2018 Membership Drive and Fundraiser

Last year we had such a successful run with fundraising via our t-shirt sales and also sending out postcards to all of our valuable members. So, we want to do it again!!

CLICK HERE to order the 2018 Peace Corps PRIDE t-shirt that we are selling to help us raise funds. Many thanks to our Steering Committee and Members who contributed to this design, we’re really excited for it.

CLICK on the image to buy yours now!

Additionally, we want to continue offering small tokens of appreciation for our members this year. As such, please be sure to make sure you are officially affiliated with us through the National Peace Corps Association (NPCA). CLICK HERE to review and update your membership. PLEASE NOTE: NPCA membership and LGBT RPCV membership are both FREE! Donations are always welcome, but general membership is at no cost.

CLICK on the image to confirm your NPCA affiliation

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World Report 2018: Fighting for Rights Succeeds

Human Rights Watch‘s World Report 2018 summarizes key human rights issues in more than 90 countries and territories worldwide, drawing on events from late 2016 through November 2017.

In his keynote essay, “The Pushback Against the Populist Challenge,” Executive Director Kenneth Roth says that the surge of authoritarian populists appears less inevitable than it did a year ago. Then, there seemed no stopping a series of politicians around the globe who claimed to speak for “the people” but built followings by demonizing unpopular minorities, attacking human rights principles, and fueling distrust of democratic institutions. Today, a popular reaction in a broad range of countries, bolstered by some political leaders with the courage to stand up for human rights, has left the fate of many of these populist agendas more uncertain.

CLICK HERE to view full report and browse by countries

 

IMPORTANT: Update Your Address

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Hello LGBT RPCV Members:
I’m sure you’ve already seen, but this 2017 Pride seasons, we have a current Booster campaign to sell LGBT RPCV T-shirts. CLICK HERE To check out the campaign and buy your shirt now. The campaign ends May 11th and shirt should be shipped by June, right in time for Pride month!
However, we also want to send ALL of our members a small token of appreciation this Pride – whether you’re buying a shirt or not. And we can only do that if we have the right address for you on file. If you aren’t already officially affiliated with us, CLICK HERE to sign up for your FREE NPCA membership and make sure to select “LGBT Returned Peace Corps Volunteers” as your associated affiliate group. If you are already an NPCA member, 1) make sure you have selected LGBT RPCV as an affiliate group and 2) confirm the correct address is on file (several are not!).
We’ll be pulling master list of members and address by Friday, May 19th, so make sure you’ll squared away then.
Thanks,
Manuel Colón
National Coordinator

2016 Annual Report

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Dear Members, Friends, and Supporters:
2016 was my second full year of having the privilege to serve as the National Coordinator of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Returned Peace Corps Volunteers and I am so appreciative of all the work that we have accomplished this past year and look forward to all the great work that is still to come.
As some may know, our organization was born out of the 30th anniversary celebrations of the Peace Corps in 1991. For 2016, the agency’s 55th anniversary, LGBT RPCV was front and center in many Third Goal, Recruitment, and celebratory activities as we jointly celebrated a milestone for ourselves – 25 years of promoting Peace Corps ideals and the legal, political and social rights of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people around the world.
Peace Corps and LGBT RPCV have come along way since their inception and 2016 was a refreshing year of collective reflection of where we have come from and constructive refocusing of where we need to go. Thus, I want to express my sincere gratitude to all of our members, friends, and supporters – those who have been there since the beginning and those who have recently joined – for your time, dedication, and energy for moving our organization, the Peace Corps agency, and society at large forward.

In Solidarity,
Manuel Colón
National Coordinator
Paraguay 2010-2012

CLICK HERE for full report

LGBT RPCV (with side text)

NPCA’s Wedding Wednesdays

Did you know that the NPCA collects and publishes Peace Corps wedding stories? In fact, in 2015, LGBT RPCV made a concerted effort to make sure there was more same-sex couple representation in the album. We are proud to say that the inaugural same-sex couple is still the holder of the most amount of Likes! CLICK HERE to view the full album on Facebook. Are you interested in submitting your own? Copied below are the instructions:

Send a photo of your #peacecorps wedding, plus a BRIEF caption/story (Ideas: How you met? About the wedding? What’s distinctively “Peace Corps” about you two?), to news@peacecorpsconnect.org and include the word “Wedding” in the subject line. Include only as much personal information as you feel comfortable sharing with the internet. We’ll let you know when it’s posted and you can choose to “tag” it at that time. What qualifies as a “Peace Corps wedding?” You got married while in the Peace Corps, met in the Peace Corps and got married afterwards, or are RPCVs who met and married after service. Marrying a host country national or a member of another international service organization (ex. CUSO, VSO) “counts,” of course. Peace Corps: making peace one person at a time.

Below are few that we’d like to highlight:

 

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Posted June 10, 2015: Norbert (Ivorian) + Phillip (American, RPCV Guinea & Burkina Faso 2009-2011). Met in Ouagadougou, August 2010. Marriage ceremony in Abidjan, July 2011. Officially married in New York, August 2011. “Norbert and I met through friends of friends, dancing at a nightclub in Ouagadougou. We hit it off right away and have been together ever since” – Phillip

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Posted November 30, 2016: Marisa (Education 2011-13) and Fiona (Agriculture 2010-12) met during Peace Corps service in Paraguay. They shared the following: “We proud to say we got married on July 9, 2016, in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, a year after marriage equality reached the U.S. Our wedding clearly reflected our experiences as LGBTQ Americans and Paraguay RPCVs – including tereré (ice cold mate tea) and ñanduti (Paraguayan lace). There were 4 RPCVs in the wedding party, and 13 RPCVs in attendance (representing 4 countries and 2 decades)

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Posted November 30, 2016: Betsie, pictured right, and Shay met during service in Ecuador (2014-2016). “We were the two in our omnibus vehemently opposed to finding new relationships in Peace Corps. We signed up to service, not to fall in love. We fell for each other and the rest is recent history. We’re married, adjusting to life back in the U.S. and looking forward to a life together full of adventure”

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Posted December 21, 2016: Sarah Bender and Stephanie Hubbell met while serving together in Jordan (2009-2011). Sarah says that “It was until the end of our service that we realized true love had been right in front of us, but once that happened we never looked back. We married in New York City on September 4, 2016. We were lucky to get to share our wedding celebration with many members of our RPCV Jordan family and would not have had it any other way. We look forward to serving again one day, together as wives!”

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Posted December 28, 2016: Together for 26 years and married for 3, Ronald Hemmer (Thailand 82-84) and Franklin “Dan” Davis (Colombia 66-68) met in Phoenix, Arizona were Ron worked for the USDA and Dan worked for the Arizona DOT. Being RPCVs, as well as being from Ohio, led to the initial friendship. “As it turns out, most of our long-term friends are RPCVs. Shared values led to lasting friendships. Here we are with our Thai gold weddings in Palm Springs were we are living at the time”.