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Community Builder Platform Updates

Updated 8.25.2022 — Please welcome Ben Jacobson as the new primary point of contact for SilkStart support at NPCA. Ben has been with NPCA since March of 2022 and has been working closely with Molly O'Brien on SilkStart issues. He has a background as a System Administrator for Charles Schwab, Borton-Lawson and a Enterprise Application Administrator for the University of Notre Dame. Ben is looking forward to working more closely with groups on our Community Builder Platform. 

Ben can be reached at NPCAgroupwebsites@peacecorpsconnect.org

As a reminder, all support requests must be sent to NPCA.

Additionally, please see this 8.25.22 message from Molly O'Brien regarding further SilkStart transition updates: click here.


 

That's A Wrap—2022 Affiliate Group Network Annual Meeting (AGNAM)

Thank you to all participants for a very productive 2022 Affiliate Group Network Annual Meeting (AGNAM). From informative remarks and updates from NPCA leadership to inspiring presentations by the 2022 Ruppe Award finalists and two roundtable discussions — lots of networking and sharing of best practices occurred. Let's continue the strong momentum post-event by doing the following:

  • Watch the 2022 AGNAM recording, if you weren't able to attend.
  • Share your feedback.
  • Read the AGNAM follow up email.
  • Keep an eye out for draft meeting minutes to be posted on our Affiliate Group News page.
  • Network with other groups and check our monthly Affiliate Group newsletters for opportunities to engage with affiliate group events and projects.

Want to facilitate other networking or discussions with affiliate groups? Contact us.

Stay tuned for the draft 2022 AGNAM minutes — coming soon!

 

Loret Miller Ruppe winner to be announced at the Annual General Membership Meeting on September 24.


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 to do is:

  • Fill out this short google form to let us know how your group is doing — AND —
  • Include an activities report and financial report (if your group receives money)

Fill out a short form with that info, respond to a few quick questions and your group is done for 2022. Please fill out the form and upload your reports by August 27.

Questions? Challenges? Problems? Drop us an email at groups@peacecorpsconnect.org.

Note: If you are unable to upload your reports to the form, please send them to groups@peacecorpsconnect.org


Add a Social Action Liaison to your Leadership Team

National Peace Corps Association supports a vibrant Peace Corps community of affiliate groups whose key priorities include global issues and social causes. This community increasingly advocates for expanded inter-group collaboration to build member engagement and to address issues in a meaningful way. At the request of affiliate groups, we encourage groups to consider a new role on your leadership team: Social Action Liaison. The Social Action Liaison will:

  • Serve as the point of contact for other affiliate groups
  • Actively evaluate possible areas for collaboration with other groups, especially as it relates to social causes
  • Attend, as possible, networking events or forums with other affiliate group leaders
  • Poll group members on issues they might want to pursue as a group and provide information about cause-related affiliate groups in membership meetings
  • Assist in elevating the message of other affiliate groups to the broader Peace Corps community through various social media platforms, newsletters, etc.
  • Connect your members with opportunities to act — letter writing, advocacy, volunteering, and more
  • Highlight calls to action on key legislation and other advocacy initiatives with members

This is a position that can help a broader array of group members get involved. One suggestion: An individual could serve as liaison to more than just one social action group.

Interested? Here are some connections to get you started:

  • NPCA Advocacy program: Jonathan Pearson
  • Peace Corps Community for Refugees is urgently seeking liaisons in over half of U.S. states to assist with the Afghan refugees: Don Drach
  • RPCVs for Environmental ActionKate Schachter

 


 

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. 

 

Share your story

The RPCV Oral History Project invites all returned and evacuated PCVs and Peace Corps staff to share their unique Peace Corps experiences. To date, close to 1000 Oral Histories spanning 60 years of service have been collected and archived at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum and, since August 2020, in the University of Kentucky Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History. Anyone  interested in being interviewed for the collection may complete this form on the Peace Corps Oral History website. The team will schedule a virtual oral history interview with one of our experienced RPCV interviewers.

 

*Many Faces of Peace Corps is an initiative of the Museum of the Peace Corps Experience. The video – Many Faces of Peace Corps; 60th Anniversary - was released March 1, 2021 and produced by the RPCV Oral History Project in partnership with the Museum for the exhibition Peace Corps at 60: Inside the Volunteer Experience.

 

CONTACT

            oralhistoryproject@peacecorpsconnect.org

            contactus@peacecorpsmuseum.org


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.

Learn more and request your next meeting time.


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:

  1. 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. 
  2. 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. 
  3. Monitoring and evaluating RPCV-led projects funded by NPCA’s Community Fund grants program and affiliate group grants programs. 
  4. Promoting awareness of NPCA’s annual Harris Wofford Global Citizen Award and assisting in identifying candidates for nomination. 
  5. Identifying and nominating candidates for NPCA’s annual Sargent Shriver Award for Outstanding Humanitarian Service.
  6. Providing local coordination as a point of contact for NPCA programs and prospective new business opportunities. 
  7. 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. 


Peace Corps Community Connect

We’re thrilled to announce the launch of Peace Corps Community Connect. The goal of this important 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? Our community is stronger together. 

 

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.

Our team will provide materials to support affiliate groups with information and tools to help you find and connect your community. And by combining our communities, together we are stronger.

 

Yes, our group is interested

 


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.

Read the full report and listen to our podcast about the report.


Another Affiliate Groups Launches on NPCA's Community Builder Platform

Congratulations to Sacramento Valley Returned Peace Corps Volunteers on launching their new website on NPCA’s Community Builder platform. SVRPCVs envisions a welcoming and understanding home for the greater Peace Corps community through their shared values of support, connection, global mindedness, and service. Learn more and join.


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.

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 groups@peacecorpsconnect.org (which goes to NPCA staff working with groups) and npcaglf@peacecorpsconnect.org (which goes to the Affiliate Group Network Coordinator), then the director for your division:

Eileen O'Donnell (Northeast U.S.)
npcanortheast@peacecorpsconnect.org

Rogelio Quintanar (Southern Tier U.S.)
npcasouth@peacecorpsconnect.org

Kim Herman (West U.S.)
npcawest@peacecorpsconnect.org

Mary Owen-Thomas (Upper Midwest U.S.)
npcamidwest@peacecorpsconnect.org

Evelyn Ganzglass (MidAtlantic and Nationwide U.S.)
npcamidatlantic@peacecorpsconnect.org

Nikole Allen (Europe, North & East Africa)
npcaeuropeneafrica@peacecorpsconnect.org

Faith Van Gilder (West, Central and Southern Africa)
npcawcsafrica@peacecorpsconnect.org

Katie Long (The Americas)
npcaamericas@peacecorpsconnect.org

Jed Meline (Asia and the Pacific)
npcaasiapacific@peacecorpsconnect.org


See the Full List of Board Directors

 


Update Your Group Profile

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.