At our last club meeting, we held a Town Hall Meeting facilitated by our club member Erin Dobbins on the subject of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. We were joined in the meeting by District Governor Traci Sincock and DG-Elect Russ Jones.
Erin opened the meeting with a handout asking each club member to describe what the term, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion means to them.
We began the discussion with the statement that Rotary International feels it is important to reach out to potential new members who have traditionally not been on our radar as potential new members. To accomplish this, we need to review how our meetings are run and the practices that people of different cultures might find uncomfortable to be a part of. We began with our morning prayer and our pledge of allegiance. Some club members voiced that they want to keep the pledge and the types of prayers we currently use without any change. A few others, on the subject of the prayer, are in favor of a more generic prayer that people of different beliefs could feel comfortable hearing.
Next, Erin read two position papers from Rotary International’s website: Rotary's Commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, and the Rotary DEI Terms and Explanations.
To paraphrase the moon landing speech in which Neil Armstrong said, “We at Rotary are entering one small step for man, one large step for diversity, equality, and inclusion within Rotary”.