his first budget request, President Biden recommended a seventh consecutive year of flat funding for the Peace Corps. Let’s make sure that does not happen again, as our letter urges an appropriation of $500 million for the fiscal year that will begin one year from now. Use this google survey link to read the letter and sign on behalf of your group, including your group’s official name, your position, and the number of people who are part of your group. Sign here! Contact email@example.com if you have any questions. Deadline: October 20, 2021.
News for Your Members — Please Share!
Returned Volunteer Survey: Help Us Tell the World About the Impact of Peace Corps Service in Your Life
Sixty years ago, in convincing a skeptical Congress of the value of the Peace Corps, President Kennedy stated that Peace Corps would not only share the talents of its Volunteers within their countries of service and work to build peace and friendship abroad, but that Returned Peace Corps Volunteers would unequivocally provide a significant dividend to the United States. Although anecdotal evidence exists of that dividend, there has never been an empirical study to determine the extent to which the Peace Corps experience has made a difference in the lives of returned Volunteers and in our country. Take part in a survey of returned Volunteers and help others understand that impact as never before. Take the Survey!
NPCA Partners With the Institute for Economics and Peace to Provide a Certificate Training on Positive Peace Program
Read more about this program and register on our events calendar for the Information Session at 12:00 PM Eastern on Friday, October 22. There is no limit to how many RPCVs can attend the information session, but space at the full workshop in December will be limited. Be sure to tune into the session on Oct. 22 if you are interested, or write to the Global Reentry team if you are interested in the full workshop but not able attend the October session.
NPCA Board Election Results
Each year, NPCA members vote to fill divisional director positions on the NPCA Board of Directors. Elected this year for three-year terms starting September 26, 2021:
Join a Conversation with Workplace Affinity Groups
Don’t miss the WAGs meeting for this quarter! This is your chance to share best practices with other groups, expand your network, and discuss any ideas you may have for inter-group collaboration. NPCA will host the meeting November 4 at 5:00 PM Eastern. This is an opportunity for you to speak directly with other workplace affinity groups and share your insights with each other. Click here to register!
Join a Conversation for Geographic Affiliate Groups
What are your challenges as a U.S. geographic affiliate group? We would like to continue a conversation among geographic affiliate groups to discuss successes, challenges and questions around communications and social media. What tools do you use and are they effective? How do you convert those just on social media into engaged members? Bring your best practices to share!
Weekly Affiliate Group Leaders Lunch - Friday at 1:00 PM Eastern
Our weekly Affiliate Group Leaders Lunches have sparked fun and helpful conversations on topics ranging from how to get creative on Zoom to considerations for writing/updating bylaws. Each week, the conversation revolves around your questions and sharing of best practices, so please drop in! NPCA staff members are standing by on Zoom to listen and to facilitate conversation. Register on our website to get the Zoom link. Feel free to bring your lunch!
In July, we recorded the presentations from cause-related affiliate groups with their ideas and activities to increase member engagement. Click on the links below to access the presentation recordings. We have more causes and groups to highlight and engage your members, so please share your feedback.
Monthly Training for NPCA's Community Builder Platform
Is your group using NPCA's Community Building Platform (SilkStart)? Then join us for our Monthly Training the second Friday of each month! You can find agendas, notes and recordings of the first trainings here as well as the agenda for future training sessions and links to important resources! RSVP here for the next training on October 22nd.
Promote Discussion about Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) in the Peace Corps Community and Elsewhere
The Museum of the Peace Corps Experience and the Returned Peace Corps Volunteer Oral History Project are pleased to share with you the Many Faces of Peace Corps: 60th Anniversary video* to use as a prompt for promoting discussion about diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in the Peace Corps community and elsewhere. The recently released video features personal stories and reflections of eight Returned Peace Corps Volunteers (RPCVs) who identify as members of U.S populations under-represented in the Peace Corps. The stories, gleaned from oral history interviews, shed light on challenges faced by volunteers of color, low-income, and LGBTQIA+ volunteers serving throughout the world. Volunteers candidly discuss improvements needed in Peace Corps operations going forward while emphasizing numerous benefits of cross-cultural relationships among individuals and communities at home and abroad.
We encourage NPCA affiliate groups and other members of the Peace Corps community to consider showing the 19-minute video to promote discussion of DEI-related issues faced by PCVs worldwide and strategies for creating a more inclusive Peace Corps. Recommendations for addressing these and other challenges confronting Peace Corps are included in Peace Corps Connect to the Future: A Community Report on How to Reimagine, Reshape, and Retool the Peace Corps for a Changed World.
