Mandar is a former Shell GameChanger who used to manage Shell’s impact
investment portfolio on social innovations that create shared value –
both social impact and business value. During his time at Shell, Mandar
won the League of Intrapreneurs award for delivering an innovation
learning program to over 2000 colleagues, based on meditation practices.
After working at Shell for 17 years, Mandar then became a Visiting
Scholar at George Mason and started an innovation lab on the Business
for Peace that provided thought leadership and innovation consulting to
brands to find novel ways to make peace profitable.
Currently, he manages a nonprofit peace consultancy ‘Cities4Peace’ that
actively promotes peace and compassion in cities across the world. Their
flagship work has been in Los Angeles – where they have trained former
gang members, victims of violence and LAPD officers as Nonviolence
Ambassadors. A short video of his work in LA is here.
In 2017, Mandar produced/directed a documentary film ‘From India With
Love’ (now on Amazon Prime – link here). The documentary showcases the
journey to India that he hosted for the parents from the Sandy Hook
school, Black Lives Matter activists, and a former gang member from LA
to study nonviolence. The film was premiered by the LAPD at Paramount
Studios in 2018.
Founder and current Chair and Lead Facilitator of International Cities of Peace. Arment’s novels include the philosophical orphan’s tale, “Backbeat: A Novel of Physics,” and a political thriller, “The Synthesis.” His nonfiction work, “The Elements of Peace: How Nonviolence Works,” was released by McFarland Academic Publishers in 2012. In addition, “The Economics of Peace: Freedom, the Golden Rule, and Broadening Prosperity” was published by McFarland in fall of 2014. After an early career as a teacher, Arment founded a successful writing and marketing firm and began lecturing at Wilberforce College and Wright State University. His strategic marketing business, The Arment Group, is a private-practice, full-service marketing and communications firm located in Dayton, Ohio.
Asha is the Director of NuclearBan.US, an organization committed to the total elimination of nuclear weapons. Asha holds a Bachelor’s in Law (LLB) from Mahatma Gandhi University, India, and a Master’s degree in International Human Rights Law (LLM) from CUSAT, India.
In 2018, Asha received a Rotary Peace Fellowship to do a second Master’s Degree in International Development Policy at Duke University in North Carolina. She became active in the nuclear weapons issue through the Rotary Action Group for Peace, and from there, joined the Board of Directors of Rotary E-Club for World Peace.
Her assignments with the multilateral organization included Child Protection Officer with the United Nations Peacekeeping Mission in South Sudan and the UN Office of the Special Representative to the Secretary-General on Children and Armed Conflict in NY, USA (UN SRSG – CAAC). Asha worked with Nonviolent Peaceforce (NP) in the US and South Sudan in different capacities from the International Protection officer to Program Manager in South Sudan. In this regard, she supported many communities in South Sudan by averting conflict between the communities.
Asha also co-chairs a Working Group on Conflict Prevention, Peacekeeping, and Peacemaking with Women of Color Advancing Peace and Security (WCAPS).
MELANIE N. BENNETT – Associate Producer/Production Manager/Cinematographer
Melanie was an Associate Producer on the short film “One! The Garry Davis Story” and contributed to the screenplay for the feature film about Garry Davis. She has filmed Garry Davis, Leonardo Dicaprio and Michael Moore and edited several shorts as well as the documentary, “Passport to India”.
Previously she was key in bringing back to the festival circuit in 2005/2006 the 1969 power-of-the-people cult classic feature film “Captain Milkshake” — including The Vienna International Film Festival and the International Film Festival of Rotterdam — as well as for the Laemmle Theatre in West Hollywood and Pasadena screenings. She was also the Production Manager at One Productions — and managed shoots and supervised crew.
Her passion is to inspire action — no matter how small — from all of us to safeguard this precious planet for future generations.
Born in New York in 1949, Brian was deeply affected as a child when viewing images of the Holocaust on TV and books on WWII. It wasn’t until 2002 when he was facilitating a Jewish German Reconciliation Project in Germany, that he realized Hitler had made him, inadvertently, a peace-builder.
In 1969, he was trained as a peace marshal by a Quaker group to hold the peace during the Moratorium March in Washington DC.
In 1970, he recognized that peace begins within so he studied and began teaching yoga and meditation representing the Integral Yoga Institute. He raised a family and in 1988, he began Citizen Diplomacy work in the Soviet Union, and attended the International Peace Marathon in Moscow. He returned to the US and began lecturing on the vision of our one global family working for peace.
In 1989 Berman as part of the organization Global Family went back to the Soviet Union teaching “Resonating Core Support Groups” and meditation. In June of that year, with Global Family, he helped facilitate “Seeking the True Meaning of Peace”, hosted by the Costa Rican government and the United Nations, in San Jose, Costa Rica. The 14th Dalai Lama, and 700 other peace builders attended this conference. Robert Muller was his most favorite inspirational speaker, creating peace through education.
Following 9/11, Berman started facilitating a listening training group in his community using Compassionate Listening skills as a path for conflict resolution. In 2002, he was invited by the director of The Compassionate Listening Project to help facilitate a reconciliation group of Jews and Germans in Germany, healing the emotional wounds resulting from World War II and the Holocaust. As a Compassionate Listening facilitator and the former co-director of the Jewish-German Reconciliation Project, Berman’s CL work centered on reconciliation and healing the wounds of war within. He met his German wife Lisa in 2002, and they married a year later. They facilitate peace building workshops, and delegations in the US and Europe.
Brian known internationally as an Artist for Peace, in late 2013, created a unifying sculpture, a design that symbolizes our One Humanity. He envisioned creating cities of peace around the world. We are One Humanity. He and his wife are founded of Ojai International City of Peace in 2014.
He and his wife Lisa registered Awakening Peace INC, a 501(c)3 charity educational nonprofit, with a mission to cultivate peace programs and compassionate action for unity and peace in the world. Each year, they have given the Awakening Peace Award to great peace builders, 2018 awarded to Fred Arment-founder of International Cities of Peace, 2019 awarded to Dr. Robert Dodge-president of Los Angeles Physicians for Social Responsibility and national promoter of the Nuclear-Free Zone Initiative, and 2020 was awarded to Barbara Gaughen-Muller – current president of our Rotary eClub of World Peace.
Berman is trained in Hakomi Therapy, Attitudinal Healing, and taught yoga and meditation for many years. He is an award-winning sculptor and teacher. The theme of his artwork is Art for Peace.
Namaste, My name is Santosh Bidari, I’m From Nepal, and I’m the Founder and CEO of Peace for People Foundation, Nepal. Co-Founder of Meditation & Philosophy School. For the past 13 years, I’ve been driven by a passion to bring together people regardless of caste, faith, or cultural background. Music, art, media, education, non-formal education, storytelling, meditation, and yoga always play a central role in my campaigns. I have reached thousands of people through various channels. This has generated extensive attention for the social causes I’ve been promoting.
I have a dream, a mission to create a community that is safe for everyone, where every child gets a free quality education, where young people are provided with the opportunities to build their future, and where there is no discrimination, no barriers because of your gender, caste, color or culture.
Julie grew up in a Rotary household. Her father was a Rotarian, and their family often hosted exchange students: Heather from Zimbabwe, Jari from Finland, Terumi from Japan, Greg from Australia, and many more. Her sister was a Rotary exchange student to Demark, and she was an exchange student to what was then West Germany. It was, as is often said, an experience that changed her life. She loved every minute of it, learning fluent German, learning about another country and making friendships that would last for decades.
Her parents continued with Rotary, going on polio immunization missions, going to world conferences, and supporting local Rotary projects and international projects alike. She loved Rotary and benefitted from it—from the spelling bees she took part in, to the Group Study Exchange teams they met, to the friends from around the world her family knew. But she guessed she always thought of it as something for someday.
Meanwhile she went to college and graduate school and began teaching English at community colleges and career schools. She married and currently lives in Cleveland with her husband who works as a science educator at the Great Lakes Science Center. Her husband and Julie work a lot and enjoy doing a bit of volunteer work—he works with the FIRST robotics competitions and she sits on the board of the church. They love to walk with their energetic beagle, Kilo.
Several years ago, her husband became very ill with cancer—and they both realized that they maybe shouldn’t wait till someday. After a long battle, she is happy to report that he just passed his five-year survival mark and can now call himself a cancer survivor. In the interim, she also became ill with cancer. She is fine now—but that message—don’t wait for someday anymore—someday is now, rings in their ears.
Someday is now.
JonDarr Bradshaw is a former NASA contractor and military aviator with extensive experience in the aerospace industry. Working alongside NASA scientists, engineers, and astronauts, JonDarr has teamed up with science and technology educators from across the country to develop a variety of award-winning, aerospace-themed, engineering design challenges and activities for middle and high school students.
Mr. Bradshaw’s extensive experience in STEM education (spanning over 25 years) includes over 15 years with NASA’s SEMAA Project where he served as a the coordinator of the program’s first Aerospace Education Laboratory, the national training team lead, and eventually served as the
program’s National Operations Manager in the National SEMAA Office. He was the interim V.P. for
Education and Programs at Nashville’s Cumberland Science Center, and was a key team member at
Ohio’s Center of Science and Industry (COSI) contributing to such award-winning traveling exhibitions as Mission to Mars™ and Virtual Racing™. He has also designed, developed and facilitated over 1,000 hours of STEM-focused, professional development for science teachers at all levels. Through his work with NASA, JonDarr has designed and facilitated 28 spaced-themed robotics competitions and also provided key support for 52 local, 38 regional and 12 international robotics championship events for the FIRST and VEX Robotics Programs.
Mr. Bradshaw has appeared numerous television programs and science-related specials. This includes an appearance in the episode “Quest for Mars” from the PBS television series “Space Age” and was the “Science Guy,” a reoccurring subject matter expert on the long running TNN variety show “Nashville Tonight.” As a NASA contractor working with education, JonDarr has written and appeared in numerous NASA training and professional development videos and served as the head writer and program host for the award-winning, web-based, educational series “NASA Now!”
JonDarr is the 2002 recipient of the Frank G. Brewer Award for excellence in aerospace education, the 2003 recipient of the NASA’s prestigious John M. Hairston Jr., Trailblazer Award, and a 2007 co-recipient of a NASA Group achievement Award for his work with both the NASA SEMAA project and the Aerospace Education Laboratory (AEL) project. He is also a past member of Civil Air Patrol’s National Aerospace Education Advisory Committee and was the 2007 recipient of the FIRST Robotics Competition Regional Outstanding Volunteer Award winner.
