Meeting in Review - August 17, 2016 by Nancy Riker
 
President Elect Abe opened the meeting promptly at 12:30 via the gong of the bell by substitute Sergeant at Arms Michael Harper. Everyone silenced their mobile devices, mostly.  PE Abe led us in the Pledge of Allegiance.
 
Club Member Dennis Cravedi offered the inspiration relating some of his stories mentoring a foster child through Best Kids DC. His profound experience and lessons learned gave us all pause as we reflect on how we help others.
 
Secretary Alicia Fougere welcomed visiting International and American Rotarians and member guests:
  • Johnny Young visiting Rotarian from Bethesda Chevy Chase Rotary Club
  • Roberto “Tito” Reconco, visiting Rotarian from Metro Bethesda Rotary Club.
  • Barbara Benson, guest Rotarian from the Crowley Louisiana Club. She presented and exchanged a flag from her Club and asked us to remember and help the people of Crowley now underwater with the horrific flooding.
  • Erna Van Dijle, visiting Rotarian from the Scherpenzeel-Woudenberg Club in the Netherlands. She presented and exchanged a flag from her Club.
Guests included: Rotary members Joy and Max London, brother and sister Interact Students at Walt Whitman High School guests of Abe Helal, Cathy Healy guest of Alicia Fourgere, Joanne Perlman wife and guest of member Bob Schott, Courtney Burkey guest of Dick Pyle, Rotary member Amanda Silva DC Rotaracter, Terry McCormick, non affiliated and Adriana Colback guest of Bob Schott.
 
Sergeant-at-Arms Michael Harper announced there were no birthdays this August week  but he announced two Club anniversaries this week :  
Congratulations on 10 years for Gladys Antezana and  4 years for  Jessica Stewart.
 
Members Bill Dent and Gladys Pemberton (15 years on the job) reported on RYLA, Rotary Youth Leadership Awards. RYLA is a leadership training program for young people supported by Clubs worldwide. Our Club sponsors 7 DC high school students to the National Conference held in Washington DC every winter from grants from our Club’s foundation.  Bill and Gladys recognized Marilyn Cruz and Octavian Ionici for their assistance as members of the committee.
 
Walt Whitman High School Interact Club members Joy and Max London highlighted the RYLA event Share Fair. Each team was tasked with identifying a world problem and coming up with a solution. Walt Whitman Interact team identified lack of cultural awareness as the problem with the solution of developing a comprehensive website connecting students worldwide.
 
Member Cherry Baumbusch announced that Grate Patrol needs volunteers for Friday night August 19th, 6:30-8:30. Contact Dan Mullin.
 
PRESENTATION
 
Member Dick Pyle had extra time to introduce the speaker and comment on their professional and personal relationship.  The Club welcomed Chic Dambach along with his excellent power point presentation.
 
Chic Dambach is a Peacebuilding Expert as a result of a lifetime of service and successful initiatives for example helped end the war between Ethiopia and Eritrea and the Congo civil war.
 
His presentation, Peacebuilding – A Rotary Path Forward, highlighted statistics, graphs and the results of in-depth studies on the progress we, the global community, have made toward figuring out alternatives to resolve differences other than by death and destruction. The curve of history graph showed that we exist in the most peaceful era of human history. There are more democracies in the world, they are young countries and not perfect but the pillars of peace are more prevalent and supported than not. Google Peace Index and see for yourself.
 
However, the world has become a less peaceful place in the last year according for the Global Peace Index for 2016. 65 million displaced persons and refugees are the worse conflict at present. The nature of conflicts has changed. Political and social doctrines produce extremists who kill based on ideology with total disregard for others points of view. Civilians are being targeted.  The only way to change the dynamics of asymmetrical warfare is to establish a climate where there is decrease support for extremists. Chic reports that this can change and is changing.
 
The good news is that for the first time in human history there are 223 advanced academic programs in peace and conflict resolution. These studies give the answer for our current challenge for peace, which includes showing governments and potential followers of the futility of death and destruction. Common ground is identified and strengthened. Support is provided. These strategies are being successfully employed.  The solutions are known. The work is hard.
 
Rotary is a significant player in peace in the world. 6 Peace Centers, 1000 Peace Fellows because of Rotary International Foundation grants. Rotary is more than a collection of service clubs, it is a global peacebuilding force. Visit www.rotarianactiongroupforpeace.org for more details.
 
Rotary peace initiatives are being prepared for Uganda and Jamaica. Chic is consulting with our Club and Club member Dick Pyle’s Peace Action group for on the ground support in Jamaica.
 
Thanks Chic for detailing the gains throughout the world via peacebuilding and how Rotary’s peace initiatives dovetail into the Pillars of Peace model  giving the world a roadmap for Peace. The Club thanked Chic with a round of applause.
 
Member Katrina Romain sold lots of raffle tickets.  Congratulations to Member Jay Pugh who won $67 in the small pot but alas he drew a black card, but not the Ace of Spades and therefore, did not win the $1569 large pot.
 
PE Abe announced our next program Wednesday August 24th, Member Kenny Barnes will introduce the guest speaker Mildred Muhammad, a domestic violence survivor, advocate, educator and consultant to the Office of Victims of Crime and the US Dept of State.
 
He thanked member Katrina Romain for conducting today’s raffle, Members Bal Raj Gupta and Ken Brown for staffing the Hospitality Desk,  and member Greeters:  Jay Vilar, Lara Bersano and Deborah Sigmund, (member  Rynthia Rost also sported a Greeter badge).
 
Today’s Meeting in Review by member, Nancy Riker.
 
Meeting promptly adjourned at 1:30.