Building Inclusion and Belonging - I want to share a personal story about how Rotary is that place for belonging. I am sure there are dozens if not hundreds of you that have such stories. I am a firm believer in that in sharing such stories grows the positive things the story is about.
So here is my story. It happened just a couple of weeks ago.
Let me start with some background…when you serve as District Governor-Elect, part of your responsibility (opportunity) is to join your 534 “classmates” in Orlando to network, collaborate, and learn together at International Assembly. We also coordinate and lead our District’s attendees to the Rotary International Convention (which was to be in Taipei last June). Well, needless to say, none of that happened due to COVID.
All that being said, my year as DGE and thus far as DG has been amazing. I am still making incredible connections (and lifelong friendships) and learning so much about both Rotary and the world around us.
Side note: the DG role is special and an honor worthy of your consideration and pursuit.
One other responsibility (opportunity) of serving as DG is that you also serve as a Past District Governor (PDG). This group of leaders (called the Council of Governors) is the history and the legacy of our District. They have given their time, their talents, their leadership to our organization. They have led us through challenges with intelligence and grace. They serve as a support and advisory group to the current DG String. I would be accepted in this group simply by title. But two weeks ago, this group took the extra step to ensure I was included and felt like I belonged in this leadership group. They knew that Roxy Orr and I had missed out on some pretty amazing opportunities our years as DG, so they took it upon themselves to ensure that we had a new opportunity to go to the International Convention in Houston next June.
It is very heartwarming and very humbling to feel like you belong in a group that you have such high respect for. I hope that all our club members and potential members have the opportunity to feel this way about being a Rotarian in one of our amazing clubs. Please follow the lead from our PDGs to do the extra things to promote inclusion and belonging.
I am grateful beyond belief to the Council of Governors for their generosity and thoughtfulness.