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Talking Points Memo No. 3

Tom Hebert, August 15, 2017

Four important things have recently come our way:

First, we have two new RPCV volunteers. Meredith Mahachi, (Malawi, 2013) will be working on a formal neighborhood assessment to help locate PCH in the most relevant Washington community. And Cassidy Whitson, (Zambia, 2016-2017) will be working on fundraising.

Second, joining 167 other RPCV organizations, our application for an NPCA Affiliate Group membership was accepted and went before the NPCA board in July where it found approval. That puts us in a useful NPCA arena of Cause-Related Groups:
www.peacecorpsconnect.org/companies/peace-corps-house

From our application, “We deeply believe that Peace Corps House, as an NGO, will implant the Peace Corps community deep in Washington while contributing to the renewal of our home city — such bridging, reaching across peoples and cultures is long overdue.” 

Third, NPCA President Glenn Blumhorst has told us that Peace Corps House can enter into a “fiscal sponsorship agreement for the purpose of supporting the Peace Corps Settlement House initiative.” As he explained it, “NPCA commonly serves as a fiscal sponsor for RPCV-led initiatives as they are launched, particularly the front-end fundraising efforts.” Glenn’s decision was very welcome.

Fourth, On June 13 Peace Corps House received its official Certificate of Incorporation as a Washington D.C. nonprofit. (See in Key Documents.)

When PCH gets its own wall somewhere the Certificate will hang near a photograph of Abraham Lincoln (as one did in Jane Addams’ Hull House).

And, along with archival photographs of neighborhood leaders, one of Josephine Baker will also hang on that wall. Wikipedia

“Baker, whose career was centered primarily in her adopted FranceBaker was the first person of color to become a world-famous entertainer. But during WW II she became a French resistance agent much honored after war’s end by the French government. 

“Later, returning home on national tours, Baker refused to perform for segregated audiences in the United States. As a result her role as an civil rights activist grew here. Moreover, after the assassination of her husband, Baker was asked by Coretta Scott King to assume the leadership of the civil rights movement. But she declined the offer out of concern for the welfare of her large family of adopted children.”

Thus, a photograph of the iconic Baker — who I like to think of as our angel-in-waiting — will hang on our first wall.

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