On Wednesday, February 28, the San Diego Downtown Breakfast Rotary Club bestowed the 2018 Peacemaker of the Year Award on Sean Sheppard, founder of the non-profit organization Embrace and creator of an innovative program called Game Changer. The award is given annually to a San Diego community leader who has made a significant difference in promoting tolerance, understanding, conflict resolution and peace in the region. February is Peace and Conflict Prevention/Resolution Month as designated by Rotary International.  Sheppard became the first Peacemaker recipient to be named a Paul Harris Fellow by the San Diego Downtown Breakfast Rotary Club.
Game Changer regularly brings together law enforcement and civilian community members to discuss problems and devise solutions – together.  These stakeholders talk face to face, share a meal, and sit together at a sporting event – the great equalizer – where some of the biggest changes happen. The model’s mantra is that a change in perception leads to a change in behavior, which can lead to a change in outcomes -- more peaceful outcomes. Over a 13-month period, Game Changer has hosted 36 events with more than 450 members of law enforcement and the community.
“I’m beyond honored to receive recognition from such a distinguished group of humanitarians and philanthropists right here in San Diego,” stated Sheppard. “To be honored in the name of Paul Harris is extremely humbling. The recognition is a testament to what can happen when enough people consistently come together in the name of peace and understanding. There is no peace without understanding,” Sheppard added.
To learn more about Sheppard and his peace-building efforts, visit www.gamechanger1.org.
The Peacemaker award has been given by the San Diego Downtown Breakfast Rotary Club for the past 10 years. The selection process is a total club effort, led by Peace Committee Chairs Sandra Schrift and George Shipp.