Peace Building in District 5495

Submitted by Robert Wertz
District 5495 Peacebuilder Chair 2023
Dear Friends of Peace,
As my wife and I spent Thanksgiving away from home, that meant being apart from our loving animal companions. While we enjoyed our time together in a different holiday setting, we both know when it's time to return home to reconnect with our devoted companions.

For those of us that have these close relationships, you understand. What I find challenging is the callous disregard that many people have for these sources of unconditional love.

When I encounter these situations, I allow the following ripple to gently dilute thoughts of concern. 
"10th Ripple of Peace: Listen to music that exemplifies Peace to you".

"Music can affect mood. It can inspire our creativity, enhance our wellbeing, increase our energy and uplift our spirits.  It can also help us relax. Some music even speaks to our hearts or stirs our souls, reminding us of our reflection of the divine.

Make it a habit to play music that instills Peace - at home, at work and in your car. And remember to use music regularly to maintain your positive mood.

Be mindful of the lyrics of music you listen to regularly. Words that affirm love, Peace and joy contribute to your experience of Peacefulness".
From Ripples of Peace: 111 Ways You Can Help Create Peace in the World by, Rae Thompson.

On those rare occasions when we may not be able to listen to music, hum a favorite tune or mantra. For some, humming is considered a form of internal massage. The combination of conscious breath work and an affirmative song is a powerful antidote to the woes of the world.

Imagine ...
Click below to visit the District's Peacebuilder site and view the entire "10 Ripples of Peace.
Provided by the Rotary Action Group for Peace
1. That everyone is educated about Peace, is engaged in Peacebuilding, and feels empowered to take action to grow Peace.
2. That each person recognizes that all people are different, each deserving of basic human respect, and showing that respect for each other.
3. Each person understands that respect for one another is greater than our differences, whether they be differences of nationality, political beliefs, religious beliefs, opinion, race, nationality, dress, or any other difference.
4. Each person educates themselves on the differences between individuals and seeks to find and celebrate the commonalities.
5. Each person teaches their children peace, mutual respect, and to behave in a fashion that does not allow for bigotry, hatred or anger.
6. That Rotary Clubs undertake projects in communities which have been disrupted by disaster or conflict with an emphasis on empathy and understanding for all those affected.
7. That Rotary Clubs invest in working with children and communities in teaching mutual respect, understanding and compassion. To set aside differences together to unravel a history of conflict.
8. That Rotarians work with themselves, their families, their communities, their regions and countries to lay the groundwork for Peace and a transition from conflict to sustainable Peace. Thus building intentional Peace with the goal of having resilient, cohesive communities.
9. Ending war is not enough. Wishing for an end to conflicts, and in its place create sustainable Peace stretching from the individual through the community to the country level.

10. That the citizens of every country are sufficiently empowered to decide through peaceful democratic means that their countries government choose Peace.
Message from Michael G. Hayes
Chair, Rotary Action Group For Peace
Since the beginning of this Rotary year, we have focused on being intentional about Peace.
There is no greater intentionality about peace than this month’s Rotary theme, Economic and Community Development.
A community that is successful and sustainable is a community that can be successful and sustainable socially. If each member of the community is invested in the economic and social success of all members of the community,  levels of conflict will drop and levels of cooperation, communication, respect, and other positive interaction will rise. Peace is more than an absence of conflict; it is communities of people positively interacting with one another in a manner that builds community resilience. Peace begins at the personal and community level.
Within each of our communities exist opportunities for Economic and Community development. It can be as simple as supporting local businesses. Youth projects that help kids maintain their focus on their education, help them appreciate differences, supporting and empowering girls and young women, teaching respect for each other are all areas of Community Development opportunity.
Having Rotary Club projects that pull together different groups in the community to interact, have fellowship, and learn how to communicate with each other is a great community resilience project.
Let’s be intentional about Peace, let's start in our own communities!!!
Message from Michael G. Hayes
Chair, Rotary Action Group for Peace
You are different from every other person on this planet. Out of the 8+ Billion people on this planet, you are unique. It is also safe to say that out of every person who has ever existed, you are unique. There has never been and never will be anyone exactly like you. There may be people who are similar, whether it be similarities in thought, beliefs, physical attributes, or in a multitude of other ways; yet each of us are different.
Our job, as citizens of the world and Rotarians, is to help everyone who is different than us (which is everyone else on the planet) experience the same opportunities that we have. That is what Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) is about. Fundamental fairness to everyone is not a political position, it is about removing barriers to those who might be different than you. That is why across the globe, most major companies, businesses, other service organizations like Kiwanis, Lions Club, and Rotary International have adopted DEI Policies.
If DEI helps us to overcome our differences, overcome our biases, overcome our fears of what we do not know; that will help us to build stronger relationships, build stronger communities, and be more supportive of one another. Ultimately accepting each other’s differences will help us to build Peace. Let us be intentional about building Peace and Creating Hope!!!  
1.  Measure their thoughts, words, and actions against the 4 Way
2.  Respect for all peoples and all professions.
3.  Build healthy communities through disease prevention, clean
water efforts, and sanitation projects.
4.  Build healthy families through family health, child and maternal
health initiatives.
5.  Build resilient communities through empowerment of females and
marginalized groups, educational initiatives, and economic
development projects.
6.  Help victims of wars and natural disasters through a variety of
initiatives; including disaster response, resilience building through
empathy programs, and support of refugees.
7.  Have welcoming, inclusive Rotary/Rotaract Clubs
8.  Build long term friendships and relationships without thought of a
9.  Seek to educate oneself and the Club on the global perspective of
10.  Seek to be the conduit for creating Hope in the World.

