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“This is my dream job. I’m in a unique position where I must face conflict head on.”
— Justin Peele, U.S. Diplomatic Security Service agent and former Rotary Peace Fellow

Promoting Peace

Rotary Peace Fellow defends global diplomacy

Justin Peele’s work as a U.S. Diplomatic Security Service agent can make the difference between escalating conflict and peace. A former Rotary Peace Fellow, Peele served at the U.S. Embassy in Mali in 2013 during fighting between insurgent groups and the government.

One day, an embassy worker and four Malian colleagues were unable to leave the National Institute of Health in Bamako because of violent protests between students and the police. Peele and a driver jumped into an armored vehicle and navigated through the chaos.

“I could see the smoke and tear gas from a long distance,” says Peele. “We found them, hurried them into the vehicle, and were able to get out of there safely and bring them back to the embassy without harm.”

Peele received the U.S. State Department’s Meritorious Honor Award for “courageous, efficient, and decisive action taken.”

Reducing inner city violence in England

When Erinma Bell wanted to organize a “guns amnesty” program to curb violent street crime in Manchester, England, the Home Office insisted she get the names of the gun owners. But Bell convinced the agency that getting guns off the streets was more important than prosecuting them for having them, and the weapons were collected.

“I spoke to parents and grandparents who knew that a family member had a deadly weapon under his bed, but out of love for their child or grandchild would not bring it to the police’s attention,” says Bell, head and co-founder of CARISMA (Community Alliance for Renewal Inner South Manchester Area) and a former Rotary Peace Fellow.

CARISMA gives young people alternatives to gun and gang crime through peace and conflict resolution workshops and projects, helping raise community awareness and support. Since launching the program, firearm offenses in Manchester have fallen by more than 90 percent.

Under Bell’s leadership, CARISMA has also shared expertise with police and community groups in Australia, Pakistan, the United States, and other countries.


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Doing Good: Promoting Peace

A Rotary peacemaker from England helps Sudanese refugee youth adapt to their new lives in Australia.

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