Explorations in Black Leadership

Co-Directed by Phyllis Leffler & Julian Bond

Peace Corps as Career

BOND: So you leave the Peace Corps but you come back to work for the Peace Corps on minority recruitment. Why that focus?

WILLIAMS: Well, also, there's one other thing that's really important. I met my wife in the Peace Corps. [laughs]

BOND: Oh, that's right, you did.

WILLIAMS: That's right. She was from the Dominican Republic and I met her and we've been married now for 40 years.

BOND: Very good. Congratulations.

WILLIAMS: Thank you. So we came back together and started our new life and so, again, the Peace Corps, I came back and I was in Washington for about 48 hours and I got offered a job by the Peace Corps to recruit and they said you can recruit in any city you want in the Midwest so I said, well, I think I'll go to Chicago. That's my hometown, right? And so I ended up going to Chicago. Also, I thought in terms of minority recruitment, it was important to try to encourage other minorities to join the Peace Corps. It had been such a positive, important experience for me. I thought that I should do everything I could and in my power to try to encourage other minorities to at least consider the Peace Corps and so the Peace Corps had a minority recruiting program and so I came back and I got involved in that.

BOND: It's remarkable, because I run into Peace Corps volunteers all the time and they stand out. They truly do.