Letter from the President, Fall 2016

Thank you for helping make Returned Peace Corps Volunteers of Washington such a strong and vibrant community. This year has been particularly outstanding and there is a lot more on the horizon. I’m so proud of everything that you’ve been able to accomplish; here are some highlights.

Recently, the Peace Corps community gathered for five days of stories, seminars, rallies and reunions. The National Peace Corps Association led the way, setting out an ambitious conference schedule that included dozens of panels led by RPCV experts, the largest Advocacy Day on record and the 55th Anniversary Walk for Peace down the middle of Pennsylvania Avenue, culminating with musical performances and a rally for Peace Corps on the Capitol’s West Lawn.

Peace Corps Headquarters welcomed hundreds of job seekers with their East Coast Career Conference, showcased the winners of their 2016 Storytelling Competition at the Kennedy Center and hosted the 1st National Black Peace Corps Volunteer Gathering.

Dozens of RPCV Affiliate Groups contributed in unique ways, whether by leading discussion panels like Health Justice for Peace Corps Volunteers, assisting HQ with the career fair like RPCVs@DOL or the many ‘Friends of’ groups that seized the opportunity to reconnect and support projects abroad. RPCV/W and NOVA RPCV were involved in each step of the planning process and dedicated their resources to recruiting the many volunteers who pulled it all together.

For us, every week is Peace Corps Connect. Our 13 Directors (we’re also looking for a Historian) and 3,000 members unite in activities and opportunities that keep the Peace Corps spirit burning brightly in each new stage of our lives. This year we are working to bring you a diverse array of events designed to help you make new friends, experience world cultures, grow your networks and give back to your communities.

We will continue to refine the RPCV/W mentoring program and grow our volunteer committees to enhance our programming. Online, our Linkedin and Facebook groups serve as 24/7 resources for finding jobs, housing and all sorts of opportunities powered by a safe, supportive network of friends. We also encourage members to organize their own events and fundraisers using our Member Led Event page, which displays on our homepage and main calendar. To improve our institutional knowledge, we are forming an Advisory Council to engage past board members in providing direct guidance to current leaders.

Saturday, December 3 brings our holiday gathering, where we throw out all the stops to get the Peace Corps family together to have fun; so mark your calendar. We also plan to hold a ceremony in remembrance of Fallen Peace Corps Volunteers in April, in addition to our traditional gathering at JFK’s Eternal Flame in May, where we honor the history that formed our community in the first place.

None of this would be possible without you. Thank you for helping us make every week Peace Corps Connect. Please stay tuned to our blog and social media for the many opportunities our community has to offer. Contact us or reach out to a board member whenever you have a question, idea, comment or feedback. Your energy moves us forward.

Chris Robinson

Jamaica, 07-09

president@rpcvw.org