Dear Rotary member,
We are dedicated to enhancing your Rotary experience by supporting what is important to you, our members. You have consistently told us that you want Rotary to be a place that celebrates diversity, that fully represents our communities, and that offers all members equitable opportunities to thrive.
You also recognize that embracing diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) will allow us to do more meaningful work while engaging with people who know they’ll be valued for the qualities that make them unique. These sentiments were reinforced last year by the more than 31,000 members around the world who responded to our first DEI survey.
To ensure that the principles of diversity, equity, and inclusion are ingrained in everything we do, the RI Board of Directors, guided by the DEI Task Force, has strengthened our commitment to DEI and is taking action in response to the survey findings.
Our DEI Code of Conduct
What we say and how we behave matter. Although free expression is important, we must take responsibility for how our words and actions may affect others. The Board has approved a new DEI Code of Conduct to help Rotary members create and maintain an environment that is collaborative, positive, and healthy for everyone.
Simply put, the DEI Code of Conduct asks you to:
- Use respectful language
- Be supportive
- Foster a welcoming and inclusive environment
- Celebrate diversity
All Rotary leaders, from club presidents and district governors to directors and trustees, are expected to apply the DEI Code of Conduct uniformly to help members recognize the impact that their words and actions can have on other people.
If you experience behavior that does not align with the DEI Code of Conduct, you have ways to respond:
- If the situation can be resolved through discussion, please talk to the person directly. Often, the person who said something or acted in a way that made others feel excluded, marginalized, or targeted did not do so intentionally. Although there might be mistakes, missteps, and uncomfortable conversations along the way, having this dialogue will lead to a better and stronger Rotary.
- If a discussion is not possible or the situation involves someone in a leadership role or another club, contact Rotary’s Club and District Support staff, who will review the information and follow up appropriately.
- If you are in danger or your safety is in doubt, contact local law enforcement officers and notify Club and District Support staff.
As an organization, we are stronger when we embrace the diversity found in our clubs and communities. We are more effective when we offer a valuable, inclusive experience that provides equitable opportunities for people to serve, to lead, and to participate with us. To grow Rotary and become a more dynamic organization, we must take DEI seriously. And with your support, we are doing that.
Shekhar Mehta, RI President
and the 2021-22 RI Board of Directors