Russell Hampton
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Bulletin Editor
Arnie Goldman
Oct 01, 2021
Hartford Artisans Weaving Center
Oct 08, 2021
Project Update
Oct 15, 2021
Hartford Rescue Mission: God's Work. His Will. Our Hands.
Oct 22, 2021
Violence Against Women
Oct 29, 2021
Nov 05, 2021
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Executives & Directors
President Elect
Immediate Past President
Foundation Chair
Board Member-at-Large
Board Member-at-Large
Interact Chair
Club Information
Rotary of Avon-Canton - Founded 1973
Service above Self
Fridays at 7:30 AM
Golf Club of Avon
160 Country Club Road
Avon, CT 06001
United States of America
(860) 760-6364
In person starting July 9, 2021. Zoom will also be available for those unable to attend in person.
District Site
Venue Map
July 23, 2021
"From Apartheid South Africa to the U.S.A."
Kershwin Singh
In-Person - Zoom Available
Let Michael Mezhiritskiy know
if you plan to attend via Zoom.
Sergeant-at-Arms Report 
Members Present: 37
Visiting Rotarians: 0  
Deborah Altschwager Guest of Cherie Morris
Nakisha Smith Speaker
Julie McNeill Colleague of Speaker
Happy Dollars: $20.00
Raffle Winner: Kershwin Singh ($20.00)
Fines: None today.
Kevin Case (7/19) was unfortunately absent. Hope you have a happy one, Kevin!
Gary Roman (July 4): Bill Barnes Re- acknowledged Gary Roman's recent co-birthday (July 4) as "the firecracker that didn't go off last week" in the latter's absence. Gary Roman, in an effort "to dispel ongoing rumors, clarified that Bill and he are not identical twins." Gary thanked us all for acknowledging his birthday and said that "seeing you all in person feels like the first day of school and its great!" It is Gary's 20th year in Rotary, having been a member of the Windsor and Windsor Locks Rotary Clubs previously. He enjoys Rotary immensely, and thanked us all for the opportunity to serve.
Happy Dollars:
Capri Brighenti - Was very glad to be with us, having seen Chuck Joseph last night who had encouraged her to attend. Chuck was, unfortunately absent this morning. Capri continued, saying: "Our lives have all changed so much over the last year. Thank you all for the thoughts and prayers given in the wake of my mother's death. I did not realize how grief and loss cannot be easily driven through. I've had to give myself grace and forgiveness to get through it. The letters and cards and calls are so unique a phenomenon. I'm very grateful, and as a group you've been amazing. Thank you for embracing me. Glad to be here, Happy Friday!"
Yvonne Gardner noted that her father turned 80 recently and that she cherishes her time with him. I'm "Glad to be here."
Alicia Canning noted early cancer detection has saved my life. She also noted that despite her brother having had two Covid shots, he nevertheless got Covid and needs our prayers on his behalf.
Lauren Gardner has survived her first week in UCONN's graduate school, where she is pursuing a degree in social work.
Salin Low announced we will be returning to our old tradition, in that the person who arranges for the speaker gives the morning prayer.
7/22 First every other Thursday meeting of the Golf Committee, to be held at Dish'N Dat at 5:00 PM. 
7/31 District fundraiser at a Yard Goats game
8/17 Rotary Senior Luncheon, to be held at Avon Senior Center. See Jim McIntosh for details.
8/20 Focus golf tournament, Fairview Golf Club, Harwinton
9/13 Rotary Club of Avon/Canton golf tournament
Induction of New Members
None this week.
None this week.
Community and International Service Grants
None this week.
Connecticut, Belonging, Thriving
Nakisha Smith, Friends for Equity in Avon Schools
Rotarian Michelle Traub introduced Ms. Nakisha Smith and Ms. Julie McNeill of Friends for Equity in Avon Schools.
Ms. Smith gave the presentation.
Ms. Smith stated the purpose of Friends for Equity in Avon Schools is to advocate for equity and inclusion. Ms. Smith defined equity as the intent to "dismantle racism" on behalf of a host of minorities, adding "Diversity, equity and inclusion work has begun in many towns in our area."
