Rotary Club of Edina will welcome Marna Anderson as program speaker at the Thursday, Feb. 16, meeting. Anderson is director of development and communications for Nonviolent Peaceforce. She will speak about "Unarmed Protection of Civilians in Violent Conflict." 
 
Anderson is a nonprofit leader with expertise in organizational effectiveness and major donor fundraising. She has served organizations focused on human rights, conservation and violence against women and children. She traveled extensively in Central America during times of conflict in the late 1980s and lived in El Salvador for four years after the Peace Accords were signed. While in El Salvador she worked in a repatriated community on economic development projects for women and helped establish a program educating women and girls on domestic violence. Anderson holds a bachelor’s degree in communications and anthropology and a master’s degree in organizational leadership.
 
Nonviolent Peaceforce (NP) is a world leader in unarmed civilian protection. NP provides direct protection to civilians caught in violent conflict and works with local civil society groups on violence deterrence throughout the world. NP’s unarmed civilian protectors are from many nations, and live and work in conflict-affected areas including South Sudan, Myanmar and the Mindanao region of the Philippines. They recently began a project working with grassroots groups in Syria. Two major global reviews for the United Nations recommended unarmed civilian protection.
 
NP was co-founded by Mel Duncan, whose first exposure to unarmed civilian protection came in 1984 when as a volunteer, Duncan stayed in a Nicaraguan village to deter attacks from the Contra. The Presbyterian Peace Fellowship honored Duncan with their 2010 Peace Seeker award. The Fellowship of Reconciliation USA awarded him their 2007 Pfeffer International Peace Prize on behalf of Nonviolent Peaceforce’s “courageous efforts in conflict regions around the world.” The Utne Reader named him as one of “50 Visionaries Who are Changing Our World.” The American Friends Service Committee nominated Nonviolent Peaceforce for the 2016 Nobel Peace Prize. 
 
The Rotary Club of Edina meets at 12:15 p.m. Thursdays at the Edina Country Club. All are welcome. Cost for lunch and the program is $20 for adults and $12 for kids. Cash, checks and credit cards are accepted at the door. Credit card payments will be charged a service fee.
 
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