Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

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PP Cecilia Larita

At the International Assembly, Life Changing RI President Shekhar Mehta called on all Governors of the Rotary International Districts the world over to be an excellent example for their District’s Rotarians. As he promoted the idea that Together we must Serve to Change Lives, he also encouraged everyone to observe Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.

Diversity

As Rotarians, we are united by our shared desire to serve above ourselves. We are also defined by our Core Values of Fellowship, Service, Leadership, Integrity, and Diversity. Diversity is one of Rotary’s greatest strengths and top priorities. Growing and diversifying our membership to make sure we reflect the communities we serve allows us a more meaningful perspective on the society we live in. Diversity helps us understand our community more and makes us more effective servant leaders.

As Rotary reflects so many cultures, generations, and lived experiences, every Rotarian enjoys the same rights, dignity, opportunity, and participation irrespective of gender, disability, minority, ethnicity, caste, beliefs, or creed. Rotary International’s diversity should start from fostering diversity in our clubs.

Equity

Rotary is Fellowship and Service. Everyone is welcome to join a Rotary club. Regardless of culture, background, political beliefs, status, and religion, men and women come together in the spirit of friendship to promote world peace, understanding, and goodwill. 

In the same manner, we believe that everyone should be welcome to participate in society regardless of background or stature. Despite our differences, we must all have an equal opportunity to benefit from, to contribute to, and to be represented in society. That is why Rotary is working towards equity, correcting systemic inequalities, and giving the disadvantaged a leg up in order to compete more fairly with the rest of society.

Inclusion

Rotary is one big family of an organization. In fellowship and service, Rotarians are citizens of the world. We strive to become more friendly, intelligible, sympathetic, and helpful to each other as we Serve to Change Lives.

Growing our membership and retaining members depend on us making them feel part of our family. Inclusion is an essential element of our longevity as an organization. We must strive to make all people feel welcomed, respected, and valued.

RI President Shekhar wants us to remember Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion as we work on a special focus for the year: Empowering Young Girls. More often than not, it is young girls worldwide who are most disadvantaged in society. It will be up to us, Life Changing Rotarians, to mitigate the disadvantages young girls face. 

So let’s change a young girl’s life this Rotary Year. Give her the tools and environment she needs to grow into a valuable member of our society.

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