JonDarr attended The Ohio State University and earned his Senior Aviation Badge at the U.S. Army
Aviation Center of Excellence at Fort Rucker. He currently serves as the Community Engagement
Coordinator and Aerospace Education Lead at the Great Lakes Science Center in Cleveland, Ohio where he engages young people and their families to promote STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) education across a variety of technology-based platforms. JonDarr is a cancer survivor and proud grandparent whose hobbies include astronomy, aviation, model rocketry, and robotics.
Lisa Broderick is founder and Executive Director of Police2Peace, who leads the organization to help communities reimagine how they would like policing to be. Lisa comes from a career in the high-tech industry, where for three decades she helped bring new approaches to society through innovation. From her start at Apple Computer in its early years, she went on to head one of the first e-commerce companies on the Internet, and has served as CEO of numerous high technology companies. Lisa has frequently found herself at the forefront of applying “disruptive technologies” to societal problems through the use of language and radical thinking. Today, Lisa serves as Executive Director of Police2Peace, where she devotes her time to reshaping policing in America. Lisa holds a BA in Economics from Stanford University and an MBA in Global Finance and Management from Duke University. She has taught as a volunteer at the grade school and college levels, is a member of Rotary International, Mediators Beyond Borders International, the United Nations Association, The Alliance for Peacebuilding, and Women in Technology, and volunteers as board member for The Relationship Foundation for Trauma-Informed Curriculum and the Save an Animal Foundation.
I took 3 groups of police officers to the USSR where they worked with militia and visited their home. The first trip was the highlight of my life.
I helped chaperone two groups of HS students – one group included 3 of my own juniors. Very interesting story.
All travel was for studying the people – not for touring. I attended study tours to Nicaragua during the US Contra War. I helped build houses with Habitat in Guatemala; I also went on study, investigative tours to Honduras and Cuba and visited Hawaii’s Indigenous people. All tours of course were guided.
I was arrested while protesting nuclear testing at the Nevada Test Site.
I took part in “Ribbon Around the Pentagon'” in a protest – traveled with Norm Mineta and others to an event during the same trip.
I sing with “The Raging Grannies” on the Bay Area Peninsula when the cause is peace and justice.
Sherry Ann Bruckner
Civil and Family Mediator
- Earned Bachelor of Arts from Hamline University’s College of Liberal Arts in 1995.
- Completed civil and advanced mediation training through Hamline University’s Dispute Resolution Institute in 1997, and certified family law mediation training in 1998.
- Received Juris Doctor from William Mitchell College of Law in 1999.
- Licensed to practice law in Minnesota since 1999.
- Practiced civil and family Law for twenty years.
- Qualified neutral on the Minnesota Supreme Court’s Rule 114 roster.
- Former Adjunct Faculty at Mitchell Hamline School of Law
- Professional Associations: Academy for Professional Family Mediators, Mediators Beyond Borders International, Minnesota State Bar Association ~ ADR Section.
- Community and service involvement: United Communities Advocating Nonviolence (UCAN), Minnestota State Bar Association ADR Section Diversity, Equity and Inclusion; and Minnesota Seventh Judicial District Ethics Committee, Toastmasters International (Alexandria Breakfast Club), and Rotary International.
- Enjoys biking, hiking, reading, traveling, and sharing time with loved ones.
Current Professional Experience
Clinical Research Coordinator, East Bay AIDS Center, Alta Bates Summit Medical Center, Oakland, CA 2002-present
Mange all aspects of study related pharmaceutical clinical trials for the East Bay AIDS Center. Responsibilities include IRB submission and all regulatory related items, protocol evaluation, site preparation, Investigational drug accountability, reporting and tracking of adverse events and serious adverse events, data collection and query resolution, specimen collection and shipping, monitoring visits, assistance to Investigator on conduct of trial, recruitment, Informed Consent process, scheduling, screening and maintaining source documentation. Attend Investigator meetings and HIV meetings as necessary. Recruit, hire and manage research assistant.
Prior Professional Experience
Research Coordinator/Clinic Nurse, Adult Immunology Clinic, Summit Medical Center, Oakland, CA, 1991-2002
Staff nurse in an out patient HIV clinic serving 300 patients. Responsible for phone triage, medication management, PICC line insertions, phlebotomy, scheduling, clinic flow, supplies and oversight of volunteers. Managed HIV pharmaceutical drug studies including regulatory, IRB, Informed Consent, data collection, specimen handling, adverse events and serious adverse event reporting, scheduling of subjects and monitoring visits. Attended Investigators meetings and assisted Investigator in the overall conduct of all studies.
Clinical Research Nurse, Adult Immunology Clinic, Merritt-Peralta Medical Center, Oakland, CA, 1989-1991
Managed AIDS Clinical Trial Group (ACTG) studies as a subunit of San Francisco General. Responsible for screening, enrollment, study visits, specimen shipment, data collection, query resolution, safety reporting, SAE reporting and attending ACTG meetings.
Intensive Care Unit Registered Nurse, Merritt Hospital, Oakland, CA, 1982-1989
Provided intensive patient care in a demanding medical environment. Proficient in Swan-Ganz catheters, arterial lines, intra-aortic balloon pumps, ventilator support, intravenous infusions and ECG reading.
San Jose State University, Bachelor of Arts, Health Science, San Jose, CA 1977
Southern Oregon State College, Associate Degree, Nursing, Ashland, OR 1982
Paul K Chappell
Paul K. Chappell is an international peace educator and creator of Peace Literacy. He serves as the Executive Director of the Peace Literacy Institute. He graduated from West Point, was deployed to Iraq, and left active duty as a Captain. He is the author of the seven-book Road to Peace series about ending war, waging peace, the art of living, and our shared humanity. The first six published books in this series are Will War Ever End?, The End of War, Peaceful Revolution, The Art of Waging Peace, The Cosmic Ocean, and Soldiers of Peace. Lecturing across the United States and internationally, he also teaches courses and workshops on Peace Leadership and Peace Literacy.
Chappell grew up in Alabama, the son of a half-black and half-white father who fought in the Korean and Vietnam wars, and a Korean mother. Having grown up in a violent household, Chappell has forged a new understanding of war and peace, rage and trauma, and vision, purpose, and hope. His website is peaceliteracy.org
Joanie (Misrack) Ciardelli is a very part-time resource and volunteer in the area of peace-building. She was Co-founder of Pathways To Peace (PTP) in 1983 with Founder Avon Mattison, and a Director of the organization until 2002. She continues to be an Advisor, and represents PTP on the Steering Committee of the United Nations Association of Marin. For many years she represented PTP on the Board of the Citizens for a UN People’s Assembly, and served on the Peace and later Democracy and Justice Committees of the Threshold Foundation. She is now on their Documentary Film Funding Circle, which became an interest because of her volunteering for the last 9 years at the Sundance Film Festival. Joanie is also involved in socially responsible investing, having spent many years in the corporate world of business. This included directing/managing Marketing Research for Levi Strauss International and Del Monte Corporation, and consulting/resourcing in leadership development for a large-scale corporate change endeavor. Joanie was a co-founder of Soviet-American Business Opportunities, Inc. and served as President of the American Marketing Association, San Francisco Chapter. She has published articles on “Marketing Peace” and participated on several panels related to PTP’s programs: the Culture of Peace Initiative and Peace Within Organizations.
Joanie holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration/Marketing from the University of California at Berkeley, a Masters of Business Administration in Management from Golden Gate University, and an “Agent of Conscious Evolution” Certificate from the Institute of Conscious Evolution. She is married to Dr. Jack Ciardelli, Jr., and they share their home with the original Peace Cat, Princess Jasmine. She very much enjoys traveling — especially to visit Jack’s five children, ten grandchildren, and two great grandsons. Joanie’s research skills have turned to photography and genealogy, tracing and documenting family back several generations. She began the process of documenting the history of PTP through photos, which will eventually be published as a book and online.
Communication and Emotional Intelligence skills determine success in business and in life. Communication expert Catherine Cooley promises that if you stick with her, within 3 months you will significantly advance your ability to connect with anyone clearly, respectfully and empathetically. Catherine is the founder of Peaceabl, a mediator, communication and relationship repair coach and a professional speaker. Peaceabl.com Catherine works with owners, partners, managers and employees in the workplace that are frustrated by misunderstandings and power struggles that leave people discouraged and disconnected. She specializes in creating clear, safe and candid conversations that untangle confusing communication and bring ease to painful emotions. She maps a clear path to meet the core needs of the organization and the individuals.
Business owners and executives rely on Catherine to help them resolve conflicts and provide staff with practical, reliable relationship building skills. Her Breakthrough Conversations system cuts through communication obstacles calmly and quickly, bringing new levels of understanding, respect, trust, cooperation and ease, for a more productive and satisfying work experience.
Her Breakthrough Conversations system is equally effective in speaking to a six-year-old girl and to the CEO of a Fortune 50 company. The principles are the same. Catherine will change the way you approach conflict forever by showing you the underlying core of every human conflict, and how to come back to productivity and peace of mind—in 4 quick and simple steps.
Catherine has mastered a number of Emotional Intelligence systems, including mediation, conflict resolution and council circle. She studied directly with Dr. Marshall Rosenberg, the genius behind NonViolent Communication (NVC), a system frequently used for successful work and personal relationships. This technology is in use in Fortune 500 companies, including Merck, HCL and Microsoft, and in the United Nations.
As a mediator for private clients and for Conflict Solutions Center, Catherine mediates community and Small Claims court cases in Santa Barbara Superior Court. She has developed her own mediation process, called Mediated Council Circles. She is a trainer for Alternative To Violence Project in community and prison workshops. She co-founded Create Community, an active group of more than 200 practitioners of Emotional Intelligence skills, now in its 22nd year.
Breakthrough Conversations were developed by Catherine a s a way to instill trust, ease, kindness and cooperation in organizations of any size—it incorporates perhaps the fastest and more reliable communication system out there.
Catherine lives in Southern California and has a long time passion for peace and environmental sustainability. When she’s not helping clients, she loves going to the beach or hiking in the mountains, reading, and spending time with friends in council circles, retreats and dance events.
Michael Corbin has nearly twenty years of experience in the international financial services and trade arena, the majority with the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Office of Finance and Insurance Industries. He has extensive knowledge of financial services in the U.S. and globally, with expertise in the asset management, insurance and private pension sectors. He has been invited to speak on insurance and pension issues at the OECD’s technical seminars on Insurance and Private Pensions in Moscow and worked with various governments and industry associations in the CEE region. Most notably, he established and managed innovative programs in cooperation with U.S. industry to train Russian, Georgian and other Eurasian senior staff.
