By Hung Wei, past president of the Rotary Club of Cupertino, California, USA, and District 5170 Governor-Nominee
When members in my district think of past district governor Don Allen, we remember a generous, kind, and intelligent person. This gentleman was a pioneer in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) by growing Rotary’s impact through encouraging Rotary clubs to reflect their community.
In the early 2000s, Don pioneered the effort to add “Community Leaders” as a membership classification, and championed strategic planning to attract a diversified membership to the Rotary Club of Cupertino by encouraging Asian Americans, women, and people who had no professional job status to join Rotary.
In 2002, Cupertino Rotary had 120 members, 27% were women and 13% were Asian Americans. Today, we have 210 members, 44% are women and 36% are Asian Americans.
I am a product of the Don Allen Membership Story. I am an Asian American, a woman, and I’ve never worked in a profession. I joined the Rotary Club of Cupertino in 2007 under the classification community leader. At first, I thought that I would be intimidated by this so-called “professional organization.” However, after joining, I experienced strong encouragement to lead. And in 2014-2015, I became president of the club.
I found a home in Rotary outside of my own family because of Don’s Cupertino Membership Story.
At the Rotary Club of Cupertino, when we talk about Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, we owe it to Don’s vision. When we talk about growing Rotary’s impact by reflecting the community, we owe it to Don’s vision. When I become Rotary District 5170 Governor in 2023-2024, it will be because of Don’s vision.
When we remember Don, we will always remember his futuristic vision for Rotary being diversified, equitable, and inclusive. We will continue this vision in honor of Don!
Take the Creating an Inclusive Club Culture course to learn about actions your club can take to become more inclusive, diverse, and equitable.
Pingback: Pioneering diversity and inclusion in Cupertino – Auto Robot Demo