Peace Corps Honors Martin Luther King, Jr.s Legacy

January 17, 2003

WASHINGTON, D.C., January 17, 2003—Peace Corps Director Gaddi H. Vasquez led the Peace Corps today in an observance commemorating the life and legacy of Dr. Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. Peace Corps staff participated in the viewing of a documentary and a panel discussion regarding Dr. King’s life and work.

Applauding the work of Peace Corps volunteers, Director Vasquez noted, “In many ways, the work that we do is consistent with the legacy that Dr. King has left us to follow."

Director Vasquez closed his remarks by quoting Dr. King's "Letter from a Birmingham Jail," which reads, "Human progress never rolls in on wheels of inevitability; it comes through the tireless efforts of men willing to be co-workers with God…We must use time creatively, in the knowledge that the time is always ripe to do right."

The documentary, "Legacy of a Dream," was introduced as memories to some and history to others. Following the film, a panel discussion including employees born both before and after 1968 focused on inter-generational reflections on the civil rights movement. The discussion underscored the impact of Dr. King's work on both his contemporaries and future generations.

Since 1961, more than 168,000 volunteers have served in the Peace Corps, working in such diverse fields as education, health and HIV/AIDS education, information technology, business development, the environment, and agriculture. Peace Corps volunteers must be U.S. citizens and at least 18 years of age. Peace Corps service is a two-year commitment.

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