//Combatting Islamophobia with the Council on American Islamic Relations

Combatting Islamophobia with the Council on American Islamic Relations

This is the meeting for the week of November 27, 2017 through December 3, 2017

This Meeting at a Glance:
Program: Combatting Islamophobia with the Council on American Islamic Relations
Program Description: This week our speaker shares with us about the ongoing fight against Islamophobia from the perspective of the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR)
Speaker: Zahra Biloo, Executive Director of the San Francisco Chapter of the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR)

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-elect Andrew:

Greetings Members and Guests,
Some of us ate too much. Some of us shopped too much. And now, for many of us, this is the week that transitions us into winter. This is a time that makes me think of hygge, a Danish concept for which the closest, yet still imperfect, English translation would be coziness. It’s the quality of being at home lit by the fireplace while there’s a storm outside or having a slow sip from a steaming cup of tea with old friends far from the bustle of the everyday.
I love that this word is particularly Danish but also a universal experience. It describes a kind of joy that anyone of any background can understand. One thing I was thankful for during Thanksgiving was that I’m a member of this e-Club of world citizens who understand the universality of the human experience, the importance of acceptance, and the value of working together.
This week, our guest speaker talks about ongoing challenges related to Islamophobia and the divisiveness that arises between people of different backgrounds. Please join me in welcoming our guest speaker who’s work, in a way, endeavors to offer a space for people of different backgrounds to sip tea together regardless of, or maybe in spite of, the noise outside.

Andrew Taw, President-elect
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 our club’s Lady of Laughter, Yvonne Kwan:

“Jokes! Happy Cyber Monday! Whether or not you are one of those brave souls scavenging for deals, here are some jokes that will sell you a laugh.

Where does Princess Leia go shopping?
At the Darth Maul.

What does one in a mall do with a cheesy credit card?
Go on a shopping brie.

Where do dogs go when their tails fall off?
The re-tail store.

Weekly Inspiration: Need a Good Password? This 11-Year-Old Will Sell You One

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 Great Big Story about the password generating business of an 11-year old entrepreneur.

We love featuring stories about innovation and entrepreneurship, and this story are both of those combined.
Ever been hacked? Need better passwords? For two dollars, Mira Modi can help you with that.

Need a Good Password? This 11-Year-Old Will Sell You One

New Member Introduction

Members and guests, last week we welcomed Ariana Fishkin to our club as one of our newest Rotarians. This week Ariana shares with us more about herself.

Meet Ariana Fishkin

Thanks for sharing, Ariana!

World of Rotary

The over 1.2 million members of Rotary Clubs around the world form the largest humanitarian service organization, Rotary International. We’re part of this global family. This segment is a tribute to stories and to good deeds Rotary clubs around the world are conducting.

A program created by Rotary scholar Marco Faggella is training engineers around the world to make buildings safer in earthquakes.

This is an excerpt from this story written by Diana Schoberg of The Rotarian Magazine

“We’re in the car, and my traveling companion and local guide Marco Faggella is blasting the stereo. He wants me to hear the music of a friend of his, who has reinterpreted southern Italy’s traditional tarantella rhythms as intoxicating trance tunes. Over dinner the previous evening, Faggella, a member of the Rotary Club of Roma Nord-Est, filled me in on his Top Secret Plan to get his friend to play at the Burning Man art festival. In that conversation, Faggella also educated me on the finer points of Italian mysticism, Magna Graecia, and Pythagoras.

Faggella is full of grand plans: When he launched a film festival in 2009 in the beach town of Maratea in partnership with Rotary District 2100 (in part to show off the Oscar-nominated polio film The Final Inch), he called Francis Ford Coppola, whose grandparents came from the region. Coppola ended up sending a video message.

I’m here to find out more about another of his big ideas, this one in his professional life. Faggella, who was trained through a Rotary scholarship, is a research associate in seismic engineering at Sapienza University of Rome. He looks at how to construct buildings – or retrofit existing ones – so that they don’t tumble down if an earthquake strikes. It’s a passion that makes sense given the earthquake risk in Italy, including in his hometown of Potenza, the city we are visiting at the instep of Italy’s boot. 

