Safe Spaces in Random Places

This is the meeting for the week of January 1, 2018 through January 7, 2018

This Meeting at a Glance:
Program: Safe Spaces in Random Places
Program Description: Growing up in America
Speaker: Lee Knight Jr, Poet and Poetry Coach

Is this your first time to visit us? If so, welcome to our weekly online meeting! To complete our meeting, please continue reading from here to the bottom of this page. 

Each Monday our week’s meeting is posted early in the morning, U.S. Pacific Time. These meetings are designed so that you can read and watch what we post anytime during the week. The entire meeting takes about 60 minutes to complete, with the video conference recording of the program being the bulk of the time.

Note that you can easily read this meeting with your favorite device, so feel free to take our meeting on the go with you; read it while on public transit, waiting in line for coffee, or even at the park! Please also make sure to complete the attendance form at the bottom and leave a comment. Enjoy!

Welcome to the Rotary eClub of Silicon Valley!

Here’s a message from President Stephen:

Hello E-Club Rotarians and Guests,

 Happy New Year! I hope everyone has enjoyed their holiday festivities. As we look forward to 2018, I’m excited about all the upcoming projects. I look forward to finishing the final 6 months of the Rotary year strong.

If you have any New Years resolutions, please feel free to share them in the Disqus below. If your New Years resolutions include getting more involved in our Club and joining our awesome team in the next Rotary Year, please contact me at [email protected] and President-Elect Andrew Taw at [email protected]

Yours in service,

Stephen Zhou, President
Rotary eClub of Silicon Valley

Weekly Funny with the Lady of Laughter (LOL)

We believe laughter is an important part of life, and we should all make time to laugh a little. This segment of our meeting is meant to tickle you just enough. These funnies are curated by member Yvonne Kwan, our “Lady of Laughter!”

From Yvonne: “Happy New Year everyone!”



Weekly Inspiration: The Volunteer Heroes of Hurricane Harvey

Every week we start our meetings with a short video highlighting innovation, inspiration, entrepreneurship, or social change. This week we are featuring a video from the Great Big Story about the volunteer heroes of Hurricane Harvey.

On August 25, 2017, Hurricane Harvey slammed into southeast Texas. The category four storm caused historic flooding that devastated the region, destroying homes and changing millions of people’s lives. Yet the days that followed were filled with stories of bravery—none more poignant than the acts of everyday people who went to extraordinary lengths to help their fellow citizens. When others were fleeing the floodwaters, dozens of brave Texans scoured their inundated streets in boats for those in need of assistance.

For Members Only: Updates

This segment of the meeting is dedicated to our club members. This section includes announcements and new initiatives. Guests, you are welcome to read this section or just skip it.

Welcome to 2018, Rotarians!

Programs Committee Still Needs Speaker Referrals:

The Programs Committee needs your help! If you know someone who you believe would be an interesting speaker for one of our programs, please make the referral or email introduction to the committee! Ready to introduce someone to the club’s programs committee? Email Committee Chair Rushton at [email protected]


Past Member Announcements:

  • Member namebadge orders delayed; more info coming soon!
  • Active members now have [email protected] email forwarders! Your forwarder should be your full first name plus the first initial of your last name. Emails going to your email will be forwarded automatically to the email you have on file with our club. If you want your email forwarder changed to a different variation of your name, please email Webmaster Mitty at [email protected]
  • Members Only Facebook Group: If you haven’t joined our members-only Facebook Group, consider joining! Request an invitation from [email protected]
  • Service Blotter Submissions: Click here to fill out The Rotary eClub of Silicon Valley Service Survey

Our Events & Projects

We hold our meetings online, but we hold regular service projects and social events in the Silicon Valley every month! This section is updated every week with our upcoming events. We welcome guests to all of our events and service projects listed here.

Also be sure to join our Meetup Group for automatic calendar updates and to RSVP for our events! These are open to all guests as well!

Rotary E-Club of Silicon Valley

Fremont, CA
140 Members & Guests

Calling all service-minded entrepreneurs, foodies, and community leaders! This group is for anyone interested in innovation, community service, education, business networking,…

Check out this Meetup Group →

Upcoming Events:

All times are Pacific Time! (San Francisco time)

Saturday, January 13, 2018 – New Year Outdoor Expedition

Members, mark your calendars for the morning of Saturday, January 13, 2018, during which our club will have its first event of the new year: an outdoor hiking expedition! Details coming soon!

