This bulletin contribution was motivated by personal thoughts shared by Rotarian Myrna at the club meeting remembering Rotarian and Club Treasurer Nancy Lindley. In particular, Myrna’s observations of being a minority in our Rotary club caught my attention. Myrna has shared her thoughts in this Bulletin.
Per Rotary International on RI Focus on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI)
At Rotary, we understand that cultivating a diverse, equitable, and inclusive culture is essential to realizing our vision of a world where people unite and take action to create lasting change.
We value diversity and celebrate the contributions of people of all backgrounds, across age, ethnicity, race, color, disability, learning style, religion, faith, socioeconomic status, culture, marital status, languages spoken, sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity as well as differences in ideas, thoughts, values, and beliefs.
Recognizing that individuals from certain groups have historically experienced barriers to membership, participation, and leadership, we commit to advancing equity in all aspects of Rotary, including in our community partnerships, so that each person has the necessary access to resources, opportunities, networks, and support to thrive.
We believe that all people hold visible and invisible qualities that inherently make them unique, and we strive to create an inclusive culture where each person knows they are valued and belong.
In line with our value of integrity, we are committed to being honest and transparent about where we are in our DEI journey as an organization, and to continuing to learn and do better.
But What About
Until the US Supreme Court case of Rotary Int'l v. Rotary Club of Duarte, 481 U.S. 537 (1987), women were prohibited from being members of a Rotary club. This ruling changed that, but it was not until thirty-five years later that Rotary International had its first woman president – our current RI President Jennifer Jones.
Change in an organization’s culture is difficult. But positive change is needed for the health and survival of an organization. Each member brings varied experiences and perspectives to an organization. When members listen to each other and build on each other’s experiences we strengthen the organization.
Our strength is in our differences and our ability to appreciate and use these differences in our belief in “Service Above Self”.