Oakland Rotary News

You are here


Call To Order - President Dudley Thompson

After a ten-minute delay due to Zoom technical issues, President Dudley Thompson called the 5,386th Civic Thursday meeting of the Rotary Club of Oakland to order at 12:40 p.m. This was a special members-only meeting devoted to diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Thought For The Day - Theresa Weyand 

Theresa Weyand quoted Martin Luther King Jr.: "An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity."


President Dudley announced that the May 19th and 26th Civic Thursday meetings will be zoom-only meetings. He also reported on upcoming club events and activities. Details on the events and information for signing up are listed on the adjoining Activities column.

Program for the Day – Viva Asmelash

Diversity Equity & Inclusion Committee chair Celeste Gordon introduced committee consultant Viva Asmelash. Viva has fifteen years of experience in marketing, leadership training, and development is a first-generation Eritrean-American and an Oakland resident. 

The goals for the meeting were: 1) to hear from the DE&I consultant and committee members on DE&I at the club; 2) increase comfort, tools, and reliance in engaging one another in dialogue; and 3) gain a clearer understanding of key terms and to connect with each other.

Committee member Wil Hobbs read the Rotary International DE&I code of conduct: 

Use respectful language 

Be supportive

Foster a welcoming and inclusive environment

Celebrate diversity

Viva asked members to close their eyes and think of a place where they had the deepest sense of belonging and where they had the least sense of belonging. In discussing why belonging matters to all of us, she shared a quote from Christianne Garofalo:

"Diversity is a fact. Inclusion is a behavior. But belonging is the emotional outcome that people want in their organization."

After reviewing key terms (diversity, equity, inclusion, identity groups, intersectionality), the members were sent to breakout rooms to continue the discussion.

Viva urged members to take the club survey, participate in the upcoming evening group sessions, and to sign up for one-on-one interviews.


President Dudley thanked everyone for participating in this important meeting and adjourned the meeting at 1:46 p.m.

Next Meeting, May 19 – Peter Gamez – Traveling The Post Covid World

Robert Kidd announced our speaker on May 19th is Peter Gamez, President and CEO of Visit Oakland. He will speak about traveling in the post-Covid world. The meeting is a zoom-only meeting.

Add new comment