The Carter Center – Waging Peace, Fighting Disease, Building Hope

This week starting Wednesday and returning on Sunday I am going to the Carter Center meeting in Annapolis, Maryland.  I am flying to Atlanta to meet with a group including Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter.  From there we are flying to Baltimore via a charter flight to spend four days in Annapolis, Maryland.   The work focus is on peace initiatives and a major health issue.  The peace initiative is focusing on the Middle East and Syria.  The disease focus is on river blindness.   Besides presentations and updates on these items there will be a series of speakers on a wide variety of topics ranging from The Role of the Vice Presidency with Walter Mondale to The Role of the First Lady in the Carter/Mondale Administration monitored by Judy Woodruff of the PBS NewsHour.  

I was honored and humbled to be asked to attend the President and Mrs. Carter’s 2016 Carter Center Weekend in Annapolis in January.   A friend of mine nominated me to attend.    They limit the number of attendees to no more than 300.   With this being the 70th wedding anniversary for Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter and this being the 70th anniversary of Jimmy Carter’s graduation from the naval academy there are additional celebrations including a tour of the naval academy for us.  I am really looking forward to this trip.  Even with these types of celebrations all attire is business casual.   Is this not in keeping with the way Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter have lived their lives?  No pretenses, no pomp and circumstance.  Rather, focusing on others, giving back, helping to build homes, mediating disputes, working to overcome disease and building hope throughout the world. 

According to Wikipedia

“Carter has been involved in a variety of national and international public policy, conflict resolution, human rights and charitable causes. In 1982, he established the Carter Center in Atlanta to advance human rights and alleviate human suffering. The non-profit, nongovernmental Center promotes democracy, mediates and prevents conflicts, and monitors the electoral process in support of free and fair elections. It also works to improve global health through the control and eradication of diseases such as Guinea worm diseaseriver blindnessmalariatrachomalymphatic filariasis, and schistosomiasis. It also works to diminish the stigma of mental illnesses and improve nutrition through increased crop production in Africa.[citation needed]

A major accomplishment of The Carter Center has been the elimination of more than 99 percent of cases of Guinea worm disease, from an estimated 3.5 million cases in 1986 to 148 reported cases in 2013[78] to 23 in 2015[79] The Carter Center has monitored 96 elections in 38 countries since 1989.[80] It has worked to resolve conflicts in HaitiBosniaEthiopiaNorth KoreaSudan and other countries. Carter and the Center support human rights defenders around the world and have intervened with heads of state on their behalf.[citation needed]

In 2002, President Carter received the Nobel Peace Prize for his work "to find peaceful solutions to international conflicts, to advance democracy and human rights, and to promote economic and social development" through The Carter Center.[81] Three sitting presidents, Theodore RooseveltWoodrow Wilson, and Barack Obama, have received the prize; Carter is unique in receiving the award for his actions after leaving the presidency. He is, along with Martin Luther King Jr., one of only two native Georgians to receive the Nobel.[82]

As a former president I look to how Jimmy Carter has lived his life and I see him as a true American hero.  I will learn a lot this week and I look forward to applying what I learn to my own life going forward.  I will share elements of what I learn this week with you in my blog next week.

Have a great week.

About the author

Mike Gregory is a professional speaker, an author, and a mediator. You may contact Mike directly at mg@mikegreg.com and at (651) 633-5311. Mike has written 12 books (and co-authored two others) including his latest book, The Collaboration Effect: Overcoming Your Conflicts, and The Servant Manager, Business Valuations and the IRS, and Peaceful Resolutions that you may find helpful. [Michael Gregory, ASA, CVA, NSA, MBA, Qualified Mediator with the Minnesota Supreme Court]