Other Upcoming Club Events:

  • Saturday, January 13, 2018 – Save the date for a club outdoor expedition (Details TBD)
  • Saturday, February 28, 2018 – Save the date for a club skydiving event (Details TBD)

More events coming soon! All events are open to guests, unless otherwise mentioned. Feel free to join us! If you ever have questions, please email [email protected]

What would you like to do?

Hey Members! What would you like to do? We’re working on putting together some exciting socials and impactful service projects for our upcoming quarter’s event calendar. Let us know what you want to do by posting in our members only Facebook Group (if you don’t have access, please request it with Webmaster Mitty). Remember, you’re only taking advantage of the full impact of Rotary when you’re stepping up to get involved.

Happy Dollars: Do Good by Sharing Something Good

Each week we ask our members to share stories with the club and toss in a few dollars to support our efforts. The primary goal of this section is to provide a fun way of getting to know each fellow members and guests, while giving back to a good cause.

Happy dollars is an opportunity to share something positive that has happened in your life whether it is personal or business. Think of it as your opportunity to brag a little, but also put a little bit into a karma jar. The money donated through happy dollars is put to charitable use, and the message that you leave for happy dollars will be posted in our online meeting the following week for the entire week for folks to see! (Pending that it’s appropriate!)

Last week’s happy dollar contributions went towards our club projects. Here are some of the happy dollar messages from last week:

 Thank you to member Brian Liddicoat for his generous $15 donation. Brian had this to say:
“Hope everyone had a great Christmas and/or Hanukah!”

Thank you to member Rory Olsen for his generous $15 donation to PolioPlus. Rory had this to say:
“Had a great time with the grandchildren over the weekend. Please apply my gift to Polio Plus.”

Thank you to member Catherine A. for her incredibly generous $110 donation! Catherine had this to say:
“Celebrating the beginning of the 110th year of San Francisco #2, the second Rotary Club in the United States and the first Rotary Club in California, founded in November 1908 by Paul Harris and Homer Wood. (Learn more here)”

Thank you to member John Lozano for his generous $10 donation. John had this to say:
“The assistance this Rotary brings when I needed information or assistance on a project. Special thanks to Mitty and Rushton.”

Thank you all for your donations last week!

Happy dollars is also a great opportunity to share with the group about something good that has happened to you, while giving back to a great cause. Next week’s happy dollars will go back to powering our club’s projects locally and globally.

So what are you happy about? Share with us below to help with doing good around the world.

Fill out my online form.

Selected Six

Every week at the bottom of our meetings, there is a comments section for members and guests to tell us what they enjoyed about the meeting or to ask questions to the speaker. We select six comments every week from last week’s meeting to be featured during this week’s meeting.

Here are six comments selected from last week’s meeting featuring the program on Uncovering Creative Confidence in Education:

Member Richard Knaggs (South Africa) had this to say:
“Welcome back Stephen. I missed you and I am happy that you have sorted everything out. I would like to wish everyone in this club an inspiring, innovative and creative 2018. Being part of this club and being associated with all of you has been a privilege and honor. Steven, thank you for your critical message on this morning of 1 January 2018 in South Africa. It is invaluable and I am going to share it with all of my educators immediately. I hope to get in touch with you to chat further.

Member Yvonne Kwan (California, USA) had this to say:
“Steve, thank you for an indoor and energetic presentation! Having just finished my multiple subject teaching credential, I’m happy to announce that these teacher training programs are incorporating everything that you touched upon. We’re emphasizing different ways to teach and strive to lead our students towards coming up with their own solutions rather than spoonfeeding them. I’m also always pumped to incorporate creativity (artsy and beyond) into my lessons. Welcome back, President Stephen! Glad to have you back :)”

Guest Celine Neal had this to say:
“I enjoyed the video about the homeless man. I’m glad he now has a family. As for the video being a student myself I can agree with creativity being taken out. I love your ideas and I am hoping to see more of your videos. Thank you.”

