Returned Peace Corps Volunteers on the March!

RPCVs marching. Check out more photos on Flickr. Search "PeaceCorpsInauguration2009"

RPCVs marching. Check out more photos on Flickr. Search "PeaceCorpsInauguration2009"

Organized by the National Peace Corps Association (the independent group of Peace Corps alumni), the Peace Corps community participated in the Inaugural Parade for President Barack Obama, eliciting a huge smile from “the Service President.”

According to blogs posted on PeaceCorpsConnect.org:

Returned Volunteers, two currently serving Volunteers and current and former Peace Corps staff carried the flags of the 139 countries where Peace Corps Volunteers have served during the 48-year history of the agency. Many marchers are also wearing the national dress of those host countries.

Read more on the Peace Corps Polyglot blog!

You can see footage of the event on CSPAN — starting at 37 minutes, 40 seconds into the video. The Providence Journal blog offers this eye-witness account from 67-year-old Brazil RPCV Lucy Mueller.

And check out greetings from the gathered Returned Volunteers, speaking many different languages:

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Ten Times the Peace Corps — and More Peace Corps 100 House Parties

Just in time for the Service Nation Summit, the Brookings Institution released a paper Ten Times the Peace Corps: A Smart Investment in Soft Power by National Peace Corps Association President Kevin F. F. Quigley and Brookings Non-Resident Senior Fellow Lex Rieffel. The premise of the paper is that a giant challenge for our next president is to re-establish good foreign relations, and that for the United States to succeed diplomatically we will need to show the friendlier or “softer” side to our power, and that Peace Corps Volunteers have been one of the best people to showcase that side. Hence, sending more Volunteers out into the field will help us meet our diplomatic goals.

Today, Sept 6, Peace Corps house parties are meeting around the world to re-invigorate Peace Corps. (See below.) The text below I copied from More Peace Corps:

100 House Parties on Saturday, September 6th! As of September 5, 2008, we have 118 parties confirmed in 42 states and 17 countries around the world!  What was originally imagined as a domestic affair has exploded into a global movement.  on September 6th, thousands of volunteers all over the world will convene for the Peace Corps.  If you would like to host a small gathering, it’s not too late!  Please help us reach our *new* goal of 125 parties and gatherings.

Through these parties, we hope to raise money, generate letters to lawmakers and get 5,000 sign-ups on http://www.MorePeaceCorps.org by the ServiceNation Conference on September 11th and 12th to show the presidential candidates that we are serious about doubling the Peace Corps.  What happens after we reach 5,000?  We go for 10,000 by October 14th, the historic anniversary of JFK’s speech at the student union of University of Michigan.

Click here to download a copy of our Organizer’s Toolkit with all the information you need to host your own House Party for MorePeaceCorps.

A huge thank you to all of our hosts!

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Have you hosted a More Peace Corps House Party, or attended? We’d love a report!