What an inspiration to see so many Rotarians come together for a conversation with Rotary Foundation Vice-Chair Brenda Cressey at events across the islands. Thank you. Thank you Rotary Foundation Chair PDG Laura Steelquist and all who worked so hard to make Brenda's visit remarkable…

February is Peace and Conflict Resolution Month in the world of Rotary.
Dignity: Dignity is, perhaps, the most fundamental part of a culture of peace. Treating others, individually and collectively, with respect, understanding and compassion are key to the prospects for positive peace. So, I would like to take a moment and acknowledge a point in time in our own history and culture to suggest to you that, in 1989, the formal changing of Rotary International's policy on admitting women into Rotary is pivotal in dignity too long denied.

History of Women in Rotary

The 1989 Council on Legislation vote to admit women into Rotary clubs worldwide remains a watershed moment in the history of Rotary. "My fellow delegates, I would like to remind you that the world of 1989 is very different to the world of 1905. I sincerely believe that Rotary has to adapt itself to a changing world," said Frank J. Devlyn, who would go on to become RI president in 2000-2001. The vote followed the decades-long efforts of men and women from all over the Rotary world to allow the admission of women into Rotary clubs, and several close votes at previous Council meetings. The response to the decision was overwhelming: By June 1990, the number of female Rotarians had skyrocketed to over 20,000. By July 2016, the number of women worldwide had surpassed 250,000 (in District 5000 forty-three percent of our members are women! Highest in our Zone…). Women immediately embraced the leadership opportunities provided by their clubs and have been making an impact in communities around the world. Women are leaders at Rotary International and I am very hopeful that we will see our first woman Rotary International President very soon.

Past Rotary International Vice-President Jennifer Jones will be our Rotary International President's Representative May 17-19. Peace must become a basis, an umbrella, for all our service and a regular part of our dialogue. Dignity is fundamental to peace…

Peace be with you and Be The Inspiration!

-Winton Schoneman
February 2019