The Peace Corps is a catalyst for community development and cultural exchange, powered by Volunteers ready to use their energy, creativity, and skills to reduce inequality and create opportunity in communities around the world. Every day, Volunteers empower local communities to tackle some of our world's greatest challenges by working together and building strong relationships of trust at the grassroots level. As a result, the U.S. has friends in the farthest corners of the globe.
Peace Corps' iconic mission has not changed. But we recognize that the world around us has. And as a dynamic, results-oriented service organization in 2016, it is incumbent on us to keep up with today's world. In our complex, increasingly-interconnected world, Peace Corps' capacity to catalyze connections and spark change is more important than ever.
Driven by our historic mission to help communities achieve their development goals and build relationships across borders, we launched a new brand platform that underscores the agency's commitment to engaging the next generation of Americans who want to make positive, lasting change in the world. The refreshed platform includes a new logo with a bright, modern look, and a bold new website that highlights the authentic Volunteer experience with a focus on responsive, mobile-friendly design so all Americans interested in international service can find us on the devices they use.
The visual components of the new identity are clean and forward-facing. The updated logo includes key elements from the agency's historic logo--including the image of the dove, the American flag, and the U.S. colors--but modernized to be scalable in constrained digital spaces.
PeaceCorps.Gov, the agency's website, features a fresh new design that is bold and inspirational, with an emphasis on authentic narratives, captivating imagery, and Volunteer-generated media. Users can easily navigate content and are presented with the most current and useful information at every point of their digital journey.
I'm so proud of what we've created. Together the elements tell a compelling story that is fresh and engaging while still honoring the agency's roots--and most importantly, putting our amazing Volunteers front and center.
I think about Volunteers like Dwayne Matthews, whose creativity and passion for connecting with youth shaped his work as a Community Health Volunteer in Malawi. There, he started a program called METHOD--Malawian Empowerment Through Hip-Hop and Organizational Development. Once a week, Dwayne would organize rap battles at the community hospital. Under Dwayne's guidance, the messages shared by youth performers were all positive - about HIV/AIDS prevention, being a good partner and father, and standing up against domestic violence. In between performances, hospital workers would share information and provide counseling about reproductive health.
Dwayne started with 10 members. Then they grew to 30-40. Before long, their performances would bring out as many as 700 villagers. With the help of local and NGO partners, Dwayne helped the community hospital secure a grant to construct a youth-friendly health facility. "You don't always know the impact you leave on people," he says. But I visited Dwayne in Malawi, and I saw firsthand how he helped to fuel a cultural shift in his community - one where previously taboo topics such as HIV/AIDS, reproductive health, and power dynamics between men and women are now openly discussed.
Now, through our new brand platform, we have more powerful ways than ever to share stories like Dwayne's.
We've spent the last several years making tremendous reforms to our programs, strengthening the support we provide to promote health and safety, improving Volunteer training, and delivering a new application. With this strong foundation in place, we are ready to welcome a new generation of Americans, eager to use their talents and ingenuity to improve the lives of others.