Posted by Tony Sheard
I have recently received a number of questions from across the District on how best to respond over diversity and racism in these uncertain times.
At the RI Virtual Conference last week President Mark Maloney Rotary’s reminded all Rotarians that our core values are the bedrock of our organization:
  • Fellowship
  • Integrity
  • Leadership
  • Service
  • Diversity
He went to say “we must become better listeners and be more openminded learners” and he urged “all clubs to hold a mirror to ourselves and ask if our membership and club experience reflects the diversity of our communities…. where ever we come up short we must be willing to correct our course and face the challenge without fear or hesitation”
Many of you will recall I specifically highlighted the importance of integrity and diversity during my club visits in 2019.
The Rotary International’s position is very clear and was recently reinforced by the issue of the following statement:
At Rotary, we have no tolerance for racism. Promoting respect, celebrating diversity, demanding ethical leadership, and working tirelessly to advance peace are central tenets of our work.
We have more work to do to create more just, open and welcoming communities for all people.
We know there are no easy fixes and that challenging conversations and work lie before all of us. Rotary’s strength has long been our ability and commitment to bringing people together. We will tap into that strength now as we stand with those who are working for peace and justice. 
Rotary will do our part to listen, learn and take action to ensure that we continue to contribute to making positive change.”
Some clubs in the USA have publically endorsed this statement and written to the editors of the local media to illustrate Rotary’s position in their communities.
As clubs look to update their club’s strategic plans in the coming months I recommend all clubs to take Mark Maloney’s advice and hold a mirror to ourselves.
Tony Sheard, Past District Governor 2019-20