June 12, 2020

NEXT MEETING: June 12, 2020

WCCUSD Superintendent Matthew Duffy

The Superintendent of the West Contra Costa Unified School District, Matthew Duffy, will speak about how the School District is handling the COVID-19 Pandemic, the State budget crisis, and plans for students’ return for the 2020-2021 school year.

For information on WCCUSD’s response to Covid-19, please visit the District’s website.

For security reasons, our video conference meetings are by invitation only. The Zoom invitation will be sent to our members with the subject “Richmond Rotary Invitation.” If you didn’t get it last week, please check your spam. Rotary guests are welcome. To receive the Zoom link, request it by sending an email to info@richmondcarotary.org prior to our meeting on Friday.


From our incoming President, Stacey Street:

“As a club we are made up of people who are committed to making a difference and who share deep compassion for our community.  We recognize the injustices that are perpetrated and acknowledge the pain all our members are experiencing. We want to make space for thoughtful talking and deep listening about this. This connects directly to the work we want to do to use our collective wisdom, commitment and resources to support our community and ensure everyone can thrive. We do want this to be part of our focus moving forward. We have begun the process at the meetings of our key board and program/project leadership, working with an expert facilitator, Kelly Robinson, who has extensive experience working with nonprofit and community organizations. Kelly has helped guide systems change as well as work focused around the value of equity.

“We will be sharing more with the club in the near future and will be looking to engage all of you in ways that are meaningful for each of you and that will lead to positive change in our community.”

Pierre Thompson informed us that Rotary International last week issued the statement against racism that appears below. A second, action-oriented statement will come from Evanston soon.

Statement from Rotary International

At Rotary, we have no tolerance for racism. Promoting respect, celebrating diversity, demanding ethical leadership, and working tirelessly to advance peace are central tenets of our work.

We have more work to do to create more just, open and welcoming communities for all people.

We know there are no easy fixes and that challenging conversations and work lie before all of us. Rotary’s strength has long been our ability and commitment to bringing people together. We will tap into that strength now as we stand with those who are working for peace and justice.

Rotary will do our part to listen, learn and take action to ensure that we continue to contribute to making positive change.

Pierre also attended a meeting where John Hewko, General Secretary of Rotary, remarked that Rotary was built for moments such as this – through bridging divides in the community and bringing people together to discuss serious issues. As Rotarians all our work tends to support the overarching idea of promoting peace.

Rotarian Alan Test (and friend of Richmond Rotary) is offering to pick up clean and little-used clothing from your home to give to the Greater Richmond Interfaith Program (GRIP). He can be reached by email at  testalan@yahoo.com. Thank you, Alan, for prompting us to clean our closets while giving direct help to those who could use the items! Clothing donations can also be taken directly to GRIP located at 165 22nd Street, Richmond 94801. Donations M-F 9-12, 1-4.

District 5160 Assembly seminars continue via zoom this week and are free and available to all Richmond Rotarians on the District’s website. For those who want to see an overview of all of District 5160 clubs’ achievements this year, District Governor Tina Akins invites you to the first ever Virtual Awards Breakfast on Saturday June 13.


The Family Justice Center

At our last meeting, we hosted a presentation by the director of the Richmond office of the Family Justice Center, Oravanh Thammasen. Ms Thammasen offered an overview of the organization’s work assisting families affected by domestic violence, sexual assault, human trafficking, child abuse, and elder abuse.