"Do your little bit of good where you are; it's those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world."
Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s quote reminds me of the spirit of Pearl Rotarians. Your ever-giving nature and ability to collectively pull it all together into something that shines ever so brightly are awe-inspiring. There are many moments over the past month that gives me great pride to be a part of this collective body of leaders.
First Wednesday (Oct. 4) and experiencing my first ever affagato (espresso and gelato) courtesy of Duane Cook--thanks, Duane! If you’ve never had one, stop reading this and go directly to Via Delizia, I’ll wait. Delicious, right!? On Friday, Oct. 13, I attended a fundraiser for REACH, a non-profit which helps build and create healthy communities and affordable housing for Oregonians with future Pearl Rotarian, Marshawna Williams. The following week, I met with Lincoln High School Interact co-president Ben Brandenburger to talk about all things Interact and what plans they had and how we as Portland Pearl Rotary could best serve them in their year of leadership and service.
This past Thursday, Oct. 19, both John and I attended the Social Justice Task Force event in concert with Oregon Humanities Conversation Project discussing, "Power, Privilege and Racial Diversity in Oregon." A group of about 20 of us came together over a dark and stormy night, to become more aware and engaged in these issues. It was a wonderful way to spend an evening and if you ever have the opportunity to be a part of a conversation project, I highly recommend it.
Saturday, I attended the District 5100 Membership and Public Image Training. This was an opportunity for clubs around the district to get further information about and best practices on how to gain and retain members and how to expand their club’s public image. I was given the opportunity to present on behalf of our club and to speak to what makes us successful. In a nutshell of what I stated, it’s because of you. Our collective We and Why, is a force to be reckoned with. It’s because of the excellent leadership of our past presidents and the forethought they had in moving our club forward. It is our belief in the Five-Way test that drives a lot of the decisions and in the spirit of fun; we also allow for members to be themselves in our collective humanness. It’s authentic and that is what makes what we’ve created special..."Those little bits of good."
Special thank you also need to go out to Alan Bacharach for hosting the first of the sign-up parties benefiting the Pearl Fund. It was an outstanding evening and you are a master chef when it comes to lamb! And to Adina for wrangling us cats to get together.
Celebration of the United National International Day of Peace (Sept. 21) included an announcement that Taylor Stevenson, Portland Pearl Rotary’s first Peace Scholar, has been named a Rotary International Peace Champion.
Taylor is one of six global champions being honored Nov. 11 on Rotary Day at the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland. The event honors those who make a positive difference in their community, their country and around the globe.
Taylor will be honored and will celebrate with current RI President Ian Riseley, RI directors, foundation trustees, leaders from the United Nations and renowned humanitarians.
Taylor developed a Rotary Foundations global grant to improve sanitary conditions for waste collectors in Pune, India. Waste collectors together handle 20 tons of unwrapped sanitary waste every day. Stevenson collaborated with SWaCH, a waste-collector cooperative, to create the “Red Dot” campaign, which calls for people to wrap their sanitary waste in newspaper or bags and mark it with a red dot.
This helps waste collectors identify sanitary waste and handle it accordingly. Stevenson developed all the educational imaging for the campaign. She also secured in-kind offerings of support, including free training space and campaign printing.
Pearl Rotarian Anne Oneill, who is the past chair of the International Service committee and served as PPRC's point person for the Pushing for Peace, Sanitation and Dignity for Pune’s Waste Pickers, said this of Taylor, “Taylor Stevenson is a master of working with and building on the support of local institutions, and is a fierce advocate of society’s most marginalized. For the project, Taylor developed all of the educational imaging used for the campaign, liaised between various stakeholders in a foreign culture, and even lived in the slums with the waste pickers in order understand their lives better.”
We are proud and honored to support Taylor in her peace-building work and that Portland Pearl Rotary and District 5100 are able to be a part of it. Taylor would like to extend her gratitude to Portland, Pearl Rotary, Anne Oneill, District Governor Renee Campbell, and Past District Governor Michael Caruso.
We look forward in hearing Taylor’s latest updates on the Pune waste pickers' project when she speaks to Pearl Rotary on Tuesday, Oct 3.
Let’s get Taylor and Brodie to Geneva!
We are beyond excited that Taylor has received this very distinguished honor from Rotary International and United Nations. We have informed Taylor that as a Rotary club and with some assistance from District 5100, we would pay for all of Taylor and Brodie’s (Taylor’s husband) air and ground transportation from Portland to Geneva, Rotary International already has housing taken care of. Our goal is to raise $2,318. We have a nice start of $380 [through Sept. 27]. Taylor and I are able to accept cash and checks made out to Taylor Stevenson. Additionally, I will be attending the peace-builder club meeting in October to also try and solicit funds from them, as well as District 5100.
Taylor's Rotary connection to the Pearl club
Taylor Cass Talbott (previously Taylor Stevenson) is an artist and program designer who uses art and waste to contest the social and economic exclusion of marginalized people. She completed a Master’s in Peace Studies as a Rotary Peace Fellow in Tokyo from 2011-13. While working as a waste reduction specialist in rural Bhutan from 2013-16, the Portland Pearl Rotary Club contacted her with an interest in collaborating on a Rotary International Global Grant. Taylor agreed, going on to develop a peace and sanitation project with the SWaCH waste picker cooperative in Pune, India. When the “Pushing for Peace” project was approved by Rotary International, Taylor and her husband, Brodie Cass Talbott, worked with SWaCH in Pune for 8 months helping to implement the project. You can learn more about her work and the Pushing for Peace project at: www.livedebris.org
Here's text of RI announcement
The Sept. 21 announcement of the award to Taylor Stevenson included notice of the event and bios of the six peace champions. Here's a link from Rotary International:
Who we are as a club . . .
Portland Pearl Rotary is a diverse, fun-loving club that enjoys serving our community and the world together, focused on meaningful results.
Who we are as a collective organization . . .
Rotary International joins leaders from all continents, cultures and occupations to exchange ideas and take action for communities around the world.
What we value . . .
We build lifelong relationships.
We honor our commitments.
We connect diverse perspectives.
We apply our leadership and expertise to solve social issues.
As Rotarians We Are . . .
Smart: We look at problems from a different angle and apply our expertise to solve social issues in ways others cannot. We are insightful and discerning.
Compassionate: Tackling the world’s toughest challenges requires empathy. As Rotarians, we champion real people, stories and conversations that are relatable and universal.
Persevering: We find lasting solutions to systemic problems at home and abroad.
Inspiring: We are motivated by the enduring connections and positive change we bring to communities and the world, we encourage others to take action. We convey hope, enthusiasm and passion.
This is WHY we are Rotarians. This is us coming together and Making A Difference.
“May Peace Prevail on Earth” is the statement etched into the peace pole in six global languages. Thanks to Rotarian Roger Meyer and the Jubitz Family Foundation, Lincoln will be one of 100 peace poles on display in Rotary District 5100. The purpose of the poles is to be a meeting place of the heart bringing together people of all faiths, backgrounds and cultures to embrace oneness of our planetary family.
Interact Co-Presidents Jennifer Song and Joanne Lee presented and dedicated the peace pole at the annual Lincoln High School multi-cultural assembly on Thursday, March 23. The assembly showcased the diversity within the Lincoln community. There were poetry readings in honor of Frida Kahlo, singing by the Sisters and Brothers of Color, presentation by Gay and Transgendered club, Indian Bollywood, K-Pop, Middle Eastern dancing and Pacific Islander ukulele songs, just to name a few.
One of the most powerful moments of the assembly was when three black girls spoke of personal experience of how the color of their skin had affected their personal identity and members of their family. They closed the assembly with the entire student body singing Bill Wither’s “Lean on Me.”
We are fortunate to be partnered with Lincoln high school, Principal Peyton Chapman (an honorary PPRC member), Jennifer and Joanne of Interact, and the entire student body.
