Statement from The Corps Network on United We Stand Summit

On Thursday, September 15, 2022, the White House hosted the United We Stand Summit “to counter the destructive effects of hate-fueled violence on our democracy and public safety, mobilize diverse sectors of society and communities across the country to these dangers, and put forward a shared, inclusive, bipartisan vision for a more united America.” Among other measures to promote unity, President Biden spoke of the power of national service to break down barriers. He called for an increase in the AmeriCorps living allowance to help make national service opportunities a viable option for more Americans. Mary Ellen Sprenkel, President and CEO of The Corps Network, released the following statement:

On behalf of America’s Service and Conservation Corps community, I applaud the Biden-Harris Administration for their leadership on promoting unity and addressing social divisiveness. In particular, we sincerely appreciate the President’s call to increase the AmeriCorps living allowance to the equivalent of $15 per hour.

 As we witness every day in Conservation Corps programs, national service has the power to bridge divides and build relationships. AmeriCorps programs and other national service organizations bring people together from different lived experiences for the common purpose of strengthening our communities. When we serve together, we learn about each other, we recognize each other’s humanity, we see that we all share similar hopes.

Serving our country should not be a privilege. National service programs not only help address pressing projects; they provide participants – especially those who have faced barriers in life – with a chance to build valuable skills, earn certifications, and advance their education. By increasing the AmeriCorps living allowance, the opportunity to serve – and all the benefits that come from serving – will be within reach of many more Americans.

 The Corps Network looks forward to working with the Biden-Harris Administration and Congress to advance an increase in the AmeriCorps living allowance. This effort will help engage more Americans in addressing critical challenges, like climate change, health care access, and the education divide. It will provide more people with a path, through service, to a fulfilling career. And it will help bring more people together.