Author: DGE Juliet Altenburg
The RI convention ended today with a closing session that celebrated past achievements and set the course for an exciting future.
RIP Shekhar Mehta recounted the strength of Rotary and the continuation of a multitude of successful programs like empowering women and girls, “each one, bring one”, polio eradication, and our seven areas of focus. He also introduced the concept of Rotary Regions for the future that will be piloted to avoid a “one size fits all” approach to Rotary illustrated by how Rotary in India is different in Japan vs the United States. He emphasized that Diversity, Equity and Inclusion is “non-negotiable” and the values Rotary stands behind as we serve the world and reach out in love and acceptance to our neighbors.
Incoming RI President Jennifer Jones further expanded on the future of Rotary by highlighting her Impact Tour that will showcase shining examples of Rotary’s impact in the community to put a spotlight on who we are and the positive change we bring to the world.
She expressed that many have asked her if she is excited to be the first woman RI President and she said yes indeed she is, however true and lasting change “doesn’t come with the first, it comes with the second and third. “
That statement hit me hard when I viewed this RI Presidents photo posted on social media. Rotary will not grow in membership and impact without welcoming women more fully to the top levels of leadership. The current RI goal is 30% female membership by 2030. Rotaract has already surpassed this with over 50% women!
Another highlight of the session was a sixth grader – Orion Jean- 2021 TIME kid of the year and kindness activist.
This young boy inspired us on the value of kindness and how even one young person with a dream and some passion can be a force for good.
This concludes my daily RI Convention blogs for 2022. During the last four days I have not only been inspired by those on stage but Rotarians all around me who spent time and money to come together for this event and connect with those around them. I will miss wearing the RI lanyard and badge which acted as a beacon for connection with Rotarians wherever I went. The Lanyard will now get replaced with a Rotary pin I will proudly wear in the days ahead as I “become the change I wish to see in the world.” Thanks for being with me on this journey and in the days ahead! DGE Juliet