Most of the 60,000 people who die in natural disasters every year are killed by a building collapse during an earthquake in a developing country. Instead of going into reaction mode each time an earthquake strikes, Faggella thought, why not educate people to construct safer buildings so that fewer people are injured? 

He looked to his experiences with Rotary to come up with a plan…”

Read the full story by clicking here to take you to Rotary.org

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.

Don’t forget to buy your gift for the Secret Santa Gift Exchange!

Members who joined in this year’s annual Secret Santa gift exchange, this is just a gentle reminder to make sure to purchase your gifts and postmark or deliver the gift by December 8th! That’s coming up soon! And if you are participating and you have not yet updated your wishlist on Elfster.com, please do so so that your Secret Santa knows what to get you!

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 programs@siliconvalleyrotary.com

Members: NAMEBADGES ARE COMING — Seriously! We’re ordering the first batch this week! Please Update your info please!

The Membership Committee is working on ordering new magnetic name badges for each member! We are missing the info for many members!!! These name badges will have your name on it and your profession. Perfect for wearing when you attend any Rotary events or meetings. In order to do this, we need your most updated information. Members, please click here to submit your info.

Past Member Announcements:

  • Active members now have yourname@siliconvalleyrotary.com email forwarders! Your forwarder should be your full first name plus the first initial of your last name. Emails going to your @siliconvalleyrotary.com 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 mittyc@siliconvalleyrotary.com.
  • Members Only Facebook Group: If you haven’t joined our members-only Facebook Group, consider joining! Request an invitation from mitty@siliconvalleyrotary.com
  • 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
158 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)

Friday, December 8 at 6:30 PM at the Hurley Mansion in Santa Clara, California

Members, our annual holiday dinner social will be happening Friday, December 8 from 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM. Past President Rushton has generously offered his home, the Hurley Mansion, as our dinner venue. Enjoy a relaxing evening (no icebreakers, no meeting agenda, no speakers) with just your fellow club members and their guests. All members are welcome to bring their family members, loved ones, and/or guests to this event. The Membership Committee understands that many of you might be coming straight from work – no problem! We’re asking members to RSVP and include what you are bringing in terms of food or beverages. If you can’t bring anything, just let us know and we’ll make sure to buy extra food. (We would encourage you to consider just making an appropriate donation to the club if you can’t bring anything!) If you can bring something, you are definitely invited to do so!

If you are a guest reading this and will be in the Santa Clara area Friday, December 8th, and are interested in joining us for our holiday social, please send Mitty an email at mitty@siliconvalleyrotary.com with a little bit about yourself. Mitty will get in touch with you, and we’ll work out the details! Limited spaces available for the event.

Event Chair: Mitty Chang, Megan Breyer, Maxi Bustos

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 inquiries@siliconvalleyrotary.com

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 Rory Olsen for his generous $15 donation to The Rotary Foundation’s Polio Plus Fund. Rory had this to say:
“Interesting week–had a short interview on local TV. Please apply my gift to Polio Plus.”

Thank you to member Brian Liddicoat for his generous $15 donation. Brian had this to say:
“Just trying to get through the next few days…”

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 TheraBaby for Seniors with Dementia:

Member Maxi Bustos (California, USA) had this to say:
“Welcome to the club Ariana! Joe, thanks for your presentation! Congratulations for your work!
Happy Thanksgiving, I hope those of you in the US enjoyed the holidays. I’m thankful I am finishing a great year, with many positive things happening in my life!

Member Rushton Hurley (California, USA) had this to say:
“Joe, that was an inspiring program – thanks so much for sharing it! And Mitty, I’d say one of the things I’m thankful for is the compelling stories our members connect us to via these programs. Great stuff. I’ll add a picture below, from Thursday’s gather-and-eat session at our house. In addition to pseudo-daughter Kelly and pseudo-older brother Bill, we had good friends from Taiwan joining us, too.

