By Genaro da Silva Ribeiro, International Affairs Director, MDIO Rotaract Brazil
Rhythm is sound and movement; it is dance, joy, and creativity. Brazilian rhythms are the expression of a plurality of cultures and pride of being one big country, one great people.
From the Samba to Carimbó, Veneira to Forró we are united in our diversity, dancing, and singing while we make the world a better place. We couldn’t think of a better theme as a group of people from different regions and backgrounds to organize this event. Continue reading
Atomic bomb survivor Michiaki Ikeda speaks during the webinar “Bearing Witness from Nagasaki”
By Jaclyn McAlester, Rotary Peace Fellow at International Christian University, Tokyo, Japan
I grew up in New Mexico, USA. I doubt most people think of nuclear testing when they think of New Mexico, but that’s exactly where testing of nuclear devices of the same design as the atomic bombs detonated over Hiroshima and Nagasaki took place. The testing was conducted on 16 July, 1945. Less than one month later, atomic bombs were dropped on Hiroshima on 6 August and Nagasaki on 9 August. This year marks the 75th anniversary of the first and only time nuclear weapons of such magnitude have been used in armed conflict. Continue reading
Erin Maloney watching a recording of the 2020 Virtual Convention on her laptop. (On screen is her brother, 2019-20 Rotary International President Mark D. Maloney
By Erin Maloney
Until this summer, I had never really thought about joining a Rotary club. Even though I have been involved with service – from anti-domestic violence issues to giving music lessons – for all of my adult life, I was not interested in the traditional model of Rotary (with weekly meetings).
Living in Turkey, I was becoming more interested in reducing human trafficking, as I was concerned that female university students from abroad were being “groomed.” After the COVID-19 pandemic, however, it became more difficult to address this issue. Continue reading
A screenshot of the video Big West Rotaract created for the 2020 Rotaract Post Convention.
Editor’s Note: Learn more about Rotary’s DEI statement, what DEI means, and how you can put it into practice in this 15-minute course in the Learning Center.
By Janel Breen, member of the Rotary Club of Cupertino and Rotaract Club of Silicon Valley, General Secretary of Big West Rotaract Multi-District Informational Organization
Let’s play a game. I’m American. What assumptions have you just made about me? My parents are Filipino immigrants. How have those assumptions now changed?
Without realizing it, we make assumptions of people on the little we actually know about them. Everyone has some prejudicial beliefs. It’s how society taught us to think. After all, how did societies like mine define lighter skin as the universal truth for “beautiful”? But we CAN change it. We CAN confront these beliefs if we are intentional about it, but we can’t get defensive. We have to accept that our understanding of the world is changing and to do better with our new knowledge. Continue reading
Editors note: The following blog post was written before COVID-19. It has been edited with permission to reflect the impact of social distancing and meeting virtually. Please visit the Rotary and Toastmasters websites for further info about how these organizations are keeping members safe and connected during the pandemic.
By Alfred Brothers, governor of District 6540 and a member of the Rotary Club of Anthony Wayne (Fort Wayne), Indiana, USA
I had heard of Toastmasters, but never got involved with the organization until last year, when Rotary members from our area and I attended the 2019 Rotary International Convention in Hamburg, Germany. There we heard about Rotary’s collaboration with Toastmasters. Continue reading
Hall full of food purchased by the Rotary Club of Newlands for distribution to 17 Early Childhood Development Centres in Langa, Cape Town, South Africa.
By Vanessa Rousseau, Rotary Club of Newlands, South Africa
As members of the Rotary Club of Newlands in Cape Town, South Africa, we could not stand by watching the devastating effects of COVID-19 on food security in our country and our city.
Soon after the initial lockdown period was announced, we jumped into action to do what we could to alleviate the suffering. To ensure that we provide what is needed to those most in need, we have drawn on our longstanding relationships with community leaders who have worked with us on projects over many years. Continue reading
The Degree 33 Surfboard Team consists of a half dozen members of Surfers Unite Rotarian Fellowship who raised more than $400,000 last year in the 100 Wave Challenge. This year due to COVID-19, participants can take part around the globe during an extended two-month period.
By Brett Morey, chair of Surfers Unite Rotarian Fellowship and past president of the Rotary Club of La Jolla Golden Triangle, California, USA
The world could use some more positivity. And we’re going to give it to them with a fun-filled global Zoom event Thursday evening, 3 September featuring former World Champion of Surfing Shaun Tomson of Durban South Africa. Continue reading
By Cyndi Doragh, Zone 34 assistant Rotary coordinator and member of the Rotary Club of Fort Myers South, Florida, USA
Nearly three decades ago, I wanted to join Rotary. The first club I tried to join told me they weren’t accepting any more bankers. (In those days, it was common for Rotary clubs to limit the amount of people based on their profession.) A month later, I learned they welcomed a new member – and he was a banker.
I really wanted to be a Rotarian, and I soon found a club that welcomed me with open arms. I have been a proud member for 28 years. During that time though, barriers still exist for women who want to join a Rotary club. Only 23% of our global membership is women! We can do better. We need to be leaders and show our communities that everyone is welcome in Rotary, no matter what.
By S.R. Yogananda, past district governor, past regional Rotary Foundation coordinator, and a member of the Rotary Bangalore East, Bengaluru, India
The year was 1987. I had come back from the Sultanate of Oman and was running a consumer products distribution company in Bangalore, India, when a business executive came to my office one evening. He said “I have been watching the way you do business. You are not taking short cuts, you have asked your staff and accountants to follow all the government regulations. I would like to invite you to join my Rotary club.” Rotary, he said “amongst other things, stands for integrity” Continue reading
Members of the Rotary Club of San Antonio, Texas, sort items for a food drive in a school parking lot.
By Nathan Rizzo, Rotary Club of San Antonio, Texas, USA
I have been a member of my club for two years, but it was in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic that I learned what it truly means to be a Rotarian. When my state of Texas went into quarantine, our club president, Brandon Logan, set up a ‘virtual happy hour’ on Thursday evenings. It was amazing to see all of the friendly, smiling faces of my fellow Rotarians. We spent an hour catching up; and then our conversation turned to service, and what we could do to help during the pandemic. Continue reading