Serve Your Community as the Affiliate Group Network Coordinator
The NPCA Board of Directors is seeking nominations for the Affiliate Group Network Coordinator. This role brings a crucial voice to the NPCA Board and strengthens the collaborative efforts of the affiliate group community. Among the key responsibilities of this board director role as outlined in the NPCA Bylaws are to preside at meetings of the Affiliate Group Network, appoint members of the AGN Advisory Committee, facilitate communication between the AGN and the Board, and serve on the Executive Committee of the Board.
Please encourage potential candidates to run for this position! The first step is to submit a non-binding Expression of Interest. Candidates will be contacted by the Governance Chair Chip Levengood to schedule a conversation to highlight next steps and explore the best fit for NPCA Board service. Following this step, candidates interested in pursuing Board service as the AGN Coordinator will need to complete a formal nomination. Elections (exact dates TBD) will be held in early 2022. Thanks for helping to identify worthy candidates for this most important position.
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.
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:
Join Peace Corps in an Ethical Storytelling Workshop
Peace Corps is inviting representatives from NPCA’s affiliate groups to participate in a 90 minute workshop on Peace Corps’ approach to ethical storytelling on December 8 from 7– 8:30 pm ET. Piloting this workshop being a critical step in the development of a toolkit to be shared with the Peace Corps community on or around Peace Corps Week 2022.
Attendees of the event will be asked to be active and engaged participants during the session, and to provide their feedback via a survey distributed following the workshop. As we work towards a toolkit that fosters increasingly intentional choices about how, when and why stories are told and that results in narratives that are inclusive of multiple viewpoints and experiences, your feedback and input is essential.
We ask that each affiliate group submit the names of no more than 2 group members who are available and interested in participating to Laura Loveland (email@example.com) no later than November 29. Please include the name of your affiliate group and the full names, email addresses, and countries and years of service for all participants. Note that we must limit capacity for this workshop in order to facilitate participation, and attendees will be accepted into the workshop in the order that responses are received. For those that respond after event capacity is reached, we will make every effort to accommodate you in a future sessions.
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!
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 January 12 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. The focus of this meeting will be on Peace Corps Week. 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 share successes, challenges and questions.
This conversation will center specifically on how your affiliate group is approaching diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I). What is your group doing to move the conversation forward? What action steps might you take to create an impact around these issues? We would like to learn and share the different initiatives, trainings, or activities your group has engaged in, and explore how we might support and learn from each other.
Weekly Affiliate Group Networking Hour - Thursday at 6:00 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.
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 herefor the next training on December 10.
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 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.
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 the 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.