Peace Corps Launches New Public Service Announcements Featuring Forest Whitaker

September 20, 2005

WASHINGTON, D.C., September 20, 2005 Award-winning actor, producer, and director Forest Whitaker is lending his voice to the newest Peace Corps public service announcements.

The new PSA's are a part of the Peace Corps' latest recruiting campaign launched in 2003. The Peace Corps and its advertising agency, BBDO Atlanta, centered the campaign on the theme, "Life is calling. How far will you go?" as a way of encouraging Americans to challenge themselves through Peace Corps service. Other Peace Corps spots have included the voice talents of actors Matthew McConaughey for English PSA's and Eduardo Verastegui for Spanish versions. The PSA's add a new element to the award winning campaign, that can be heard on radio and television stations across the country, and seen in such publications as ESPN magazine and Rolling Stone.

Whitaker is featured in a radio spot called "Paths," which asks listeners to take the road less traveled by joining the Peace Corps. "What would happen if you didn't follow the established path?" Whitaker asks in the announcement.

In the PSA, Whitaker describes some of the many ways that Peace Corps volunteers are helping communities around the world through global volunteerism. "Could you explain that helping the people of Peru improve their community would also have an effect on your own?" he asks. "Or assisting an entrepreneur in Ukraine to launch her small business? Or creating a support group in Malawi for children orphaned by AIDS?"

Whitaker began his acting career as a student at the University of Southern California's School of Theatre. Playing jazz legend Charlie Parker in "Bird," he won the Cannes Film Festival Prize for Best Actor, in addition to being nominated for a Golden Globe. Later, Whitaker won critical acclaim and fame as a British soldier in the 1992 thriller "The Crying Game." He has produced and directed several films including "Waiting to Exhale," and "Chasing Papi," in addition to the television movie Door to Door, for which he won an Emmy.

To hear the new "Paths" public service announcement, please visit: http://www.peacecorps.gov/index.cfm?shell=resources.media.psa.

Since 1961, more than 178,000 volunteers have served in the Peace Corps, working in such diverse fields as education, health, HIV/AIDS education and prevention, 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 27-month commitment.

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