Peace Literacy Program Coordinator
After receiving a degree in journalism from Boston University, Jo Ann Deck worked in both the Massachusetts Legislature and the New York State Legislature, gaining insight into policy and power. The wars of the 20th century affected many of the men in her family, which inspired her mission to help end war.
Her role as vice president of a publishing company capped a long career where she learned how ideas are the highest form of technology, and they can move through society affecting us all for better and for worse. She met Paul K. Chappell in 2006 after her assistant pulled out his book proposal and said, “We’ve never received a manuscript from someone in the army.”
When Chappell presented military evidence that humans are not naturally violent, her activism and desire for a more peaceful world prompted her to assist him in his work, serving as editor and mentor for his Road to Peace book series. She brings a lifetime of skills and experience to her work for the Peace Literacy Institute with the goal to make education in Peace Literacy a universal human right.
President of Stowe Management Corporation and CoCEO of Revolutionary Conversations, LLC, Mr. Fowler is a business growth and corporate re-engineering expert, author, writer, business educator, public speaker and change leader. He specializes in transitioning companies from challenge to achievement by focusing both on enhancing revenues and profits and instituting cultural and interactive processes that substantially increase collaboration and engagement–helping companies to achieve a whole new level of success.
Having worked with more than 150 companies with all forms of challenges and impediments, he’s helped turn them around, institute rapid growth, develop/implement sophisticated systems and procedures, raise working capital, merge, acquire and demerge organizations, while always focusing on well-being of the business and all stakeholders. A leader in the “business engagement” field for decades, he has developed systems and communication protocols, stressing the importance of team empowerment and personal development. By focusing on helping business owners and team members to be on the same page, he has aided them in succeeding with incredible achievements, unattainable in the current competitive cultural business environments that are all too prevalent in today’s reality.
He is a member of the AICPA and the California CPA Society (“Society”). He served as a director of the Society as a State Committee Chair; he also served as a Trustee for the California CPA Education Foundation. He is a Board member and Vice President of the United Nations Association of Santa Barbara, Ventura and San Luis Obispo. An active presenter, he has written more than 100 articles and created and presented more than 35 courses. With his emphasis on “business engagement”, he created and designed a dialogue and conversation system called the S.H.A.R.E.™ Tools, which are the basis of the award winning book he co-authored with Noal McDonald and Barbara Gaughen-Muller: Revolutionary Conversations: The Tools You Need for the Success You Want: http://www.revolutionaryconversations.net
Dr. Jack Friedlander
Jack Friedlander has 40 years of community college experience in a range of research and senior level administrative positions from dean, to executive vice president of educational programs, to acting president. He contributed to the college being selected by the Aspen Institute as the best community college in the nation, the number one community college by Value College, and College Choice’s selection as the best community college in the nation.
Dr. Friedlander has authored or co-authored over 80 articles, monographs, and assessment instruments. He has given over 70 presentations at state and national conferences. Dr. Friedlander has received a number of state and national awards for his research, administrative support for students, faculty and staff with disabilities, and contributions to community colleges. He has authored or co-authored grants in excess of 70 million dollars from a wide range of agencies including the National Science Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the U.U. Department of Education, the Fund for Improvement in Post-secondary Education, the Ford Foundation, the Andrew Mellon Foundation, and the Spencer Foundation.
Dr. Friedlander was selected by the Obama White House as one of 40 community college leaders as a champion of Change in Community Colleges. He served on a committee to advise the Obama senior higher education and labor policy staff on policies and proposed legislation pertaining to the nation’s community colleges. Dr. Friedlander was one of 30 people invited by the Gates Foundation to help it develop its plan to improve the effectiveness of community college developmental education programs. He received his BA in psychology from Florida International University, MA from UCLA in curriculum and instruction, and PhD from UCLA in Higher Education.
Dr. Friedlander currently serves on the boards for the United Nations Association-Santa Barbara-Tri-Counties, the Channel Cities Club, the Committee on Foreign Relations and, Get-Focused-Stay Focused Program. He is a member of the World Business Academy, the Global Citizens Club, and the Citizens Planning Committee. His interests include public policy, the arts, film, human rights, and swimming.
Tezikiah (Tez) founded Gabriel Associates in 1991. The mission of Gabriel Associates is to partner with nonprofit organizations and leaders to strengthen and increase their ability to make a positive difference in the lives of people they exist to serve and to change our world. Over the past 30 years, as a nationally recognized consultant and trainer, Tezikiah has provided change management consulting and training to hundreds of mission-based organizations and thousands of nonprofit leaders who wish to create and inspire sustainable change through transformative approaches that value individual differences, unleash untapped potential, honor inherent wisdom, and deliver desired results.
As Executive Director for Pathways To Peace, Tezikiah views her work as an extraordinary opportunity to bring together her vision for peace, passion for making a difference, and her knowledge of nonprofit organizations as vehicles for bringing Peace to our world.
Founder of Gaughen Global Public Relations, an author, a business leader and a public speaker. B.A. from San Diego State University and Masters work in Organizational Behavior from the University of California, Santa Barbara and San Diego State University. Radio show host, Inspiring Conversations with business, educational and spiritual leaders, broadcasts worldwide from the Radio for Peace International in Costa Rica. President of the United Nation Association, Santa Barbara Tri-County chapter; and the past president of the Book Publicists of Southern California. www.unasb.org ; Global public relations consultant, author, speaker and columnist for Going Organic Magazine; SEE (Surgical Eye Expeditions) International Board of Directors. Good Morning World daily email www.goodmorningworld.org ; Barbara’s late husband, Dr. Robert Muller and she wrote 7500 Ideas and Dreams for Peace and a Better World which is shared in a FREE daily email to subscribers in 5 languages world wide.
Co-Author, Revolutionary Conversations, The Tools You Need for the Success You Want introduces not just a concept but a new way of communicating: the S.H.A.R.E.™ Tools
RESEARCHER, CENTER FOR TRANSBOUNDARY WATER MANAGEMENT
Dr. Suleiman Halasah is a Research Associate at the Centre for International Studies at Oxford University and Co-director of the Jordan-Israel Center for Community, Environment, and Research (JICCER) at the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies, Dr. Halasah is director of the Jordanian consulting firm, i.GREENs, which focuses on energy, water and environment. As the Jordanian partner, he was part of the founding group behind the Arava Power Company, a leading solar energy company operating in Israel and other countries.
Dr. Halasah holds a PhD in Desert Studies from Ben-Gurion University in the Negev, Israel; an Masters of Science from BGU and a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from the University of Jordan in Amman.
Charles (Chip) Hauss
Charles “Chip” Hauss has been exploring ways of producing large scale social and political change through nonviolent and cooperative means since his undergraduate days at Oberlin College in the late 1960s. In all of this work, Hauss has tried to be a political bridge builder who brings “strange political bedfellows” together to help solve problems that can only be effectively addressed if they work together. In that work, he relies heavily on complexity theory and other holistic approaches that stress the long-term costs of actions that harm others and the long-term gains that can be achieved through collaboration.
Hauss is currently Senior Fellow for Innovation at the Alliance for Peacebuilding and has just begun creating the Connecting the Dots Community that will try to do just that across issue-based and ideological lines. His work focuses on building “space” in which members of the peace building community can work together, incorporate ideas from the corporate and IT communities into peacebuilding, and begin laying the groundwork for the way America deals with wicked problems in general. His work is not limited to AfP and the Connecting the Dots Comm unity. He serves on the board of Build Up and is actively involved in Zebras Unite, Unconventional Women, the Think Peace Learning Hub, George Mason University’ Carter School of Peace and Conflict Resolution, and more
Hauss is the author of eighteen books on peacebuilding and comparative politics. His most recent book, From Conflict Resolution to Peacebuilding, is a readable introductory textbook in peace and conflict studies. He is currently working on a new book, Connecting the Dots, which will focus on intersectional social change movements in the United States. He also edits the series, Peace and Security in the Twenty-First Century, which is a joing project of Rowman and Littlefield and the Alliance for Peacebuilding.
Hauss holds a BA from Oberlin (where he is an active alumni fundraiser) and a PhD from the University of Michigan. He and his wife, Gretchen Sandles, live in the Washington DC area. Their family trust supports the Alliance for Peacebuilding and makes small startup grants to new peacebuilding and related initiatives.
Charles Holsopple is a human rights activist, US Army Veteran, an artist and philanthropist. He is founder and CEO of Sukhi 222 Human Rights Campaign, a nonprofit organization based in the USA and working remotely in 24 countries where clean water, adequate nutrition and secure shelter are in desperate need for survival.
Charles is best known for his bold claim that it is possible to clean the water of 800 million people for just one dollar per person per year, using existing technology, while providing over 22,000 jobs. He bases this claim on his real world experience and verifiable projections of scale.
Before taking on human rights as his passion he was a commodity lumber broker, Licensed Massage Therapist and Real estate investor. He retired in 2005 and began his past 17 years of activism.
He follows the manifesto that all people have the human right of dignified access to food water and shelter as these are requirements of Life itself. His organization Sukhi 222 Human Rights Campaign, also known as Project 222, uses minimal measured amounts of these basic human needs to guide its mission. All people shall have dignified access of minimums of 2 gallons of clean water per person per day, 2000 nutritional calories and 200 ft.³ of secure shelter”.
Charles began his activism career in 2005 working with the Univ. of Akron to develop rapidly deployable, self erecting structures for sustainable settlements. He sooned realized that while the proper engineering of the structure was essential that just as importantly a social movement was required to face the scale of the problem at a global level. He gave up his intellectual property to the University and set out to solve the systemic problem. He has identified achieving universal achievement of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs as the solution. He presents using 222 as the answer to achieving the Sustainable Deployment Goals by 2030.
His motto, “We are all better off if our neighbors have dignified access to food, clean water and shelter. And it is actually achievable!”
Charles is seeking to work with all open hearts and critical thinkers to address the existential threats of this and future generations while stewarding the Earth in accordance with nature and our best understanding of our collective impact.
He and his organization are working with individuals and NGOs across the world providing clean water to those most in crisis.
