Meeting in Review: June 12, 2013
Lenore Jacobs provided the words of inspiration.
Secretary Lynn Holec introduced the following guests:
- Ken Lee, a guest of Ken Kimbrough.
- Kirsten Uhler-McKeown, Director Washington/Baltimore Area of the Tahirih Justice Center and guest of Nadia Saad.
- Yasmin Khan with the Tahirih Justice Center and a guest of Nadia Saad.
- Jeffrey Franco, Executive Director of City Year and guest of Nancy Riker.
- Uthra Raghonathan, an economist with the US Department of Agriculture and a Rotaract.
- Dominick Cardella, retired and a guest of Andrew Koval. Dominick is a prospective member of our Club.
- Nadine Pottings, Director of Development with The Washington Redskins and a guest of Kathy Ward.
- Pietro Tornabene, Brigadier General and Italian Army Attache. He was the guest of Erminia Scarcella.
- Sunatna Gupta, who is in the 9th grade and is the granddaughter and guest of Balrag Gupta.
- Beth Hess, Director of Communications and Membership for the Center for Nonprofit Advancement and guest of Glen O’Gilvie.
- Sheila Switzer, Program Chair of AAFSW in the US State Department and guest of Marjorie Scott.
- Diego Grajales, Vice President of Kazen Services and guest of Guillermo Grajales.
- Tamta Zhorzhotrani, a George Mason Law School student and a Rotaract member.
- Rob Sears, a member of the Rotary Club of Manila. He is the Director of the American Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines.
Sergeant-at-Arms Peggy Schoen announced the following birthdays:
- Jim Freeman, whose birthday was June 9. Jim is a Past President of our Club (1985-1986) and Past Foundation President (1991-1992). He joined the Club in 1979 when he was sponsored by Paul Reichardt. His classification is Utilities: Gas.
- Bill Simons, whose birthday was June 11. Jim joined our Club in 1978 when he was sponsored by Lloyd Wilson. His classification is Insurance: Life.
- Monica Boner, whose birthday is June 13. Monica is a Past President of our Club (2008-2009) and is the current Foundation President. Monica joined the Club in 2000. Her classification is Moving & Storage.
- Gus Gallagher, whose birthday is June 15. Gus joined our Club in 1993 when he was sponsored by Jim Magee. His classification is Computer: Multimedia.
- Gene Massey, whose birthday is June 15. Gene joined our Club in 1986 when he was sponsored by Harry Clarkson. His classification is Law: Health Care.
Foundation Moment. In the Foundation Moment, President David reminded Club members of the good works that are funded by the Foundation and that they still had 18 days to contribute to the Foundation in this Rotary year.
Rotary Youth Exchange: Student from Argentina. At the last moment the sponsor of a student from Argentine is unable to sponsor and house the student for the next academic semester. President David asked that any Club member, who is able to take over this sponsorship, please let him know.
Scotland Friendship Exchange Recap and Capital Cities Agreement. President David summarized the events that the DC Rotarians who participated in the Friendship exchange in Scotland enjoyed. He also noted that during that visit the Edinburgh and DC Rotary Clubs signed reciprocal Capital Cities agreements.
Movie Night. Movie night is this Thursday (June 13) at the E Street Cinemas. The movie is The East. Diane Eames is the point of contact.
Changing of the Guard. The Club is chartering the Cherry Blossom River Boat for the Changing of the Guard ceremonies, which will take place on June 30. We will board the boat at the Alexandria boat dock at 6:45 PM and return to dock at 9:45 PM. Tickets are $80 for adults and $25 for children. Members were able to sign-up at the meeting, but sign up can also be done on the Club’s web site.
Nadia Saad introduced the speaker Layli Miller-Muro, Immigration Lawyer and Executive Director of the Tahirih Justice Center. Nadia recalled that as a young child she witnessed the mutilation of a young Egyptian girl. Afterwards, she promised God to work against such violence and understand what causes it. Layli and the Tahirih Justice Center are dedicated to this purpose.
Layli Miller-Muro began by recognizing Rotary International’s 110 year history of service to self. She then noted that one in three girls in the world is subject to abuse. She related an allegory from her Bahá’í religion – a bird has a left wing and a right wing, both are different but both must be equally strong for the bird to fly. Similarly, men and women are different. Currently, they are not equal hence humanity is handicapped. To end the violence against women it is necessary to promote justice and create institutions that support justice. However, this does not change people’s attitudes, believes or assumptions. Attitudes towards women are complicated and imbedded in cultures, religions and history. She encouraged everyone at the end of each day to evaluate what they have done to change the attitudes towards women.
Ms. Miller-Muro showed a brief video that illustrated the work of the Tahirih Justice Center. The Center provides women who fleeing abuse and violence with a bundle of services that include free legal advice, medical care, social services, lessons in English for foreign-language speakers and work skills training. Importantly, the Center provides these women with hope. The women that the Center assists include illiterate women, surgeons and a professional pianist.
The success rate of people seeking U.S. asylum is 30 percent without assistance; 80 percent with legal representation; and 99 percent with the assistance of the Tahirih Justice Center. The Center leverages its resources with donated services from 1,200 pro bono attorneys, medical professionals and others. Still, the Center has the capacity to help only one in ten women that are referred to it.
In response to questions, Ms. Miller-Muro clarified that the Tahirih Justice Center assists U.S. immigrant women and girls who are escaping abuse and violence.
Ausra Kaminskas won the raffle’s small pot, which was $60, but she did not win the large pot, which was $638.
The meeting was supported by the following:
- Arrel Olano sold the raffle tickets.
- Balraj Gupta, Norm Coe and Stu Shalloway manned the hospitality table.
- Davis Kennedy and Sharon Taylor greeted Rotarians as they arrived.
The meeting was adjourned at 1:30 PM.