2021 Santa Barbara Peace Prize Press Release

United Nations Association To Award 5th Annual Santa Barbara Peace Prize to Santa Barbara International Film Festival Executive Director Roger Durling.


The United Nations Association (UNA) of Santa Barbara and Tri-Counties is the oldest UNA in the US, chartered in 1947. We strive to bring the work of the United Nations to the community, and the community’s work to the world. We have conducted forums and brought key speakers in for youth violence, human trafficking, participated in Sadako Peace Day, hosted International Women’s Day events, and more.


We created the UNA Santa Barbara Peace Prize in 2017 to honor those in our community who advance the causes of peace and human rights in the world. Since its inception, the prize has been awarded to:

Rinaldo Brutoco of the World Business Academy

Deepa Willingham of Pace International

Joe White of a World Without War

David Krieger of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation

Barbara Tellefson of the Unity Shoppe

Thomas Tighe of Direct Relief International


The United Nations Association is delighted to announce we will award our 2021 UNA Santa Barbara Peace Prize to Roger Durling, Executive Director of the Santa Barbara International Film Festival!

Through his unending dedication to film and community, Roger has brought the world to Santa Barbara audiences through international films, and introduced Santa Barbara to the world. The SBIFF consistently screens important films that highlight world conditions, and make them accessible for everyone, from our local school children to sophisticated film buffs. This cultural event, now in its 37th year, is an enormous resource to our community in showcasing international films that connect audiences to the human condition globally. It’s become one of the important film festivals in the world to debut a film and get it sold for distribution. That is due to Roger’s tireless leadership and vision.


We will host the UNA Santa Barbara Peace Prize event on the United Nations International Day of Peace, September 21st at 5 PM. This is a virtual event, and tickets are available at our website unasb.org. We will also have special guest speaker Peter Yeo, the President of A Better World Campaign, and the Senior Vice President of the United Nations Foundation. Yeo served for ten years as the Deputy Staff Director at the House Foreign Affairs Committee chaired by Rep. Tom Lantos (D-CA) and Rep. Howard Berman (D-CA). He has worked on a broad range of foreign policy and foreign aid issues, such as shepherding into law several measures dealing with China, Tibet, Burma, and East Timor. He also served as a Deputy Assistant Secretary at the U.S. State Department during the second Clinton Administration, where he led the negotiations around repayment of the U.S. arrears to the United Nations and was part of the U.S. delegation to the climate negotiations in Kyoto. He is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, a leading independent nonpartisan foreign policy think tank, and a Board Member of the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition.


The United Nations Associations of Santa Barbara has pursued a special designation of City of Peace for Santa Barbara. The International Cities Of Peace Organization has proclaimed Santa Barbara as the 323rd city to receive the designation “City of Peace”. Santa Barbara City Councilmembers Alejandra and Oscar Gutierrez will present a city resolution recognizing this designation, as they helped pursue this designation. It’s a very appropriate recognition on the UN International Day of Peace and UNA Santa Barbara Peace Prize Awards.