Potential discussion questions:
What did you learn from the video about diversity, equity and inclusion in the Peace Corps?
Describe the feelings evoked by these stories.
What issues do the RPCVs in the video raise related to:
The recruitment of Black, indigenous and people of color (BIPOC) and other under-represented volunteers and staff?
Training of all volunteers?
Volunteer pre-service, in-service, and post-service supports and benefits?
Training of Peace Corps staff, in the U.S. and host countries?
What suggestions for change do the RPCVs in the video make?
What recommendations are included in the Peace Corps Connect to the Future report?
What can we as individuals and/or our affiliate group do to address these issues?
Please let us know how you are using this video and the outcomes of your discussions. This information will be shared via various websites, including on the Resources page of Museum of the Peace Corps Experience website.
Zoom Meeting and Webinar Options and Closed Captioning
One of the benefits of affiliation with NPCA is the use of the videoconferencing platform Zoom at no cost to you. That platform is now upgraded to host both meetings and webinars. What's the difference? Basically, if you want to engage your members in collaboration and interaction (including break-out rooms), you probably want a meeting. If you want to make a presentation (which could include Q&A), you probably want a webinar. Click here to see the benefits of both and find which one suits your event's needs the best.
All meetings now support 300 participants and all webinars support 500 attendees.
Make your online meetings more inclusive and accessible to all of your members. Closed captioning is now activated on all NPCA Zoom accounts. Included with the meeting is a free version (which has its limitations and is not perfect), but you can also assign one of your attendees to type in the captions or pay for a third-party live captioning service. Learn more about closed captioning.
Host a Virtual Screening of A Towering Task: The Story of the Peace Corps
As Peace Corps celebrates its 60th anniversary, it faces an unprecedented crisis. Volunteers were evacuated worldwide due to the pandemic. There have been proposed budget cuts, threats to its independence, and the departure of dozens of bipartisan agency defenders in Congress. While capturing the history of both the agency itself as well as individual volunteer experiences, the documentary A Towering Task: The Story of the Peace Corps sets the stage for a conversation about the future of the Peace Corps in this current context.
Working closely with the film’s director, RPCV Alana DeJoseph, NPCA developed a toolkit specifically for affiliate groups on hosting a virtual screening. We can also help cover some licensing fees and link you to panelists for post-film discussions. Share your screening plans and needs.
Connect us to NPCA Ambassadors around the Globe
National Peace Corps Association is searching for returned Peace Corps volunteers and former staff who are interested in becoming NPCA Ambassadors. Applicants must be presently residing in countries where Peace Corps programs are operating (or offices are still open in preparation for the return of Volunteers) and in some past program countries on occasion. NPCA Ambassadors will represent the interests of NPCA and will promote NPCA programs to host-country institutions, USAID, the Peace Corps, current and prospective partners, and the Peace Corps community living and working in host countries. Ambassadors will be appointed through a process that incorporates input from NPCA staff as well as corresponding country-of-service affiliate groups (eg. Friends of Guatemala). The NPCA Ambassadorship is a voluntary service with two-year, renewable terms.
Roles and responsibilities include, but are not limited to:
Serving as the NPCA’s in-country liaison to host country officials, Peace Corps leadership, USAID staff, the expatriate Peace Corps community, and current and/or prospective partners.
Attending Peace Corps pre- and in-service training events, Volunteer swearing-in ceremonies, and Close of Service conferences to raise awareness of NPCA and affiliate groups.
Monitoring and evaluating RPCV-led projects funded by NPCA’s Community Fund grants program and affiliate group grants programs.
Promoting awareness of NPCA’s annual Harris Wofford Global Citizen Award and assisting in identifying candidates for nomination.
Identifying and nominating candidates for NPCA’s annual Sargent Shriver Award for Outstanding Humanitarian Service.
Providing local coordination as a point of contact for NPCA programs and prospective new business opportunities.
Coordinating with NPCA’s Serving Volunteer Advisory Council representatives.
We are seeking NPCA members in good standing who are passionate about the Peace Corps, capable of embodying Peace Corps principles, and prepared to commit to a two-year in-country service. Please fill out the NPCA Ambassador Interest Indicator if you are interested. Thank you!
Peace Corps Community Connect
We’re thrilled to announce the launch of Peace Corps Community Connect. The goal of this important new initiative goes to the heart of our mission to build a diverse and welcoming Peace Corps community. We’re doing this with an eye on the future and the work that’s in front of us. Why? The Peace Corps community and the agency are at a point of inflection. With all Volunteers brought home amid the global pandemic, we need to connect, inform, and engage our community like never before.
