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Rotary International President to Speak at Oak Ridge Peace Forum March 8-9 | Community Spirit

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Rotary International President to Speak at Oak Ridge Peace Forum March 8-9


For the first time in many years, a Rotary International president will visit Oak Ridge Friday and Saturday, March 8-9.  RI President Sakuji Tanaka of Japan will speak on “Peace through Service,” the motto for his one-year term, at the Peace Forum that the Rotary International District 6780 will hold.

Oak Ridge is the site of the only scheduled Rotary peace forum in the continental United States that the RI president will address. RI has sponsored international peace forums in Berlin and Honolulu. The RI president was present at these events and will attend the peace forum in Hiroshima, Japan. The Peace Forum will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Pollard Technology Conference Center on the Oak Ridge Associated Universities campus. The conference hotel is the DoubleTree by Hilton on South Illinois Avenue.

In addition to being the keynote speaker, Tanaka will visit Oak Ridge National Laboratory, the International Friendship Bell (made in Japan) and the Secret City Commemorative Walk (built by the Rotary Club of Oak Ridge) in Bissell Park.

One of Rotary’s missions is to promote world peace and understanding. The Peace Forum is being organized by a committee assembled by Jack Bailey, past president of the Rotary Club of Oak Ridge and current district governor of District 6780, which encompasses 65 Rotary clubs in East Tennessee.

Fred Heitman, chair of the Peace Forum organizing committee and past president of the Oak Ridge club, said, “We are looking for ideas on how to achieve peace through science and technology and through human understanding. Our vision is to work toward creating a world that chooses communication, collaboration and cooperation over conflict.”

Karen Wentz, past district governor of District 6780, will be moderator of the “Peace through Human Understanding” panel.  Panelists will be Jake Morrill, minister at the Oak Ridge Unitarian Universalist Church; Dick Bowers, past Rotary district governor, retired member of the U.S. diplomatic corps and former U.S. Ambassador to Bolivia; and Allison Kwesell, a Rotary World Peace Fellow at the International Christian University in Tokyo and a documentary photojournalist who worked in Japan, India, Nepal, China, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Thailand, Azerbaijan and Haiti.  Jim Roberto, head of the Partnerships directorate and acting deputy director for science and technology at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, will be the moderator of the “Peace through Science and Technology” panel.

The registration fee is $50, which includes a box lunch and drink. Non-Rotarians, as well as Rotarians, are welcome to attend.

RI is an international organization of 1.2 million members of 34,000 nonprofit service clubs in more than 200 nations and territories. District 6780 includes three clubs in Oak Ridge.

For more information, contact Fred Heitman at jfredd@aol.com. To register for the conference, please visit the website http://www.rotaryor.org/peaceforum.html.

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