“ together we can change the world”
An experienced feature film Producer, Emmanuel Itier directed several pictures before completing in 2012 the Peace documentary ‘The Invocation’ narrated by Sharon Stone and staring Desmond Tutu, HH The Dalai Lama, Deepak Chopra as well as many worldwide peace activists. In 2013 Mr. Itier executive-produced a Drama filmed in Hong Kong: ‘Red Passage’ which won many Awards in the Festival circuit. Emmanuel Itier has also been a successful Music and Film journalist for both Rock Magazines, French TV networks and various websites for the last twenty five years. Finally Itier has been a buyer for many French and American Film distribution companies for the last twenty years. He was on the board of directors of the Santa Barbara Film Festival for a decade and he writes poetry. He is also very involved with charities and the political world. Mr. Itier seats on the board of Directors of ‘Darfur Women Action Group’ in an attempt to bring Peace to Darfur. He is also the founding President of the Rotary E-Club of World Peace ( www.RotaryEclubofWorldPeace.org ) and he is part of the U.N Association, Santa Barbara chapter. Lately he joined the World Council of Wisdom (https://thevisioneers.ca ) to bring Peace to the World.
Mr. Itier grew up in France and he moved in the USA thirty years ago. He resides in Santa Barbara, California with his wife and three sons. Emmanuel Itier released in 2014 another inspiring documentary Celebrating Women around the planet: ‘FEMME-Women healing the World.’ This Documentary earned over 20 Awards around the World. Late 2017 Mr. Itier completed his third feature Documentary: ‘Shamanic Trekker’, about shamanism in Peru. Mr. Itier has just released two more documentaries in order to keep “Making Peace, One movie at a time.”
These films are part of a series called ‘The Oneness Collection: Documentaries for a conscious Humanity.’ The first one is called ‘The Cure: Healing The Mind, Healing The Body, Healing the Planet’ and the politically loaded Doc: ‘We The People: A Re-Evolution of Economics and Politics’, which is sure to shake the system!
Mr. Itier is a recipient of the ‘2018 Global Citizen Award’ from the prestigious United Nation Association and he was named President of The Year 2018 by the Rotary E-Club of World Peace. In 2019, just before the beginning of the Covid pandemic, Mr. Itier went to film a drama about quantum physics in Germany and in German. The shooting was stopped by the crisis and he hopes to return by mid 2021 to complete this new endeavor.
In 2021 the impactful and very timely 6th documentary directed by Emmanuel will be released: ‘Guns, Bombs & War: A Love Story’. Finally, Mr. Itier has formed a spiritual and political movement in France called ‘The French Victory’ (www.LaVicotireFrancaise.net ) with the ambition to run for President in 2022. His vision is: “I, The People – We, President.” In Oneness, we shall heal the World.
Dr. Alma Jadallah
Dr. Alma Abdul Hadi Jadallah is an internationally recognized scholar practitioner in conflict prevention and mitigation. As an educator, she teaches graduate level courses in conflict analysis and resolution. She also brings extensive organizational development experience to her work coaching parties and groups to identify shared interests and enhance their abilities and skills towards collaborative attitudes and behaviors. Dr. Abdul Hadi Jadallah’s research writings and practice focus on political and organized violence, the role of third-party roles, gender, and culture. She has worked extensively in the Arab world and on regional Middle East issues. In the US her work focuses on race, ethnicity and group dynamics in the workplace and communities. In 2019, Dr. Abdul Hadi Jadallah joined the Eminent and Expert Persons advising the ASEAN Regional forum advising on preventive diplomacy and on women peace and security (WPS). Past positions included serving with the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) as the Quaker International Affairs Representative to the Middle East. In 2014 – 2015 she served as the Regional Expert and Coordinator, Panel of Experts on Yemen established pursuant to Security Council resolution 2140 (2014), Department of Political Affairs, United Nations. Prior to this role, she served with the Special Advisor to the Secretary General Jamal Ben Omar (SASG) in Yemen during the Yemeni National Dialogue. On Syria, she was involved in Track II diplomatic efforts led by the UN. She is the recipient of several business awards and honors including the 2017 Distinguished Alumni Award for the School of Conflict Analysis and Resolution at George Mason University.
Karen Johnson dedicated her life to service in 1991 and shortly thereafter chose to explore all things contributing toward world peace. She has served in several local, regional and national advocate and leadership roles with the Peace Alliance (PA) since 2005.
Karen has a Master’s degree in Organizational Leadership, a Paralegal Certificate and a Peacebuilder Certification and has received trainings in NonViolent Communication, convergent facilitation, Connection Practice and restorative and peacebuilding circles. Karen works in Chicago as a paralegal. She was first on the ballot in 2017 and is currently serving as a Lockport Township Trustee and on two political party boards.
Writer/Producer ARTHUR KANEGIS is President and founder of One Films, LLC, a motion picture development and production company dedicated to producing uplifting entertainment that makes a difference. He also founded Future WAVE, a non-profit organization that aims to shift our culture of violence to a culture of peace. He owns all rights to Garry Davis story. Just One! is a labor of love for Kanegis, who has spent seven years researching and developing the Garry Davis Story, including taping extensive interviews in France, Germany and the US not only with Garry, but also with Esther Peter-Davis, Ginia Davis and others who shared in the adventures.His production/writing credits include:
Marilyn King is a two-time Olympian in the five event Pentathlon. Her 20-year athletic career includes five national titles and a World Record. An automobile accident in 1979 rendered her unable to train physically for her third Olympic Team. Using only mental training techniques she placed second at the Olympic trials for the 1980 Moscow Games.
This extraordinary experience and resulting research led to a 35-year career as an expert in the field of exceptional human performance. Her work focuses on systemic change in the areas of business, education and peace.
Marilyn’s participation in an international, five- year think tank on the role of business in peace building led to a career conducting programs for senior executives with global responsibilities at Fortune 500 companies. Her corporate clients include: AT&T, IBM, Ikea, Microsoft, Nokia, Oracle, Starbucks and Wells Fargo.
Marilyn has also presented at over 200 national and international education conferences with academicians and researchers who are designing the schools of the future. Her most pioneering work, a joint Russian-American venture called “The Peace Team” resulted in two opportunities to speak at the United Nations and an invitation to create a U.N. sub-committee on the role of sport in peace building.
In 2017 Marilyn was honored with the Distinguished Alumna Award from Cal State University East Bay and a Lifetime Achievement Award from The Visioneers International Network in Vancouver Canada. Marilyn has also been featured in numerous articles and books including, Enlightened Power- How Women Are Transforming the Practice of Leadership by Lin Coughlin, Marilyn’s television and radio interviews include The News Hour with Jim Lehrer and NBC Nightly News.
Dr. M.D. Kinoti
Dr.M.D. Kinoti is a Professor of Nonprofit / Nongovernmental (NP/GO) Management in the Anderson College of Business and Computing at Regis University, Denver – Colorado. He teaches graduate courses in Leadership & Management, International Community Development, Global Poverty, Social Entrepreneurship, Sustainability, and Peacebuilding/Conflict Resolution for Leaders.
Kinoti has over 25 years of professional experience in community development and leadership development. Before going into academia, he worked with several International NGOs including World Vision International in rural and urban community development in East Africa; with the United Methodist Church in youth and community development in Los Angeles; and with Lifewater International in global Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH) programs.
Dr. Kinoti’s expertise is in community needs assessment, monitoring, and evaluation, report writing, and development technical project advice. He also advises on cultural and political realities of establishing development projects. He is a Rotarian and has served as a Rotary International Cadre of Technical Experts for the last 4 years. In this role, he has helped review Rotary global grants, assisted in reviewing the program of scale applications, and visited several Rotary programs around the world to carry out feasibility and sustainability evaluations, including the establishment of the Rotary peace Center at Makerere university, Uganda. He has also been active in coordinating the online PCPR discussion groups. He was recently appointed to the Rotary Peace Centers Committee for a 2-year term – 2020 – 2022.
Dr. Kinoti researches sustainable livelihoods and focuses on tea farming. See his 15-minue video on issues with tea farming in Kenya https://www.verse.com/stories/336-the-mouths-that-eat-from-tea/
Kovacevic Dusanka studied medicine and physiotherapy in Belgrade, where she graduated in May 1988! In October 1988, she went to Vienna, Austria and after nostrification of my diploma and completing German language courses, she started working as a graduate physiotherapist at the University Clinic of Physical Medicine at the Medical University of Vienna!
She likes to spend time with her friends in restaurants, but also she likes to cook for them at home! She likes to read both classical and professional literature. She is also extremely interested in politics, geopolitics, and history. Her house is full of such books. She also loves art and regularly goes to opera, ballet, and classical music concerts. Visits to museums are regular and the offer of all this in Vienna is top-notch and it is a real pleasure to enjoy it.
Chair and President, has been a life-long active volunteer serving as a Board member of the Friends of the United Nations (FOTUN) from 1998-2002. As Chairman of the Board for FOTUN from 1995-2001, she created The Peacemaker Corps in partnership with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), The United Nations and the Simon Youth Foundation. In 1988 Carole was the technical advisor for the first United States government sponsored business junket for women business owners and leaders through HUD to the People’s Republic of China. From 1981 to 2004 she was a member of the Alliance Board and was then appointed Governor and Trustee of the Los Angeles County Museum of Natural History. Ms Krechman is Purpose Prize Fellow since 2008 for her work with the Peacemaker Corps. Her experience includes, running several major companies, has been a member of Who’s Who in American Business since 1979.
Dr. Anya Kroth
I grew up in the Soviet Union. I was born in Almaty, a capital of Kazakhstan, one of the then 15 Soviet Republics. Upon graduating high school, I went to Moscow to study physics at the University of Moscow. I went through a 5.5 years of study there (equivalent to Ph.D in physics and Masters in Mathematics). I taught physics in high school. I then met and got married to an American who was in Moscow teaching English-speaking children of diplomats.
When I came to the US, my husband told me “Everything is possible in America!” “Really?!” So upon arrival I switched to the study of Russian literature and earned a Masters degree from Florida State University and a Ph.D. from the University of Michigan. Since then I had a chance to teach Russian literature and mathematics at Silicon Valley colleges and universities (Stanford, University of California, Santa Cruz and West Valley College). I retired from college teaching 10 years ago.
I also became a certified yoga instructor in 2000 and have been teaching yoga ever since.
About 5 years ago I became interested in Qigong, a Chinese health system. I became a certified Qigong instructor and have been teaching Qigong as well. Now during the pandemic, I teach my Qigong/yoga classes via Zoom.
