Peace Building in District 5495

Submitted by Robert Wertz, Chair
PF Rotary Club Peacebuilders Committee
 
A Peace Pole sponsored by the Prescott Frontier Rotary Club was dedicated Sept. 21 at the Yavapai College.  The Peace Pole is located adjacent the library entrance from 5 to 7 p.m.
 
This project represents the realization of a vision held by Nancy Van Pelt. The project presented an opportunity for Yavapai College Art students to develop a sculptural interpretation of a Peace Pole. A rigorous review process resulted in the selection of a truly unique and inspiring version of a Peace Pole.
 
Following a celebration of the 2020 International Day of Peace, the Prescott Frontier Rotary Club Board approved the formation of a Peacebuilders Committee. Nancy Van Pelt's recommendation to place a Peace Pole in a prominent Prescott public setting was endorsed as the committee’s first priority.
 
Our proposal for a student-led design competition was enthusiastically endorsed by the Yavapai College (YC) Foundation. A design developed by YC sculpture student, Ron Miller, was approved for fabrication and placement on campus by the Art Department Selection Committee.
 
One of the project goals is to reinvigorate the YC Rotaract Club which has been dormant since the onset of the pandemic. I am pleased to report the Art Department Chair has expressed his support of a presentation of the Virtual Reality-based peacebuilding program presented during the recent peace symposium. Extra credit will be offered for participation in the program. The program will serve as an introduction to the RI Peacebuilding and Conflict Prevention Area of Focus as well as the Rotaract Club in general.
 
A dedication of the Peace Pole sculpture and celebration of the 41st anniversary of the International Day of Peace will be held 5-7 p.m. Wednesday, September 21, 2022. The dedication will take place in the plaza adjacent the library entrance.
 
“This project represents the realization of a vision held by Nancy Van Pelt. The project presented an opportunity for Yavapai College Art students to develop a sculptural interpretation of a Peace Pole. A rigorous review process resulted in the selection of a truly unique and inspiring version of a Peace Pole,” said Robert Wertz, chair of the Prescott Frontier Rotary Club Peacebuilders Committee.
 
The sculpture is secured to a 14-inch pedestal that will include a plaque, which prominently features the Rotary Logo and support provided by our foundation.
By Barbara Muller
Chair, Rotary Action Group for Peace
 
What if Peace is possible and it starts with each of us?
 
In my travels at World Peace Conferences and on my Peace Podcasts, I’ve had conversation with scientists, world leaders and hundreds of peace builders. I’ve seen the power of a single act, a single word or a single person start a chain for peace. Even in the most horrific situations, people can still create peace.
 
It begins with us and starts with a conversation.
 
As Chair of the Rotary Action Group for Peace I’m here to say:
 
        Peace is personal
        Peace is our choice
        Peace is do-able
 
And each of us can contribute to a “language for peace” in our own unique way. 
 
Let’s confirm our commitment to peace on the International Day of Peace, September 21, 2022. The United Nations has said this is the time for strengthening the ideals for peace through observing the 2022 theme:
 
"End Racism. Build Peace". 
 
Hundreds of Rotary clubs have created events. My in box is filled with events and invitations. I plan to join many and I am keynoting several.
 
Thank you, Peace Builders!
 
We are the peace our world needs now and for all future generations.
 
 
 
We are excited to announce the 5th Annual Pursuing Peace Conference will be on Friday, September 16th! We have an amazing slate of guest speakers who will be sharing their peacemaking experiences. The primary topic for this year's conference is "Creating Peacemakers Around Us." Speakers include:
  • Chuck Fitzgerald – Conference Founder & Host
  • Elizabeth Gamarra – World Rotary Peace Fellow serving at the OECD Nuclear Energy Agency
  • Lisa Jernigan – Co-Founder & President, Amplify Peace
  • Dr. Sanjeev Khagram – Director General & Dean, ASU's Thunderbird School of Global Management
  • Scott Martin – Mediator & Conflict Coach, Mediators Beyond Borders International
  • Rev. Eve Nunez – Founder & President, National Latina / Latino Commission
  • Dr. Clyde Rivers – Founder & President, iChange Nations
  • Johrita Solari – Former Vice-President, Rotary International
The conference will be a one-day hybrid event; we will be streaming online, and we will be "in person" at the new campus of ASU's Thunderbird School of Global Management in downtown Phoenix, Arizona.

Registration for the conference is open now at https://pursuingpeace.regfox.com/2022-pursuing-peace-conference. This year, like previous years, you can set your own registration fee - and yes, $0 is OK!

We look forward to seeing you in September!

With gratitude and peace,

Chuck Fitzgerald
www.pursuingpeace.org
 
District 5495 Rotarians not only “served to change lives” this past year, but in two instances their actions most likely literally “saved” lives.
 
On November 1, 2021, The Rotary Peace Centers awarded two of its 50 Master’s Degree Peace Fellowships to two District 5495 applicants: Kateryna Mashchenko (Katya) from Ukraine, and Mustafa Rezaie, from Afghanistan.
 
Making their way out of their native countries and to their appointed peace centers this year, however, was anything but easy as the two found themselves looking to leave two nations devastated by conflict and humanitarian crisis.
 
Who knew the fate these two peacebuilders would endure over the next six months? Both Katya and Mustafa have been very brave in having to leave their families, friends, and homelands as they prepare for their Fellowships to continue to make a difference to help others.
 
