(Update of September 4 posting)
7190 Rotarians will host a “Peace Summit for Youth” in Mechanicville on Sunday, November 12.
For more than 110 years, Rotary members have been addressing challenges around the world and acting as ambassadors for peace. In today’s global climate, our youth are anxious about international relations, terrorism, America’s position in the world, their personal futures, and how they fit in.
The “Peace Summit for Youth” will provide a forum to express their concerns and work collaboratively to consider pathways to peace –- peace in their schools, on their streets, and in the world.
The event, organized using the World Café Model, will encourage our youth to explore deeper thought and awareness regarding the issues affecting peace worldwide. The objective is to create an environment in which the youth generate all the content and develop the relevant outcomes for the day.
It will begin with a large-group discussion in which peace-related themes will be developed by the youths. Those themes subsequently become the topics for small-group conversations. Small groups (4 to 5 students) then will meet to engage the topics and develop the conversations using whatever tools make sense — doodling, note taking, writing, drawing, etc. The youths then will revolve to other “cafe” tables throughout the day, engaging the energy and dialog of other participants to continue fostering ideas, questions, and themes which begin to link and connect. At the end of the “cafe” discussions, all conversation clusters in the room will be cross-pollinated with insights from prior exchanges.
The keynote speaker will be Anne Kjaer Riechert, a Rotary Peace Scholar from Germany who is the owner and managing director of an IT training school for Syrian refuges in Berlin. Her talk, “The Many Paths of Peace,” will focus on the issue of global peace and the many ways young people can find careers in the business of peace.
The summit is open to high school students throughout the Greater Capital Region, including our nine Interact clubs, Rotary Youth Exchange, and Rotary Youth Leadership Awards. The effort will reach into every high school in our community where there is a Rotary club. This not only provides students the ability to participate through Rotary sponsorship, it also affords a learning opportunity about Rotary.
The event is being conducted in partnership with the Glens Falls Rotary Foundation. The District is asking individuals, private foundations, and Rotary Clubs to sponsor students. Each student will pay for their own meals, but there is an additional $50 per student to attend the Summit. Tax-deductible contributions of $250 to sponsor five students or $500 to sponsor 10 are being requested. Checks, made payable to the Glens Falls Rotary Foundation, should be mailed to DG Fred Daniels at 1413 Clifton Park Road, Schenectady, NY 12309.