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Sylvia Whitlock: First Female President of a Rotary Club

December 14, 2023 at 12:00 pm to 1:30 pm

In 1987, Whitlock became president of the Rotary Club of Duarte making her the first woman to hold such a position within Rotary International. The chapter’s charter had previously been revoked in 1978 after they violated Rotary International policy by admitting women. The Duarte club filed suit in the California courts claiming that Rotary Clubs are business establishments subject to regulation under California’s Unruh Civil Rights Act, a law that bans discrimination based on race, gender, religion or ethnic origin. Rotary International appealed the decision to the U.S. Supreme Court. On May 4, 1987, the United States Supreme Court confirmed the Californian decision supporting women, in the case Board of Directors, Rotary International v. Rotary Club of Duarte. After the ruling, Rotary International ended their policy of gender restrictions.


December 14, 2023
12:00 pm to 1:30 pm
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Liberty Station Conference Center
2600 Laning Road
San Diego, CA 92106 United States
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