The Rotary Club of Sun City is so proud of our own Elizabeth Mahoney receiving the 2023 Champion of Peace award at  the District 5495 Conference held May 6 in Phoenix.

Mary Bjork Zongolowicz (Club representative to the Peacebuilder Network), left, and Tony Cerato (Peace Fellowship SubCommittee Chair) helped celebrate Elizabeth's recognition.

Elizabeth is a past district governor for District 5495 (2020-21) and has been involved in a number of district activities involving youth, peace and education. 

By Barbara Gaughen-Muller
Rotary Action Group for Peace Chairwoman
Rotary Women are Women of Peace and Women of Action
For the 2023 International Woman’s Day and beyond, 6 International women on the Rotary Action Group for Peace Board created a one-minute video on Instagram. Each of us from Hong Kong to Turkey and Wales said, “I am a woman of peace and a woman of action in Rotary”
I am so proud of the women in Rotary, we are women of Action:
  • Taking leadership roles in our zones
  • Creating Peace Builder Clubs in your Club
  • Spreading Peace via Zoom meetings in countries where peace is needed
  • Cleaning beaches and parks 
  • Joining RAGS like our RAGFP
  • Sponsoring Rotaract Clubs 
  • Fighting Polio
  • Bringing comfort and nourishment to the unhoused and evacuees.  
Thank you, women of Rotary! Dear men of Rotary I am so proud of you too. I was invited to join the Hollywood Rotary Club right after Sylvia Whitlock removed the blocks to women joining Rotary. I watched RI President Jennifer Jones break the last glass ceiling in Rotary. I have watched and read about women being the source of new ideas, comfort and peace as I read the Rotarian.
The 2023 campaign theme: #EmbraceEquity, which Rotary does. Equity isn't just a nice-to-have, it's a must-have.
A focus on gender equity needs to be part of every Rotary Club and Action. And it is important to understand the difference between equity and equality as in this illustration. Conversations are the key to having the right fit for all your club members. Rotarians are people for peace and action!
Applications for the 2024 Rotary Peace Fellowships are now available!

Dear club presidents and district officers,

You can help promote peace in the world by encouraging peace and development leaders in your community to apply for the Rotary Peace Fellowship.

Each year, Rotary awards fully funded fellowships for peacebuilders from diverse backgrounds to study at one of our peace centers located at premier universities around the world. This year, we’ll select 50 peace fellows to study in our master’s degree programs and 40 fellows to earn a professional development certificate.

Rotary Peace Fellows use their training to amplify their work at the local, regional, or global level. Clubs and districts can partner with them on peacebuilding initiatives before, during, and after their fellowships.

But we need your help finding candidates. Rotary and Rotaract members can get involved by:
Candidates have until 15 May to submit applications to The Rotary Foundation.

Thanks to generous support from donors and the dedicated participation of Rotary members, the peace fellowship program has more than 1,600 alumni working to make positive change in more than 140 countries.

To learn more about how you can recruit the next generation of peace fellows, contact your district Rotary Peace Fellowship subcommittee chair or write to
The Rotary Action Group for Peace will hold the first Global Peacebuilder Club Meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2023.  It will be held in segments, beginning with the Hong Kong region and proceeding west throughout the day.  
Rotary was founded on the principle of “Service through acquaintance” and this meeting is in keeping with that principle.  The meeting will provide an opportunity for Peacebuilder Clubs to build acquaintance and fellowship and will allow them to inform one another about their activities and projects.  
The meeting will also introduce existing and prospective Chapters.
Please watch for the invitation to be issued this week.  If you are not sure if your Peacebuilder Club is on the list, please use the following form to register: