Peace Corps Prestigious Franklin H. Williams Award Honors Community Service Leaders Nationwide
January 28, 2002C. Payne Lucas, President and Founder of Africare, to Deliver Keynote Address
WASHINGTON, D.C., January 28, 2002—The Peace Corps Franklin H. Williams Awards will be given to 11 community leaders and activists from across the nation on Thursday, Feb. 7, 2002, at 7 p.m. at the Paul D. Coverdell Peace Corps Headquarters in Washington, D.C. Mr. C. Payne Lucas, writer, speaker, activist and founder of Africare, will deliver the keynote address.
The awards ceremony recognizes the outstanding leadership contributions that returned Peace Corps volunteers of color have made in the area of community service. The event is open to the public.
“One of the goals of the Peace Corps mission is to help people of other countries gain a better understanding of Americans and our multicultural society. To achieve this important goal, Peace Corps works to ensure that the volunteers reflect the extraordinary diversity of the American people, which has enriched and strengthened this country in countless ways,” said Lloyd O. Pierson, acting deputy director. “These 11 individuals represent just a fraction of former Peace Corps volunteers of ethnically diverse backgrounds who have returned to the United States with the desire to serve in their local communities. We applaud their commitment to make a difference here in this country.”
The keynote speaker for the 4th Annual Franklin H. Williams Awards ceremony is C. Payne Lucas, president and founder of Africare. Lucas has brought a unique blend of passion and steadfast commitment to his 35-year career in African development. He has been honored by several U.S. presidents as well as leaders of more than two dozen African nations, receiving decorations from the national orders of Benin, Cote d’Ivoire, Niger, Senegal and Zambia, and the 1984 U.S. Presidential End Hunger Award for Outstanding Individual Achievement “in the effort to achieve a world without hunger.”
The 11 award winners, following in the service-minded footsteps of former ambassador Franklin H. Williams, were selected from each of the 11 Peace Corps regions nationwide and share a common starting point: the Peace Corps.
This year’s notable list of award winners include: Samuel Bacote, III, vice president of public finance for Jackson Securities, Atlanta; Varsha Ghosh, director of programs at Phillips Brooks House Association, Boston; Justice Flemming L. Norcott, Jr., associate justice of the Supreme Court of Connecticut; Wallace E. Goode, Jr., executive director of the Empowerment Zone for the City of Chicago; Evelyn Crow, chairperson of the Asian New Year Festival, San Antonio; Tameka Salis, director of the Inner City Community Development Corporation, Denver; Louis Avenilla, director of the Career Planning Center of Marina del Rey, Calif.; Delayzio Amerson, executive director for the Holton Youth Center, Milwaukee; LeRoy Barton, grass-roots community activist, Nevada; LiLi Liu, Weed and Seed Program, Seattle; and Harold I. Hunter, a community health advocate in rural North Carolina.
For more information about the winners, go to www.peacecorps.gov/noteworthy.
The Franklin H. Williams Award
Ambassador Franklin H. Williams made a significant contribution to his community, to the nation and to the world at large before his death in 1990. He served as an ambassador to the United Nations and Ghana, as an advocate for civil rights and as one of Sargent Shriver's trusted deputies during the formative years of the Peace Corps. He also served as president for the Phelps-Stokes Fund, which focuses on educational opportunities for Americans of color and Africans. Mr. Williams’ widow, Mrs. Shirley Williams, will be attending the award ceremony as an honored guest of the Peace Corps.
More than 165,000 volunteers have served in 135 countries since the Peace Corps was established in 1961. Today, more than 7,000 volue served in 135 countries since the Peace Corps was established in 1961. Today, more than 7,000 volunteers serve in programs to address business development, health and HIV/AIDS, the environment, education, agriculture and information technology.
Editor's Note: The 11 Franklin H. Williams honorees will be available for media interviews on Feb. 7, 2002, at 6:15 p.m.; additional biographical information on Williams is available upon request, as well as a list of previous award winners. Contact Sara Johnston at 703.235.9197 for more information.