Our new club year has officially started and the Fall District Meetings are underway! Our first meeting was District 1, which is far northern California. What a great group of women!In addition to all the information from Region representatives, they had a great presentation on trafficking from Linda Lucena. She brought to our attention two apps that can help with fighting Sex Trafficking. Please check them out! The first is called Circle of 6 and is meant to prevent young girls from getting taken by traffickers: https://www.circleof6app.com/press/#materialVideo The second one is traffickcam.com and is an app for you to use in your travels to take pictures of the inside of hotel rooms that you stay in. Law Enforcement can then use the information to try to get a match and locate girls that are forced to have their pictures taken in rooms. She also shared the Blue Campaign which helps you identify victims of trafficking and tells you what you can do about it! : https://drive.google.com/file/d/1M3wIL5vLfh-H4b1XlR7ytyczvRgXbOjn/view
Then, this morning SI Washoe County shared this great blog on keeping your daughter safe from traffickers. So valuable: http://renomomsblog.com/2018/09/16/what-you-need-to-know-about-sex-trafficking-in-reno/
Well, that’s a strange title. You might be thinking “She’s lost it! I am NOT getting a tattoo!’ No, I haven’t ‘lost it’, nor am I getting a tattoo. I had an epiphany!
I was listening to the radio today while driving and heard an interview with the University of Minnesota football coach. He was talking about how he engages his young team and charges them up. Besides expecting them all to be good all around citizens, the team has a weekly ‘Tattoo Night’. Now if you are over 50 (or so) you might have the same opinion of tattoos as myself – you don’t really see the point of marking up your body with permanent ink. I’ve just never understood it. Here comes the ‘aha moment’: Coach said that “Tattoo Night” is a great bonding experience where everyone gets to tell the story of their tattoos and what they mean to them. They learn about each other and each player talks about something near and dear to them – and the very core of who they are.
Oh my gosh, tattoos can represent memories or stages of life! They are something deep and meaningful to the individual. Even if they were done on a dare or wild and crazy night, they can at least tell about the night and the experience of getting the tattoo! I had never thought of it that way! Have you seen that commercial of the young girl getting a tattoo of a card that her apparent late mother wrote to her? When it’s done, she says “I think she would have liked it”. It is beginning to sink in!
What does this have to do with Soroptimist? A lot, I think!! 1) It makes me think about the younger members that we want to attract. We don’t always understand what is meaningful to them, but we need to listen and maybe we will begin to see their outlook on the world and what is most important to them. And they have a lot to contribute and are our future, so we need to understand them and welcome them! 2) If we want to have a stronger member experience in our clubs, then we need to allow time to get to know each other and really try to understand what is meaningful to other members and have empathy for them and create friendships so we can do better work in our communities together.
Well, I had every intention of ‘blogging’ from Japan, but it didn’t happen!! Between sightseeing, meetings, visiting with my son and trying to beat the heat, I somehow didn’t have time!! What a great experience! So much culture, diversity and heat to soak up! Yes, it was about 100 degrees with 85% humidity some days, but most of us still got some great sight seeing in. Our Convention was great and so was the Governor’s Round Table that I attended for the two days after conference was over. I got a lot of information that I will be sharing at Fall District Meetings!!
As a few of us get ready to leave for the SIA 45nd Biennial Convention in Yokohama, Japan, I reflect on how international this organization is and how great an opportunity we have, as members, to travel the globe and feel the unity and community with women from all over the world. I am sure many of us will share our journey on facebook, so follow us there! I will also be blogging from Japan with pictures. I urge you to put an SIA or SI Convention on your bucket list. Yes, it can be expensive, but when else can you travel half way around the world and feel like you ‘belong’ with a large group of like-minded women?! I am really looking forward to it! Join me next time!
I attended the Rotary Press Conference for their public awareness campaign to stop trafficking this morning and ran into a few Soroptimists, like those from SI Sutter Yuba! I’m glad we attended.
Here are my thoughts (this being my first opportunity to ‘blog’, I think that’s what I am supposed to do):
I am proud that Soroptimist has led the way on public awareness on this issue for the last several years. I am proud of our Stop Trafficking Coodinators and clubs that are out in the communities raising awareness in their own ways. And I am proud of Rotary for taking it to the next level in the Sacramento area. I am struck that as Soroptimist, we tend to think that people know about this awful crime and I love that they don’t think so. They got a $340,000 grant to do a major public awareness campaign! They will be buying billboards throughout the valley putting slogans on them that really bring it to the forefront of people’s minds. They have partnered with 3Strands Global Foundation to get more education into the schools for prevention. I am proud to support Rotary’s campaign. Anything we can do to help eradicate trafficking is a win!
On another note, I am also struck by the fact that there were some former Soroptimists there that are now Rotarians. We need to have a sit down with them and find out what drew them to Rotary and what could we have done to keep them? Food for thought. Rotary has over a billion members worldwide. They stand for eradicating polio, which is nearly done! Now they want to stand for eradicating Human and Sex Trafficking. All the more reason for Soroptimist to focus our work on standing for women and girls. “When we stand for everything, we stand for nothing”.
For those of you that attended Soroptimist Development Retreat (SDR), thank you for investing in yourself and your club and taking the time to attend. I hope you all enjoyed it as much as I did! Jackie and Liesl did great organizing it.
I am in awe of the talent of the women in our region! Nearly all of our workshops were presented by members and they rocked! Our board and committee members have all only been in their positions for about a week and they all did great! You would never guess that they (we) were newbies!
And you rocked for coming and participating!
For those of you that couldn’t make it, mark your calendar now: July 27-28, 2019!
Welcome to the 2018-2020 Biennium!! It’s a new club year, new officers, and a new energy for clubs and region. I am honored to be your Governor for the next two years! What a pleasure it has been serving under Immediate Past Governor Vicki! I have learned so much from her and we all owe her a great big THANK YOU for dedicating the last two years of her life to our Region! Thanks to her changing our Eblast to twice a month instead of every week, I only have to write 48 of these instead of 104! I look forward to working towards two goals with all of you: Increased participation in our “Dream Programs” and rededication to increasing our membership. Our years of experience working with women and girls has taught us that education is the key to unlocking economic empowerment of the world’s women and girls. When women and girls are educated, they have opportunity, choice, and power to make healthy decisions for themselves and their families. Our Dream Programs help make that a reality. Let’s focus on women and girls and education for our club work to help attract new members and gain better recognition. Let’s honor our past by being trailblazers into our next century as THE organization that empowers women and girls. Let’s do it in our unique, individual clubs, but at the same time, all working towards the same goal. Together we can help more ‘Girls with Dreams become Women with Vision’.