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A Message from Our President & CEO: July 1, 2020

Photo credit for top banner: Rocky Mountain Conservancy

 

Dear Friends,

Work might slow down for many people during the summer, but it certainly is not a slow time of year for Corps. And this is certainly not a normal summer.

 

Now is not the time for silence

At the beginning of June, The Corps Network issued a statement saying that “now is not the time for silence.” We are heartbroken and angry about the tragic deaths of George Floyd and too many other innocent Black Americans at the hands of police. Enough is enough. Our country has work to do to stand up to racism, oppression, and injustice wherever it exists; we will do our part.

More urgently than ever, The Corps Network is committed to the goals of our Moving Forward Initiative. Through this initiative, we aim to examine our own organization and advance equity in Corps and conservation through spreading education about systemic racism, fostering thoughtful conversations, and elevating the voices of people of color. We don’t claim to have all the answers, but we invite you to join us on this journey. Learn more about MFI on our website and through our recent Town Hall presentations on race and equity.

 

Town Halls

On the topic of Town Halls, we also invite you to learn more about these regular presentations. Starting in March, The Corps Network has hosted virtual discussions on timely topics nearly every Thursday. The Service and Conservation Corps community is the primary audience for these calls, but the content in many Town Halls is also relevant to others. Throughout these challenging times, the Town Halls have provided a restorative space to learn and collaborate.

 

Corps in the COVID-19 Era

We are happy to share that a majority of Corps are currently up and running. Some Corps never stopped operations throughout the COVID-19 crisis. Instead, they shifted their projects to focus on meeting critical community needs, like staffing food banks and setting up auxiliary medical facilities. Some Corps just recently started launching crews for summer programs.

I am inspired by the collaborative work Corps are doing in order to safely continue offering meaningful service and learning experiences. Across the country, Corps are sharing ideas about how to implement new safety protocols, shift trainings online, procure PPE, and take other thoughtful and necessary measures. Through the generous support of The JPB Foundation, The Corps Network was excited to distribute $250,000 in grants to 30 different Corps in order to help with some of the unexpected costs of operating during a pandemic. Though they might be wearing masks, it gives us great hope to see Corpsmembers out in the field! We wish them the best for a safe season.

 

Legislation

We are pleased to report that several pieces of legislation currently under consideration in Congress could directly or indirectly benefit the Corps community. Our Government Relations and Communications teams have prepared this overview of where bills stand and what they could mean.

 

The summer of 2020 will be one to remember. The Corps Network is here for the challenges.
We wish you a safe and healthy holiday weekend.