Apr 05, 2017
Slavery & Freedom: Beyond Good & Bad
Apr 12, 2017
The Future of Work
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Finding the Middle
Following is an excerpt taken from the conclusion of the keynote address delivered by Rita Moreno at the District 5160 Centennial Conference.   

In August, after filming the first season of the new Netflix series One Day at a Time, my manager John, who had flown down on business, suggested he rent a car and we drive up the coast rather than fly back to Berkeley. I happily agreed! Now, John knows that I've flown from city to city all my life and missed the wonderful places in the middle. Even in California! Until that trip, I'd only seen Hearst Castle from 30 thousand feet. And frankly, from that vantage point, the pool isn't all that impressive. So as we're cruising up the coast we stop here and there to do some antiquing along the way and I'm noticing this reappearing blue and yellow sign that pops up in nearly every town. Rotary meets here: Monday lunch… Rotary meets here: Wednesday breakfast… Rotary meets here…. And I'm saying to John, 'cause I know he's a Rotarian – you people sure do eat a lot. So for the rest of our trip John tells me the story of Rotary: 33,000 Rotary Clubs in 200 countries, 1.2 million Rotarians, Polio Plus, scholarships, water projects in India, Youth Exchange programs, education, local projects in every little town and hamlet… and I'm thinking, "Where the hell is this on the evening news?"
Attracting and Keeping New Members
Last weekend's District Conference was a huge success with over 500 attendees, including Rotaractors and Interactors from across the district. As evidenced by the photos below, it was also a lot of fun! While there was an enormous amount of great information presented between the plenary and breakout sessions, a theme that was covered in two of the plenary sessions is clearly very relevant for Rotary going forward.  
How do we attract and retain new members?
In the Saturday morning session Mitty Chang (former Interactor and Rotaractor and founder of Candeavor, a SF digital marketing and design agency) talked about how to reach younger people, especially former Rotaractors. He pointed out that 65% of Rotaract alumni would join Rotary if they were asked and gave some examples of how we can reach out to these graduates using technology. It's not hard to search for Rotaract alumni on LinkedIn and ask them to connect and then invite them to a meeting. (Maybe an idea for our Membership Committee?)
Brad Howard (charter member of Rotary Club of Oakland-Sunrise, past Governor of District 5170, and International Director of Zones 25 & 26) also covered this same topic in the Saturday evening session with a bit of a different focus. He talked about the benefits of Rotary to its members and how we need to promote these benefits when bringing in new members. His theme was that Rotary is a membership organization that does service projects, rather than a service organization made up of members. If we focus on our members and provide them with a network of friends and colleagues that will improve their life, both professionally (mentorship and networking) and personally (service projects and social events), then we will thrive as an organization and will succeed in attracting and retaining members while accomplishing our service goals.
There was so much more to the conference, but in terms of what I learned, this was the big take-away. Brad clearly articulated why I am a member and what keeps me involved in Rotary. Now we as a club need to share this message with all the potential new members we know!
Peace Grove Ceremony: Inspiration in the Rain
According to Rick Betts, longtime Peace Committee member, this year's Peace Grove award ceremony was both the worst and the best he has ever attended.

The ceremony was scheduled for Friday at 10 a.m., the moment at which a rainstorm was at its fiercest.  Attendees slogged through mud and the downpour to huddle beneath two canopies which needed to be held down against the fierce wind. In spite of--or perhaps because of--the meteorological challenge, the group's spirit remained astonishingly buoyant throughout the proceedings. Father Jay Matthews, Rector of Christ the Light Oakland Cathedral, graciously accepted the award plaque in behalf of our awardee Pope Francis. We all sang "Amazing Grace" and "Bridge Over Troubled Waters," led by Michael Denten from the church who also started the ceremony with his own song. We heard a recital of some of the Pope's statements about our environment, dramatically performed by Melana Schwartz of Glenview Elementary School in Oakland. We emerged from the event wet, shivering, and inspired.

One outside observer said that this ceremony was the most moving peace event of the many that he has attended around the world.
Interact at the District Conference
This year, Interact 5160 had the pleasure of hosting a joint conference. While the Interact District Council hosted breakout sessions, speakers and ice cream socials, the conference was open to both youth and young at heart. Typically the Interact District Conference is hosted in the Fall, but the opportunity to partner with Rotary and Rotaract could not be passed up. With over 100 Interactors present, over 30 out of the 65 Interact clubs within the district were represented at the conference. We cannot thank our Rotary family enough for their continued support of our youth!
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Editor - John Ferguson    Copy Editor - Irene Hegarty