From the National Peace Corps Association: “The Advocacy department enables the Peace Corps Community to come together, shape the public debate on important Peace Corps issues and ensure that we have a loud and collective voice. The term “advocacy” encompasses a broad range of activities (including research, grassroots mobilization, speaking with elected officials, and championing underrepresented issues) that can influence public policy. Advocacy is the number one way we can advance the Peace Corps mission and help bring about change.”
PPCA recently added a board position for the role of advocacy coordinator with the National Peace Corps Association. Tabatha Rood will be leading advocacy efforts for all issues affecting the Peace Corps, current and returned volunteers, throughout the Portland and Vancouver metropolitan area. Responsibilities of this role include consulting with PPCA members on issues that they are most passionate, keeping a pulse on legislative actions both locally and nationally, and working to coordinate action and outreach for the betterment of Peace Corps and the overall treatment of volunteers from staging to COS and beyond.
As an advocacy coordinator with NPCA, Tabatha also participates in weekly call-ins with national staff and other state coordinators in order to disseminate the most accurate and current information. State advocacy coordinators can be found at https://www.peacecorpsconnect.org/team/advocacy-coordinators along with many more resources for everything you might want to know about the status of the Peace Corps in the current administration at https://advocacy.peacecorpsconnect.org/”!
There will be more to come on behalf of advocacy, but for the moment Tabatha is gauging the interests of PPCA membership in order to focus her efforts on those topics of popular interest. So far, RPCV healthcare seems to be an open topic of lament, and she is working to tactfully approach this issue in the RPCV community.
BIO – Tabatha Rood (RPCV Ghana 2014-2016)
Advocacy Coordinator – Portland, OR (PDX/VAN metro.)
Why Advocacy is Important: I advocate for Peace Corps because I believe it is one of America’s strongest tools in preventative diplomacy and cross-cultural understanding. Grassroots community development in the face of globalization is not only critical, but invaluable.
Share an Advocacy Success Story: A successful highlight for me was in the past year, starting a cashew juice project with my counterpart Tom, from the other side of the world. Initially, we used crowd source funding for the seed money, but since then Tom has run for local leadership and received additional funding to support more farmers in his value addition efforts.
Fun Fact: I am an avid rollerblader, and a reliable pen pal.
Contact Tabatha: advocacy AT crpca.org