WASHINGTON, D.C. – On March 1, the Peace Corps celebrates 60 years since President John F. Kennedy established the agency in 1961. The anniversary of the Peace Corps commemorates international peace and friendship, volunteerism and service. In that time, Alabama has produced 1,254 Peace Corps Volunteers. Last year alone, 39 Alabama residents served at posts across the globe.
“As the Peace Corps celebrates our 60th anniversary, I am reminded of how far we have come and what an unprecedented time we are in now. The past 60 years have truly prepared us for this historic moment. During a pandemic that has touched every corner of the globe, it’s clear that we are all in this together,” says Acting Peace Corps Director Carol Spahn. “As we look to the next 60 years, I know the Peace Corps will continue to be a community of people—all over the world—willing to do the hard work of promoting peace and friendship.”
The theme for the 60th anniversary is “Peace Corps through the Decades: Sixty Years, Countless Stories” and will be commemorated during “Peace Corps Week,” which runs Feb. 28 to March 6. A number of virtual events take place during that week, and those interested can find out more by visiting the Peace Corps’ events page to register. People who register are encouraged to share the events they’re attending on social media using #PeaceCorps60.
The agency’s website, www.peacecorps.gov, will also feature returned Peace Corps volunteer (RPCV) photos from the past six decades, and RPCVs are encouraged to share their stories and images on social media using #repyourdecade. Visitors to the website can also read about the Peace Corps’ history and stories from service.
This year doesn’t just mark an anniversary for the Peace Corps, it marks a new beginning. When the agency evacuated its global posts in March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it paused operations and brought home more than 6,000 Americans serving in more than 60 countries.
The agency is now recruiting and planning for a return to service, bringing an extraordinary opportunity for future Volunteers to be the start of a brand new chapter for all of Peace Corps. These new Volunteers will be vital to the agency’s post-pandemic success as members of a new inaugural cohort. For more information on current openings and to learn more about how COVID-19 may impact service departure, please visit the Volunteer openings page.