The purpose of this symposium is to share information on Rotary Initiatives which promote Peace and Conflict Resolution.

Committee Chair:  Peace Scholar Jeff Whitfield  (

The first Districts 5790 and District 5810 Peace Symposium was held at the Tarrant County College Trinity River Campus in Fort Worth, Texas.

Past District Governor, Sharon Miles Kicked off the Symposium

Jeff Whitfield, a Fort Worth Peace Fellow opened the symposium by sharing his experiences as a peace fellow. Jeff also closed the event.  District 5790 awarded Jeff a lifetime Rotary membership and a also Paul Harris Fellowship. 


On December 1, 2012, District 5790 held its first-ever Peace Symposium.  The event was planned by a group of Rotary leaders from across the district.  The event was enormously successful thanks to the attendees, the speakers, the highlighted organizations, and the organizers.

The goals of the event were to connect Rotarians with other local organizations working to promote peace, and to help attendees understand the many obstacles to peace (such as hunger, disease, illiteracy, environmental degradation, poverty, prejudice, etc.).

There were nine workshops broken into three sessions.  Each attendee selected three workshops to attend from among the following options: 

First Session:

Water and sanitation                                                Sandy Forster, Water and Sanitation Rotary Action Group

Military as an instrument of peace                             Jim Meernik, UNT-Peace Studies

Education and Community Peace building                  Dianna Phillips, Executive Director United Way Wichita Falls

Second Session:

Causes of war and preventing recurrence                  David Mason, UNT-Peace Studies

Economic development and conflict                         Dr. Paul Geisel, PDG, Fort Worth East Rotary Club

Human rights and conflict                                       Angie Nichols, UNT-Peace Studies

Third Session:

Infant mortality and conflict relationship                   Marcy Paul, UNTHSC, School of Public Health

Effectiveness of conflict resolution                          Mike Greig, UNT-Peace Studies

A Peace module for your club                                Dave Hurt, President, Arlington West Rotary Club


Attendees also had the opportunity to explore partnerships between Rotary and other community programs working to address the obstacles to peace:

Healthy Moms, Healthy Babies, Healthy Communities

Texas Lawyers for Texas Veterans

Shelter Box

Real School Gardens

Texas Refugee Services

Human Rights Initiative

United Way Education Programs

Water and Sanitation Rotary Action Group

Fort Worth Sister Cities

World Affairs Council

Everyone left the symposium with ideas to take to their club, and a commitment to communicate the message that all Rotary humanitarian projects contribute to the quest for peace.  Many attendees, facilitators, and organizations asked if we can expect a second annual peace symposium in 2013.

Peace module for clubs                                         Dave Hurt, President, Arlington West Rotary Club

Everyone left the symposium with ideas to take to their club, and a commitment to communicate a peace message with future Rotary humanitarian projects.  Planning for the 2013 peace symposium will be underway early next year.  For sure, everyone who attended this event will be eager to attend.  

A copy of the agenda and several presentations are available for download this site page.  

Check out our Peace Symposium Photo Gallery Link at: 2012 District 5790 Peace Symposium Photo Gallery