Stories In This Issue

Club visits are inspiring! 

Districts collaborate to create Unconscious Bias Resource Guide

Tools available for racial equity conversations

How has diversity and inclusion evolved in RI and D5950?

Jennifer Jones nominated for 2022-23 president

Rotarian magazine features 5950's cutting-edge clubs

Global grant funds PPE in District 5950

Club visits are inspiring!

Dear Fellow District 5950 Rotarians,

Powered by Zoom and gasoline, I have had the true privilege of visiting 25 District 5950 clubs since July 1. I am the luckiest District Governor EVER because District Governor-Elect Marianna Khauv (Monticello) and District Governor-Nominee Lloyd Campbell (Glenwood) have joined me on all of my visits!

During conversations with you we have been inspired by your continued active participation in your club meetings; the amazing service and community projects clubs continue to be involved in; your fabulous questions about Rotary’s ongoing efforts to eradicate polio and our new focus area, Environment; and finally, by YOU!  We thoroughly enjoy getting to know you better and to hear stories of why you joined Rotary and why it is important to you.  

Besides club visits, I am getting to know some of you better during our YMCA “Creating a Better Story” Zoom conversations.  Over 100 Rotarians participated in our first two sessions of Part 1 as we learned about our country’s history and Rotary’s timeline. Chat comments confirm that these are difficult but necessary conversations to have if we are going to live up to Rotary’s vision:

Rotary is a global network of 1.2 million neighbors, friends, leaders, and problem-solvers
who see a world where people unite and take action to create lasting change –
across the globe, in our communities, and in ourselves.

Finally, did you all hear my whoop of joy last Thursday when I learned Jennifer Jones was nominated to be our Rotary International President in 2022-23? Jennifer will be one of the best qualified Presidents we have ever had and I know Rotary will be a better organization with her in our Presidential line up!

I look forward to seeing many more old and new friends in the months to come!
Yours in Rotary Service,
DG Tom

Districts collaborate to create Unconscious Bias Resource Guide

As the country continues to cope with both the coronavirus pandemic and questions about racial equity, Rotary has stepped forward in an effort to create virtual places to discuss the need for social justice. 
 
“Since the pandemic began it’s so easy for Rotary clubs to connect with each other across the country,” explained Jim Cousins, president of the Minneapolis Rotary Club #9. One such partnership has been forged between the Minneapolis club, the Rotary Club of Topeka and the Rotary Club of Harlem. Members of all three clubs joined for a virtual meeting on July 7 for a guided discussion on unconscious bias. 
 
“The entire country has been looking inward at what we’ve been missing and what we can do different moving forward,” said Cousins, who noted that the recent racial reckoning in Minneapolis was the impetus for the collaboration. 
 
The conversation was moderated by trained facilitator Dwayne R. Norris, the former president of the Rotary Club of Harlem and a member of Rotary since 2013. Following the session, one of Cousins’ takeaways was that although we are all inhabiting the same physical space, it seems like we are living in two different worlds. “White people live in the exact same world but experience it radically differently, and we don’t even realize who people of color are experiencing the world.” 
 
The clubs also compiled an Unconscious Bias Resource Guide, which includes materials such as the implicit bias test and an NPR radio story from On the Media that focuses on understanding the implications of unconscious bias. 
 
Roughly 50 members from the three clubs attended the session, and there are hopes of hosting another collaborative session in the next few weeks. “This is all about starting a conversation,” said Cousins, “and because we’re Rotarians we’re starting it here.”

Tools available for racial equity conversations

Club representatives attending the Racial Equity sessions want to lead productive club conversations. Program leaders are eager to help, providing tools from Part 1. You can also access the list -- which may grow -- from the district's Racial Equity web page.

Jennifer Jones nominated for 2022-23 president

Foundation Trustee Jennifer E. Jones, a member of the Rotary Club of Windsor-Roseland, Ontario, Canada, has been nominated to become Rotary International’s president for 2022-23, a groundbreaking selection that will make her the first woman to hold that office in the organization’s 115-year history.
 
Many District 5950 Rotarians have had the opportunity to meet and hear Jones at events where she was the featured speaker. Local Rotarians will strongly support her as the first female RI president. Read more  about Jennifer and this history-making nomination.

How has diversity and inclusion evolved in RI and D5950?