Member Shags Shagrin (California, USA) had this to say:
“Welcome back, Stephen! We’ve missed you. Great program — I find my creativity in the kitchen, as most of our members know… Loved the “Cross your arms” / “Clasp you hands” example of using creativity — I use it with clients for them to experience how difficult it can be (physically and emotionally) to handle even simple a change in routine, very necessary to handle with making changes in their money relationships.

Member Monique Ziesenhenne (California, USA) had this to say:
“Great presentation! We’ve used a design-thinking methodology when working with teens at our library and have found that they like thinking this way, applying creativity and thinking of as many possibilities for each iteration, until they find a workable solution. As an adult observer, it’s not always the path I’d choose, but does result in some interesting and very workable outcomes. Thanks for highlighting this approach and for reminding us that we are all creative!

Member Rushton Hurley (California, USA) had this to say:
“Steve, it is wonderful to hear your ideas and the connections that can bring so much to schools and other organizations. If you decide you want to contribute your creative impulses to an online Rotary club, I know one that would welcome you! The video about the homeless man in the Texas town was a beautiful one, as well. I love stories of a community rallying around someone – something that happens much more when they know that person’s story. Finally, welcome back, Stephen!”

Be sure to leave a comment at the end of this week’s meeting after you watch the program below, and perhaps you’ll see your comment featured next week!

Program: Safe Spaces in Random Places

Every week we bring to you a new program on innovation, education, technology, and humanitarian service. This week our guest speaker is Lee Knight, Jr.

Lee Knight Jr has been inspiring poetry slam stages since 2001. He has been a coach and member of 8 national poetry slam teams, was awarded 4th place in the national poetry slams individual competition in 2006, and helped team Berkeley win group piece finals in 2009. In addition to this, Lee has performed his poetry in over 15 cities in Germany and Austria including Frankfurt, Hamburg Munich and Salzburg. His poetry is raw, captivating and educational, empowering listeners to examine not only the world around them, but themselves.

Members and guests, please welcome Lee to our meeting!

Share with us your thoughts in the comments at the bottom of this meeting page! If you have questions for Lee, feel free to ask in the comments!

Upcoming Program Schedule

All of our guest speakers and programs are recorded live online over Zoom video conference. We welcome members and guests to join us in one of these upcoming recordings. Recordings are approximately 30 minutes long and are subject to change without notice.

Upcoming Weekly Programs:

 Week of Host Guest Speaker  Topic
 Week of 1/8/2018 Tzviatko Chiderov Lee Knight Jr Safe Spaces in Random Places
 Week of 1/15/2018 Rushton Hurley Kelly Sibisibi Malaria eradication efforts at the Southern African Development Community in Namibia
 Week of 1/22/2018 TBA TBA TBA

Upcoming Recordings:

If you would like to join us for any of the live recordings, you are welcome to join us. Our online video conference room link for these recordings is always Please note the timezone for all recordings are listed for San Francisco, California, USA time (Pacific Time).

You’re Almost Done! One last thing: The Attendance Survey…

Thanks for reading and watching this week’s meeting. You have two last things to do before you’re done. First, we have a very short attendance survey below for you to fill out to record your attendance.

Visiting Rotarians, this is how you can get an email receipt to pass along to your club’s secretary as proof that you’ve attended our meeting if you need it for makeups.

Non-Rotarian Guests, we would love to see who is dropping by our meetings! This part is optional for you. If you think you may want to join our eClub at some point in the future, we would strongly recommend you fill out the attendance form as it will improve your chances of success for your membership application.

More importantly, for all members and guests — we strongly recommend and ask that you leave a comment below in our comments area below. Tell us how you enjoyed the program. Ask this week’s speaker any questions you might have. Or just stop by and say hello and tell us where you’re from!

Fill out my online form.
  • Rory Olsen

    Mr. Knight, thank you for your entertaining and informative program.

  • Tzviatko Chiderov

    Wow, what a cool program! Thanks Lee!

  • Nathan Gildart

    Lee, it was fantastic to hear your experience, framed in a set of performances. Moreover, the messages you deliver are genuine, positive, and socially responsible. Very cool indeed! Thank you! I’ll be keeping an eye out for poetry slams in our area.

