Four members of Founder Region attended the convention: Past International President Patsy Daniels from SI/Santa Rosa attended with her granddaughter. In addition, SI/East Bay President Bonnie Mertz and SI/West Maui member Lisa Nelson also attended. Soroptimist has clubs in 132 countries, and there are approximately 80,000 members. There were women (and a few men) from all over the world, and we all spoke a common language: SOROPTIMIST!
Major topics covered:
* Economic Empowerment
* Elimination of Violence Against Women
* Sustainable Environment
There were so many inspiring, thought-provoking speakers - one of the highlights for me was a panel on the last day with four young Soroptimist women from each of the federations that spoke about the problem with declining membership, and what we must do to attract younger women to our clubs - or we will be extinct! Here are some of the key points from their discussion:
1. We must embrace technology.
2. We need to justify why we should be the charity of choice - there is lots of competition out there.
3. We must be role models for the younger members.
4. We need to focus on program action, on projects, and have fewer meetings.
5. We need to share our best practices.
6. We need more advocacy - clubs need to link to the work at the United Nations.
7. When younger members say they don't have time, offer Soroptimist as "me time" - young women need to take care of themselves, and this is a way to do that.
8. We need to refrain from responding to their new ideas with: "we've tried that, it didn't work". We need to be more open to fresh new ideas. When offered new ideas about an existing project, think of it as not trying to reinvent the wheel, but just "sanding it a little so it goes smoother."
Check out the 20th Soroptimist International Convention Facebook page.
Please enjoy your summer. Plan to attend district meetings - we have modernized our program and you won't want to miss it!
Share the JOY of Soroptimist!