May 16, 2015 Leave a comment
April 12, 2015 Leave a comment
The Steering Committee for the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Returned Peace Association has appointed a new National Coordinator, Manuel Colón. He served as an Environmental Education Volunteer in Areguá, Paraguay, from 2010-2012. During his service, Manuel led efforts to establish a national curriculum called “Paraguay Verde” with
Volunteers from the entire Environment sector. Paraguay Verde promotes environmental youth groups centered around civic and community engagement. The national conference component to Paraguay Verde successfully concluded its fifth iteration February of this year. Manuel was also a leader in Jopara, the Volunteer-led diversity committee, which helped to facilitate the first-ever LGBT ally training with Volunteers and Staff. Upon completion of service, Manuel returned to his alma mater to work as an undergraduate recruiter for the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He is also a part-time Master’s student in the Human Resources Development program.
Manuel joined LGBT RPCV’s steering committee in 2013 as the New Volunteer Coordinator. In this capacity he is the liaison between the prospective Volunteer, currently serving Volunteer, and recently returned Volunteer populations and the group at large. Manuel is a major content generator on our group’s social media accounts and listserv. He works to highlight, promote, and celebrate the LGBT Volunteer experience.
Other members of the Steering Committee have agreed to continue their roles to help support our new leadership. Mike Learned, former Group Leader, will remain on the Steering Committee as enewsletter editor.
February 15, 2015 Leave a comment
Editor’s Note: These reports have been submitted to NPCA as part of our affiliation renewal with them for 2015. We have posted them on our website each year.
Electronic Infrastructure Improvements:
We have had an internet presence since the mid-1990s and have published hundreds of articles from LGBT volunteers about the countries where they served: about what life is like back in the states; or new adventures since their Peace Corps experience, including visits back to their countries of service. Currently our website contains about 225 timely articles from 50 countries ranging from Albania to Zimbabwe.
Our website had close to 22,000 visitors in 2014.
Our fastest growing media presence is on our Facebook group at https://facebook.com/groups/lgbrpcv/ We now have close to 250 members who are current and former volunteers, along with applicants, and nominees.
Our Yahoo Group has been in operations since the late 1990s and currently has about 630 participants and averages 40 messages a month.
Lastly we host a Twitter Feed at https://twitter.com/LGBT_RPCV Over the last quarter of 2014 our Tweets had 12,700 views, with an average of 140 per day.
Third Goal and Other Accomplishments:
Our electronic improvements and the high number of visits to them is a sign of our strong commitment to Peace Corps third goal. We have provide and enormous amount of information to the LGBT community about joining Peace Corps, what to expect during Peace Corps service, and resources available in and out of Peace Corps to cope with homophobia and insensitivity in the developing world where Peace Corps has programs.
Cooperation with Peace Corps and other NPCA affiliates during gay pride festivals across the country:
We regularly provide written informational materials for Peace Corps staff to use during recruiting and informational events during gay pride season. We did this again in 2014 which saw an unprecedented level of Peace Corps participation in such events. Through our Yahoo Group, Facebook, Twitter and other sources we communicated such events and ways for LGBT people to participate.
We also appreciated and supported the Atlanta Area RPCV group’s participation in Atlanta’s Gay Pride parade last fall. We also contributed $325 to them which was our sponsorship of a film shown in a film festival they sponsored, Call Me Kuchu, which is a powerful documentary about the difficulties and challenges facing the LGBT community in Uganda.
LGBT RPCV – Financial Report 2014
Beginning Balance: $3901.45
- Dues from NPCA $645.00
- NPCA Reaffiliation $40.00
- Post Office Box $128.00
- Internet Hosting $13.00
- Domain renewal for nine years $314.91
- AARPCV film
- Sponsorship of film for AARPCVs $325.00
Total Expenses: $820.91
Income Minus Expenses ($175.91)
End of Year Balance: $3725.54