  • Monique le Conge Ziesenhenne

    Thank you, Lee, for an engaging, thoughtful program. I love to hear storytelling and the poetry is delightful and thought-provoking! I’ll remind our members that libraries often offer storytelling, open mike, and slam poetry contests. They are open to anyone to attend, and are often looking for volunteers or mentors to help out.

  • Steven Shags Shagrin

    A delightful program/presentation by Lee — I enjoyed watching it again even though I was there for the recording session! For those in the SF Bay Area, there are several story swaps and other storytelling events put on by the Storytelling Association of California and the group’s members. Check it out at, and become a member of our Facebook Members & Friends Group for postings by local tellers at

  • Lee, thank you. Love your positive messages

  • BDL

    Lee, thank you for an interesting program.

  • Celine Neal

    Dear Lee, I enjoyed your story and the entire video. Wish it was longer. The way you expressed your self through poetry is amazing. As for the Houston volunteers you people inspire me to do even more through Rotary/Rotaract and lastly the Ms. LOL you are too funny. haha enjoyed the joke

  • Nicole Pham

    Thank you Lee! I really enjoyed your program (:

  • Lee, your stories inspire. Crafting a message as you do takes it beyond information and makes it into an experience for the listener, and experiences are much more powerful for learning. The video about the flooding in Houston was powerful, as well. As a native Texan, it sings to my heart to see people celebrate their abilities to take care of others.

  • Andrew Taw

    Lee, thank you for your presentation and your poetry! It was deeply inspiring to be on the call with you.

  • Keith Marsh

    WOW, I’m usually not a big fan of poetry, but this was awesome. Thanks, Lee.

  • Great session!!! Inspiring heroism around us on the face of tragedy is a strong remainder about hope and the wonderful side of life. There is a fantastic fresh air in the poetry of Lee Knight. Congratulations!!! Where can I find these and other poems so that I can continue enjoying your work?

  • Raquel D. Juncal

    Totally inspiring presentation! Thanks, Lee!

  • Catherine A

    Lee, what an evocative and powerful presentation.
    In Northern California the Youth Speaks Teen Poetry Slam is listed as one of the Top 10 events in the Bay Area every year (, providing a safe place for hundreds of students to share their beliefs, stories and experiences.
    One of my fond memories was hearing Francisco X. Alarcon at the Ft. Mason Firehouse during a Poetry Slam there years ago.
    Thanks for adding your talented voice to those in support of the arts, creativity, poetry and the spoken word.

  • Yvonne Kwan

    Lee — WOW. What a powerful presentation! I grew up writing poetry and participating in my high school’s poetry slams and this took me straight back to those days. I love the rawness of slams and I always get chills whenever I watch one. Thank you for sharing your stories with us through such inspirational words.

  • Lee what a wonderful wordsmith you are! I loved loved loved this presentation

  • Richard Knaggs

    Lee you are incredibly talented, I am in awe.

  • john lozano

    Lee, thank you for your presentation. I enjoyed hearing more about slam poetry. I have heard of students doing competitions but never knew the level of competition. I loved hearing your story. Great presentation!

  • Ferheen Abbasi

    Lee, I am in awe of your presentation. I have always LOVED slam poetry and wished that I knew how to speak like you. Similar to Yvonne, I too wrote poetry as a child and wished I could perform it but never felt confident enough to. But your story is inspiring!! Maybe one day I will try it!

  • Mark Dohn

    Lee, that was simply awesome. Thank you for the huge boost of imagination and creativity that you shared with us. I’ve worked in story and with storytellers. What you have shared and I take away from today is the richness of language and how a story can be brought to such a much more meaningful level with poetry.

  • Steven Shags Shagrin

    I’m here on Monday for the meeting but it’s last week’s program. Still good! Want attendance credit because it’s Monday night and the current week’s meeting is not yet posted.

  • Steven Shags Shagrin

    It’s now Tuesday and still no Current Week’s Meeting has been posted.

    • Meeting is up now! Humble apologies.
      Attendance records have been adjusted to allow for attendance recording up until Tuesday at 2 AM Pacific Time due meetings being posted a bit later.


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Copyright Rotary eClub of Silicon Valley 2015-2017, located in Rotary District 5170 in the sunny Silicon Valley of California, USA. Rotary International club #86428. Inquiries can be sent to [email protected]

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