The Peace Corps Releases Progress Report on Advancing Rights of LGBTQI+ People through its Mission

May 2, 2022

Today, the Peace Corps, in conjunction with the State Department and agencies across the U.S. government, released a first-of-its-kind report on the implementation of President Joseph R. Biden’s Memorandum on Advancing the Human Rights of LGBTQI+ Persons Around the World. The progress shared by the Peace Corps highlights the agency’s policies and programming to promote the human rights of LGBTQI+ volunteers, staff and counterparts across the world.

“The Peace Corps is incredibly proud of and thankful for the meaningful and unique contributions the LGBTQI+ community has made in service of world peace and friendship,” said Peace Corps Chief Executive Officer Carol Spahn. “We will continue to intentionally foster equity and inclusion for the LGBTQI+ community with policies and work centered on our shared dignity, humanity and connection.”

The Peace Corps continues to advance this Presidential Memorandum by:

  • Actively and inclusively recruiting and selecting volunteers from the LGBTQI+ community, including through more than 20 LGBTQI+-specific recruiting events
  • Developing and providing intercultural competence, diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility volunteer and staff support and training packages inclusive of LGBTQI+ considerations, including mandatory unconscious bias training for all agency staff
  • Engaging and collaborating with host country LGBTQI+ civil society groups, where feasible, to build relationships between staff and Volunteers and local LGBTQI+ leaders.
  • Supporting the implementation of small-scale, President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief-funded (PEPFAR) and other health-related, volunteer-led projects with LGBTQI+ communities across select posts
  • Conducting a global survey that asked posts to report on and consider how they are removing and mitigating barriers for the LGBTQI+ community
  • Developing the 2022-2026 Strategic Plan, including an equity-focused strategic objective to strengthen inclusive and equitable support systems for stakeholders across the agency, including the LGBTQI+ community and partners
  • Implementing global LGBTQI+-related educational events and advocacy initiatives for the Peace Corps’ LGBTQI+ staff members via the work of the agency’s LGBTQI+ employee resource group

Moving forward the Peace Corps will continue to support the advancement of the human rights of LGBTQI+ persons around the globe via culturally appropriate volunteer programing, engagement with LGBTQI+ communities of our host countries, and prioritizing equity and inclusion in our domestic and overseas training and organizational development.

For more information about the Peace Corps’ work to advance intercultural competency, diversity, equity, and accessibility, please visit www.peacecorps.gov/equity.

About the Peace Corps:  The Peace Corps is an international service network of volunteers, community members, host country partners and staff who are driven by the agency’s mission of world peace and friendship. At the invitation of governments around the world, Peace Corps volunteers work alongside community members on locally-prioritized projects in the areas of education, health, environment, agriculture, community economic development and youth development. Through service, members of the Peace Corps network develop transferable skills and hone intercultural competencies that position them to be the next generation of global leaders. Since President John F. Kennedy established the Peace Corps in 1961, more than 240,000 Americans have served in 142 countries worldwide. For more information, visit peacecorps.gov and follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

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