Ellen Moore has been named Boulder Rotary’s 2020 recipient of the Jim Swaeby Peace Award. This award recognizes a person or persons for outstanding achievement consistent with the ideals of Rotary that are “The advancement of international understanding, goodwill, and peace through a world of fellowship of business and professional persons united in the ideal of service.”
Criteria for this award include a person living or working in Boulder County who is or has been active in creating a culture of peace, locally or globally, and one who exemplifies Rotary’s 4-way test:
Is it the truth? Is it fair? Will it build goodwill and better friendships? Will it be beneficial to all concerned?
Ellen Moore embodies Rotary’s motto of Service Above Self. She has had a lifetime of action and commitment to working for peace here in Boulder County, the nation, and the world. Beginning in college she became an activist with Congress on Racial Equality (CORE) in 1962. Later she taught Special Education in Canada with her Conscience Objector husband. She joined Amnesty International USA in 1974 working her way up to co-director of the Urgent Action Program with her husband, Scott Harrison, operating out of their Nederland home. After retirement, she served on the Board and founded and organized the AIUSA Archives, housed at Columbia University which documents the millions of letters and actions taken by Amnesty International alerting the public and those in charge to expose abuse, injustice, and human rights violations. Ellen has the belief in human rights at her core and passionately defends.
Ellen is proof that dedication and commitment can make a difference. After many years of letter-writing, meeting with legislators and educating the public with the Coloradans for Alternatives to the Death Penalty, they achieved the successful abolition of the death penalty in March of this year in Colorado.
Not only does Ellen understand the big picture of creating peace by recognizing, calling out, and taking action to prevent violence, she also understands the importance of inner peace and positive peace by creating community. Helping to establish the Mountain Forum for Peace in 1985, she constantly works to bring the community together “to learn how to bring peace into our personal lives, to support others in striving to live a life of non-violence, and to encourage awareness of the many diverse ways of living.” She has done this through establishing a Peace Sculpture Garden, creating an art exhibit, Children of the Storm, as a fundraiser for Burmese children impacted by Cyclone Nargis, and establishing long-standing traditions such as the annual yard sale fundraiser, vigils for Hiroshima/Nagasaki, Mother’s Day for Peace, and carpools to MLK marches.
Ellen has helped her husband’s vision of creating the Carousel of Happiness become a reality where she is a passionate volunteer in its operations. This magical, welcoming, inclusive wonderland embodies the spirit and the inspiration of a life well-lived with passion and joy. Ellen demonstrates how we can all be active peacebuilders in service to creating the world we want.
This award commemorates the late Boulder Rotarian Jim Swaeby who gave of his time, talent, humor, and passion to build a better world. He was a Peace Corps volunteer in Tonga and a businessman who contributed to the community and world in numerous ways. He carried out a life mission to do an unexpected act of kindness and generosity for someone less privileged.
Ellen Moore’s name will be inscribed on a plaque to be publicly placed.
Helping to build a world of peace is one of the main missions of Rotary International. This organization has been actively involved in peace since preWWI when Rotary created a resolution adding “the maintenance of peace” to its purpose. During WWII many Rotarian clubs worked actively to support
the development of the United Nations. 49 delegates at the signing of the UN Charter were Rotarians. Peace Forums, Peace Centers, and scholarships for graduate work in peace are all part of the on-going commitment to creating environments of peace. The Rotary Action Group for Peace is an international coalition of Rotary peacebuilders around the world.