Explorations in Black Leadership

Co-Directed by Phyllis Leffler & Julian Bond

Compulsory Service

BOND: Can you think of a different domestic form of the Peace Corps? We have agencies here that do in the United States what the Peace Corps does overseas? How can we inculcate this kind of service to the larger community?

WILLIAMS: Well, first of all, let me just tell you from a philosophical standpoint—I believe that we need universal service in America. I'm a great proponent of that. I think when an American young person turns 18 they should be given the opportunity to serve, whether it's in the military or in civilian walks of life. I think it would develop a stronger sense of community. It would give you a chance to interact with people outside of your comfort zone and it would lead to a stronger nation, so I think that's important. I would love to see universal service in this country, civilian or military.

BOND: In your vision, would it be compulsory?

WILLIAMS: It would be compulsory. It would be.