On Monday, December 8th, during its regular meeting at The Beekman Arms, the Rhinebeck Rotary featured a presentation by longtime Rotarian David Ives on his experience in Cape Town, South Africa this October.
Ives organized a last minute Indaba (Zulu for dialogue), after the government, under pressure from China, refused to grant the Dalai Lama an entry visa to attend the scheduled World Summit of Nobel Peace Prize Laureates. A number of laureates had pulled out in protest and the summit was canceled. To salvage the event, which students from all over the world would still attend, Ives put together a series of workshops and discussions, including a women’s rights discussion, boycott panel, wheelchair dance project and Bloody Miracle Workshop.
He also led a street protest for the Dalai Lama at the Chinese Consulate. “When an official saw the Dalai Lama’s face on the cover of “The Four Nobel Truths” – a book we were carrying – he blanched and kicked us out.” Ives also made “a pilgrimage” to Robin Island, where Nelson Mandela spent 24 years in prison, and was moved by Mandela’s forgiveness of his jailers.
Ives is the Executive Director of the Albert Schweitzer Institute at Quinnipiac University in Connecticut, as well as an Adjunct Professor of International Business, Political Science, Philosophy and Latin American Studies. He is an Emmy Award winning Executive Producer of a documentary on Schweitzer’s life, a member of numerous boards including the Center of Compassion for Children, the Middle Powers Initiative, the Medical Mission Hall of Fame, and the Arias Foundation. He was Executive Director of the Rotary Peace Forum, and hopes to bring a delegation of Rhinebeck Rotarians to the 2015 World Summit of Nobel Laureates to be held in Atlanta next November.
The Rhinebeck Rotary Club meets on Mondays at 12:15 pm at the Beekman Arms throughout the year. The Rotary is a humanitarian organization dedicated to enhancing the lives of others through local, national and international service projects. The weekly meetings feature speakers covering a variety of human interest topics. For more information on becoming a member, or to reserve a speaker’s spot at an upcoming meeting, please call David Albahary at 914-244-0333.