Peace Conversations Facilitation Program (PCF) is a key initiative designed for Rotarians to engage in positive peace within their own clubs and communities through facilitated conversations and dialogue.
In the 3-month program, Rotarians with varying levels of experience are trained to become PCF Facilitators and Coaches. These teams assist clubs in holding ‘Peace Conversations’ which are small groups, facilitated discussions typically on a difficult subject. Eg. Interfaith Conflict, LGTBQ Rights, Human Trafficking or discussing Club Vision. Some clubs have even invited the larger community to engage in these Peace Conversations.
Rotary Clubs as Hubs for Peace Locally, Globally.
Utilize existing networks, resources, and partnerships to build conflict literacy and dialogue skills of Rotarians at all levels to become more effective peacebuilders within their own Clubs, Districts and Communities.
Theory of Change
Technology and global migration are bringing people together at an ever-increasing rate- equally increasing the opportunity for destructive conflict. The role of local communities in promoting positive peace has become paramount. There are Rotary Clubs within communities currently experiencing such conflict, but last several years have shown that all communities are susceptible (eg Ferguson, Paris, Charlottesville…)
Peace starts from within. Rotarians with the skills to engage more meaningfully in difficult conversations within their own clubs can engage in dialogue within the larger communities they serve. Connected communities able to engage in consistent, meaningful dialogue are more resilient to division, social crisis, and violence. Conversation facilitation is a skill that can be taught and practiced by individuals from all levels of experience and backgrounds.
Also: read the District 5020 February 2020 Newsletter. Make sure to read pages 20-25!
Case Study: Rotary Round-Up in Galveston, Texas
On September 7, 2019, District 5910 held a District ‘Round-Up’ in Galveston, Texas. Nearly 200 Rotarians from around the region of southeastern Texas met to learn from workshops and each other. The lead coordinators, Amy Killgore and Ava Sloan, supported by District Governor Betsy Robinson and District Governor Elect Becky Mason, explored a new model for engaging attendees and promoting greater fellowship.
Working with Peace Fellow, Scott Martin, the team decided to employ a version of the Peace Conversation Facilitation (PCF) Program. Martin arrived early, along with Peace Fellow Ximena Murillo, to train Rotarian volunteers from the District. The group of 16 had already taken on-line trainings earlier in the week.
S. Martin’s opening keynote plenary pulled from his diverse background and experiences to discuss the work of MBBI and illustrate how Rotarians can engage in peacebuilding within their own communities. His talk was entitled “Two Drops for Peace: The Role of Rotary in Building Peace Locally, Globally.”
The attention was then turned to the audience who were asked not to sit with members from their clubs- the facilitators did the same. Each table was encouraged to choose questions pertaining to the topics they learned and had the option to confidentially discuss conflict their club might be experiencing.
The results were energizing and fostered an environment of mutual learning and increased fellowship. The District plans to follow up with a District-wide rollout of the full PCF program, hopefully in time for the District conference in the coming Spring 2020.
Peace Conversations Facilitation Program Overview
Mediators Beyond Borders International (MBBI) has been working globally to expand the capacity of community-based partners through mediation and dialogue for over a decade and has a network of trainers and practitioners throughout the world.
For more information, contact S. Martin at firstname.lastname@example.org.