Class VII (2009-2010)

6. David LaMotte

Sponsor Club: Black Mountain  NC, USA ,District 7670

In his 18-year career as a professional singer/songwriter, David LaMotte released 10 CDs and performed 2000 concerts on 4 continents. He is the author of a successful children’s book based on his award-winning children’s song S.S. Bathtub, and a popular keynote speaker and workshop presenter in schools, universities, churches and peace conferences in the U.S. and Europe. In 2004, LaMotte founded a non-profit organization, PEG Partners, which funds construction and other improvements to schools and libraries in Guatemala. He continued to direct the organization until he came to Australia as a Peace Fellow. The organization continues to flourish supporting twelve programs across Guatemala, ranging from library expansions to school construction to music programs and mobile libraries.

Because of his strong commitment to peacemaking, David has travelled in conflict zones from Bosnia to Belfast and from Hebron to Haiti, promoting intercultural understanding and seeking to learn from others on the front lines of peace work. David has won numerous songwriting awards, but his most significant recent awards are for his humanitarian and peacemaking work. As a result of his work in Guatemala, he was nominated as a “Hero of Humanity” in Heifer International's publication World Ark, and named a Madison World Changer by his undergraduate alma mater, James Madison University. He was also made a Paul Harris Fellow by his home Rotary Club in Black Mountain, North Carolina.

In 2009 David suspended his music career at its peak in order to attend the University of Queensland as a Rotary World Peace Fellow. He spent his Applied Field Experience in rural Andhra Pradesh, India working with a Gandhian organization that seeks to improve the lives of some of the poorest Indians through integrated development. He documented their work and designed a series of brochures that explain and promote three of their programs.

In June he will be moving back to the United States, where he has accepted a job as the Peace Associate for the North Carolina Council of Churches. He will also continue to give keynote conferences and perform occasional concerts as well as working with PEG Partners on projects in Guatemala Meanwhile, he is working on finishing a book he is currently writing, tentatively titled “Worldchanging 101: Why Your Hope is Not Naïve,” and working toward publishing a children's book based on his poem "White Flour.”