October, 2020

A Note from Your District Governor

Reminiscing is the First Step in Moving Forward

The U.S. lost a remarkable leader on Sept. 18, 2020, when Ruth Bader Ginsburg died at age 87 after a years-long battle with recurrent pancreatic cancer. Famously nicknamed “The Notorious RBG,” Ginsburg’s career focused on ending gender-based workplace inequities for men and women.   

No matter your political affiliations, it’s tough not to notice the similarities between Ginsburg’s impactful career and the evolution of Rotary over the past few decades:

  • In the 1950s, she was one of just a handful of women admitted to Harvard Law School. It wasn’t until the 1980s that women were allowed to join Rotary.

  • In the 1990s, RBG made famous her “dissent” standings, in which she went against popular opinion to mainstream “gender blind” law, for equal rights for men and women in work and education. In Rotary, women became district governors for the first time in the mid-1990s. 

  • As of this year, RBG is one of just four women to have served as Supreme Court Justices. The first female Rotary International presidential nominee was appointed in 2020 for the 2022-2023 election. 

We’ve come a long way in Rotary and in society for raising the bar for equality standards among men and women. RBG’s work made a lasting impact that parallels our Four-Way Test: truth, fairness, goodwill, and mutual benefit.

The Environment: A New Rotary Focus Area

This summer, the Rotary Foundation announced that environmental advocacy is officially a new focus area for club projects and recruitment efforts. As a global organization, Rotarians can make a difference around the world and close to home.

Here in District 5970, Rotarians are teaming up to join an Environment and Sustainability Committee led by Decorah Rotarian Tina Hall, past DG for District 6220. Tina is available to speak with clubs via Zoom about a range of environmental topics, from generating project ideas to specifics, such as starting a pollinator garden or planting trees in derecho-ravaged Eastern Iowa.

If you are interested in hosting an environmentally-focused district-wide or club project, reach out to Tina at Watch the District website and District 5970 Facebook page for details as we solidify plans for this new initiative.