by Yves -Renee Jennings, Ph.D.
It is my pleasure to acknowledge and honor Dr. Elizabeth Teagarden, PhD, who served until recently as our District 7680 Peace Chair and District 7680 Institute for Economics and Peace Ambassador. I am very grateful for the foundation she laid within the district so I can build upon it.
As the successor of Dr. Elizabeth Teagarden, PhD, I will strive to collaborate with my district Rotarian colleagues within the context of a newly formed Peacebuilding, Conflict Prevention and Resolution (PCPR) Committee as our district wants to actively link the Rotary Peacebuilding, Conflict Prevention and [Resolution] area of focus to the other six areas namely:
- i) fighting diseases
- ii) providing clean water sanitation and hygiene
- iii) saving mothers and children
- iv) supporting education
- v) growing local economies and
- vi) protecting the environment
his strong linkage is important to consider because the area of Peacebuilding, Conflict Prevention, and Resolution can allow Rotarians to collaborate constructively with other Rotarians and external stakeholders to practice peace in action and as, as a district, we strive to contribute toward the achievement of positive peace.
Accordingly, I have accepted to replace Dr. Elizabeth Teagarden, Ph.D., within an expanded function of the Rotary District Peace Chair and District 7680 Institute for Economics and Peace Ambassador. This expansion will serve as a robust backdrop to better serve the district in close collaboration with Rotarian colleagues within the context of the new District 7680 Peacebuilding, Conflict Prevention and Resolution (PCPR) Committee. The PCPR Committee launched during a dual-purpose event on Tuesday, September 21, 2021, as the committee celebrated the United Nations International Day of Peace.
The role of the PCPR Committee is to support our district clubs and encourage them to develop and implement service projects that address Rotary’s areas of focus, within which we can help them discern which aspects relate to Peacebuilding, Conflict Prevention and Resolution. Thus, through the district level, the PCPR Committee can build an organically comprehensive agenda to provide District 7680 Rotarians with opportunities to become involved in the design and promotion of different activities. Such endeavor will serve as a foundation through which we can each contribute toward the achievement of sustainable positive peace and social consciousness which is necessary for us to recognize that it is imperative that our respective basic human needs are positively met as members of a society. The PCPR Committee agenda will be implemented, for instance, through initiatives that include activities related to:
- Education and training
- Communication and dialogue
- ·Understanding structural violence impacts
- ·Co-existing with the Other and
- Rotary-based service projects
As the Chair of District 7680 Peacebuilding, Conflict Prevention and Resolution Committee and District 7680 Institute for Economics and Peace Ambassador, I will endeavor to lead the committee so we can work with district clubs through their Rotary Serves to Change Lives initiatives. This collaboration will, of course, include coordinating with our district Rotaract and Rotary committees and sub-committees as well as our Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Council. In this respect, I will seek to uphold a constructive systemic participatory approach built on dynamic efforts with a vision toward sustainable social consciousness and positive peace. Such an approach will also be anchored in synergistic partnerships with local stakeholders and international Rotary clubs and project beneficiaries, based on core values such as trust, respect, collaboration, effective communication, accountability, and delivery. In addition to our district clubs, local groups, and organizations, we will focus on carrying out such activities– as much as possible–in partnership and collaboration with other local Rotary districts; groups such as the Rotary Action Group for Peace (RAGFP); the Duke-University of North Carolina Rotary Peace Center, Chapel Hill; and the Institute for Economics & Peace (IEP).
Please note that the District 7680 Peacebuilding, Conflict Prevention and Resolution Committee will contain several sub-committees, which will help ensure the PCPR work of the district is carried out efficiently and effectively. It is my hope that you will choose to either participate in our District 7680 Peacebuilding, Conflict Prevention and Resolution Committee, or join one of the related sub-committees so together we can collaborate in designing and implementing the related agenda.
Together we can celebrate the launching of the District 7680 Peacebuilding, Conflict Prevention and Resolution Committee and the United Nations International Day of Peace.