Statement from Peace Corps Director Aaron S. Williams on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month

June 2, 2011

Washington, D.C., June 2, 2011 The Peace Corps issued the following statement from Director Aaron S. Williams on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Pride Month:

The Peace Corps is proud to recognize and honor the many contributions that gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender Americans have made in our workplace, communities, and country.

In 2000, President Clinton designated June as Gay and Lesbian Pride Month to commemorate the 1969 Stonewall Rebellion in Manhattan, the defining event that marked the start of the gay rights movement in the United States and around the world.

To commemorate this historic occasion, returned Peace Corps volunteers will participate in a variety of Pride Month related events across the country, including Pride festivals, parades, and panel discussions featuring LGBT returned volunteers.

During the month of June, I encourage everyone to reflect on how we are all part of the same family and how LGBT Pride Month reflects the Peace Corps own goals to promote cross-cultural understanding and bring people together.

In honor of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month, and on behalf of the Peace Corps, I extend my gratitude to LGBT volunteers and staff for their efforts to foster world peace and friendship and fulfill the three goals of the Peace Corps.

Peace Corps will host a webinar on June 29, 2011, at 6:00 p.m. EST featuring LGBT returned Peace Corps volunteers. Early registration online is encouraged.

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. Visit www.peacecorps.gov for more information.

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