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Greetings from District Governor Billy Roberts
March is Women’s History Month, and a good time to recognize the important role women are playing in today's world. In Rotary we recognize the powerful impact membership of women in this organization across the planet has and is making on the good work we do. The insight and dedication to principle takes on new expression as they assume leadership roles and engage us in new and inspiring ways. We can clearly see significant change in our reach and we are better for it. We're grateful for those Rotarians -men and women - who felt that change in policy and practice was necessary and who worked hard to introduce this new ethos into their clubs.
 
This July, Jenifer Jones of the Rotary Club of Windsor, Canada will become President of Rotary International, our first woman to serve in this distinguished role. I hope her leadership will inspire more and more women to join Rotary and her influence will motivate us to embrace broader diversity including all.
 
We’ve worked hard to recruit women and encourage them to take on leadership roles, and it’s paying off in District 7950: women hold important positions here, including my predecessor Charlene Jarest, Immediate Past President, Angela Ponte, District Governor Nominee, Sharon Johnson, District Governor Nominee Designate, Lori DiPersio, AG Coordinator, Missy Garlissi, District Membership Chair, plus 6 out of 12 Assistant Governors, 26 Club Presidents serving for 2021-22, and 30 incoming Club Presidents for 2022-23!  
 
For all our progress, women are still in the minority in 59 of our 65 District clubs. That’s why our next Wednesday Conversation on March 16th will be for Women Presidents. I hope it will be a chance for some lively discussion on the challenges and opportunities facing women as Rotary leaders, and what they feel we can all do to recruit, promote, and support women.  Let’s look to the future when doors yet to be seen will be opened as a result of the capacity and vision of women.
 
 
Ukraine relief
 
In response to the deepening humanitarian crisis in Ukraine, The Rotary Foundation has created an official channel for Rotary members around the world to contribute funds to support the relief efforts. You can make a donation at https://my.rotary.org/en/disaster-response-fund.
 
The Rotary Foundation has also approved the following:https://content.clubrunner.ca/50054/Bulletin/LiveDesign?ContainerId=997c068f-3aa5-4761-8a01-812e81d0a96c&BlankTemplates=BlankTemplates#
  • Now through 30 June 2022, designated Rotary districts that border Ukraine and the Rotary district in Ukraine may apply for grants of up to $50,000 each from the Disaster Response Fund.https://content.clubrunner.ca/50054/Bulletin/LiveDesign?ContainerId=997c068f-3aa5-4761-8a01-812e81d0a96c&BlankTemplates=BlankTemplates# These expedited disaster response grants can be used to provide relief to refugees or other victims of the crisis including items such as water, food, shelter, medicine, and clothing.
  • During this same period, other impacted Rotary districts that wish to offer support to refugees or other victims of the crisis in their district can apply for $25,000 grants from the Disaster Response Fund.
  • ShelterBox, our project partner for disaster response, is in communication with Rotary members in Eastern Europe to explore how it may offer support with temporary transitional housing and other essential supplies.
  • The Rotary Action Group for Refugees, Forced Displacement, and Migration is also mobilizing its resources to assist in this crisis.
In addition, a number of clubs in our district have also initiated relief programs.  These range from support to World Central Kitchen, to clothing drives, to underwriting school supplies for children learning in remote transient facilities as well as collaboration with Rotary Clubs in Poland and elsewhere.  Please check the district website to learn more.
Register now: Annual District Conference May 5-7
 
Our 2022 District Conference will be held May 5-7 at the Sea Crest Beach Hotel, 350 Quaker Rd, North Falmouth, MA 02556.  It will be a power-packed three days supporting the Rotary theme, Serve to Change Lives. Among the many activities this year will be a “Murder Mystery Dinner”, a live radio broadcast of "Service Matters" with David Clifton and Valerie Perry, a House of Friendship showcasing club projects, a District Assembly for incoming officers for 2022-23, an award ceremony, plus many opportunities for Rotary fellowship!
 
We’re excited to announce that Valerie Wafer, Rotary International Vice President will speak at our Friday dinner, and Nohelani Lawrence, Director of Wellness and Clinical Services for the New York Giants, will speak at our Saturday lunch. 
 
To register for the conference, go to: https://tiny.cc/D7950Conference. Full Conference registration, including all meals, is $225 per person.  Partial days/individual days run $40-$150 depending on the day and time. The deadline to register for the conference is April 21st. 
 
To book hotel rooms, contact the Sea Crest Beach Hotel directly at (800) 225-3110. Reference the Rotary District 7950 Conference event for the preferred pricing of $139 per night. The deadline to book a room and receive the preferred rate will be April 14th, 2022. 
 
 
Polio Plus
 
The Providence Bruins Night was an amazing success. Many clubs supported this annual event held this year after a two-year hiatus due to covid restrictions. PDG Charlie Murphy and Polio Plus Chair Henry Atterbury were successful in attracting many to the event including four Club Presidents along with many other club members and their guests.  Contributions to Polio Plus were matched by the Gates Foundation 2/1!
 
 
DEI: Asian Americans
 
The first modern era Asians to come to New England were Chinese laborers recruited by a shoe manufacturer in North Adams MA in the early 1870’s. By the start of the 20th century there were fledgling Chinese communities in Boston, Worcester, and Providence, but restrictive immigration laws kept those small, until the Reform Act of 1965 opened the doors to immigrants from all nations. Since then, Asian-American populations in both Rhode Island and Massachusetts have grown substantially, with 30,000 (2.8%) in RI and 350,000 (5.3%) in MA. Chinese, Indian, Cambodian, Filipino and Laotians are the largest groups of Asians in RI, and Chinese, Indian, Vietnamese, Cambodian and Korean are the largest groups of Asians in MA. While most of the first Asian-Americans found jobs as laborers and hospitality workers, Asian American communities today represent a broad cross-section of society, including many students, high tech workers and medical professionals drawn by the New England’s leadership in Education, Technology, and Medicine.
 
In our District, Braintree, Cranston, Providence, Quincy, and Woonsocket have the largest populations of Asian Americans.
 
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