Peace Building in District 5495

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: 
By Barbara Muller
Chair, Rotary Action Group for Peace
Happy New Year, my dear Rotarians! Together we can make 2023 our year for world peace!
When my twin granddaughters were born, I was in Trader Joe's and the checkers rang the bells at the counters. "These bells are ringing in an era of peace," I told everyone. 
That was a few years ago, and I still believe Peace is Possible, which is the theme for my year as 2022-23 Chair of the RAGFP. Peace is something we have to work for,, as I have learned from the 100+ Podcasts with Peacebuilders ( 
And our UN Secretary-General made peace in his annual message:
"This is not a time to sit on the sidelines; it is a time for resolve, determination, and – yes – even hope." - UN Chief.
The UN chief said on Monday, he was determined to make 2023 "a year for peace" and a "year for action", highlighting the need for practical solutions to a raft of pressing problems facing all regions of the world.
The United Nations Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, pledged to make 2023 "a year for peace" and a "year for action."
When all 191 UN member states and each of our 35,000 Rotary Clubs continue to work for the peace our world needs, through service projects, our thoughts, and local actions, peace will be a reality. 
How we create a culture of peace is evolving. Peace building is more effective at the community level where needs are known and solutions come from collaboration and cooperation between all sectors which also creates greater respect for one another and benefits all citizens.
As Paul Harris, our founder, sums it up:
"Rotary changes us and those we serve. I believe we can change the world one club at a time."
In 2006, then-Director Jerry Hall established a Zones 26 & 27 Endowed Fund for Peace and Conflict Resolution through The Rotary Foundation. The fund goal was $500,000 which would fund a “Peace Chair” every fourth year.
Now, as the result of years of mostly DDF giving, we are just $62,000 from reaching this goal. At the 2022 Trails to Peace Institute, 12 Rotarians pledged a total of $21,000 and District 5520 pledged $10,000 in DDF to the fund - half of the remaining $62,000 needed.
You and your Districts have an opportunity to help reach our goal by making individual contributions or District DDF transfers. We ask each District to consider transferring at least $3,000 DDF (or or any amount the District chooses) to Endowed Fund E10557 “Zone 26/27 Endowed Fund for Peace and Conflict Resolution.” Click HERE for the online DDF transfer form. 
Individual Rotarians may contribute using The Rotary Foundation Contribution Form (123-EN) and entering fund number E10557 in the “Endowment Fund” space.
Questions? Contact your Zones 26 & 27 Endowment/Major Giving Officers:
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 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