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IEP Ambassador Feature Series – Lindsay Griswold, USA

For the fourth Ambassador Feature Series, IEP interviews Lindsay Griswold from Asheville, North Carolina, USA.

She most recently presented an online Positive Peace training to Returned Peace Corps Volunteers.

Lindsay Griswold is a Senior Specialist for Youth Exchange and Youth Protection at Rotary International. Her career in peace began after graduating from university when she joined the United States Peace Corps as a Deaf Education Volunteer in Kenya. 

After completing her service, Lindsay proceeded to further ignite her passion for peace. She served in another volunteer civil society program, worked as an educator, and received a graduate degree in social work.

Lindsay was first introduced to IEP’s work in 2017 when Rotary International announced its partnership to address the root causes of conflict by approaching peacebuilding through building community strengths.

This strengths based approach does not focus on the conflict but rather the community. Rotarians are a part of the community and predominately work in their community.

In 2018, Lindsay completed the Rotary Positive Peace Academy and later learned about the IEP Ambassador Program from a Rotarian in a previous cohort.

This year, Lindsay initially meant to conduct a Positive Peace training for participants of the Rotary Youth Exchange (RYE) in the Asheville area. A global study abroad program for students ages 15-19, RYE provides young people around the world an opportunity to foster global understanding and promote peace while sharing their own culture and embracing a new one. 

Because RYE is a study abroad program, Lindsay planned her approach to building strong social systems with an emphasis on the Good Relations with Neighbours Pillar of Peace knowing that all the Positive Peace Pillars work together as a system.

However, as the COVID-19 pandemic shifted to work-from-home conditions, Lindsay still sought to carry out the training.

She turned to her networks in the Peace Corps. Through social media, Lindsay contacted Returned Peace Corps Volunteers (RPCV). The online training still focused on the Positive Peace Pillar, Good Relations with Neighbours, but expanded its thinking by analyzing volunteers’ countries of service on the Global Peace Index (GPI) and the Positive Peace Index (PPI).

In addition, the training looked at IEP’s SDG16+ Progress Report and discussed ways RPCVs could contribute to Positive Peace. Following the training, Lindsay felt grateful to speak with her peers about their shared but unique Peace Corps experiences. It was also an opportunity for her to teach others, communicate new ideas, and spark conversations around Positive Peace. 

“Peace is an inside-outside job and the first sign of healing. I believe this applies to us as people and the nations in which we live. In order to activate Positive Peace, we must first start within ourselves and slowly move outward to our relationships, local communities, cities, states/provinces, countries, world”