Rotary Club of Northfield, Minnesota  |  Thursday, June 3, 2021


Join Our Thursday Zoom Meeting
Find it here.
Meeting ID: 836 2096 1395
Passcode: 164383
Here is the timeline for our regular Zoom calls. On some days there will be slight variations, but not for coming on to the call.  
11:30 -11:45 — Zoom Managers log in and get set up.
11:45 - Noon — Club Members and Guests are invited to join and go into a break out room for casual conversations.
12:10 — ALL Zoom callers are invited back together to begin the meeting. Generally, the meeting will begin with an Invocation, the 4-Way Test, introduction of guests and then introduction of our speaker. Speaker and Questions/ Discussion.
12:40 — (approximate) Birthdays, Announcements, Happy News and more.
1:00 — Meeting is dismissed until next week.
     Rahmah Abdulai
Rahmah Abdulai, High School Senior and 2021 Recipient of the Northfield Human Rights Award. Rahmah will be talking about navigating her high school career as an outspoken Black student--raising attention to topics such as race, socio-economic, and misogynoir issues, as well as speaking on the personal aspect of these topics. Hosted by Matt Hillmann.


Rotarians Around the Globe..

Charlie Kyte-32, 6.1.89; Michael Jordan-2, 6.1.19; Robert Bierman-23, 6.4.98.


Our Rotary Climate Action Team (RCAT) is dedicated to making climate change a strategic priority and to raising awareness, providing education and encouraging individuals and businesses to act in the interest of our planet. 
Our Climate Action Statement - Read our climate action statement here.
For additional information about our club’s Rotary Climate Action Team chair, Alan Anderson, at 507-371-4673 or


Thanks to last week's Cogwheel Reporter, Meredith Galdeen.


Our speakers Ellen Kennedy, Tika Khachatryan, Priscilla Hagerman, Abby Banks-Hehenberger, and Jacob Simpson. 

Debra Miller, a first time guest.


We tested the “hybrid” meeting today! Thank you to our technology task force for all your work to help us expand our meeting options! Don’t forget that starting June 3rd, you can attend our meetings in-person at the United Methodist Church, or you can continue to join us on Zoom.

Meredith shared a GMAIL TIP: If you are a Gmail user and your Cogwheel email is going to your Promotions or Social tab (but you don't want it to), you can click and drag the to your Primary tab. When you do that, you'll get a pop-up asking you if you want all future emails from that sender (Rick Esse via ClubRunner) to be directed to the Primary tab. If you click yes on that pop-up, it should send all future Cogwheels to your Primary tab.

Penny Hillemann - 1. United Way has recently completed its grant allocation process and despite a worry about needing to cut in this area - they were able to give even more than last year! 2. Penny is moving to a new position after her 4 years with United Way. She’s headed to Laura Baker. 3. Kathy Thatcher the Associate Director at United Way passed away May 26th after a battle with cancer.

June 17 - Join us for a social at Estenson’s barn at 4:30pm. Please RSVP so we know what kind of burrito to order for you! (No noon meeting.)

Please make your gift to the CAC to support Hillcrest to take advantage of matching funds through May 31.


Carl Caskey's great granddaughter was born May 26. 

Jean Wakely's daughter celebrated her 35th birthday - she and Jean had a great lunch and afternoon gardening.



     Ellen Kennedy
May 27 — Ellen Kennedy, Ph.D. and students. We are in the midst of an epidemic – an epidemic of violence and discrimination against women, and it has gotten worse during the pandemic. Every nine seconds, a woman in the US is assaulted or beaten. There are 5.3 million incidents of intimate partner violence each year.
This program raises awareness about the situation facing women and girls globally, nationally, and in Northfield, and presents opportunities to take action.
Sponsored by World Without Genocide at Mitchell Hamline School of Law. Speakers include Executive Director Dr. Ellen Kennedy and students Abby Banks (Carleton College), Priscilla Hagerman (University of Minnesota), and Tika Khachatryan (St. Olaf College).

Our speakers were Ellen Kennedy, Tika Khachatryan, Priscilla Hagerman, and Abby Banks-Hehenberger, with technology support provided by Jacob Simpson. Ellen is the founder and executive director of World Without Genocide, a human rights organization located at Mitchell Hamline School of Law in St. Paul, Minnesota, where she is also an adjunct professor of law. Ellen is also an active member of Rotary and currently chairs the Rotary Peace Fellows program for District 5950. Abby is a sophomore at Carleton, Priscilla is a junior at the University of Minnesota, and Tika is a senior at St. Olaf. 

The topic of the presentation was the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women or CEDAW.

In 1948, the United Nations passed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, co-authored by Eleanor Roosevelt. It affirms the rights that every person in the world should have, simply because of being human, but there was no corresponding statement about women’s rights. CEDAW, passed by the United Nations in 1979, is known as the Women’s Bill of Rights, and was the first document ever to focus on eliminating injustices faced by women all over the world. CEDAW provides countries with a framework of what they should do to end discrimination against women. 

Both historically and currently women in the United States have faced many forms of discrimination, some even upheld by the courts. Some current challenges in the US include women’s safety, economic equality, and political representation. Ellen and her students shared the statistics for the US and Minnesota around violence toward women, wage inequality, and the representation of women in national and state legislatures.

CEDAW aims to eliminate all forms of discrimination against women. CEDAW has three core principles.

  • Substantive Equality - women are equal to men in all areas.

