#Rotary member Maria Kliavkoff and her club are inspiring conversations and connections focused on the eight Pillars of Positive Peace.
What difference can one conversation, one action really have? As a dual citizen of the U.S. and Canada living and working in the border area between Washington, Idaho, and British Columbia, I have always had a passion for peace. By good fortune, I have had the opportunity to meet four RI presidents, and I asked each what polio eradication has taught Rotarians about peace. The answer that inspired me most came from past RI President Barry Rassin, who told me “peace happens one conversation at a time.”

I chose to reflect on this answer in one of my favorite places, the Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park (WGIPP) – the first International Peace Park created by U.S. and Canadian Rotarians in the early 1930s. It is truly a “place of peace,” as the first peoples of the area called it centuries ago. As a director of the park’s association, I had been attending annual meetings and having peace conversations with other Rotarians.

Making it measurable

In 2019 Al Jubitz, co-founder of the Rotary Action Group (RAG) for Peace, was our keynote speaker. He shared the importance of creating measurables around peace. I learned about the partnership between Rotary and the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP) and the need for dedicated peacebuilder clubs. His talk piqued my curiosity. I knew he was right, making peace measurable is the key. The question was, what would my next conversation be?

Rotary members and guests reach across the U.S. and Canadian border
during a peace event at the Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park

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