NPCA Trip Includes Advocacy Workshops
By Jonathan Pearson on Friday, May 3rd, 2013
Minnesota Advocacy Coordinator Andrea Kruse (Bulgaria 2008-10) was concerned. There was good reason for her concern.
It was early Friday evening, April 26th, and the day had been gorgeous – bright sunshine with temperatures in the 70′s. ”This is the nicest day we’ve had in Minneapolis in five months!” So, would anyone show for the scheduled advocacy workshop that evening?
Andrea’s concerns subsided as thirteen members of the Minnesota Returned Peace Corps Volunteers (RPCVs) set aside taking in the first signs of spring for a couple of hours, in order to take in the latest National Peace Corps Association (NPCA) advocacy updates and action opportunities.
The Minnesota workshop was one of four incorporated into NPCA’s cross-country road trip.
A similar workshop with similar turnout was held in Columbia Missouri, home base for the Central Missouri RPCVs. The group organizes some tremendous activities to bring the world home, including their highly regarded international film festival. The advocacy workshop was built into a month-long series of service and community education activities the group planned for April.
“We’re considering becoming more involved in advocacy,” said Central Missouri group President Karen Davis (Guatemala 1992-94). ”The workshop was an opportunity to learn more about current advocacy efforts and how we might be able to assist.” Davis said the group’s Board of Directors will consider its future advocacy role at an upcoming meeting in June.
Ten people came out for an advocacy workshop in St. Louis on April 29th. That followed a reception
the night before in which NPCA Advocacy Director Jonathan Pearson provided an update to an additional 25 individuals. The group’s Advocacy Coordinator, Christine O’Neill (Costa Rica 2007-11) was pleased. ”I was impressed by people’s questions, by their interest in becoming more involved in these issues and seeing how these different pieces all fit together. I always learn a lot from people’s questions, what they ask about.”
The final advocacy workshop on the roadtrip took place May 1st in Nashville. Seventeen people were in attendance, including five new people the group hadn’t seen before, according to Tennessee Advocacy Coordinator Angie Harris (Papua New Guinea 1991-93). ”We had more people than I expected and I think that a lot of people were inspired afterwards. I think we will have a larger advocacy team going forward.”
Advocacy sessions are planned for our June 28 – 29 gathering, Peace Corps Connect – Boston. If you are interested in conducting an NPCA advocacy workshop in your community, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for resource information.