A Towering Task


The RPCV/W Board of Directors was recently approached by Alana DeJoseph, who is working on a documentary about the Peace Corps. She asked if RPCV/W would support her project in three ways:

  1. Endorse the film on our website and social media outlets;
  2. Help the film financially by raising money to help her complete it; and
  3. Promote the film once it is completed.

The board discussed these requests at length and decided that this is not a decision we can make alone- it should be decided by the RPCV/W member community. We asked Ms. DeJoseph to share more about the project and what she is asking of RPCV/W.

Please read her request below and let us know what you think. Should the RPCV/W community endorse all three of her requests, one or two of them, or none of them, and why or why not? Feel free to write your thoughts in the comments section of this blog or email them to [email protected]. We will review all the responses and come to a decision.

Thank you for your time and we look forward to hearing your thoughts.

-The RPCV/W Board


A Towering Task


Telling the Peace Corps Story


Imagine an in-depth documentary about the whole history of the Peace Corps - not just the 60s, not just individual volunteer experiences, but a thoughtful consideration of the agency’s past and its relevance in the future. With the support of RPCV/W, this story can and needs to be told…

When we think of the Peace Corps, we think of volunteers across the globe working in large and small communities, connecting with other cultures, and ultimately bringing “it” home. For everyone this “it” may be something different, but for all it is life changing. And these volunteer experiences are what ultimately make the Peace Corps what it is. However, the story that hasn’t been told, is the story of the agency itself; not just an ode to the illustrious beginnings in the sixties, not an homage to individual volunteer experiences, but a thorough, in-depth consideration of the whole history of the agency, - with a look into its continued relevance in the future.

Much of this story takes place in Washington, DC, where JFK signed the Peace Corps Act, where heroic battles concerning the Peace Corps were and continue to be fought, for independence, for funding, for recognition… Several interviews for this program have already been recorded in the Nation’s Capital, and many more will need to be captured. Ambassadors of the countries we serve in, RPCVs shaping policy that will affect the Peace Corps in many ways, and, of course, the Peace Corps staff, all gather in DC to ensure that there will be a Peace Corps for years to come. 

This independent production (working title: A Towering Task) is intended for PBS broadcast in 2017 with online streaming and community showings to follow. And for all its ties to DC and the RPCV community, RPCV/W has a special stake in it.

Over the course of the production, there will be many opportunities for support. First and foremost, an endorsement by RPCV/W will give the documentary an important boost and set the bar for many of the other member groups. Furthermore, it is through our unique RPCV network, especially the RPCV/W network, that we can connect to the voices that need to be heard. And as the keepers of the Peace Corps’ institutional memory, RPCVs have safe-guarded much archival material- at American University, the Smithsonian, and much in individual homes and families (think of the film/video recorded by family members who visited your site in the 60s, 70s, 80s all the way to current day).

Underpinning such an endorsement with financial support will ensure that this story can be told well. The story that will be told will aim to be the story that unites us and doesn’t just make us proud of our experience, but of the existence of an agency dedicated to peace, we can accomplish great things. The NPCA is the fiscal sponsor of this documentary (accepting donations to support the production), but the RPCV regional and country of service groups are integral in making its production a reality. By endorsing this effort and financially supporting the production, we as the RPCV community can come together.

Alana DeJoseph

DeJoseph Productions