Empire House Urban Palate; October 16, 2018; 6:16pm
Present: Veronica Musa, Maxie Gluckman, Don Fipps, Janet Mikelson, David Ballesteros, Emma Espana Aguirre, Maurilio Jose Melendez, Carmen Diaz, Natalia Diaz, Marian Pavlovich, Scot Sargeant, Claudia Torres, Amy Schrift (online), Courtney (online)
Meeting began with quick introductions. A special welcome to our guests- local from the Del Mar Rotary Club and also online- Courtney, all the way from Melbourne, Australia.
Causes we care about segment followed the introductions. Maxie mentioned the U-touch fundraising event she attended to help children in Uganda. Marian shared the Breakfast for Heroes American Cross event she attended. Veronica shared the Women Peacemaking Program at USD. Maurilio expressed his involvement and potential collaboration as a club with the oncological pediatric ward at the General Hospital de Tijuana.
Special Presentation: Embracing the Gift of Empathy by Peace Scholar: Veronica Musa
Veronica, from Argentina is a first time comer to San Diego, California. It was also her first time presenting at a Rotary Club. Veronica is not only a peace scholar, but a mother, lawyer, translator, and activist. She grew up in northern Argentina close to the Bolivian border, and the last area colonized by the Spanish. In 1985 she dreamed of becoming a lawyer given all of the turmoil in her country. She left her home and migrated to Rosario to study law at the National University of Rosario. The law degree was not an easy one to attain, lots of competition. When she completed her degree at the top of her class it was nearly impossible to find a job given the economic crisis. Eventually, she secured a legal job with an insurance company. It was during this time that she had to make many calls a day to distressed citizens to claim money back from them to the government. She said that she felt uncomfortable in having these conversations with people that did not have the means to pay and developed a strong sense of empathy. After five months she was fired and her supervisor belittled her saying that she had no role to play in a legal career.
Ten years later she landed a job in Florida, US, protecting agricultural workers from abuse. In 2014 she was awarded a Presidential medal for her efforts alongside a group of other lawyers guided by a retired judge. The judge which ended up being her mentor praised her for her work and noted that she was one of the best attorneys she had worked with.
Throughout her journey empathy kept developing and she considers it revolutionary. Empathy is in all of us as Rotarians and it pushes us to continue to put service above self. She lives by this and hopes to continue her work as a human rights lawyer, reaching her dream of working to protect Syrian refugees at the International Court of Justice.
Following Veronica’s presentation, Maxie announced the Peace Leadership at USD. Emma and Maurilio were appointed as peace chairs for our club.
Maxie also explained our events program for the year. Moving forward at each meeting events will be presented. One person from the board will make it to one of these events and they will be the main point of contact for other members interested in attending that event.
October 20th-Carlsbad Fundraiser 12pm-4pm Chili cook off, awareness of Rotary to general public, rubber ducky contest, k-9 dogs for kids,and local breweries participating
October 26th SD Breakfast Club, Father Joes Village feeding the homeless volunteer event 10am-1pm
December 15th- Volunteer at Oncological ward Hospital General de Tijuana (Maurilio)
For a full list please contact: Claudia Torres
- November 13th- Carie de Anda, MANA presentation @ Empire House
- December 11th- A night to remember Prom @ Carmen’s Home