Here’s what we’re doing.
Launching a community outreach initiative to connect and engage the Peace Corps community.
Mobilizing the entire Peace Corps community, including the 250,000 RPCVs, families, former staff, and host country staff for greater social impact.
Connecting the diverse Peace Corps network in order to amplify all of our voices and show how the Peace Corps experience has shaped our lives and communities — here and around the world.
Let’s talk CommUNITY. Here’s how it will help affiliate groups.
Peace Corps Community Connect will strengthen individual affiliate groups and ensure that more members of our community benefit from the resources of NPCA — from webinars and newsletters to WorldView magazine and our global reach.
Establish new connections, find old friends, and expand opportunities for members.
Strengthen your outreach efforts, broaden support for group projects, and tackle issues crucial to the community.
Welcome and support the thousands of evacuated PCVs who returned home in 2020 — many of whom will benefit by being better connected to the community.
As we celebrate the 60th anniversary of Peace Corps, document the Peace Corps legacy in the voices of your group — so we can show communities across the country and around the world how your service has made a difference.
Most important of all, together we will create a more vibrant and energized community.
Together we are stronger.
Outreach Specialists will assist affiliate groups with information, tools, and support to help you find and connect your community. And by combining our communities, together we are stronger.
Peace Corps Connect to the Future: A Community Report on How to Reimagine, Reshape, and Retool the Peace Corps for a Changed World
In the Spring of 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Peace Corps evacuated all of its roughly 7,300 Volunteers from service around the globe. For the first time in the nearly 60-year history of the agency, no Peace Corps Volunteers are currently serving overseas. On a scale never seen before, the global evacuation of Volunteers brought to the fore some longstanding challenges for the agency and the broader Peace Corps community. All this called for an unparalleled response.
This past summer, National Peace Corps Association convened a series of national community discussions and a global ideas summit to ask some far-reaching questions about the future of Peace Corps in a changed world. Thank you for joining in the discussions and providing your input. Those conversations were crucial to shaping the report.
This report provides specific and actionable recommendations for multiple stakeholders: policymakers in the Peace Corps agency and the federal Executive Branch’s leadership; the United States Congress; and the Peace Corps community, particularly NPCA.
Another Affiliate Groups Launches on NPCA's Community Builder Platform
Congratulations to Friends of Afghanistan on launching their new website on NPCA’s Community Builder platform. Their mission is to build and sustain an information exchange about Afghanistan and its people, and to network for their peace and prosperity. Learn more and join their efforts.
Amplify Your Events
NPCA has a full calendar of events each month, including many that would be of interest to your group members. We hope that you will consider sharing your events with us as well! Posting our events on your calendar and yours on the NPCA calendar will exponentially increase our reach.
To post to NPCA's website: For groups on the Community Builder platform, simply opt to share the event with NPCA. For other groups, fill in the form under "Submit Updates/Requests" in the upper right column of this page.
To share events from NPCA's event calendar with your membership: simply copy the text and links from our calendar.
Annual Group Reaffiliation
Each year, we check in with each affiliate group to see how you're doing and learn how we can better support you. Whether you've had a banner year or you could use a little extra support, we need to hear from you. It's a great time to write an annual report. And don't just share it with us; share it with your members, too! Need some tips on writing one? Visit the Communications tab of our Affiliate Group Resource Library or download our toolkit.
To reaffiliate, all you need is one of these:
Activities and financial reports (if you handle money), or just one annual report — OR —
Links to reports posted to your NPCA website Affiliate Group Directory page and/or posted online
Fill out a short form with that info, respond to a few quick questions and your group is done for 2021! We're past the May 31, 2021 deadline, so if you group's reaffiliation is still due, please send it in ASAP.
Note: Did your group first affiliate in 2020? If so, we'd still love to hear from you, but you are not required to reaffiliate this year.
Divisional Board Directors
Reach out to the director in your division and add them to your email distribution list. In fact, you may already have them on your list, as we transfer the permanent emails as directors change. Add firstname.lastname@example.org (which goes to NPCA staff working with groups) and email@example.com (which goes to Hannah Wishart, Affiliate Group Network Coordinator), then the director for your division:
NPCA's online Affiliate Group Directory is a great way for potential new members to find and learn more about your group! Visit it here, find your group, and if needed, make updates. Watch the video below to learn how.