Peace Corps - RPCV Working Session: Sex and Gender Based Violence




May 26, 2022 at 7:00pm - 8:30pm
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Peace Corps-RPCV Working Session on Sex- and Gender-Based Violence, May 26th 7-8:30 PM Eastern. RSVP for Zoom link. Agenda: Survivors' platform of demands & Peace Corps' roadmap. Moderated by Meisha Lerato Robinson, Founder & Chief Executive of Hope, I Am, We Are. Speakers: Da Shawnna Townsend, Director of the Office of Victim Advocacy; Dr. Darlene Grant, Special Advisor to the CEO of the Peace Corps; Kat Freeman, Youth Development Philippines 2018-2020. Co-Sponsored by: RPCV/W, BARPCV, and @Peace Corps HR 


This will be a working session with the Returned Peace Corps Volunteer community and the Peace Corps to collectively address/discuss improvements to Peace Corps' sex-and gender-based violence policies/approach
  • Provide an opportunity for RPCV sexual assault surivivors and activists to provide feedback on Peace Corps' roadmap directly to Peace Corps (gap analysis of recommendations vs. roadmap)
  • RPCV sexualt assault surivivors and activists share their recommendations pertaining to sex- and gender-based violence with Peace Corps
  • Center survivor voices in Peace Corps' current and future initiatives addressing sex-and gender-based violence
  • Create an opportunity for Peace Corps to hear the perspective of sexualt assault surivivors and activists
  • Welcome, Purpose, Agenda Overview (Meisha...5 mins)
  • Present RPCV Speaker(s) (Meisha..2 mins)
  • RPCV Community Presentation (15 mins)-steering committee member(s) present an overview of the recommendations
  • Present PC Speaker(s) (Meisha..2 mins)
  • Peace Corps Presentation (15 mins)-representative(s) of Peace Corps present an overview of the roadmap 
  • Present Breakout Session Goals (Meisha...5 mins)- using google docs or a virtual whiteboard, survivors and activists generate a list of what they appreciate about the PC roadmap and what is missing that they would like to advocate for
  • Present Session steering committee notetakers and Peace Corps listeners that will be in each room  (Meisha...5 mins) 
      • one PC listener and one steering committee note taker should be in each room
  • will have 2-4 rooms depending on the number of registrants
  • Breakout rooms (15 mins)
  • Group report outs (15 mins with 3 mins per group)
  • Panelist wrap up/closing question (10 mins): 
      • To the Steering Committee...What is the top priority change that the RPCV survivor community would like to see?
  • To Peace Corps panelists/listeners....What single key takeaway would the Peace Corps like the RPCV community to know? 
  • Thank you and next steps (Meisha...2 mins)
Speaker Bios:
Meisha Lerato Robinson
Meisha Lerato Robinson is a soulpreneur committed to generating innovative and impactful changes in organizations and communities. With more than fifteen years of brand management and marketing strategy experience, she transitioned out of her career and into a life of social impact. Meisha Lerato is the Founder and Chief Executive of Hope of I Am, We Are (IAWA), a US and South Africa registered non-profit, dedicated to empowering youth across Africa and her diaspora with the tools to confidently own their futures.  Her experiences mentoring inner-city youth in the United States and working with youth while volunteering with the Peace Corps in Benin (2000-2002) and
South Africa (2012), inspired her to start IAWA.  She realized youth across the African Diaspora were brimming with potential, but many lacked the support and resources to fulfill their dreams.  Meisha Lerato aspires to use her work and her walk to help heal the wounds that separate Africans and African Diasporans.  She received a Master of Business Administration in Marketing from New York University’s Leonard N. Stern School of Business and a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from University of Maryland Eastern Shore.
Darlene Grant
Senior Advisor to the Director, Peace Corps
In June 2020, Dr. Darlene Grant joined the Peace Corps Head Quarters Director’s Office as Senior Advisor. Dr. Grant served as Peace Corps Country Director in Kosovo from 2015 to 2019, and as Country Director in Mongolia from 2012 to 2015. From 2009-2011, she took a
leave of absence from her tenured faculty position to serve in Cambodia’s 3rd Peace Corps Volunteer cohort as a TEFL English Teacher and Teacher Trainer.   
After 10-years of social work practice in domestic violence shelters, drug rehab, and adolescent and adult psychiatric hospital facilities, Dr. Grant worked for 18-years as a professor of Social Work at the University of Texas at Austin. There she also served for five years as Associate Dean in the Office of Graduate Studies, overseeing university-wide recruitment for over 200 graduate degree programs. In this position she managed a multi-million dollar fellowship program, mandated with increasing the racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic diversity in graduate degree programs. Dr. Grant taught graduate and undergraduate courses in social justice, clinical practice, research methodology, working with women with addiction and criminal justice involvement and at-risk youth. She has authored dozens of journal articles and book chapters. Dr. Grant was named 2006 Social Worker of the Year by the National Association of Social Workers.
Da Shawnna R. Townsend
Director, Peace Corps Office of Victim Advocacy
Da Shawnna currently serves as the Director of the Peace Corps Office of Victim Advocacy where she leads a team that provides global
advocacy and support to Peace Corps Volunteers who experience crimes during their service. Before joining the Peace Corps team, Da
Shawnna had the privilege of working in many areas of sexual assault victim services; from providing direct victim support to program
management. She served as the Implementation Program Manager for the United States Marine Corps Sexual Assault Prevention & Response Program, where she was the chief subject matter expert on advocacy, training, and victim care. Previous to her work with the Marine Corps, Da Shawnna was as an Installation Sexual Assault Response Coordinator with the US Army for multiple installations. In her early career, she served as the Child Specialist at the Center for Sexual Assault Survivors in Newport News, Virginia.
Kat Freeman
Kat Freeman served in the Peace Corps - Philippines from 2018 - 2020. She additionally served as a Team Leader in AmeriCorps' National Civilian and Community Corps from 2020-2021. Currently, Kat works as a middle school math teacher in D.C. and plans to start her Masters in Social Work this upcoming fall. She currently serves as the Vice-President of RPCV/W.