Together for Peace has become part of my weekly routine.  Regardless of what news develops during the week, I know that on Friday I will be inspired by someone working to create lasting change.

I became a fan in part because in my small town I rarely have the opportunity to meet so many change agents from around the world as I do each Friday.  I have remained a fan because of the format our host Reem Ghunaim provides.  She has a way to develop the story of those she interviews and handles the complex issues with empathy and understanding.  The conversational, living room environment allows the guests to open up about their experiences.

This is by no means a lecture series.  Rather, it’s a celebration of the effort agents of peace perform around our world.  Each week we are treated to the story of those directly affecting change.  Whether it’s from a social worker in downtown Portland, Oregon, to a CFO supporting economic development in Uganda, the experiences are different but the mission remains the same — strengthening peace in our world.

The series has inspired my Rotary Club of Kingsville, Texas, to focus on the work we do outside the U.S., as well as here in our own community.  Because the current pandemic has led us to be creative with meetings online, we learned early that we are no longer bound by distance.  As a result, our speakers have included Rotarians and counterparts for the work we do in secondary schools in Monterrey and rural villages in Nepal.  Together for Peace is now on the calendar for all the clubs of District 5930.

I was honored to serve in the United States Peace Corps and to work with my neighbors there in Northeastern Thailand.  The skills of local community activism and the knowledge of its effectiveness translated well to the work I now do.  While abroad as a volunteer, I worked with the local government and those in need of services.  Now, as a prosecuting attorney for my county, I advise my local government and continue to provide services for those in need.  I have found this to be fitting with the missions of Rotary and the Rotarian Action Group for Peace.  I am proud to be a member of both.

I have always believed that big advancements in our world come from big numbers of people making small changes.   Envision the world if everyone simply pursued peace where they can.

— J. Dean Craig