Dear Rotarians,
This month we celebrate Peace and Conflict Prevention/Resolution. Did you know that today, over 70 million people are displaced as a result of conflict, violence, persecution, and human rights violations? Half of them are children. Some may hear this news and count it as another statistic for someone else to solve. Rotarians, on the other hand, spring into action!
We refuse to accept conflict as a way of life, and we seek solutions that will be beneficial for all concerned. Rotary projects provide training that fosters understanding and provides communities with the skills to resolve conflicts. Like our other six areas of focus, peace and conflict resolution require us to see/understand the issues at hand in order to serve effectively. Sometimes, this requires us to step out of our own comfort zones.
Within our district, we have two chairs responsible for supporting peace and conflict resolution: 
As Peace and Conflict Resolution Chair, Edwin Blanton oversees programs that support the Foundation through strengthening local peace efforts, training local leaders to prevent and mediate conflict, assisting vulnerable populations affected by conflict (particularly children), and supporting studies related to peace and conflict resolution. Edwin has an amazing background and service to the community. He serves as the President of the Mission Trail Rotary Club and Executive Director of Experiential Learning & Community Engagement at Texas A&M University at San Antonio.  
As the District Conflict Resolution Chair, Don Van Eynde provides conflict resolution support to our district, clubs, and their members when necessary. Don has an extensive background in leadership, group dynamics, and human resource management. This position supports our work as Rotarians to resolve issues that may arise that cannot be resolved at the club level.
I encourage Rotarians to work proactively within your clubs and community to have tough conversations, find pathways to peace, and get involved with supporting partners to maximize the potential for positive widespread peace. Here are a few partners to consider:
Peace Corps: An independent U.S. federal agency, sends U.S. citizens abroad to help tackle the most pressing needs around the world while promoting better international understanding. Peace Corps Volunteers live and work alongside the people they support to create sustainable change that lives on long after their service. A Peace Corps Volunteer (PCV) offers access to local contacts, community development insights, and funding possibilities within a particular community. Involving a PCV in your project will increase its reach, impact, and sustainability. Read the Rotary-Peace Corps partnership fact sheet and inspirational stories of Rotary members that have been impacted by the partnership.
Institute for Economics and Peace: Rotary is working with the Institute for Economics and Peace to create an online learning platform, with webinars and interactive tools that members and Rotary Peace Fellows can use to build on their expertise. Rotary and the institute will also develop positive peace workshops, funded by global grants and hosted by Rotary clubs, to provide training in the framework of positive peace. Contact Area of Focus Manager Rebecca Crall for additional details.
Other areas to bring projects or ideas to life is to join a Rotarian Action Group. Two are listed below for reference/action:
The Rotarian Action Group for Peace gives Rotary members resources and support to advance world peace and turn ambitious ideas into life-changing realities.
The Rotarian Action Group for Family Safety: Breaking the Family Violence provides support to clubs and districts in planning and implementing programs and projects that tackle domestic violence.
With the help of Rotarians both locally and globally, I believe the world will come to know peace and goodwill the way that we experience it in our local clubs. It takes communication, understanding, and resolve to see it through. Let's continue our work in supporting The Rotary Foundation, developing peace-building programs and projects, and supporting organizations that work towards peace. 
"The way to war is a well-paved highway, and the way to peace is still a wilderness."