Sunita Kumar, based in South Carolina, is a trained mediator and commercial arbitrator, serving on the board of Mediation and Meeting Center of Charleston. In her role as mediator, Sunita also volunteers for the Upstate Mediation Center and Midlands Mediation Center. Though new to MBBI, Sunita has already made a lasting impression on the organization and has become immersed in new and emerging projects.
Dr. Mary Jo Larson
Dr. Mary Jo Larson provides consulting services to international, multilateral, and private sector organizations. Clients have included IFC/World Bank, UNEP, international NGOs, APICORP, and Tata Group. Areas of expertise include experiential adult learning, principled leadership, board practices, multi-stakeholder engagement, conflict transformation, developmental evaluation and ESG/sustainability.
Dr. Larson is a Senior Consultant with IFC’s Corporate Governance Group. She is currently working with IFC on a platform-driven ecosystem that aims to help companies in emerging markets respond to the increasing demand for transparent, integrated financial and ESG reporting.
Relevant background includes Director of the Gates Foundation’s Global Women’s Leadership Program and Chief of Programming and Training for Peace Corps’ Asia and Pacific region. Mary Jo began working with IFC in 2007, as she helped to author and launch IFC’s Corporate Governance Board Leadership Training Resources. With IFC, she is lead author for an article on Board Evaluation and team contributor to Preventing and Solving Corporate Governance Disputes, Enhancing Bank Governance, and the award-winning Beyond the Balance Sheet Toolkit for Disclosure and Transparency.
Qualifications include a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Conflict Analysis and Resolution and a Masters (M.S) in Applied Linguistics. Relevant affiliations include Chair of Cohasset’s Governance Committee, Chair of Cohasset’s Alternative Energy Committee, lecturer at Columbia University, and Chair of the Board of Advisors of the Carter School for Peace and Conflict Resolution, George Mason University.
Lori Michele Leavitt is a certified growth and leadership coach, consultant and a technology entrepreneur. She catalyzes momentum for leaders and their teams. Lori launched her first business in 2001.
Prior to that she financial analysis and consulting positions in companies ranging in size from $50M to over $1B.
She holds an MBA from the University of Washington and a Bachelor of Science in Accounting with an Economics emphasis from Central Washington University. She is a certified Gazelles Intl. business growth coach, peer group chair, financial manager (CFM), management accountant (CMA) and toastmaster.
She has been a Rotarian since June 2014 and sits on the Board of Brigid Collins Org, with a mission of ending child abuse. Her favorite role is as Mom to an adult daughter, Emily, who lives in Seattle, WA. Lori lives in beautiful Bellingham, WA.
Dr. Anil Maheshwari
Dr. Anil K. Maheshwari is a Professor of Management at Maharishi International Management (MIU), in Fairfield, Iowa. He also has 20 years of IT industry experience including 9 years in leadership roles at IBM in Austin, TX. He has been a member of the Rotary Club, among other clubs. Devoted to world peace, he has published extensively in the fields of leadership, technology, and consciousness, and has also made presentations at conferences around the world. His book Data Analytics Made Accessible is a #1 global bestseller, and has been published by McGraw-Hill. He earned a B.Tech. in Electrical Engineering from Indian Institute of Technology in Delhi, an MBA from Indian Institute of Management in Ahmedabad, and a Ph.D. in Management from Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio. He also completed his MA in Reading Vedic Literature from MIU. He is an avid practitioner of Transcendental Meditation™ and TM-Sidhi techniques. A winner of Maharishi Award, he blogs on Blissful Living at anilmah.com. As a fun fact, he has successfully run a marathon.
For 30 years, my goal has been to empower young people to have a positive impact on the challenges they face. What if we asked them to do only important work? My passion for collaborative innovation, project-based learning, and arts integration has taken me to rural and urban classrooms; founding a parent cooperative; teaching in universities, working with NASA, curriculum writing, coaching teachers and administrators and inviting the whole world to make a shared vision of success through a mural project based on trees.
Scott Martin, a landscape architect-turned-peacebuilder, is a former chapter president of MBBI-LA and former co-leader of MBBI’s Rwanda project. Scott has been engaged with MBBI for about a decade as a founding member of MBBI. In 2017 became a Rotary Peace Fellow at Chulalongkorn University in Thailand. Global Partnerships Manager at MBBI.
Fergal is the Peace Programs Manager at Rotary International. One of his key responsibilities is the creation and continued implementation of an overarching peace strategy for the many peace activities within Rotary.
Before joining Rotary, Fergal worked at the Rand Corporation in Los Angeles, California,
managing development and peacebuilding research projects in Rands Labor & Population Unit and Health Unit. Prior to moving to the US, Fergal was the Executive Office on the EU & International Affairs Desk in the Irish Prime Minister’s Office, Dublin, Ireland. Fergal also has a background in media and communications, having produced documentaries that focused on peacebuilding and development projects in Brazil, Malawi, South Sudan, India, and Pakistan. He has also produced a number of programs that focused on the Northern Ireland conflict and British-Irish relations today.
Fergal holds a BA in World Religions & Theology and an MPhil in International Peace Studies both from Trinity College Dublin. He also holds an MA in Comparative Ethnic Conflict Studies from Queens University Belfast and an MSt in International Relations from the University of Cambridge.
I am Bob McKechnie. I live in Cathedral City, California (next to Palm Springs). I have no community organizing experience. I was a young, gay English and journalism teacher in California when the voters were asked to pass on an initiative that called for the firing of LGBT teachers just for being found out. That’s the year I started to march in San Francisco’s Gay Freedom Day Parade. Toward the end of my career I worked as a school guidance counselor in a school district close to the California-Mexican border. Our students were the children of farm workers. Many were undocumented. This 10-year experience set me up for a commitment to peace and social justice. Much of my outside volunteering over the last 40 years involved working with people establishing and maintaining clean and sober lives of grace, especially in the LGBT community. I am 81 years old. Recently I realized that I must do something consequential before it’s too late — possibly failing to realize that it may already be too late. Jane Fonda, age 82, is an inspiration for me. The game changer was my attendance at a Rotary-sponsored world peace conference in January 2020. I met David Swanson of World BEYOND War. In his talk David suggested that if we can get eradicate infectious diseases (polio, smallpox, malaria, measles, mumps, etc.), we can get rid of war. That was enough for me. It led to my becoming co-founder of the California Chapter of World BEYOND War and transferring my Cathedral City Rotary membership to the Rotary Club of World Peace.
Peter Meisen is life-long San Diegan but considers himself a global citizen. An Honorary Member of the Rancho Bernardo Sunrise Rotary Club, he’s exhibited at many International Conventions over the past decade where you’ve seen his projects in the Friendship Hall Exhibition
Peter graduated in 1975 from the University of California in San Diego with a degree in Applied Mathematics and Engineering Sciences. The inspiration for his life’s work came from meeting the visionary engineer Buckminster Fuller and reading his seminal book “Critical Path.”
Dr. Fuller created the global gaming simulation, The World Game – its mission is “to make the world work for 100% of humanity in the shortest possible time through spontaneous cooperation without ecological damage or disadvantage to anyone.”
Peter launched the Global Energy Network Initiative (GENI) to promote the premier solution – the linking of renewable energy resource around the world. The GENI initiative has earned the endorsements of 7 Nobel Peace Laureates, and newsman Walter Cronkite calling it “the best solution to peace and sustainable development he’s seen.” After 30 years, the world has now embraced this solution, just far too slowly.
With the urgency of many global issues upon us, Peter and GENI launched another Buckminster Fuller vision, the World Resources Simulation Center. The SIMCenters’ mission is “to visualize sustainable solutions to global and local problems so we make more informed choices quicker.” The SIMCenter is an immersive visualization facility designed for accelerated understanding and collaborative problem solving.
His current focus is to develop SIMCenters in partnership with universities and city leadership. City leaders must deal with complex, interconnected problems and need options and strategies. Universities have smart professors and passionate students that have the time and capacity to work on them. The SIMCenter is a surround visualization tool, like a Mission Control Room, that enables collective understanding and dialogue.
Dr. Sarah Mitic
Dr. sci. med. Sarah Zorica Mitic is a retired medical specialist with 40 years of work experience from the health service in several different countries (former Yugoslavia, Norway, Sweden, Turkey. She grew up in a multicultural society and has extensive experience working with several cultures and religions. She has always had a special interest in trauma therapy, and has a PhD in Psychosomatics and Psychophysiology – with a focus on fear.
Dr. Mitic is internationally trained in several trauma therapeutic methods, including Somatic Experience(Dr. Peter Levine-USA), Brainspotting(Dr David Grand- USA), NARM(Tone Mjeldal- Denmark) and SOMA(Sonia Gomes- Brazil). She is a Global Certification Trainer in TRE (Trauma Tension Releasing Exercises- Dr David Berceli-USA).
Dr. Mitic was a pioneer in introducing the TRE and BSP methods in Turkey, Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, and Macedonia. The methods are especially suitable for working with refugees because its application does not depend on the language and culture of those who perform it.
She is now working intensively on training of future TRE providers who can apply exercises widely for relaxation and stress relief – that could contribute to the general improvement of people’s health and the improvement of mutual communication. Good communication in safe conditions is the basis for maintaining peace in the world.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, she gave several lectures on the traumas that this situation causes, but also on ways to stay healthy and mentally preserved.
She has worked on projects with colleagues from many countries around the world.
She has written and translated several academic books and articles. Information about these can be found at:
Among her publish works, it is worth mentioning that she has written a war diary that was published in USA 2019:
Unwritten History, Inc., 2019
Dr. Sarah Z. Mitic’s powerful memoir provides eyewitness testimony of the onset of civil war that followed the breakup of the former Yugoslavia. Dr. Mitic proves to be a keen observer of civilians, soldiers, medical personnel, and children who live, work, and serve under conditions of nearly unendurable pressure and unyielding terror.
On a normal day, Dr. Mitic might find herself holding a flashlight for a surgeon during surgery because the hospital is under bombardment and the power has been knocked out; on another, she might find herself face to face with an enemy commando who is pointing a gun at her head in a hospital stairwell.
Throughout the insanity of war, Dr. Mitic upheld the Hippocratic Oath; and the Oath upheld her. Her observations of people living under constant danger lead her to reflect: My life does not have a purpose: it is a struggle for survival. I was exhilarated and over-performed on the front lines. Wherever death forms a black background, life there etches its clear white lines in a foreground figure. This is the only pure, moral act: fighting for life.
