Diversity Equity and Inclusion
Rotary District 7040’s Diversity Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Committee seeks to help clubs and their members  advance diversity, equity and inclusion within our district, our clubs, our membership, the individuals we touch, and the communities we serve.
How good are you at reading people? Can you tell when someone is lying? How about recognizing when you are in a dangerous situation? We human beings evolved to judge each other quickly because our ability to make these judgments had—and still has—real survival value. As a supervisor in an office where some of those we served were people who experienced paranoid thoughts and aggression, part of my job was to intervene at the first sign a client might be a threat to their interviewer. I depended on my ability to "read people” to keep clients and employees safe.
While our ability to read people has survival value, it sometimes is the source of discrimination against, and exclusion of, those perceived as members of an “out group”. It happens almost instantly, and we are usually not even conscious we are influenced by these preconceptions. That is why it is called ‘implicit (unconscious) bias’.
Those who know me well are aware that I am an avid reader and that I just love books. As well, I have made it my personal mission to put books in the hands of people: my children and stepchildren, husband, extended family, students, friends, even prisoners, and more! For me, reading is not just a hobby, it is a true passion that brings me a lot of joy – and I’d like to suggest some titles of interest to share that joy through a whole range of authors and themes.
To help me select the books you will read about here, I was inspired by the Indigo Reading Challenge, which offers “21 new ways to read in 2021.” (Indigo is Canada’s largest bookstore chain). Using this list to choose your next reads may help you discover new authors – or renew with forgotten ones! You can find the downloadable list of categories here. On Indigo’s website, you’ll also find suggestions for each category – or you can start with the titles below!
I’ve been legally blind for over seven years, first losing sight in my right eye and then in my left eye. However, I won't let my sight challenges hold me back from leading as normal a life as possible. I work as a real estate broker and owner for my own company, Tina Leonard Real Estate, from my home office in Lake Placid, NY.
Since becoming blind, I’ve accumulated a few pet peeves. It frustrates me no end when I find individuals who don't know how to interact with people who are sight impaired. That’s why I’m always on the ready to teach them, not only for selfish reasons, but more importantly to help the entire blind community. The following are four basic guidelines to help improve overall connection and communication.
Not every club, nor every Rotarian, agrees that a proactive anti-racism statement is a necessity at this time in history.  Nevertheless, Rotary International has released a statement [1] asserting Rotary’s commitment to anti-racism.  Clubs can use this statement as inspiration for discussion, or a model for developing their own locally focused statement.
Some Rotarians may feel that they are not biased, but everyone has bias woven into themselves.  The Harvard Implicit Bias project [2] offers free online tests to help you uncover your hidden biases.   What do you do when a scientific test reveals you have a slight bias against a certain group?