Community Issues
     Ellyn Ahmer is President of the Illinois Balanced & Restorative Justice Project (IBARJ) which is a 501(c)(3) organization that seeks to expand and sustain the availability of balanced and restorative justice practices and programs for citizens of Illinois through leadership, education, and promotion. We are a vibrant network of professionals, volunteers, and organizations working locally, regionally, and statewide to create safer communities and schools, support victims, and improve pro-social skills and positive outcomes for Illinois youth. Our collaborative network includes leaders in juvenile justice, schools, social services, corporations, small businesses, communities, and faith-based organizations.
     Her earliest experiences with conflict were growing up in an ordinary, middle class, white family of five children. I unconsciously learned about the power structure very early. Adults are in charge. Kids do what they do to get what they need. When their needs are not met, they resort to many different behaviors to survive. The variety & intensity of needs within a group of seven people caused much conflict, most of it unspoken & unresolved.
     As a 50-something adult, I became fascinated with tension & conflict & how it plays out in human relationships. Reflecting on years in school & business, I wanted to learn how to resolve brewing or erupting tensions to keep friends & business partners from disconnecting. I quickly discovered the most crucial conflict to resolve was that within myself. Most of the last 10 years has been dedicated to studying & learning ways of being through various methods, processes & activities to enter conflict & facilitate connections, thereby bringing more peace into the world.--
     Ellyn will talk about her organization and discuss some of the community issues the Rockford area faces today and how we can go about making this a better community.  This will be an excellent opportunity to invite a friend or prospective member to join us in our Zoom Meeting.  We encourage our members to forward the meeting information to others so that they can learn about Rockford Rotary and some of the things we do.  At press time, we were still looking for a suitable Rotary host.