Dr. Connie Montgomery
Connie’s academic degrees, licenses and credentials include a Ph.D. from The Ohio State University, 2009, in Reading, Literature, Literacy; an M.A. from the University of Minnesota, 2002, in Curriculum and Instruction, Reading Specialist, and a B.A. from University of Southern Colorado, Pueblo, 1992, Summa Cum Laude, English, Reading, Elementary Education. She holds a California professional clear K-8 Multiple Subject Teaching Credential and received her TESOL/TESL/TEFL Teacher Training Certification from Oxford Seminars in 2011.
Connie Montgomery taught various grades of elementary students in public schools in Colorado, Minnesota, and California. While attending Ohio State University she was a Graduate Research Assistant, a Graduate Teaching Associate, and a supervisor for the OSU Reading Clinic. Connie served as a university supervisor for CSUSB, Palm Desert Campus for five years (2008-2013), supervising student interns and student teachers in schools throughout the Coachella Valley.
After earning her Ph.D. in 2009, she began doing weekly visits to families with young children in Desert Hot Springs, CA. In 2012 she incorporated the 501(c)3 non-profit Literacy, Language and Cultural Centers (LiLaC), Inc. LiLaC is an evidenced-based home visitation program for families with young children whose second language is English.
LiLaC’s mission is to provide caring, personalized and expert guidance for parents to increase the learning and literacy development of their child. They enroll families with children prenatal through age 3 and continue weekly service through the child’s third grade of school.
All parents served by Connie/LiLaC have demonstrated their commitment to nurture their child’s learning and their children have excelled in school, read above grade level, and have received multiple scholastic awards.
In June,2020, Connie retired from LiLaC after serving as Executive Director/Founder for eight years. Connie oversaw all LiLaC services and supervised all functions of the organization. She coordinated communication with the Board of Directors and Staff, represented LiLaC in the local community and in social media, and coordinated LiLaC sponsored events. Currently Connie serves as a consultant to the Executive Director of LiLaC. Connie relocated from Desert Hot Springs, California to Medicine Lodge, Kansas in October, 2020. She is committed to Peace Building in Kansas, California and around the world.
Adam Olson is Oxfam America’s Advocacy Advisor for the states of Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, and Tennessee.
In this position, he works with a global team fighting poverty through advancing human rights. Adam collaborates with policymakers, allied organizations, community leaders, faith groups, and academics. His work is entirely nonpartisan.
Adam guest lectures on aid effectiveness and the politics of poverty, especially enabling local decision-making in development, international food aid procurement, and agricultural development.
Before coming to Oxfam, he worked in federal and state-level politics in Minnesota. Adam interned at the Walworth County District Attorney’s office and later held roles in local government and non-profits, including assisting with a historic reorganization of the Minneapolis and Hennepin County public library systems.
Dr. Vana Prewitt
Founder and President at Media Education Centre, President and General Manager at Media Education Centre – Danube for Peace and Advisor for Design Thinking, Learning and Leadership at Global Media – International Youth Media Space.
Catherine Ross Bonifant
Catherine became a Rotarian in 2006, acting on the Board of the original and subsequently two traditional clubs and two EClubs including the Rotary EClub of One World, CA and co founding the EClub of Social Innovators, Ontario. Catherine joined the Rotary EClub of World Peace in 2019. Catherine has remained in good standing with each of the clubs and is Honorary of three internationally based clubs. Catherine joined Rotary to coincide with enrolling at the University of Queensland in Peace Studies with the Rotary Peace Fellows and has maintained contact with the university and the Rotary Host Coordinators of the program. She regularly attends the annual seminar which is a feature of the Rotary Peace Centre program. She has been a Rotarian Reader for the Rotary Peace Fellowship applications for three years with the role of recommending the most worthy to proceed in the process to join the seven Peace Centres at the select universities around the world.
Catherine held the office of Peace Chair in D9640 (Qld, Australia) from 2008 and in D5240 (California) from 2014 during which time she implemented the Peacebuilder Club program for district D5240. Catherine actively participates in communication platforms in D5240 maintaining connections with district and club leaders. Catherine established and moderates a Facebook group for Rotary Peace Fellows and Supporters currently with 801 members and growing, the majority are Rotary Peace Fellows. Members include PDG and former RPC Committee Chair, Peter Kyle, PDG Rudy Westervelt, Convenor, Rotary World Peace Conference 2016 and 2020 Ontario (USA) and other EClub of World Peace members, PDG Mike Caruso and Coordinator of the Rotary Peace Fellowship Alumni Association (RPFAA), William Rintz. Executive Director RAGFP, Reem Ghunaim is also a member.
Catherine participated in a Polio National Immunisation Day in India, February 2016 and presented on the Rotary Peacebuilder program at the Pune (India) Peace Symposium, February 2017. Since joining the Rotary EClub of World Peace, Catherine has Chaired the Peacebuilder Club Committee and recently conveyed an invitation from the EClub and its five current Rotary Peace Fellows members to the Rotary Peace Fellows, University of Queensland graduating class XVIII to help establish a World Peace Mentoring program. Catherine enjoys being a member of the Rotary EClub of World Peace for its active peacebuilding membership and inclusiveness. Attending meetings guarantees a weekly dose of ‘warm and fuzzies’ as well as outstanding presentations.
President and CEO of Mediators Beyond Borders International
She is committed to partnership, as evidenced by the organization’s collaboration with over 120 organizations globally. She leads MBBI’s recent partnership with Rotary International, a global network of 1.2 million members, as well as with NAFCM, a North American network of over 300 mediation centers.
She is a conflict transformation practitioner who has mediated, facilitated and trained in Europe, Asia, Africa, and the USA. Her public and private sector work includes conflict analysis for public/private partnerships, consultation & assessment for industrial development zones, design and implementation of trainings for multinational corporations; interfaith dialogues as well as facilitation of multi-stakeholder mediations.
Prabha is actively involved in regional, national and international civic activities focused on civil liberties, sexual violence prevention, conflict mitigation & mediation and the recovery & rehabilitation of trauma survivors. She is an Adjunct Professor at Washington and Jefferson College. She designs programs and interventions, trains and delivers presentations globally, on the impact of family and community violence, the intersection of trauma and peacebuilding, restorative justice, conflict resolution, mediation, and transitional justice.
She speaks English, Tamil, and Hindi. She practices yoga and also enjoys hiking, rafting, and climbing.
Albertine “Mumzy” Scray
Dr. Deborah Smilovitz Foster
Licensed Clinical Psychologist and Neuropsychologist
Dr. Deborah Smilovitz Foster, specializes in neuropsychology with a sub-specialty in children, trauma and balance. These specialties have provided a strong foundation about how physiological, neurological, and psychological processes interact. Deborah has studied and worked with children for over 20 years, first as an elementary school teacher and then as a nurse. Her clinical training includes working with gang members and teenage mothers, domestic violence and anger management groups, domestic violence shelters, County Mental Health as a certified member of the crisis team (certified to 5150)/assessment team and working with children and families. Her research at the internationally acclaimed Reiss-Davis Child Study Center in Los Angeles is part of a group of child study centers that includes the Yale and Harvard Child Study Centers.
Dr. Smilovitz Foster’s research focused on balanced internal and external regulation, parent child attachment, recovering from trauma and therapeutic interventions in collaboration with Dr. Jim Grotstein of UCLA Geffen Medical School. In addition to a Ph.D., Deborah also has a Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology and a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology and Global Peace and Security. Her undergraduate research on solving child abuse nonviolently in our community, used Gandhi’s notion of satyagraha, the search for truth.
Dr. Smilovitz Foster has given talks and led workshops at schools, Mental Health centers and to parents and professionals for the last several years. Her work consulting with parents focuses on a healthy, balanced way to relate with their family members and themselves through a deeper understanding of neuropsychological functions. These skills and tools work toward creating a compassionate, loving and kind relationship that makes each person and situation less stressful and healthier. Her work and training for 8 years with Dr. Radhule Weininger, MD, PhD focused on Cultivating Emotional Balance and well-being as well as Mindfulness Meditation. Dr Weininger instilled her wisdom from collaboration with leaders including the Dalai Lama, Alan Wallace, Jack Kornfield and others.. Dr. Foster’s training provided a solid sense of how to care for oneself with love, compassion, caring and kindness all from a gentle perspective. To this day these are the keystone of her therapeutic work and her personal life.
Dr. Marilyn Tam
Marilyn Tam, Ph.D. is a Speaker, Author, Consultant, Board Certified Executive/Corporate Coach. She was formerly the CEO of Aveda Corp., President of Reebok Apparel and Retail Group; Vice President of Nike Inc. and also a successful entrepreneur who has built four companies.
Marilyn is a contributing writer to Huffington Post on how to live a happy, healthy, successful, and dynamically balanced life. Brand Channel lists her as one of the four most prominent names in Ethical Business globally. She is one of the top 100 leadership speakers in the world according to Inc Magazine. Brand Channel lists her as one of the four most prominent names in Ethical Business globally.
Her life is an inspiring example of what can be achieved if one followed their dreams. She grew up as an abused and neglected child in Hong Kong. She left home as a teen to come to America alone. Following her life mission, she achieved international business and humanitarian success.
Marilyn was recognized as one of the Top 30 Female Entrepreneurs in the USA by Fempreneur magazine. Jack Canfield detailed her work in his book on the strategies for success, “The Success Principles”.
Among her numerous recognition and awards is the Artemis Award from the Greek Government and Euro-American Women’s Council, with her image on a Greek postage stamp. Marilyn is featured in many documentary movies including GLOW Project, The Compass, Tapping the Source, and FEMME for her accomplishments and inner wisdom.
Marilyn’s award winning and top rated business book, “The Happiness Choice”, shows how and why happiness is crucial for business productivity and success, and for your physical, emotional, spiritual and financial health. Her book, “How to Use What You’ve Got to Get What You Want”, is published in six languages.
Sharon Tennison, President and Founder of Center for Citizen Intiatives
Sharon Tennison has worked for 30 years in Russia and the countries of the former Soviet Union, creating numerous multi-year programs to provide training for Soviet and Russian citizens to gain independence and skills designed for self governance. She is founder and President of the Center for Citizen Initiatives (CCI). She lives and travels extensively part of the year in Russia.
