In recognition of both National Maritime Day and Harvey Milk Day, the museum presents a special re-broadcast of a program presented in 2022 with Milk’s nephew, Stuart Milk, President and CEO of the Harvey Milk Foundation. Harvey Milk Day is organized by the Harvey Milk Foundation and is celebrated each year on May 22 in memory of the gay rights activist who was assassinated in 1978, and for whom the USNS Harvey Milk (T-AO-206) is named. The ship is the second of the John Lewis-class of underway replenishment oilers operated by the Military Sealift Command. Also participating in the program is Captain James White, USN, the ship’s Commanding Officer.


About the Speakers:

Stuart Milk is a global LGBTQ rights advocate who has worked supporting struggling and emerging LGBTQ communities in over 60 nations on six continents. As the nephew of Harvey Milk and founder of the Harvey Milk Foundation, he has expanded his uncle’s example of visibility and courage, successfully leading historic global campaigns and events in collaboration with the United Nations, Munich Security Conference, the U.S. State Department, the European Union (EU), the U.S. Department of Defense, and the White House. A featured commentator on television, he has also provided several historic media "firsts,” including advocating for LGBTQ rights on broadcast TV in various countries around the world. He has provided master lectures on the state of global LGBTQ rights at the world's leading universities in the U.S. and abroad including Harvard, Cambridge, Thammasat University in Thailand, Trinity College in Ireland, and the Universidad Peruana de Ciencias Aplicadas, in Peru. He recently addressed the UN Security Council advocating for the global decriminalization of LGBTQ people and he was the keynote speaker for the first DOD Pride Celebration to be held at the Pentagon’s ground zero.

Stuart is the recipient of dozens of prestigious global human rights awards and honors and has worked alongside some renowned world leaders. He is most honored, however, to continue his organizing efforts with the hundreds of human rights advocates whom he describes as “everyday heroes” and the main force behind equality advances today.

James White, Captain, USN is the Commanding Officer of the USNS Harvey Milk and has served in the Navy for 36 years--3 on active duty and 33 years as a Military Sealift Command Civilian Mariner.

During his career he has been assigned to twenty different ships--commanding eight of them. He has participated in numerous contingency operations and has made deployments in support of the Navy to the Caribbean, Northern Europe, the Baltic, the Mediterranean, the Red Sea, the Horn of Africa, the Persian Gulf, the Indian Ocean, the Far East and in the Pacific and Atlantic theaters. Presently he is in the process of assembling the crew for the USNS Harvey Milk and is looking forward to the ship’s delivery to the Navy in June 2023. He’s a graduate of the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, and the Naval War College, and holds an unlimited tonnage ship master’s license.

About National Maritime Day: National Maritime Day recognizes the maritime industry. It is observed annually on May 22, the date in 1819 that the American steamship Savannah set sail from Savannah, Georgia on the first ever transoceanic voyage under steam power. The United States Congress created the holiday on May 20, 1933. On May 22, 2002, the Military Sealift Command observed National Maritime Day with a memorial service held in Washington, DC. Rear Adm. David L. Brewer III, Commander, Military Sealift Command, and Gordon R. England, Secretary of the Navy tossed a wreath into the Anacostia River at the Washington Navy Yard in honor of fallen mariners.

Note: This is a virtual program to be aired on the museum’s Facebook page on the date and time indicated. If you have problems accessing the museum’s Facebook page, contact




Stuart Milk, co-founder of The Harvey Milk Foundation, speaking at the 2021 christening and launch ceremony of the USNS Harvey Milk (T-AO-206), named after his uncle. Middle: Captain James White, USN. White is the current Commanding Officer of the USNS Havey Milk.