Thanks to direct assistance by Rotarians, however, both have happy endings to their stories.
 
Mustafa Rezaie
Mustafa was chosen to attend Duke University and the biggest challenge of his new journey was simply being able to get he and his family safely out of Afghanistan.
 
District 5495 Rotarians were first able to help Mustafa, his wife, and two young daughters escape Afghanistan in February and find refuge in Pakistan with the help of Pakistan Rotarians and others. 
Dr. Ruth Tan Lim of the Rotary Club of Mesa Sunrise has been named the District 5495 2022 Champion for Peace.
 
The award was announced and presented at the District 5495 Peace Symposium held May 12 in Prescott, and also shared at May 14 at the District Conference at the Prescott Resort and Conference Center.
 
Dr. Ruth has been an advocate for peace and a long-time peacebuilder. She has traveled to several countries participating in global grants and helped to plant a number of peace poles throughout Arizona.
 
She is a veteran of the first Desert Storm War, and a long-time passionate provider of health care for children. She has collaborated with physicians and other organizations to provide much needed medical care and assistance to those of all ages in need of eye exams, hearing exams and dental exams.
 
Dr. Ruth is in the process of making Mesa an International City of Peace, and has been an active member of the Mesa Sunrise Rotary Club for more than 15 years.
 
Rotary Statement on Ukraine
A message from Director Vicki Puliz
­
In response to the tragic events occurring in Ukraine, please see the official statement from Rotary International below. I know you are getting many questions from members about how they can help, because that is how Rotarians respond to crisis and disasters when other people are in need.  
 
The events in Ukraine are changing rapidly. General Secretary John Hewko, Director Katerina Kotsali-Papadimitriou, and other European Rotary Senior Leadership are working closely with Rotary leaders in Ukraine to monitor and provide substantial humanitarian assistance in a coordinated, effective way. They thank you for your support and desire to help, and will be back to us soon with action we can take.
 
Official Statement from Rotary International:
 
It is a tragic and sad time for the people of Ukraine and the world. 
 
At Rotary, we are deeply concerned by the deteriorating situation in Ukraine and the escalating loss of life and humanitarian hardship there.  Continued military action against Ukraine will not only devastate the region, but also risk spreading tragic consequences across Europe and the world.
 
As one of the world’s largest humanitarian organizations, we have made peace the cornerstone of our global mission.  We join the international community in calling for an immediate cease fire, withdrawal of Russian forces, and a restoration of diplomatic efforts to resolve this conflict through dialogue. 
 
In the past decade, Rotary clubs in Ukraine, Russia and nearby countries have transcended national differences and have actively engaged in peace-building projects to promote goodwill and to marshal assistance for the victims of war and violence. Today, our thoughts are with our fellow Rotary members and others in Ukraine coping with these tragic events. Rotary International will do everything in its power to bring aid, support and peace to the region. 
Hello D5495 Leaders,
 
Annually, February 1 – May 15 marks the Rotary Peace Fellowship Program application process for the 2023-24 academic year.  This highly competitive and extraordinary program provides up to 50 Master’s Degrees and 80 Professional Certificate opportunities to deserving peacebuilders from all over the world.
 
This is a fully-funded program by The Rotary Peace Centers within The Rotary Foundation.  There is $0 cost to your club or our District.  
 
This past year D5495 was honored to have two of our applicants awarded Master’s degree opportunities for this coming 2022-23 year.  Thanks to those of you who know and support this program. We want more D5495 Rotarians to know about it and share it with others. We are asking your help to promote the Rotary Peace Fellowship Program.
 
Please go to the D5495 website “Resources” tab at the top of the page and click on “Peacebuilding Resources”. Then scroll down to “Peace Fellowships/Peace Centers and you will find 6 items to learn about both the Master’s and Certificate programs, the Role of the Rotary Club, qualification criteria, and more.
 
Within our own communities here in Arizona there are so many peacebuilders doing amazing work to keep us safe, healthy, educated, and well looked after.  Many of these individuals are candidates for this Certificate.  We would like your clubs to promote the Professional Certificate program locally.  Please see the attached flyer. 
 
We have a dedicated committee to assist your clubs with the application process.  We can also provide a short program on this for your clubs.  And we are available to answer any questions.
 
 
Peace and regards,
Tony Cerato
D5495 Peace Fellowship Subcommittee Chair
Phone:  719-351-6616
The two Rotary Clubs in Peoria -- Rotary Club of Peoria and Rotary Club of Peoria North -- collaborated to install several Peace Poles and a "Be Kind" bench at Rio Vista Community Park in Peoria.
 
Rio Vista Community Park is located North of Thunderbird Road and one-quarter mile west of the Loop 101 Agua Fria freeway.
 
For more Rotary "Landmarks" to be found throughout Arizona, visit the "Rotary Landmarks" photo album.
 
 
Members of the Peoria North Rotary Club on Saturday, Nov. 6, installed a peace pole at a community garden operated by Heart for the City. The garden is located at 6850 W. Bethany Home Road in Glendale.
 
Club members initially volunteered to clean up the garden in April 2021 during the Arizona Rotary Week of Service: weeding, composting, and building garden structures.
 
Club members in the photo at left: Donnis Deever, Jason Braunstein, Steve Matthews, Lou Rotundo and Club President Sharee Sheets.