Peace Building

peace pole

Photo courtesy of the Newberg Graphic

Helping to Make the World a More Peaceful Place


The Rotary Club of Newberg joined with Early Birds and community organizations to “plant” Peace Poles throughout Newberg. A Peace Pole is a four sided pole that has the phrase “May Peace Prevail on Earth” in four languages. The poles are in Memorial Park, Francis Square, Chehalem Cultural Center, Newberg Public Library, City Hall, Newberg Public Safety building, a number of churches and at each of the schools. A Peace Path is at at North Valley Friends Church.

See Peace Pole Trail Maps


peacebuilding-districtThe Newberg Noon Rotary Club is a Peacebuilder Club along with the Early Birds. A joint Peacebuilder Committee brings members of both clubs together to develop projects in support of peace.

In 2019, the Interact Club, sponsored by Noon Rotary at Newberg High School, became the first Interact Club in the world to become a Peacebuilder Club.

Our club’s own Mike Caruso is co-chair of the District 5100 Peacebuilder Committee. This committee consists of representatives from the 23 Peacebuilder Clubs throughout the District. Again this year, Mike led the effort to find outstanding applicants for Rotary Peace Fellowships for our District to sponsor. From a total of seven, three were selected by the Rotary head office in Chicago for Peace Fellowships.. We would like you to meet them now:

Michelle Helman—Going to University of Queensland

Since 2001, Michelle has worked as a bilingual educator and advocate for public health, gender equity, and education initiatives. Michelle has a BA in Cultural Anthropology, and is a certified mediator, yoga instructor, and Spanish medical interpreter. She stays busy working on public health programming in Nicaragua, and offers leadership, communication, and conflict resolution training for women through her organization, Enact Your Vision.

Zach Krahmer—Going to the University of Bradford in England

Born in Portland, Zach uses photography and video to explore communities and relationships to understand not only what we think, but also how and why, to bridge critical gaps in understanding. After earning an undergraduate degree from the George Washington University in International Development, he moved to Osh, Kyrgyzstan where he worked alongside local journalists, learning about the role of media in a community transforming because of conflict. This past year he has completed other projects involving maternal health, press freedom, and disarmment in Uganda, South Sudan, and Colombia.

Phil Stenstrom—Going to Chulalongkorn University in Thailand

Phil has managed the Aviation Noise Program for the Port of Portland since 2012. Some ten years ago, he volunteered to mediate neighborhood disputes and was captivated by the transformative power of dialog in conflict settings. Since then, he has facilitated police referrals and family separations, and in 2014 became deeply interested in the role that power and race play in conflict settings. Following those threads led him to apply as a Rotary Peace Fellow this year.

The quest for world understanding and peace has been a cornerstone of Rotary since its earliest days, and Peacebuilding remains one of the six Areas of Focus of the organization today. The quest is very much alive and well in the Newberg Noon Rotary Club– one of the most active Peacebuilding clubs in all of Rotary District 5100.

Club members work diligently to convince and sponsor applicants for Rotary Peace Fellowships. Up to 100 Rotary Peace Fellows are selected annually to earn either a professional development certificate in peace and conflict studies, or a master’s degree in a discipline related to peace.

The Rotary Peace Fellowship is a tremendous program, which includes:

  • Tuition and fees
  • Room and board
  • Round-trip transportation
  • Internship/field study expenses

Peace Fellows are chosen for their ability to have a significant, positive impact on world peace throughout their careers. For more information on this program, please contact Becky Ankeny via the Contact Us page on this website.

Children at play around the Globe by Newberg SteelHelping to Make Newberg a More Peaceful Place

Our Peacebuilder club is also very involved in the local community. Activities include:

  • Participation in the week-long Peace Village summer day camp each June to teach children conflict prevention and resolution skills
  • Partnering on local events, such as International Peace Day every September 21; Martin Luther King, Jr. Day observations, Earth Day festivities
  • Organizing peace conferences and symposiums
  • Placement of peace poles around town
  • Support of the Cyprus Friendship Program, designed to help bring peace to the divided island through sponsorship of youth education/exchange programs