As part of the Peace Institute’s focus in promoting peace and respect in the community, the CHAMPIONS FOR PEACE AWARD has been established as a way to recognize the talents and accomplishments of individual activists and community organizations for their contribution in the field of promoting peace, diversity and respect in the community.



Reverand Bryan Fulwider

Fulwider serves as Founding President and CEO of the nonprofit Building US.  During the 2012-13 academic year he was a Visiting Fellow with the Winter Park Institute at Rollins College.  He is an ordained minister who has served as a local church Pastor for over 30 years in both the United Methodist Church and the United Church of Christ.  He has served congregations in Colorado and Arkansas, then in 1999 was called as the 17th Senior Minister of the historic First Congregational Church of Winter Park, Florida where he served for 13 years. Fulwider lectures and writes widely on interfaith and diversity issues,  and among other subjects teaches in areas related to “InterDiversity,” “Bowen Theory – Family Systems,” “Process Theology,” “Leadership,” and “Sexual Orientation and Faith.”


Mr. Nelson Betancourt

He accepted The Peace Award in memory and honor of his father, Alonzo Betancourt, who died of nuclear poisoning, as a result of working in a nuclear test-site in Amchitka, Alaska. Upon his death, he swore to work towards the elimination of nuclear weapons from the earth. "When the love of peace, security and cooperation is greater than the fear that makes us solve our problems through war, then we will surely evolve, and nuclear weapons will cease to be a false solution to our common dreams and hopes."
Nelson Betancourt is an educator, community organizer and executive director of Awakening/art & culture, a non-profit organization dedicated to artistry, heritage, imagination and the public interest.


Professor Rachel Allen

Rachel Allen began teaching at Valencia in 1997. She is a professor of Humanities on the East Campus and coordinates the Peace and Justice Initiative, which aims to nurture an inclusive, caring and respectful environment on campus and within our community one where conflict leads to growth and transformation, rather than violence or aggression. Along with colleagues across the college, Rachel works to develop a peace studies curriculum, sponsor co-curricular activities, partner with community organizations and model the practices for developing a culture of compassion and nonviolence.


If you would like to be considered for the award or you would like to nominate an individual or organization please complete the following information:

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