Member Yvonne Kwan (California, USA) had this to say:
Robot Restaurant — so cool! I’ll definitely have to hit that up during the next trip to Japan. Super bummed that I missed the social at Urban Putt! It looks like an awesome place to get together with friends. I’m a terrible mini-golfer, so I’d be a happy cheerleader in a mini-golf competition. Welcome to the club, Ariana! It was great meeting you in person at The Award Leader training! 🙂 Joe, thank you for sharing TheraBaby with us! The work that you have done and continue to do is so important and impactful. I appreciate you sharing your and your mother’s journey with TheraBaby. Happy Thanksgiving to all! I’m thankful for being able to spend time with my family, and I’m thankful that I am almost done with my master’s program and will be an official full-fledged teacher soon. And I know my dog, Kay, is thankful for leftovers.

Member Mitty Chang (California, USA) had this to say:
“I need to visit this robot restaurant in Tokyo! Next time I’m there. Nate, have you been there? Ariana, WELCOME to the family! So glad to have you with us as our newest Rotarian! (Also, Happy Birthday to you, Ariana!) Joe, thank you for sharing your story with our club. I’m amazed by the work you do! I am grateful for the friends that I have made and those who I have kept. I’m grateful for my health. I’m grateful for the connections and the opportunities I have had through Rotary. So many of my goals and my dreams have been realized through this international organization, that it truly leaves me at a loss for words — but full of joy. I’m also grateful to know each and every one of you, the members of this club! I learned when I was an Interactor that when you join forces with people who share the same goal to help others, anything is possible. I’m looking forward to 2018, and another year full of journeys and new goals for us to accomplish together!”

Member Shags Shagrin (California, USA) had this to say:
“Great meeting and fascinating program! Welcome to the Club, Ariana! Looking forward to meeting you at our next local social gathering. Mitty – I do read it all! I’m thankful for this Rotary Club and all that Rotary does worldwide, I’m thankful for loving family, my wife of 35 years as of today (11/20), and especially thankful for living in this part of the world where Thanksgiving means Dungeness crab season! Maybe a Crab Feast as a social?!?


Member Richard Knaggs (South Africa) had this to say:
“Thankful for this life and my two beautiful boys. Robots to deliver water and fight fires in our region. Thank you for your sharing your very special story with us Joe and for the wonderful work you are doing to help those who cannot help themselves.”


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: Combatting Islamophobia with the Council on American Islamic Relations

Every week we bring to you a new program on innovation, education, technology, and humanitarian service. This week our program features Zahra Biloo, the Executive Director of the San Francisco Bay Area chapter of the Council on American Islamic Relations.

Meet Zahra Billoo, a civil rights attorney and also the executive director of the San Francisco Bay Area chapter of the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR). Zahra studied Political Science at Long Beach State University, and later received her Juris Doctor degree from the University of California’s Hastings College of Law.
Zahra has been serving as the Executive Director of the San Francisco Bay Area Chapter of the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) since 2009. Her CAIR office, originally founded in 1994, is the oldest CAIR chapter in the country.
In the course of her work at CAIR, Zahra is frequently seen at mosques and universities facilitating trainings and workshops as a part of CAIR’s grassroots efforts to empower the American Muslim community and build bridges with allies on civil rights issues. She also provides direct legal services for victims of law enforcement targeting and Islamophobia. Her work has been highlighted in local and national media outlets including the Christian Science Monitor, KTVU, MSNBC, NPR, and the San Jose Mercury News.
In this week’s program, she shares with us what she has been seeing with Islamophobia and how to combat it.

Members and guests, please join us in welcoming Zahra!

Combatting Islamophobia featuring Zahra Billoo

What did you think? Let’s hear from you!

Share with us your thoughts in the comments at the bottom of this meeting page! If you have questions for Zahra, 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 12/4/2017 TBA TBA TBA
 Week of 12/11/2017 TBA TBA  TBA
 Week of 12/18/2017 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 https://zoom.us/j/5104080000. 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.
2017-11-27T02:34:53+00:00November 27th, 2017|30 Comments