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Presidential Initiatives 2023-2024



Initiatives Overview

Rotary International President R. Gordon R. McInally wants Rotary to exist everywhere in a style that suits everyone who has the desire to work with us to do good. During this year, he'll focus on three presidential initiatives that Create Hope in the World: prioritizing mental health, building peace through virtual exchanges, and empowering girls.


Prioritizing mental health

Gordon encourages Rotary members to make mental health a priority. Rotary has a unique ability to connect people and cultures, giving hope and receiving it through acts of kindness. Now is the time to expand this culture of care — both within Rotary and in the world at large.

Providing care in such a way benefits not only the communities we live in and work with, but also our members as they take part in addressing mental health. Research shows that performing acts of kindness is the most effective way to protect our own sense of well-being and become more resilient.


Rotary can create the kind of world we want to live in: one where we all feel supported as part of a community and where we help expand access to quality care. Members can do this by:

  • Erasing the stigma associated with caring about emotional well-being

  • Raising awareness about mental health needs

  • Working to improve access to mental health services

Everyone in Rotary has a role in this effort. Members can help each other prioritize self-care in the ways that are most meaningful. Clubs can make sure they offer welcoming environments where everyone who interacts with us is treated with care, respect, and dignity. We can talk openly about mental health, let people know they're not alone, and encourage them to get professional help if necessary. And we can work with community and national leaders to create or expand access to quality preventive care and interventions for mental health.


Resources for education and support

Review the Prioritizing Mental Health brochure to learn more about this initiative and find ideas for how your club or district can support activities that encourage mental well-being.

The Rotary Action Group on Mental Health Initiatives is a global community of Rotary members and friends with expertise in or a deep commitment to helping people improve their mental health.

Other action groups specialize in related topics, such as addiction prevention. Review the list of Rotary Action Groups and contact them directly for guidance with your service initiatives.

Consult your district resource network, led by the district international service chair, to connect with local professionals who have expertise in mental health. You can also consider applying for a Rotary Foundation district or global grant to support your efforts.

Browse the Mental Health Initiatives campaign through Rotary Showcase to find out how other clubs and districts are identifying and addressing mental health priorities in their communities. Share your own efforts to destigmatize mental health issues and erase misperceptions about these issues.

Rotary International would love to know about your club experiences with the mental health initiative. Tell us your stories.


Peacebuilding through virtual exchanges

Rotary has a long history of working for peace through personal connections, but the COVID-19 pandemic made it difficult to do that face to face. Inspired by what we learned from that time, Gordon encourages districts to incorporate virtual components into more of their programs, events, and activities. By using innovative technologies to make connections, we give more people the opportunity to experience our global community.

Adding or maintaining these components in Rotary Youth Exchanges, Rotary Friendship Exchanges, and other programs will:

  • Give members and participants new ways to experience other cultures, make new friends, and broaden their global awareness

  • Make participation more accessible to people with time, health, or financial considerations

  • Build stronger intercultural communication and understanding, and ultimately foster more stable and peaceful communities

Resources for clubs and districts

Learn more about virtual exchanges:

Empowering girls

Gordon continues the initiative launched by Past RI President Shekhar Mehta and carried on by Past RI President Jennifer Jones that focuses on elevating the voices and unlocking the power of girls and women around the world. He encourages members to keep finding ways to improve girls' health, well-being, education, economic security, and self-determination. Empowered girls become empowered women who can change the world. Share your activities for this initiative on Rotary Showcase.


Resources for clubs and districts

Learn more about empowering girls:

More resources

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