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Rotary pilots new approach to peace and spotlights six peacemakers

EVANSTON, Ill. (September 21, 2017) — Rotary has entered a new partnership with the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP) to enhance its peace and conflict resolution efforts with data-driven methodologies and tools; as it honors six ‘Champions of Peace.’

The partnership with IEP – a global think tank that pioneered a conceptual framework for ‘Positive Peace’  – enables both organizations to work together to create an online learning platform with webinars and interactive tools to teach Rotary members and Rotary Peace Fellows to apply new peacebuilding methods to their communities while addressing underlying causes of conflicts. In addition, the partnership allows for the development of local workshops hosted by Rotary clubs to educate communities about positive peace.

“Peace is much more than the mere absence of violence,” said Rotary President Ian H.S. Riseley. “The IEP has helped shift the world’s conversation about peace to a positive, achievable and tangible measure of human wellbeing and progress. Our partnership will foster community-based projects in peace and conflict resolution that are both practical and impactful.” 

“We are excited to be partnering with Rotary on this important initiative to reach millions of people, helping them to become peacemakers,” said founder and Executive Chairman of IEP Steve Killelea. “As recent events clearly indicate, peace is a pre-requisite for humanity to thrive. The Rotary programs, built on Positive Peace, will be an invaluable contribution to global peace.”

Rotary members and peace fellows take action to address underlying causes of conflict by providing access to clean water and sanitation, supporting education, preventing and treating disease, saving mothers and children and growing local economies. To celebrate their impact and in recognition of International Day of Peace, Rotary is highlighting the following six Champions of Peace:


  • Jean Best, a member of the Rotary Club of Kirkcudbright, Scotland, founded The Peace Project, a skills-based training that teaches teens in 10 countries to resolve conflict within themselves and to promote peace in their schools and communities. 

  • Ann Frisch, a member of the Rotary Club of White Bear Lake, Minnesota, USA, introduced the Civilian-Based Peace Process to train civilians in southern Thailand to build safe zones where families, teachers and local officials do not have to confront military forces every day. 

  • Safina Rahman, a member of the Rotary Club of Dhaka Mahanagar, Bangladesh, established Emancipation & Empowerment of Girls– a program that provides basic education, vocational training, disease prevention, conflict prevention, healthcare, safe drinking water and personal hygiene to 2,600 students in Bangladesh, emphasizing vocational opportunities for girls. 

  • Alejandro Reyes Lozano, a member of the Rotary Club of Bogotá Capital, Colombia, served as a key negotiator, helping to end hostilities with The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC, after the initials in Spanish) by training women to reintegrate former guerillas into society. Through Women Building for Peace, women from Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Panama, Peru and Venezuela develop peace-building, conflict resolution and mediation alternatives in their communities. 

  • Kiran Singh Sirah, a graduate of the Rotary Peace Center at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, uses storytelling as a path to build peace through his Telling Stories That Matter project to address issues related to gang violence, sectarian and ethnic conflict, poverty and human rights violations. He has led programs in the United States, the United Kingdom, Scotland and Ireland. 

  • Taylor (Stevenson) Cass Talbott, a graduate of the Rotary Peace Center at the International Christian University in Japan, helped give voice to the marginalized by Pushing for Peace, Sanitation & Dignity for Pune’s Waste Pickers.  Her project helped boost the social perception of waste pickers in Pune, India by training them in communication and self-advocacy skills. 

These honorees will be recognized as Rotary’s People of Action: Champions of Peace on November 11 at Rotary Day at the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland.

About Rotary

Rotary brings together a global network of volunteer leaders dedicated to tackling the world’s most pressing humanitarian challenges. Rotary connects 1.2 million members of more than 35,000 Rotary clubs in over 200 countries and geographical areas. Their work improves lives at both the local and international levels, from helping families in need in their own communities to working toward a polio-free world. 

About the Institute for Economics and Peace

IEP is an international and independent think tank dedicated to shifting the world’s focus to peace as a positive, achievable and tangible measure of human well-being and progress. It has offices in Sydney, New York, The Hague and Mexico City.


Rotary: Chanele Williams, +1.847.866.3466 

IEP: Michelle Breslauer, +1 (646) 963-2160