Posted by Keith Reed
Meeting was chaired by our new President, Chuck Norton, and was attended by  17 members, including Bob Baker, Wes, Laura Cunningham, Tom Evans, David Grant, Tony, Marie, Rich, Rob, Chuck, Keith, Fred, Peter, Liz, John Thomas, Barb and Julie Tye.
Thought for the day was given by Tony which was “be brave and love peace”. He also honored Marie, our new Chair of the Club’s Social Justice Committee, and John Lewis, our recently deceased U.S. congressman who served 33 years in the House of Representatives.  We had no guests.
ANNOUNCEMENTS: Peter Skalski and Tom Evans both celebrated birthdays, both of which had a zero in the number!  Appropriate donations were made by both. Rob thanked the Club for placing him on the Club Board and that he was going to chair the Club’s membership committee.  He said that we have about 50 members and that he is going to resurrect the mentor program to help recruit and orient new members.  He will be surveying Club members for their views on the Club, including what has been working and changes to be considered.
Marie reported that the Club Board approved establishing our Social Justice Committee, which she will chair.  Rich Lalley will assist in preparing the Committee’s mission statement.
Rich reminded members that their dues for the 3rd quarter are due in two weeks and that it’s important they be paid on time.
SPEAKER BRIDGET L. DOTSON: Rich introduced Bridget whose bio was contained in the Club’s July 22nd email announcing this meeting.  She is the District Coordinator of Social Work for the Waukegan Public School District with administrative responsibility for about 40 School Social Workers. She holds Master Degrees in Education and Social Work with several professional licenses and certifications.
Points made by Bridget were that Black Lives Matter was formed back in 2013 and has shifted its course since; it’s been reported on the Internet that most of the current BLM agenda is supported by 58% of our population; a primary concern of BLM is that law enforcement and the white community do not recognize the historic systematic discrimination against blacks and there is still profiling and targeting going on; white privilege also plays a role in the historical mistreatment of blacks and that whites need to “step out of the box” and treat all races the same; that the BLM movement is also concerned about the treatment of black women who have to suppress their emotions about how they are treated so as to avoid being labeled as “angry women”; and the Country is now in a “revolution” with flags and monuments being destroyed and everyone “wanting to be free”.
Due to some technical problems, the members were able to ask Bridget only a few questions to which she replied as follows:  the gang problems in Chicago are due to young blacks resorting to gang membership for their own protection; there is a high degree of hopelessness experienced by these men; that much of the gang conflict is due to their fight to control the drug business in Chicago;  that you have to “separate the BLM movement” from these gang problems; there has to be outreach programs for these young people so they won’t be preyed upon by the gangs; poverty, isolation and hopelessness need to be addressed and these young people need to get out of their old neighborhoods. Bridget said that blacks have many more employment opportunities now than they had years ago, but once they are employed she believes that they are not advanced along in position or pay as quickly as others; she said that legalization of marijuana helped decrease the number of young blacks who were imprisoned due to possession of drugs, but that there are reports that show that there are still injustices in our criminal court system based on race and economic conditions.
When asked what our Club could do to  solve some of the problems in this area, Bridget said that whites need to admit and recognize that there has been and still is systematic discrimination against blacks in this Country; she suggested that Club members try to do mentoring and outreach on their own such as connecting with and recognizing the worth of black employees they come in contact with in their communities and to show them that we are aware of and concerned about the problem.
Bridget’s comments were recorded and can be accessed by linking on to “ July 23, Bridget L. Dotson, Black Lives Matter.”
After reciting the 4 Way Test, the meeting was adjourned at 1:30.