  • Non-Discriminatin - women should not face discrimination

  • State (National) Obligation - nations have an obligation to support women’s equality

CEDAW is made up of 6 parts. Part I is an overview of the areas where women experience discrimination in the policitcal, social, economic and cultural spheres. Nations are urged to take steps to eliminate discrimination in these areas. Part II advocates for equality in political and public spheres; the right to vote, participate in government, and acquire, change or retain nationality. Part III addresses equality in education, employment, and health with special attention to the needs of rural women. Part IV includes civil matters, such as contracts, rights of residence, the right to enter or dissolve a marriage, and the right to freely choose a spouse. Part V provides for an international committee to evaluate nations’ progress on implementing CEDAW. Part VI specifies how a nation can participate in signing the convention.

Only 6 countries on the planet that have not ratified CEDAW - Sudan, Somalia, Iran, Palau, Tonga, and the United States. 

In the US, the process for any United Nations convention, resolution or treaty is that the President signs it, sends it to the Senate Foregin Relations Committee, where it requires a majority vote, and then it is moved to the Senate for a vote where it requires 67 Yes votes to be ratified. In 1980, Carter signed CEDAW. In both 1994 and 2002, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee approved CEDAW with bipartisan support. In 2010 and 2011, hearings were held that related to CEDAW, but the US has still not adopted CEDAW. Obstacles to ratification in the US include:

  • US exceptionalism - the belief that we are superior in human rights

  • No ‘Proxmire for CEDAW’ - William Proxmire (Senator representing WI from 1957-1989) advocated every day that the Senate was in session for the for 19 YEARS - until the Senate ratified the UN Genocide Convention. It was finally ratified in the US 40 years after being passed by the UN

  • Misunderstanding or myths about CEDAW - that the ratification would give international community to much power in the US, that discrimination is too broadly defined in CEDAW, that it will destroy traditional family structure by redefining roles of men and women, and that it encourages abortion by promoting access to family planning

The passage of CEDAW in nations around the world can be linked to direct impacts in the rights of women. 

Minnesota has shown support for CEDAW. Including the ratification of CEDAW by 6 cities - Minneapolis, St. Paul, Duluth, Edina, Red wing, and Richfield - by the MN State Bar Association, and the MN Nurses Association. Nationally there are 43 cities for CEDAW and more than 200 organizations. 

Let’s have Northfield join Cities for CEDAW in 2021! Our speakers encouraged each of us to ask our city council representatives to vote yes when CEDAW comes before the Northfield City Council at the June 15th meeting. CEDAW is also on the agenda for the Northfield Human Rights Commission on June 10th. 

A special thanks to Abby, who initiated bringing this issue to Northfield and to our Rotary meeting today! Way to go Abby! 

The entire May 27th meeting can be viewed here.


     Matt Hillmann
June 10 Northfield Public Schools Superintendent of Schools Matt Hillmann will share reflections on the 2020-21 school year and forecast how public education will change as a result.
June 17 Northfield Rotary Club Picnic, 4:30-7:00 p.m. (no lunch meeting).
WHERE: Rick Estenson’s at 10541 Ibson Avenue, Northfield.
WHO: Club members and spouse or significant other.
CATERER: Kahlo’s (see Survey Monkey for meal selections)
PLUS: Beverages that you choose to bring.
June 24 Our President Vicki Dilley will be passing the baton to President Elect, Todd Thompson. Some reminiscing, some fun and anticipation of another great year will be the conversation between these two friends. Todd's presidential year will begin on July 1st ... certain to be a fun time! Special guest, Nicole Theberath, NHS '21, winner of the 2021 Rotary Scholarship will read her essay on the 4 Way Test. We look forward to her joining us along with her family.

Vicki's Vision

   Vicki Dilley, President

Dear Rotarians,
Back together again, at last! 
I don't know about you, but I am REALLY excited about seeing you in person tomorrow! I do hope that you can be there.  
We sent the lunch order to Maria already, she is actually going to serve us (we don't serve ourselves, for now) a hot lunch tomorrow. Any leftovers will be bagged up for our friends at The KEY. I am hoping this is some extra for those of you who may have not filled in the survey.  
John, Todd, Brad, Brent and Bruce have been working hard to get the right equipment to oversee a hybrid meeting ... a pleasant experience for those on zoom and us in the room. I think Todd has made at least three trips to the electronic store on 494.  
Lunch will be ready for you just before noon, the meeting will start at 12:15.  
Richard DeBeau will be greeting those of you coming to the meeting via zoom and I will be greeting you in the room. We see this hybrid model being what we do long into the future ... this allows for distance speakers, bad weather, whatever might come up.
Todd and I are also looking to the new Rotary year, which begins on July 1st, when he takes over as your President.  Each president does things differently and brings in new ideas, which only enhances the club and its members.  
Please don't forget to register for the June 17th social. We appreciate getting your order in advance so that we have enough food. We will order a few extra meals in case you find you can come at the last minute.  I have ordered a perfect weather evening, bug free. This will be a night to celebrate all that we have gone through in the last 15 months or so. We made it, we are all still here, we know so much more and we appreciate what we have so much more deeply.
I look forward to seeing you soon!  

Statement of Purpose: Northfield Rotary Club is dedicated to promoting peace and understanding through service and shared experience. We invite people from all corners of the community to join us as we partner with others to support youth, build sustainable infrastructure and preserve our planet.