There were 31 members present and one guest (Alex Lalley). Barb Tubekis gave the “thought for the day”.
 
Happy Bucks: Tom Evans (through his designee Liz) gave $10 in celebration of his son (Matt) getting a job with the University of Chicago; Barb contributed in celebration of completion of her advanced learning class; and Patti Van Cleave contributed because Bill Leske has returned to the Club and her contribution was matched by Bill Leske. Patti welcomed back Mark Kotz who was missed greatly by everyone during his absence-- both Patti and Mark contributed HB.
 
Announcements: John Thomas reminded everyone that the International Rotary has published a very informative pamphlet that can be given by our members to invite  guests to our meetings in order to increase membership; Rich stated that the Rotary- supported Cubs-Brewers game this coming Saturday in Milwaukee is sold out and that getting there early is important—he also distributed tickets and directions to Miller Park; Patti announced that our Club received $3750 from our District as a matching grant to be applied to our  Kids Against Hunger program and thanked Rich for preparing the grant proposal.
 
John Thomas handled the Dig and Grin and  received a round of applause for his efforts.
 
Speaker—Michelle Silverthorn:  David Birkenstein introduced  Michelle who is employed as Diversity & Education Director at the Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism. She grew up in Jamaica, went to Princeton on scholarship and graduated there before going on to law school. She worked for two well-regarded law firms in New York and Chicago before being employed by the Commission. The Commission was formed by the State Supreme Court about 10 years ago to encourage, support and deliver programs that enhance the efforts of the legal profession to be more diverse, open and accessible. This includes helping law firms and law schools develop diversity programs.
   Due to a computer malfunction, Michelle was somewhat limited in presenting information on her announced topic which was how our modern workforce is transforming with regard to diversity and what we can do to tackle the “ implicit biases” in our professional and personal circles. She made the following points during her presentation:
--People in the U.S. seem to be very hesitant to talk about the race issue and seem to go out of their way in denying that they make decisions based on race;
--Experiments by Oprah Winfrey and a white Iowa schoolteacher (Jane Elliot) demonstrated that if a class of people is continually told they are inferior and at the same time are not treated equally to other classes of  people, that they will eventually believe that they are inferior; Watch a 3-minute summary video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0YOTxammRTw   Here is another video, 8-min reflection:   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l8PicAzrNU0&feature=youtu.be
--Studies have shown that Black (the term used in Jamaica versus  African-American) students do better in tests that are described as “problem solving exercises” versus “intelligent tests”;
 --Many white people have an “implicit bias” against Blacks because of the “circle of influence” they are exposed to during their  childhood and adult lives;
--Many college educators and law firms tend to evaluate women and Blacks on a tougher scale than other groups of students and lawyers;
--The best way to correct this “implicit bias” is for everyone to engage in more dialogue and understanding of the race problem and to increase their reading and study of literature and media sources that present all different points of view regarding the issue.
   Michelle ended her presentation by quoting George Washington who said that “civility” of  a population is determined by the “respect” people have for each other and that such respect has to start from within each one of us.
Another source of information on bias that Michele suggested we look at is the book titled "Americanah," which you can look at on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/0307455920/ref=cm_sw_su_dp
or if you want to watch a TED presentation by the author: http://www.ted.com/talks/chimamanda_adichie_the_danger_of_a_single_story?language=en
 
 
 
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