Dear Members, Potential Members and Supporters:
During the years that I was fortunate effort to work at the New York Regional Peace Corps Office, I came in contact with a number of Peace Corps applicants and Returned Peace Corps Volunteers (RPCVs) of color that often asked about the existence of a minority RPCV group. Unfortunately, I knew of no such group at the time, yet each year the number of inquires continued to increased. These encounters served as an opportunity to listen to each RPCV’s experience. I learned that many of the RPCVs stories had several key factors in common.
- (i), Minority RPCVs were often one of a few volunteers of color serving in their respective Peace Corps country.
- (ii) The lack of support and understanding of diversity issues from Peace Corps created at times a challenging environment.
- (iii) Once returning home, and looking to share their unique perspectives with others who shared similar experiences, RPCVs of color were at a loss to find appropriate resources, networks and support.
Therefore it was obvious to me that it was time to combine our efforts in supporting the renewed Peace Corps commitment to not only increase the number of the volunteers overseas, but to also increase the diversity of its volunteers. The establishment of the Minority Peace Corps Association (MPCA) was a response to this need. In order to continue to build diversity within Peace Corps, we have the opportunity:
- to come together, nationwide, to support each other,
- to commit to broadening the awareness of Peace Corps in minority communities and
- to support minorities applying for, serving in, or returning from Peace Corps.
The MPCA provides the opportunity to collaborate with other groups and organizations, as an independent association, to better support RPCVs and PCVs of color in achieving goals of Peace Corps. Organizing a network of support and establishing a mentor program for those interested in the Peace Corps are among the primary activities that MPCA has carried out and hopes to continue with your support.
Lend your support to the Minority Peace Corps Association. Together, our combined efforts will allow us to achieve the vision of a more complete representation of the United States overseas through Peace Corps.
MPCA Board Representative