Pictures: At Lincoln high school's multicultural assembly (above), Interact's donation of a Rotary Peace Pole to Lincoln H.S. was on the program. A celebration of cultures and an overwhelming sense of support and love in the room were displayed by students and faculty. Pictured (from left): Linda Cohen, representing the Jubitz Foundation, Principal Peyton Chapman, PPRC President Pat Mahoney, Past President Lou Radja, Social Justice Task Force Chair Jack Bradley, President-elect Tara Mussulman, and Interact Co-President Joanne Lee.
Editor’s note: Pearl Rotarians will learn more about the Peace Pole effort in District 5100 when Linda Cohen speaks at our breakfast meeting this Tuesday, April 4, 7:15 a.m., Ecotrust.
If you know of a young groundbreaker, an innovator, and/or a community activator who happens to be between the ages of 19-28, Portland Pearl Rotary has a summer experience for them! Rotary Youth Leadership Awards, or RYLA, is July 8-14 and Portland Pearl Rotary is looking to sponsor someone! Individuals will spend the week working on developing leadership skills, having fun and meeting life-changing friends in the beautiful setting of the Oregon Gorge!
For further information and application, go to: http://ryladistrict5100.org
Applications should be submitted to Tara Mussulman, by Saturday, April 15: firstname.lastname@example.org
Rotary’s incoming International President, Ian H.S. Risley, has called for us, as Rotarians, to “Make A Difference.” Portland Pearl’s answers to President Risley are:
Portland Pearl Rotary makes a difference in the lives of waste-pickers in Pune, India.
Portland Pearl Rotary makes a difference in the lives of young girls completing their education in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Portland Pearl Rotary makes in a difference in lives of Portlanders by delivering and serving food through Meals on Wheels and Transition Projects.
Portland Pearl Rotary makes a difference by offering educational scholarships and awards of merit to students.
Portland Pearl Rotary makes a difference by establishing one of the only Social Justice committees in District 5100.
Portland Pearl Rotarians make a difference by fostering supportive, healthy, dynamic relationships with fellow members and our community.
Portland Pearl Rotary makes a difference by growing leaders.
As we get closer to the new Rotary year, roughly 14 weeks away, I as your incoming president have been thinking a lot about how we will make a difference in the new year. We will continue to be a diverse and fun-loving club, which works towards bringing about positive changes in our local and global communities, or as Lou Radja calls it, “glocal.”
I want to make a difference by showing up for our club and to you as my fellow friends and family in service and peacemaking. I want to make a difference by celebrating who we are, what we do and why we do it. I know we’ll make a difference in the coming year because with all of us together, nothing can stand in our way. Our future is bright.
—Much Love, Tara
Dateline: Seattle, Wash.--President-Elects Training
It is an honor to serve as president-elect for our Portland Pearl Rotary Club and that you trust in me to lead the club in the coming year. We know that we are a special Rotary club and meeting with my cohorts of PEs, I'm receiving further validation and praise at just how much our club, and our service to our community, is beloved in our district and Rotary region.
I am looking forward to my year in service and leadership. I'm fired up and ready to go!Here is a photo from PETS in the theme of #ServiceAboveSelfie.
Individuals from left: I don't know who the gal is; David O'Connor, Southeast Portland President-Elect; District 5100 Governor Tom Markos; myself;, Brit Redline, president-elect, Portland New Generations
The New Year is upon us and I am planning, meeting and visioning what the coming Rotary year will look and feel like. Have registered for Pre-PETS, PETS, and Rotary International convention in Atlanta. I am meeting with past presidents, board and club members to get the clearest picture of the club. I am also setting sights as to who will come after me and lead us further in our club’s goals, enriched culture and spirit of friendship, service…and fun!
I am appreciative of the leaders who have come before me and the work they have done; I’ve got some serious shoes to fill. My style of leadership, as most of you have come to know, is service and action. I have an excellent road map with me in the visioning we did over the summer, the past couple of years that I have been a part of the Pearl Board, and where I have been active within District 5100. I plan to leverage these tools and experiences to best serve our club.
I wish each and every one of you best wishes in the New Year.