Peace Corps Celebrates African American History Month

Peace Corps Honors Contributions of African American Volunteers

WASHINGTON, D.C., Feb. 2, 2011 -The Peace Corps is proud to join Americans across the country and overseas to honor African American History Month.

This February, we reflect on the achievements of African Americans to the Peace Corps family, our nation, and the world. Throughout Peace Corps history, diversity has played an important role in helping communities in other countries gain a better understanding of Americans and our multicultural society, said Peace Corps Director Aaron S. Williams.

In celebration of African American History month, Peace Corps will be hosting events throughout the country featuring a diverse panel of Peace Corps Volunteers sharing stories of their service overseas. There will also be an online panel discussion on Feb. 17.

Serving as an African American in Latin America has been really important because I can set an example and increase self-esteem. I see my role here to inspire young, black Ecuadorians. My dream is to start my own business that focuses on helping poor communities, said Kadeon Thomas, a volunteer in Ecuador.

To view a video of Peace Corps youth and community development volunteer Brice Foster, 25, from Sugar Land, Texas, visit Peace Corps on YouTube . Foster shares his perspective on the importance of volunteering with Peace Corps.

About the Peace Corps: President John F. Kennedy established the Peace Corps on March 1, 1961, by executive order. Throughout 2011, Peace Corps is commemorating 50 years of promoting peace and friendship around the world. Historically, more than 200,000 Americans have served with the Peace Corps to promote a better understanding between Americans and the people of 139 host countries. Today, 8,655 volunteers are working with local communities in 77 host countries. Peace Corps volunteers must be U.S. citizens and at least 18 years of age. Peace Corps service is a 27-month commitment.

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