The Rotary Club of Boulder in honor and with deep appreciation to the ideals of peace present the 2020 Jim Swaeby Peace Award to Ellen Moore.
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.
The Jim Swaeby Peace Award recognizes a person for outstanding achievement consistent with the ideals of Rotary: the advancement of understanding, goodwill, and peace, indeed, all Rotary projects are pathways to peace. The award commemorates the contribution of Boulder Rotarian Jim Swaeby who gave of his time, talent, humor and passion to build a better world. Jim was a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer and businessman who contributed to the community in numerous ways.
Jim Swaeby, Peacemaker was a bright inquisitive man who often had a thought to offer, perhaps in the form of an adage which suggested how he choose to live. In his obituary following his death was such a thought, “give freely of that which costs you nothing.” Jim exemplified that adage, giving of his time, talent, humor and passion. He was also generous of his resources toward the many causes that he championed.
Jim and his family moved to Boulder in the mid-’50s. He was a graduate of Fairview High School where he served as Head Boy. From there he headed to the University of Colorado where he received both a bachelor’s and master’s degree. After college, Jim became a volunteer in the U.S. Peace Corps in the Kingdom of Tonga, a small island country in the South Pacific where he started a school to train Tongan agricultural extension agents. After nine months, his service was cut short when he was the first Peace Corps volunteer to be drafted. Jim spent thirteen months in Viet Nam with the 1 st Cavalry Division (Air Mobile).
Jim’s early career was in banking, chiefly with the United Bank Holding Company where he was Vice President of facilities and human resources. He left that field in 1986 to join a local real estate company as a commercial broker. For most of his career he was with the Colorado Group. In 2011, Jim was recognized with the Dean Callan Commercial Realtor of the Year Award.
Jim was active in many community organizations throughout his career. He was active in historic preservation, having served as President of Historic Boulder and for many years as a Board member of the Boulder Museum of History. He was active in promoting historic preservation as a worthy goal when the Scientific and Cultural Facilities District was created.
Jim was a Board member and chair of the Boulder Urban Renewal Authority during the time of the planning for the redevelopment known as 29th Street and the St. Julien Hotel. In 1999, the Boulder Daily Camera recognized Jim as a Pacesetter in the category of business.
Jim was a very active member of Boulder Rotary. Over a 22-year period, he served on many committees including the Board of Directors, Foundation Board, awards committee and the caring committee. Jim was instrumental in creating a Memorandum of Understanding establishing an ongoing link between Rotary International and the U.S. Peace Corps.
Jim is survived by his wife, Susan, of45 years, two beautiful daughters and four grandchildren. His parting words to us exemplified his life:
Do an unexpected act of kindness or generosity for someone less privileged.