Originally from Georgia, Ms. Smith is a registered nurse and lives in Avon.
Beginning two years ago, some Simsbury community members created an "Equity Council" and a student "Spirit Council", and declared racism a public health crisis.
In Granby, community members identified examples of what was characterized as myths about the students of Granby, and specifically that their Choice Program students (out-of-district students enrolled in Granby schools) were not doing well, due to factors within their control. The truth was, however, that out-of-district students had long commutes, often did not have an appropriate study area, nor a home environment conducive to success, rather than any lack of personal motivation or ability. Avon community members also had a similar perception of this myth. "As these students are also Granby or Avon students, we have to own their successes and failures and find ways to enable their success", indicated Ms. Smith.
Friends for Equity in Avon Schools' members, parents and community leaders, are educating themselves and becoming better role models for the children. They are advocating for an "equity audit" of the community, so as to suggest changes where they are needed and to make Avon a more welcoming place.
One specific issue is, in Ms. Smith's opinion, American history "may not be truthfully taught" and Friends for Equity in Avon Schools' hopes to ensure that it is in the future. The group plans to hold community events, meet regularly with the school administration and hold strategic planning sessions.
Opportunities to get involved include an upcoming community reading of a book by controversial author Ibram X. Kendi, and co-author Jason Reynolds. Mr. Kendi is known for his advocacy about race, claiming: “The only remedy to racist discrimination is antiracist discrimination. The only remedy to past discrimination is present discrimination. The only remedy to present discrimination is future discrimination.”
[Ed. Note 1: Mr. Kendi has been widely criticized for such expression, because it implies one must discriminate based on race today, to correct discrimination based on race in the past. This idea is fundamentally inconsistent with the way Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. thought about racial injustice. In his "I Have A Dream" speech, Dr. King emphasized "content of character" over "color of skin", whereas Mr. Kendi and his fellow ideological travelers emphasize the opposite.]
The final slide of Ms. Smith's presentation, is reproduced here:
Separate and Shared Realities
Everyone experiences life through a unique lens, a separate reality. At times our separate realities become shared realities in common spaces such as families, church, school and work. Respecting and accepting another person's separate reality does not diminish or detract from your own. Instead as individuals with unique perspectives come together, there is enhanced creativity and innovation.
[Ed Note 2: The statement in the above slide asserts that individuals personal perspectives vary, and are what defines the way they perceive absolute reality, though objectively, absolute reality is certainly the same for everyone. The idea that absolute truth doesn't exist and that perspective-based reality is the same as objective truth, is a component of a philosophy known as relativism. Relativism refers to a school of thought that asserts the relative nature of truth and other realities that characterize human existence in society. According to this sociological viewpoint, truth is usually variable depending on context and recurrent parametrical threshold. (]
Learn more about Friends of Equity in Avon Schools at their website, here:
[Ed Note 3: For those who are interested, an alternative perspective on the general subject of minority status in society, fairness, civil rights and how to help others improve themselves can be obtained from civil rights leader Robert Woodson Sr.'s, 1776 Unites website, found here: At this website an influential cohort of (mostly) black intellectuals offer a different perspective on minority issues in society, highlighting black agency and self-reliance, and dispelling the notion that black success is dependent on white behavior, indulgence or favor. IMHO it's worth a read.]
Special Announcements
None this week.
Mail Bag
Photo Credits
Mike Mezheritskiy
Technology Credits
Zoom platform management expertise by Mike Mezheritskiy.
Editor's Notes
Submission Deadline: Members are kindly encouraged to submit all materials for each week's Early Riser as early as possible. Please note that some editions may be published and distributed as early as the Saturday following our meetings, and during those weeks further contributions to the Early Riser will be included in the subsequent week's edition.
“The FOUR-WAY TEST of the things we think, say or do”:

1. Is it the TRUTH?
2. Is it FAIR to all Concerned?
4. Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?