RI President Holger Knaack has asked Rotarians to participate in RI’s commitment to diversity and respect for all.
In 2019, the RI Board articulated a vision and commitment to advance diversity and inclusion in Rotary by adopting the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) statement. It recently engaged PwC to develop perspectives and practices to make DEI a part of Rotarians’ shared experiences.
“As we begin this work, Rotary’s leadership is united in stating that Rotary does not tolerate speech or behaviour that promotes bias, discrimination, prejudice, or hatred because of age, ethnicity, race, colour, abilities, religion, socioeconomic status, culture, sex, sexual orientation, or gender identity,” said Knaack. There is no place within Rotary for racism, homophobia, transphobia, sexism, classism or ageism. “We do not believe that this is a political stance and we do believe that we should openly discuss these issues within our organisation,” he added.
Diversity is one of Rotary’s core values, and the tremendous breadth and variety of experiences, cultures, and perspectives represented in the organisation makes it unique.
The goal is to support members and participants, particularly those from communities traditionally underrepresented in the organisation, “so that they see our clubs and programmes as places where they are welcomed and encouraged to celebrate their lived experiences.”
“We know that this journey will take time and lead to challenging conversations, deep self-reflection and new opportunities for discovery and growth. We must all feel empowered to speak out respectfully and hold ourselves and each other accountable when our actions do not reflect Rotary’s ideals. Look for more opportunities to be a part of this shared journey. We want participation, input, and ideas from our members all over the globe as we strive to show what’s possible when we uphold our commitment to diversity and respect for all,” he says.