I believe the Peace Corps community is at a historic turning point. At a time when achieving the Third Goal is more important than ever, big things are about to happen that will elevate our primary goal of greater cross-cultural understanding and raise high the banner of the Peace Corps.
It all starts on September 22 as we host a celebration of the opening — most appropriately — of a major expansion of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in their new REACH living theater. The day’s events include the premiere of “A Towering Task — The Story of the Peace Corps,” as well as interactive Peace Corps exhibits and presentations in venues throughout the complex.
This is the beginning of two years in which we will publicly celebrate the power of Peace Corps and its mission of service around the world. NPCA and In the Cause of Peace, the producers of “A Towering Task,” will take the documentary film on the road for 1,000 screenings at film fests and community events co-hosted by our local affiliate groups across the country. It’s your opportunity to bring friends from outside the Peace Corps community to share the Peace Corps experience and to prove why Peace Corps is even more relevant today.
Next February the NPCA and its affiliate groups will move into Peace Corps Place, a gathering place and resource center for the entire Peace Corps community. Our new three-story home will include WorldView Café, a sampling of the new Museum of the Peace Corps Experience and room for meetings and programs that will bring the world home to nearby schools, Capitol Hill, and our new Truxton Circle neighborhood.
We also hope for final approval by U.S. Commission of Fine Arts of the long-awaited Peace Corps Commemorative, a Peace Corps Park being proposed by our RPCV friends from the Peace Corps Commemorative Foundation. We look forward to a 2021 groundbreaking on a prime spot just one block from the Capitol and the National Mall. The commemorative symbolizes America’s embrace of the world in the name of global peace and prosperity and an homage to the American ethos that motivated the creation of the Peace Corps.
These public events will culminate in a year-long celebration of Peace Corps’ 60th anniversary in 2021. In September of that year, and on the eve of our national elections, Peace Corps Connect will come to our nation’s capital for what is anticipated to be the largest gathering ever of the Peace Corps community. This is an event that can impact the future of the Peace Corps.
I look forward to seeing many of you at these events as we lift high the banner of the Peace Corps.
There is no better time than now to bring the world home to your nation’s capital.
NPCA President and Chief Executive Officer
This story was first published in WorldView magazine’s Fall 2019 issue.