A group of Rotarians under the coordination of War Prevention Initiative Core Team member Erin Thomas successfully iniated the so-called "Rotarian Action Group For Peace". It is an action-driven group of Rotarians, Rotarians’ family members and Rotaractors working together for the purpose of advancing world peace. Click here to get to the website
The focus of the War Prevention Initiative is to prevent international and civil war. However, we strongly believe that peace begins in our homes, workplaces, schools and communities. Rotary’s world-wide community involvement and the commitment of Rotarians to serve are outstanding examples of peacebuilding. Rotary District 5100 Governor (2011-12) Mike Caruso has granted Peacebuilder Club status on over 10 of the districts clubs during his year as Governor. By fostering the establishment of Rotary Peacebuilder Clubs with an established peace committee Rotarians can provide a significant service to their community.
The War Prevention Initiative supports local Rotary clubs with their planning and implementation of peace committees including a wide variety of peace curricula. Rather than limiting the peace and conflict related issues to what we believe to be important, we are reaching out to the clubs to learn what the important topics in their respective communities are. Our close relationship with academics in Conflict Resolution at Portland State University and the University of Oregon allow a timely transfer of knowledge to Rotarians working to bring peace to their communities.
Our founder, Al Jubitz, joined Rotary in 1977 as a third generation Rotarian at the Rotary Club of Portland (Oregon, USA). Al believes that Rotary has a unique and meaningful role to play in preventing future wars:
"Making Peace" - the title of the February 2012 Rotarian Magazine suggests Rotary International is ready for a broad orientation toward peace building. When asked about the direction Rotary should take, President Elect Tanaka clearly suggests that of peace. The idea is certainly not far-fetched. Creating peace is a process. Rotarians are doers and there is a significant role for them in the big picture of peace building. The magazine shared heartening stories of Rotary Peace Fellows who take themselves out of their comfort zone into conflict hotspots such as Kirghistan, Afghanistan, Ethiopia or Sudan, post-conflict regions like Cambodia or Sierra Leone, or who simply are engaged in violence prevention efforts in inner cities or in relation to children. These peace builders and Rotarians worldwide are involved in what is called creating positive peace or peace with justice.
The following is Al Jubitz's response letter to the Rotarian Magazine:
January, 2012 - Letter to the editor of the Rotarian Magazine
Bravo for spotlighting Rotary’s World Peace Scholars (February 2012) who now have the added credential of being a Peace-builder wherever they work. Let’s now bring them, nearly 600 worldwide, together with a Rotary inspired and stated goal to prevent all war within a generation. We have the knowhow, we have the team, we have the organization. The world is waiting, Rotary can claim the goal. If not Rotary, whom?
PS. You may help by supporting D5100 Council on Legislation proposed enactment to RIs by-laws to establish a Standing Committee on World Peace. To add your voice go to warpreventioninitiative.org.
Following his own curiosity regarding the prevention of war, Al Jubitz made a dedicated effort to collect survey data from over 1000 Rotarians in the Pacific Northwest (USA). They were asked to define, in their own words, World Peace. The survey provides a valuable entry point for the discussion of Rotarians' attitudes toward world peace. We hope that the findings, illustrated below in graphical form, are an appeal to Rotary Internationals ‘moral imagination’ to believe in the pursuit of creative actions and step into the unknown landscape of a world without war. We hope that the findings are an appeal to Rotary Internationals ‘moral imagination’ to believe in the pursuit of creative actions and step into the unknown landscape of a world without war. When asked to define themselves on a scale of 1 to 10 as a peace maker by aligning their heart and their head 89% rated 5 or above and 45% 8 or above. Conclusion: Rotarians are ready.