Historical points of reference:
  1905
  Paul Harris founded the first Rotary club in Chicago.
  1910
  Club #9 in Minneapolis is the first Rotary club in what is now District 5950.
  1915-16
  Allen Albert from Mpls Club #9 was the International President of Rotary. He led the shift from a focus on business networking to “the ideals of service in community, classification, homes & churches.”
  1932
  Rotary’s Four-Way Test was created
  1978-79:
  John M. Mitchell (RC Golden Valley) is elected as the first Black Governor of District 595. At the time, D595 was the fourth largest district in the world. John’s daughter, Diane Confer, would become a beloved district secretary.
  1982--83
  Districts 5950 and 5960 are established. D5950 reaches north to Alexandria and south to the Iowa border.
  1987
  US Supreme Court ruled that Rotary International had to allow clubs to accept women members. Not all clubs accepted women members.
  1990-91
  The first female club presidents served in District 5950. This included Marlene “Moe” Ott who went on to be the first female DG in 1999-2000.
  2020
  District 5950 has 65 clubs and approximately 2700 members.
  2021-22
  Marianna Khauv (Monticello) will bring her Chinese heritage to the DG role
  2022-23
  Lloyd Campbell (Glenwood) will be D5950's second Black District Governor
 
It is not clear when Rotary clubs, internationally and in this district, began accepting Black members. When Rotary was chartered as an International organization, it appears they restricted membership to men but did not limit race. A Google search unearthed this history from the Rotary Club of Wilmington, NC:
 
“As a worldwide organization, since 1922 Rotary International has required all new clubs to adopt the standard club constitution, which has no restrictions concerning race. A constitution and bylaws dated 1932 are the earliest in The Wilmington Rotary Clubs archives. Despite the pervasive and official racial segregation of the time, these documents say only that membership is open to adult male persons of good character and good business or professional reputation.” Race is never mentioned. Nevertheless, the Wilmington club remained all-white until the 1980's. The race issue surfaced nationally in 1982 when the editor of The Birmingham Post-Herald proposed changing his Rotary clubs explicitly whites-only charter. In a secret vote, the Birmingham club voted 120-90 to continue the ban. The editor resigned in protest. When the news got out, RI acted promptly, declaring that racial discrimination has no place in Rotary” and banning any club from limiting membership in the club on the basis of race, color, creed or national origin.” The Birmingham club, threatened with having its charter revoked, agreed by voice vote of 200 to 1 to permit non-white members.”

Rotarian magazine features 5950's cutting-edge club developments

One of the ways Rotary continues to grow is by adapting and creating cause-based clubs that unite people around a common purpose — whether it’s the environment, veterans issues or human trafficking. Rotary District 5950 Governor Tom Gump is at the forefront of this movement, helping to expand the reach of Rotary and to inspire action that improves community.

The August 2020 edition of The Rotarian magazine prominently features the word that District 5950 has done to create this community through case-based clubs. These clubs are able to bring new members in by harnessing people’s passions, allowing new members to join a club that suits their personal interests. They also provide an outlet for people with specific interests to actively serve their communities. By bringing people together with a passion for a cause, District 5950 is able to create partnerships that provide value both to members and their outside communities. 

Global grant funds PPE in D5950

In a unique turnaround, a $60,000 global grant secured by Rotary clubs in District 3142 (India) and international host Rotary Club, Maple Grove, will fund COVID-19 medical supplies here in the Twin Cities. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) will be delivered to hospitals, nursing homes, and other medical institutions.
 
The grant reflects a relationship established between Maple Grove President Raj Khankari and several clubs near Thane, India (close to Mumbai). They previously worked together on the Check Dam and water distribution system for tribal areas in India. Funding for this grant came from several clubs in that region as well as D5950’s Maple Grove and Brooklyn Park clubs.
 
“We will be collaborating with Indian Association of Minnesota (IAM) to execute this grant,” Khankari said. “We will be buying PPEs, sewing cloth masks and delivering those to various healthcare facilities in Minnesota. These PPEs will be available to any healthcare facility in Minnesota that is in need.”
Khankari invites local Rotarians to get involved in the grant implementation. Contact him at rajkhankari@gmail.com if you or your club:
  1. Learns of a MN medical facility needing PPEs
  2. Would help sew masks
  3. Would deliver PPEs to healthcare facilities in the metro.
 

 
Upcoming Events
Going Hybrid By District 5950
Online Zoom & In-person Scheels
Aug 13, 2020
7:00 PM – 8:00 PM
 
Racial Equality - Part 1 - Embracing Truth (3)
Online
Aug 17, 2020
2:00 PM – 3:30 PM
 
Rotary on Fire - Zone 25B & 29 Institute
Sep 08, 2020 – Sep 13, 2020
 
Racial Equality - Part 2 - Implicit Bias (1)
Online
Sep 17, 2020
10:00 AM – 11:30 AM
 
One Rotary Summit
Online
Sep 19, 2020
 
Racial Equality - Part 2 - Implicit Bias (2)
Online
Sep 26, 2020
9:00 AM – 10:30 AM
 
Racial Equality - Part 2 - Implicit Bias (3)
Online
Oct 05, 2020
2:00 PM – 3:30 PM
 
View entire list
Russell Hampton
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