Ellie Patterson is the Immediate Past District Governor of Rotary District 5500 and is the District 5500 Peace Chair.
Ellie shared with our club a vision and big picture presentation of the District 5500 Peacebuilding and Peace & Conflict Resolution initiatives.
District 5500 is a Peacebuilder District with peace ambassadors and numerous projects for inspiring peace, including the Kenya Peace Camp, Mexico Anti-bullying initiative, Lima Violence Resolution, and the USA / Mexico Friendship Exchange.
Rotary International has been at the forefront of peace since the organizations founding, and the District selected the peacebuilder initiative because of the current un-peaceful / uncertain times, first starting with smaller steps and evolving to larger and more global projects. In District 5500, there are currently 12 peacebuilder clubs, and the district would like to evolve to 50 percent peacebuilder clubs. There are also 25 peace poles installed or in progress within the district, including the DM Rotary Club peace pole at Tangerine Sky Park.
The Rotary peacebuilder initiative is creating opportunities for dialog where there were not any, without taking sides, by finding common interests, and creating further opportunities for continuous dialog.
DM Rotary’s peacebuilder efforts plan to expand the peace pole area at Tangerine Sky Park with further projects, in collaboration with Marana’s Parks & Recreation.