Consistent with our purpose and heritage, the Rotary Club of Atlanta looks to engage with our communities in thoughtful leadership to help bring positive change.
Following the tragic deaths of individuals like George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery, our club formed an exploratory committee to outline initial steps for our response to racial and economic injustice. Our work will expand into a broader, standing committee, and we hope many of you will get involved in what will be a long but productive journey. Even as we develop our plans, we want to be visible now and begin dialog. To that end, we will be releasing this letter to the media over the next few days. It was approved by the Board of the Atlanta Rotary Club on June 11.
Dear Fellow Atlantans:
The Rotary Club of Atlanta was founded in 1913 by our city’s top business leaders with a mission that included tackling the most challenging issues of the time guided by the ideal of Service Above Self. Today we are faced with the greatest challenge in our history — helping eliminate racial and economic injustice in our city and beyond.
Our members, all leaders of top companies and nonprofit organizations, are committed to listen with open hearts and learn, and to step up to participate in and lead in our own organizations, communities and families to bring about the long overdue changes.
It starts with getting our own house in order. Over the past six years, we have made the active commitment to improve diversity in our membership and in our program speakers. We view this commitment as vital to remain relevant to Atlanta. We have made progress, but our work in many respects has just begun. In the coming years, our goal is to be at the forefront in representing the diverse and talented leadership of this great city.
With this letter, we are soliciting help of those of YOU who are willing to join us in committing our heads, hearts and resources to address systemic challenges in race and economic inequality. The roots of these issues are complex, and the solutions to inequality will be multifaceted.
We want to live up to the image of Atlanta as a civil and human rights beacon for the world.
Sincerely, The Rotary Club of Atlanta