Diversity, Equity & Inclusion in Rotary

Approximately 50 Rotarians from across District 7670 recently attended an on-line seminar on LGBT+ inclusion in Rotary. This was part of both Rotary International and the District’s ongoing emphasis on increasing all types of diversity. Six members of the Rotary Club of Tryon participated in the event, which was organized by the District 7670 Committee on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.

“I am very proud of our club’s participation in this effort,” said Skip Taylor, 2020-21 president of the Tryon Rotary. “Even though we are not the largest club in the district, I believe we were one of the top three clubs by the number of club members participating.”

A remarkably diverse group of people were in attendance, representing not only different gender experiences, but also racial, ethnic, and socio-economic situations.

Michelle Wilson, an Ohio Rotarian, and president of the LGBT+ Rotary Fellowship, gave an overview of that organization’s history and mission. Siting the Four Way Test, she talked about the importance and benefits of being intentionally welcoming to the LGBT community.

The webinar also used focus groups to discuss practical ways that Rotary clubs across the district could:

  • create more inclusive clubs
  • foster goodwill
  • promote peace
  • build a culture that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all people

Building diversity, equity and inclusion across Rotary has come to the forefront in recent years, both internationally and within the district. District 7670 also recently held a webinar on the experiences of those of color within Rotary here in western North Carolina.

The Rotary International Board of Directors, which represents 1.2 million Rotarians worldwide, recently approved a statement saying, “Rotary will cultivate a diverse, equitable, and inclusive culture in which people from underrepresented groups have greater opportunities to participate as members and leaders.”

This commitment was recently underscored by RI President Holger Knaack in his November message to clubs around the world.

“We all know Rotary’s tremendous power to transform our communities and ourselves. However, in every community, people have been left out, and we have not made a strong enough effort to reach them,” he told all Rotarians in his monthly message.

If you want to be part of the work Rotary is doing in your community and around the world, consider becoming part of the Rotary Club of Tryon. Contact the Club’s President, Skip Taylor, at 828-200-9259 or stmas4280@gmail.com.