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inclusion

December 20, 2021

First Comes Belonging

Part of the discussion on “Building a Community of Black RPCVs: Recruitment Challenges and Opportunities”   Photo courtesy Hermence Matsotsa-Cross   By Hermence Matsotsa-Cross Peace Corps Volunteer in Togo 1999–2001 | Founder and CEO of Ubuntu Speaks   Below are edited excerpts. Watch the full program here.   My father was a Volunteer in Gabon in the early ’70s, where he met my mother, a Gabonese woman from one village he worked in. So I’m very much the product of Peace Corps. Growing up, I always heard Peace Corps stories; more important was the idea of volunteerism, how important that was, and working...

December 20, 2021

Put Together Skill, Knowledge, and Commitment with Opportunities and Support

Part of the discussion on “Building a Community of Black RPCVs: Recruitment Challenges and Opportunities”   Photo courtesy Sia Barbara Kamara     By Sia Barbara Kamara Peace Corps Volunteer Liberia 1963–65 | Educational Consultant   I live in Washington, D.C. But I grew up in what would be considered public housing in North Carolina. I graduated from Johnson C. Smith University, a historically Black college. The Peace Corps recruiter came to campus just before graduation. I said, Yes, if I can go to Africa. I graduated with a degree in mathematics and physics, and a minor in economics. My goal...

December 20, 2021

Don’t Look for Representation, Look for a Systemic Problem Solver

Part of the discussion on “Building a Community of Black RPCVs: Recruitment Challenges and Opportunities”   Photo courtesy Howard Dodson   By Howard Dodson Peace Corps Volunteer in Ecuador 1964–67 | Director, Howard University Libraries   I wanted to join the Peace Corps the day Kennedy announced it was going to happen. I was a junior in undergraduate school — first on both sides of my family on the verge of graduating from college. I took the idea home to my parents. My father’s response was: “Let me see if I understand this. You’re going to finish a college degree, go away overseas...

December 20, 2021

An Inclusive State Department Is a National Security Imperative

Our public service institutions, whether it’s Peace Corps or the Department of State, must do better. And your work is how we change that.   Photo by Freddie Everett / State Department   By Gina Abercrombie-Winstanley Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer, U.S. Department of State   I served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Oman nearly four decades ago, and Peace Corps is where I met my husband. Like many of you, Peace Corps changed the trajectory of my life. For me and many colleagues at the Department of State, Peace Corps also launched my career in diplomacy. When I...

December 20, 2021

Mirror the Face of Our Nation: Strategies for Increasing African American Inclusion in the Peace Corps and International Careers

The past: The program you may not know about that inspired JFK. The future: How we change what America looks like abroad. Photo: Rep. Karen Bass, who delivered welcoming remarks for the event, part of the Ronald H. Brown Series, on September 14, 2021.   On September 14, 2021, the Constituency for Africa hosted, and National Peace Corps Association sponsored, a series of conversations on “Strategies for Increasing African American Inclusion in the Peace Corps and International Careers.” Part of the annual Ronald H. Brown Series, the event brought together leaders in government, policy, and education, as well as some key...

May 13, 2021

What Lies Ahead for the Peace Corps

An Update from Acting Director Carol Spahn   Carol Spahn served as a Volunteer in Romania 1994–96 as a small business advisor, as country director for Peace Corps Malawi, and as chief of operations in the Africa Region, covering eastern and southern Africa. She has held roles at Women for Women International, Accordia Global Health Foundation, and Small Enterprise Assistance Funds. Here are edited excerpts of her remarks at NPCA’s Sargent Shriver Leadership Summit in March 2021.   IN MY FIVE-YEAR TOUR AS COUNTRY DIRECTOR IN MALAWI, I swore in around 500 Volunteers. During each swearing-in ceremony, I reminded Volunteers that...

February 11, 2021

Now Is the Time for Historic Changes. That Includes at Peace Corps.

With our allies in Congress, we’re working to ensure that the administration understands this is no time to return to the status quo. We need diverse and experienced leadership at Peace Corps — and a commitment to reimagine, reshape, and retool for a changed world.   By Glenn Blumhorst Many of us in the Peace Corps community took note of the pledge in President Biden’s inaugural address to “engage with the world once again. Not to meet yesterday’s challenges, but today’s and tomorrow’s challenges. And, we’ll lead, not merely by the example of our power, but by the power of...

February 4, 2021

A Call for Proposals: Work with National Peace Corps Association on Training for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Work with NPCA on this crucial issue — and have an impact on the wider Peace Corps community.   In our work to lead a vibrant Peace Corps community, National Peace Corps Association is looking for a partner with expertise in providing training on diversity, equity, and inclusion. Our society needs to tackle systemic racism as it has shaped institutions and communities — including the Peace Corps community. And addressing systemic racism begins with us. Here is a request for proposals to work with NPCA in this crucial area — and, through the work we do with the broader Peace Corps community, make...