Rotary Ethics Initiative

District Ethics Initiative Chairperson Chuck Hanson -

View Samples of Ethics Programs

Last year, our Rotary District instituted an initiative to encourage all of our District clubs to introduce a Rotary Ethics program
into their communities. We heard from all of the clubs that participated that this effort had a positive impact on the youth in
the community, as well as enhancing the public image of the participating Rotary Clubs.
Rotary is the only service organization that has at its core a set of ethical principles. You and I know them as the Four-Way
Test. As Rotarians, we affirm to one another and to the community at large that there is an ethical basis to the things we
think, say, and do. When we look at the Rotary International Strategic Plan, one of our five core values is integrity and our
Mission Statement calls on Rotarians to promote integrity. This year, the President of Rotary International, Sakuji Tanaka, has
further emphasized our core principles with his theme of "Peace Through Service." He would like all Rotary Clubs to introduce
a program emphasizing Peace and Conflict Resolution into their respective communities. As Rotarians, we have a unique
opportunity to bring to the youth in our communities the importance of both ethical conduct and peaceful resolution of
conflict in our business and professional lives. All of us have faced situations that required difficult choices. How one responds
in these situations is largely determined by one’s values. These values must be learned and this is an opportunity for us, as
Rotarians, to reinforce these values in our communities.

Because ethical behavior, peace and understanding are central to Rotary’s mission, we are continuing our District-Wide Ethics
Initiative, with the added dimension of conflict resolution. We urge each club in our District, either alone or in conjunction
with other clubs, to provide a program on ethics and peace for the benefit of youth in your community. Most likely this will be
done in concert with your local school district, as was the case with virtually all of the participating clubs last year. Thanks to
the excellent work of our District Ethics Initiative Committee, all clubs in our District can choose from any of the committee's
numerous ethics projects. Your club can choose to implement any one of these options, or create a new one of your own. Not
only will you have all of the materials necessary to implement the project, you will have a contact person through the District
Ethics Initiative Committee who is willing to discuss your chosen option and provide support wherever possible, and, if your
project includes an element on peace and/or conflict resolution, you will have completed one of the required elements for
your club to receive a Rotary International Presidential Citation.
Since the hard work of designing the curriculumandmaterials has already been done, you can concentrate on the necessary
coordination needed to implement your chosen option in your community. By forming your committee now and beginning to
work with your local school district or principal, you can actually implement the project before April 2013. I believe your
efforts will positively affect the youth in your community and bring to the community at large the importance that Rotary
places on peaceful, ethical behavior in all vocations. You and your fellow Rotarians are already positive role models in your
community; this effort can only enhance Rotary's image andmay help attract people in your community who will want to join
your club. Let this project be one of those annual events that brings your club together for fun and fellowship and helps you
build connections with your community. You will be pleased with the results.


Robert R. Stroud
DistrictGovernor 2012-13 | Rotary District 6250
25 West Main Street Suite 300 | Madison,WI 53703 |
e: p: 608.257.2281 f: 608.257.7643

P.S. – If you have any questions regarding this initiative or need any assistance, contact the District Ethics Initiative Chairperson Chuck Hanson at

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