Melissa Hunt Trikilis
Volunteer Efforts: Uganda Development Initiative – Sponsored a child from Primary School thru College with continued mentoring. Top fundraiser for the LA Gulu Walk, bringing attention to the plight of child soldiers. Past Parent Board of John Thomas Dye School and Marlborough School.. Past Parent volunteer at Westwood Presbyterian Church. I participated in starting a school lunch and school supplies program with Athletes and Entertainers for Kids at the 102nd street school in Los Angeles. I’m a member of the Los Angeles Conservancy and I recently signed up with Meals On Wheels and will start delivering meals on March 10.
I’m interested in helping children in Los Angeles and around the world however I can. I’m also interested in water preservation and clean water for all in addition to a variety of other issues.
Occupation: Educator at Secondary level
Teaching Experience: More than 30 years in Private and Public schools.
Subject Taught: Art and Design( Upper Classes), French ( lower classes)
Qualifications: Teachers Diploma in Visual Arts
BA(Hons) Fine Arts with Education
Post Graduate Certificate in Education with Distinction
MSC in Educational Technology and Administration with Merit
Hobbies: Creative Arts/ Mural Paintings
Reading and Writing
Voluntary Social Work
Past Experience in Rotary: Public Image Committee Chair (3 years)
Young Generation Committee Chair (2 years)
Designer of logo Rotary Club of Vacoas
Involvement: Vice President of PTA at school
Adviser Interact Club at School
Stage Decorator for some Associations
Voluntary help to many NGOS in Mauritius and abroad.
Senior Organizational Strategist serving small to medium size organizations with rejuvenation strategies for Additional Revenues, Strategic Partnerships, Current Technologies, Relationships, Innovative Thinking, and Public and Private Sector funding. Also a pro bono advisor to a series of Non-Profits and Youth Groups.
CANADA TRADE LINK CORP., TORONTO NOV 2018 to PRESENT Helped to incubate and managing a Global Private Trade Missions group for bi-directional trade and representation for Canadian companies to carry out trade and trade related relationships with over twelve countries around the world. The company carries Corporate Social Responsibilities (CSR) to invest into social projects in the target regions Canada Trade Link is planning to operate working with local Rotary Clubs and Rotarians using portions of revenue generated through this Social Enterprise.
GOVERNMENT AND PRIVATE FUNDING/STRATEGY ADVISOR TRINITY TECH INC., TORONTO
GOVERNMENT FUNDING HELP/STRATEGY ADVISOR Hybrid Solutions, BRAMPTON
Active Rotarian with a title of Assistant Governor and Past President of Rotary Club of Mississauga City Centre Board Member, Rotary Action Group for Microfinance and Community Building (RAGM) Current Strategic Partner Lead and Conference Director for RAGM Incoming Chair for the Year 2020-21 RAGM Past Board Member, Peel Dufferin Catholic Family Services (2013)
Chantelle Vo (Doerksen)
Chantelle Doerksen is a Rotary Peace Fellow alumnus (Queensland, Class X), past MBBI Chair, and return Peace Corps Volunteer (Paraguay). She currently works for the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) as a senior coordinator for the Policy Development Support Department, working with an international network of volunteers. Her professional background includes experience working in business, community development, and public policy. In 2012, she graduated from the Rotary Peace Centre at the University of Queensland located in Brisbane, Australia. During her time as a Rotary Peace Fellow, her research focused on United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 and the role of women in decision-making and peace- making processes at local, national, and international forums. As a graduate student, she completed formal mediation training and worked with several Peace Fellows to host local community dialogues focused on building trust and fostering a sense of community. For her research project, Chantelle spent time with the United Nations Development Programme on local initiatives in the South Pacific. She co-authored a book chapter in 2016 that incorporated her research. For the Rotary Peace Fellowship, Chantelle was sponsored by Rotary District 5300 and by Karen Whisenhunt of the Las Vegas Rotary Club. In Australia, she was adopted by the Rotary Club of Brisbane High Rise and Rotary District 9600 (which covers not only part of Australia, but also Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, and Nauru). Chantelle remains active in community development projects in Los Angeles, California, where she lives with her husband (a local jazz musician/ educator) and their two-year old daughter.
Karyn Westervelt, Immediate Past President of Rotary E Club of World Peace.
Karyn has been deeply involved in Rotary since joining the Rotary Club of Lake Arrowhead Mountain Sunrise in 2007. She served as Club President in 2009-10.
Her focus in Rotary has been on our youth, working with the Boys and Girls Club, Rotary Youth Camps, various Literacy and Training Programs.
Karyn’s first International Convention was in 2008. It was when she realized the enormous power of Rotary to end polio and change the world.
In 2015-16, her husband, Rudy, served as the Rotary International District 5330 Governor. Together they visited all 62 Rotary clubs in the Inland Empire and met hundreds of Rotarians with exciting new ideas.
January 15-16, 2016, Rudy convened the Rotary World Peace Conference. She helped him and the conference was a huge success. Many compared it to an international convention with over a dozen tracks and over 100 speakers and facilitators working to develop solutions to major issues happening in our communities.
She has started working with Rudy and others on the Rotary World Peace Conference 2020.
Karyn is very excited about being president of the Rotary Club of World Peace for 2018-19. Emmanuel has been a marvelous president and he, Karyn and Derek Moore, president, 2019-20 are now working together to continue the club’s success and growth.
Rudy and Karyn have five grandchildren living in four different states. They enjoy RI Conventions, working to promote peace and travel.
Rudy Westervelt, Club Member & Advisor, Rotary District 5330 Governor 2015-16, Convener of the Rotary World Peace Conference 2016, CEO of Power in Learning. Programs Chair for the 2017 Presidential Peace Conference at the Rotary International Convention in Atlanta. Programs Chair for the 2017 Zone 25-26 Institute in Reno. Advisor to the 2017-18 Rotary International Conference Series. Convener of Rotary World Peace Conference 2020. President of Solutions for Peace Foundation, Inc.
Rudy earned his B.S. from Cornell University, his M.S. from the University of Connecticut. He has numerous scientific publications and has given presentations and led training sessions around the country. For 30 years he led manufacturing plants and distribution centers for The Kroger Co. He currently operates his own company, Power in Learning and is a sought after consultant across the food industry and a training facilitator and team building leader for all leadership teams.
David Wick has held the vision and values of personal and societal evolution to our highest and best. He currently serves as:
Rotary E-Club of World Peace, President-Elect 2021-2022
Ashland Culture of Peace Commission, Executive Director
Pathways To Peace, Director
David Wick’s work with young people began in Santa Cruz, CA. In 1974, after counseling troubled youth for three years in the Santa Cruz Juvenile Hall, he founded Youth Services in Santa Cruz and Watsonville. It is still going strong today as an essential multi-million dollar organization. Based on the dynamic early years of Youth Services he authored a chapter in the recently published book, “The Origins of Neuro Linguistic Programming.”
In 1983 David helped launch the United Nations NGO, Pathways To Peace (PTP) which had assisted the adoption of the UN’s International Day of Peace in 1981. David has been a leader in organizing the celebration of the International Day of Peace since 1984. While working at Stanford University, in 1985 he founded the ten year-long PTP Peace Within Organizations program and in 1995 co-founded the visionary project Peace Building Through Business which led to being a leading member of a five year international think tank on the future role of business in the 21st Century. He has been the Team Leader of the global Culture of Peace Initiative (CPI), a UN-designated “Peace Messenger Initiative”, of which Pathways To Peace serves as the Secretariat. Building upon his knowledge and experience, David co-lead the development of the Ashland Culture of Peace Commission (ACPC) and currently serves as its Executive Director, engaging the Ashland community in new ways of thinking and behavior, and developing a local – global model other cities may benefit from.
In his previous role as Vice President of Southern Oregon China Connection, David has been an essential initiator in developing a growing economic, educational and cultural bridge between Oregon and China and worked closely with Oregon’s legislators and the Chinese Consulate in San Francisco. David focuses on leadership development and international relations and in the related position of Adjunct Professor, School of Business, Southern Oregon University he co-taught the Leaders Growth Series. David also worked in the Public Diplomacy area through placing foreign exchange students in high schools and with host families in Southern Oregon.
David has over 30 years of executive and management training and organizational development consulting experience, and has held important positions within Sun Microsystems, Stanford University, Levi Strauss and the European Foundation for Management Development (efmd). He has designed extensive international training programs and has received accolades in both the business and peacebuilding arenas.
David’s previous experiences are culminating in his leadership as President, Rotary E-Club of World Peace, July 1, 2021-June 30, 2022 where he has the opportunity to assist the top international service organization toward its expanding goals in global peacebuilding and the Culture of Peace, Ashland, OR
Kristine Ina Winter
Elizabeth Wilson co-founded Peace Village Global in 1996 along with Wintry Whitt. The two went on to create the curricula, direct camps and educate both camp directors and new trainers. Elizabeth was an adjunct professor in the Peace and Social Justice Department at Pacific University for over 20 years where she developed and led programs for students. She enjoys teaching outside the classroom and has worked in a UN camp for SE Asian refugees, with the Navajo Nation, and for many years leading expeditions in the wilderness. She has studied natural medicine, yoga and meditation for over 25 years, and delights in playing and teaching music, being outside, and spending time with family.
Peacebuilder using humor and the Rotary Four-Way Test where questions lead to answers and desired outcomes beneficial to all concerned.
Rotary International, member
Westport Sunrise Rotary, president 2014-15
Rotarian Action Group for Peace, co-founder
Rotary E-club of World Peace, Vocational Service co-chair
Peace Literacy Foundation, advisor
International Cities of Peace, representative to the United Nations
United Nations Association-USA, member
Author, Rotary Four-Way Test for Conflict Transformation
Mark joined the Rotarian Action Group for Peace (RAGFP) Board because he believes that Rotarians have, are and will continue to effectively promote peace and conflict resolution/prevention through humanitarian service. He is confident that the Rotarian Action Group for Peace (RAGFP) will bring greater focus to Rotarian PeaceBuilding initiatives, muster the needed resources and talent to achieve greater understanding, goodwill and peace in our communities and conflict zones around the world.
Mark serves The Rotary Foundation as a Technical Coordinator for the Cadre of Technical Assistance Advisers in the Area of Focus: Peace & Conflict Resolution/Prevention. He has served as President of the Jerusalem Rotary Club RY 2009-10, was a Presidential Citation Awardee RY 2009-10 and received the District Outstanding Service Shield in RY 2009-10 & RY 2012-13. He is currently serving as the Chair of the Club Services Committee RY 2012-14, and was the Club Secretary RY 2004-5 as well as the Club Bulletin Editor for six years and Webmaster RY 2003-present. Mark has been named District TRF Fund Raising Chair in RY 2014-15.
