When Rotary International President Sakuji Tanaka of Japan visits Oak Ridge on Friday and Saturday, he will talk about and hear innovative ideas on how to achieve peace through service.
On Friday, Thom Mason, director of Oak Ridge National Laboratory, will give Tanaka a tour of ORNL. At 3 p.m., the RI president will tour the Secret City Commemorative Walk built by the Rotary Club of Oak Ridge. City Manager Mark Watson, who is president-elect of this Rotary club, will present a gift to Tanaka, who will make some remarks.
At 3:45 p.m. Tanaka will then visit the International Friendship Bell, where he will be welcomed by Oak Ridger Jack Bailey, district governor of RI District 6780, which encompasses 65 clubs in East Tennessee. Shigeko Uppuluri will present a history of the bell and give a bell replica to Tanaka, who will make remarks and ring the bell.
Shortly after 4 p.m. Bailey, Tanaka, and City Councilman Chuck Hope will wield shovels to initiate a planting of a tree in A. K. Bissell Park.
On Saturday, at 9 a.m. in Pollard Technology Conference Center at Oak Ridge Associated Universities, Fred Heitman will welcome special guests. Heitman, chair of the Peace Forum organizing committee, will also introduce Oak Ridge Mayor Tom Beehan, also a Rotarian, and District Governor Bailey, who will introduce Tanaka.
At 9:35 a.m., RI President Tanaka will speak on “Peace through Service,” his motto for his one-year term. Then the Oak Ridge High School Interact Club will make a presentation.
After a break Jim Roberto, interim deputy director for science and technology and associate director for science and technology partnerships at ORNL, will facilitate a panel discussion on “Peace through Science and Technology.”
Tanaka and the other attendees will hear four panelists from ORNL: Budhendra Bhaduri, leader of the Geographic Information Science and Technology group; Gene Ice, director of the Materials Science and Technology Division; Alan Icenhour, director of the Global Nuclear Security Technology Division, and Rekha Pillai, manager of ORNL’s International Science and Technology Program.
They will talk about ways that science and technology can ease threats to peace, such as natural disasters, climate change, shortages of food and water and inadequate access to energy, education and health care.
Attendees will eat lunch at tables with facilitated discussions on topics such as peace through religion, lack of harmony in the home, campus violence, the social justice battle, conflict in the workplace, the media’s role in conflict, bullying, and the American political divide.
After lunch, Karen Wentz, past district governor of RI District 6780 and a mentor to Rotary World Peace Fellows, will facilitate the Panel on Human Understanding.
The panel consists of Dick Bowers, former U.S. ambassador to Bolivia, who will speak on “Global Perspectives: Good Neighbors are Peaceful Neighbors”; Jake Morrill, minister of the Oak Ridge Unitarian Universalist Church, who will speak on “Playing Your Way through a Multicultural World”; Will Hodge, an associate professor in the University of Alabama’s Department of Consumer Sciences, who will speak on “Civility in the Workplace”; and Allison Kwesell, a Rotary World Peace Fellow at the International Christian University in Tokyo and a documentary photojournalist, who will talk about the role of photojournalism in peace in a video she sent from Japan.
Wentz and Alan Johnston will summarize the Peace Forum and lunchtime roundtable discussions to give the audience take-away messages that could inspire action.
“Our vision is to work toward creating a world that chooses communication, collaboration, and cooperation over conflict,” Heitman said.
The registration fee is $60, 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 [email protected]. To register for the conference, visit the website http://www.rotaryor.org/peaceforum.html or call Jennifer Pettyjohn at (865) 483-8431.