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As part of enacting the shared values of Ukraine RPCVs, the Alliance has formally adopted this action plan to elevate and support RPCV efforts toward racial justice and improved diversity and inclusion practices within Peace Corps Ukraine. We fervently believe that doing so is not only vital for the safety and wellbeing of Volunteers, but also for the development of a democratic, inclusive, and globally-connected Ukraine. Racism and bigotry pose additional challenges and dangers to life at home and during service, especially for BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ Volunteers and Volunteers of religious minorities. As a collective group of RPCVs, it is our duty to ally with one another to change this.

Equity & Social Justice Action Plan

December 20, 2020

 

The Returned Peace Corps Volunteers Alliance for Ukraine (the Alliance) works to empower an international network of people, agencies, and organizations dedicated to fostering a self-determined and globally-connected Ukraine by enacting the shared values of the Peace Corps community. Our organization’s strategic goals are inspired by and rooted in our three pillars: community, information, and impact.

 

As part of enacting the shared values of Ukraine RPCVs, the Alliance has formally adopted this action plan to elevate and support RPCV efforts toward racial justice and improved diversity and inclusion practices within Peace Corps Ukraine. We fervently believe that doing so is not only vital for the safety and wellbeing of Volunteers, but also for the development of a democratic, inclusive, and globally-connected Ukraine. Racism and bigotry pose additional challenges and dangers to life at home and during service, especially for BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ Volunteers and Volunteers of religious minorities. As a collective group of RPCVs, it is our duty to ally with one another to change this. 

 

We, the RPCV Alliance for Ukraine Board of Directors, commit to: 

 

Building a Better Board 

  1. Improve Board performance and capacity so that we are better equipped to fulfill our mission and elevate the voices of all Ukraine RPCVs

  2. Ensure the Alliance Board of Directors adequately reflects our diverse RPCV community. We will foster inclusion and build a board diverse in age, race/ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, geography, and experience. 

    • Research current RPCV Ukraine demographics.

    • Conduct a biannual Board recruitment needs assessment.

    • Recruit and retain diverse Board members using evidence-based best practices.

  3. Maintain close relationship and open communication with our network

    • Publish monthly Board meeting minutes on our website.

    • Host at least one virtual Member Meeting per year in order to provide updates on our work and seek member feedback and ideas for future projects. 

    • Host at least two virtual Town Halls per year which are open to all Ukraine RPCVs and allies. These will include at least one PC Ukraine staff member to give updates and answer questions.

 

Prioritizing Advocacy

  1. Elevate RPCV and PCV-led efforts to inform Peace Corps Ukraine practices and develop a safer and more equitable Volunteer experience

    • Consistently advocate on behalf of PCVs and RPCVs. 

    • At least one Board member will attend all public forums hosted by the Peace Corps Task Force on Diversity and Inclusion (diversitytaskforce@peacecorps.gov) and take notes to share with the Alliance.

    • Seek and share updates regarding the list of Changes Necessary for the Safety of Black and POC PCVs in Ukraine created by PCVs prior to the 2020 evacuation.

  2. Galvanize resources to support volunteer-led efforts to meet needs of Black, POC, and other marginalized volunteer groups in-country and following service

    • Raise $1,000 in funds to sponsor two Black PCV retreats; continue in future years as needed.

    • Continue to collaborate with members to identify and meet future fundraising needs.

  3. With approval from Peace Corps Ukraine, maintain an ongoing relationship with PC Diversity and Inclusion Officer, ICDEI Working Group, and other relevant PC leadership and staff, when Peace Corps volunteers are in-country.

  4. Actively participate in National Peace Corps Association (NPCA) events and discussions devoted to racial equity and social justice.

 

Incorporating Equity into Our Actions and Programming

  1. The Connections Program will partner returning Volunteers with established RPCVs based on mentoring needs of the Volunteer, taking into account the unique challenges faced by RCPVs of color, LGBTQIA+ Volunteers, and those belonging to religious minorities.  

  2. By the end of 2021, establish a structure for incorporating Diversity, Equity, Accessibility and Inclusion criteria into all our proposed programming by crafting a standard list of questions to consider. 

  3. Beginning in 2021, updates on this plan and future equity and social justice action plans will be a standing agenda item at Board and Member meetings.