He and his wife, PP Dr. Marilyn Farber, are Rotary Foundation (TRF) Major Donors, Benefactors, Bequest Society members and Multiple Paul Harris Fellows. Mark has also served Rotary as District Chair Peace Projects RY 2004-5, and served two terms as the Chair, International Fellowship of Rotarian Editors and Publishers (ROTARY IFREP) RY 2007-08 & 2012-13. Mark served as District Chair Rotary Friendship Exchange (RFE) RY 2010-13 reestablishing this program after a 23 year hiatus. Mark is the Co-founder and Past Co-Chair of the Rotary Leadership Institute (Israel Division).
At present, Mark is a Director on the Paul Harris Peace Forest Board of Directors RY 2012-15, the Zone Institute (Jerusalem) Coordinator for Sergeants-at- Arms services (November 2013), the District Program Coordinator for Rotary Services RY 2013-14, The Rotary Foundation (TRF) Technical Advisor (Microfinance, Community and Economic Development), The Rotary Foundation (TRF) Technical Coordinator (Peace & Conflict Resolution/Prevention) RY 2012-15.
Over the span of his career, Mark has worked with diverse organizations in the USA and in Israel: U.S. Peace Corps Country Director, the United Nations Development Program Senior Advisor, Jewish Federation and Community Center Executive Director and in various Ministries for the State of Israel: Division Director, Research and Program Evaluation, Ministry of Social Affairs. He has lectured and taught at prestigious educational institutions including Hebrew University, Haifa University, Cornell University, Brandeis University and Boston University.
Mark received his Ph.D. in Social Welfare at the Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University in Waltham, MA (USA). He also holds a Master of Public and International Affairs from the University of Pittsburgh, Graduate School of Public and International Affairs (Economic and Social Development) in Pittsburgh, PA (USA), and a Bachelor of Arts in Social Science (with concentrations in Economics and Sociology) from San Diego State University in San Diego, CA (USA).
In Memory of Members:
Henry Oster was born Heinz Oster on November 5, 1928 in Cologne, Germany to Hans and Elisabeth Oster. He entered grade school in 1934 and in 1935, the Nurumberg laws prohibited Jewish students from attending school and Henry was expelled.
In October of 1941, Henry and his parents were forced on a train and sent to the Lodz Ghetto. He lived in a single room with 18 other people with no modern facilities. His father died of starvation within 6 months. In 1944, Henry and his mother were forced into cattle cars and transported to Auschwitz-Birkenau Death Camp. Henry was selected for the work camps and his mother was immediately murdered in the gas chambers.
Henry was tattooed with the number B-7648. Working 16 hours per day in the stables, Henry was able to avoid selection for the gas chambers on three more occasions. With the Soviet Army advancing, Henry survived a Death March to the train station and transported in an open cattle car to Buchenwald Concentration Camp. A thousand Jewish boys were rounded up to work in the quarries. From April 1 to 11, Henry and the other inmates were given no food. On April 11, 1945, General George Patton’s U.S. Third Army liberated Buchenwald.
Henry was sent to an orphanage in France and was able to reach the United States in 1946 to join his uncle in Los Angeles. Today, Henry shares his personal testimony as a speaker at the Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles.
Henry’s message to all of us is “Be aware of how easily people can be persuaded to commit genocide if nobody speaks up against it.”
Birmingham resident, Jerry Levin and former television network journalist, is an author and public speaker advocate/activist on behalf of peacebuilding nonviolence as a way of life at both the micro and macro level of human relations. The former WBRC-TV News Director, while serving as Cable News Network (CNN) Middle East Bureau Chief based in Beirut, Lebanon was kidnapped in early 1984 by Hezballah and became the first of the so-called forgotten American hostages. He was able to escape eleven-and-a-half months later on Valentine’s Day 1985 due to the nonviolent strategies developed by his Birmingham native wife’s, Dr. Lucille (Sis) Levin and her team of Muslim, Jewish, and Christian friends at home and in the Middle East.
While in captivity, he had a profound spiritual and philosophical awakening. After a sudden insight about what he labels “the futility of violence” and motivated by his intense contemplation of Jesus’ teachings about human behavior, he moved from paying lip service to the belief that at times violence has its uses to becoming an anti-violence activist on behalf of unconditional nonviolent living. A member of the global violence prevention organization, CPT (Christian Peacemaker Teams), he and his wife served for many years in the Israel’s occupied territories trying to help defenseless Palestinians withstand the impoverishing and expropriating effects of the Israeli Army’s colonial rule of the West Bank and its ghettoization of Gaza. In 2003 The Levins were also on the ground serving as human shields against the U.S. bombing of Baghdad during the opening months of the second Gulf War.
At home he has become involved in local racism, poverty, and homelessness issues and causes, co-founded the Birmingham Committee to Protect the Homeless, and was a guest lecturer in the Introduction to Peace Studies course his wife taught at the University of Alabama, Birmingham.
Along with his wife, Jerry Levin was the recipient of the 2009 Dali Lama’s Wisdom in Action: Unsung Heroes of Compassion Award. In 2016 his name was placed in nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize causing him to say he should not to be considered because there were and are clearly many more people and organizations who have given and risked far more than he in the name of nonviolent peace and justice. He is also a recipient of Life Memberships in the Radio and Television News Directors Association, and the Foreign Press Association of the United States
He has written about his conversion to nonviolence in Reflections On My First Noel and his experiences in the Middle East in West Bank Diary: Middle East Violence as Reported by a Former American Hostage. The story of his wife’s efforts to free him was told in the motion picture, Held Hostage, starring Marlo Thomas. It premiered on ABC Television on the Sunday evening before the first Gulf War began in January 1991.
Upon their return to Birmingham, the Dean of the Episcopal Cathedral Church of The Advent asked the Levins to serve as his Pre Marital Counselors (they are professionally trained, certified servers in this field). Dr. Levin, a long time Rotarian International member, joined her husband of forty years in accepting membership in the Rotary E Club of World Peace. Together they have made over one thousand talks on Healing the Dysfunctioning Family of Abraham both here and abroad.
Sig Wathne, a Rotarian since 1980, Founder and former President of SIKAMA International, Inc. an electronic manufacturing company in Santa Barbara for the evolving Microelectronics and Semiconductor industries.
Sig’s interest in electronics started in high school, (Norway then under German occupation had confiscated ALL radios, if any were found, punishment was immediate death) Sig wanted to listen to the BBC, right across the waters. Outfoxing the Occupation powers, he obtained rolls of toilet paper, removed the paper, wound a coil on the core (Tuned to the Scotland frequency) glued in a Detector, clips (for ear plug, antenna and ground) placing the paper carefully back on the roll and alas, a crystal-set was born. At 8 PM every night was “Toilet time” for the latest progress of the Allied Forces. Almost a hundred were made, not a one was found! All due to tight lipped friends.1940 was the year Norway became drawn into World War II. On 9 April Nazi Germany invaded our country, which remained occupied until 8 May 1945.
“This was the beginning of 5 long years of torture,” said Santa Barbara resident and author Sig Wathne. I was 12 and my little brother was 2, asleep in the other room. We left LA during the depression and had returned to our Grandparents in Norway. Let’s make our opposition to war heard before war is once again a reality. Peace begins with me, is my motto for my life.
Dr. Lucille “Sis” Levin
Mountain Brook native, international peace activist and arts patron Sis Levin passed away Friday at the age of 89, her family confirmed. Dr. Lucille Hare (Sis) Levin was the founder of national and international educational endeavors focused on violence reduction and prevention — was a leading exponent of training teachers (preschool through University) in the techniques of systemically and comprehensively teaching students the concepts of nonviolent living.
“She was brilliant and a great writer,” Levin’s daughter Florence Selman said of her mother, who was passionate about the arts and activism.
Levin was the devoted spouse of Jerry Isadore Levin, a former Middle East Bureau Chief for CNN. She relentlessly pushed for his release after he was abducted by Hezbollah and held hostage for a year in Lebanon in the 1980s.
“My mother was a true steel magnolia. She could charm a bird from a tree, but look out if you crossed her,” said daughter Suzelle Smith.
“Heaven definitely became a more interesting place last Friday when Sis walked through the pearly gates.” Levin was known for talking to anyone she met about international peace, whether they were a waitress or a hospital worker. “Her entire focus was peace, nonviolence, conflict resolution and love,” said Selman.
Sis Levin died in February at age 87. Selman was not told the exact cause of her mother’s death, but she believes it was a broken heart. “I’m sure they’re arm in arm,” said Selman of the Levins. “She wanted to be with him more than anything,” she said.
On Wednesday, October 13th, our club lost a lifelong peacemaker, Avon Mattison. The world lost an amazing peacemaker. Please send thoughts and prayers to her family and friends, whose lives are forever changed for the better because of the heart and mind of this loving woman.
Avon Mattison, President & Co-Founder/Steward of Pathways To Peace (PTP)
Avon Mattison was a Peacebuilding and Inter-Organizational Consultant, Advisor and Mentor with five decades’ experience. She worked with innovative leaders, groups and organizations on the “frontline” building a diverse regenerative Culture of Peace ~ inter-generationally and multi-culturally for the Common Good & future generations.
She was Co-Founder and President of Pathways To Peace (PTP), an international Peacebuilding, educational and consulting organization. PTP has Consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council, and is an official Peace Messenger Organization of the United Nations (UN). Avon had served as special advisor to United Nations Conferences, Declarations and Programmes, and also to renowned international leaders and emerging youth leaders.
Avon Mattison was also connected with the U.S. Foreign Service for three years in the European Community during the Cold War era. Through Pathways To Peace, she co- created the Culture of Peace Initiative in 1983/84 in colleagueship with former UN Assistant Secretary-General Robert Muller. This local/global Peacebuilding Initiative unites the strengths of over 4,000 international organizations and focuses co-operative Peacebuilding along diverse pathways/sectors.
Philip Hellmich, a member of the Rotary E-Club of World Peace, passed away Friday, April 1, 2022. Philip was a well-known peacebuilder and a force for goodness in the world. As the Director of Peace at The Shift Network, he was the chief architect of the Summer of Peace, Yoga Day Summit, and World Peace Library and was the co-lead faculty of the Peace Ambassador Training. Philip was also a published writer, including his book God and Conflict: A Search for Peace in a Time of Crisis, and presented nationally and internationally, including at the Nobel Peace Prize Forum. He was an active member of the Yogananda community. Philip lives on in our hearts.