In June, the RI Board of Directors strengthened its commitment to making diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) a part of all aspects of Rotary’s culture. That commitment includes evolving our approach to leading, motivating, guiding, and governing our clubs. You have the opportunity to help our members develop the skills they need to embrace all facets of diversity. You can ensure that everyone is included in our efforts to take action to create change. And you can promote equity so that every person who engages with us has access to the resources, opportunities, networks, and support they need to thrive. 
Embracing DEI will enhance Rotary membership so we can make a bigger impact. It will also allow us to create open, welcoming environments that appeal to those who want to connect with us.

Making Rotary more diverse, equitable, and inclusive is what our members want us to do. In fact, last year, more than 31,000 members around the world responded to our first diversity, equity, and inclusion survey. They told us that DEI is important to them and that they want every member in every country to make DEI a priority. The Board, guided by Rotary’s DEI Task Force, made a plan to act on these survey findings and ensure that diversity, equity, and inclusion are ingrained in everything we do. You can view the survey results along with highlights from the plan at

Our DEI Code of Conduct
We must take responsibility for how our words and actions may affect others. Although free expression is important, what we say and how we behave matter. This is why the Board approved a new DEI Code of Conduct that reflects our core values. It provides a supportive framework for how Rotary members can create and maintain an environment that is collaborative, positive, and healthy for everyone.

Simply put, the DEI Code of Conduct asks Rotary members to:
  • Use respectful language
  • Be supportive
  • Foster a welcoming and inclusive environment
  • Celebrate diversity
It’s important that you, as a Rotary leader, model the behavior outlined in the DEI Code of Conduct in person, virtually, and on social media. I also ask that you apply the DEI Code of Conduct by helping members recognize the impact that their words and actions can have on others.

If a member or participant tells you about a recent experience related to DEI, please take these conversations seriously. Do not minimize or excuse what happened. Listen, and then:
  • If the situation can be resolved through discussion, encourage the member or participant to talk to the person directly. Very often, a person who said something or acted in a way that made others feel excluded, marginalized, or targeted did not do so intentionally. Although there might be mistakes, missteps, and uncomfortable conversations along the way, the end result is a better, stronger Rotary.
  • If a discussion is not possible or the situation involves someone in a leadership role or another club, contact Club and District Support staff, who will review the information and follow up appropriately.
  • If anyone is in danger or their safety is in doubt, contact local law enforcement and notify  Rotary’s Club and District Support staff.
As an organization, we are stronger when we embrace the diversity found in our clubs and communities. We are more effective when we offer a valuable, inclusive experience that provides equitable opportunities for people to serve, to lead, and to participate with us. To grow Rotary and become a more dynamic organization, we must take DEI seriously. And with your support, we are doing that.


Shekhar Mehta

RI President, 2021-22

You can support DEI in Rotary by: