Our astute President, Kelsey Long, opened this week’s meeting by relating that the person who first experimented with inoculations in the US credited an enslaved African man with telling him about the practice and giving him the idea. Kelsey also stated that she hopes the enhanced conversations about how our country has failed to acknowledge the accomplishments of its black citizens will enable these kinds of stories to reach a broader audience. She then led us into our usual minute of silence in acknowledgment and support of the Black Lives Matter movement, before passing the meeting over to our Toastmaster of the day, Anu Parvathaneni.
Anu chose “service” as her word of the day, and asked all attendees to introduce themselves and to talk about an organization for which they had volunteered or would like to volunteer. (See links at the bottom of this page.) We had 18 people in attendance, including fifteen members, and three guests: Maria Leon, Gary Kahn, and Eric Haase. After quickly going over the meeting roles Anu turned the meeting over to the first speaker, Summer Murphy.
Summer presented a Level 5 talk from the Visionary Communications pathway titled “Lacing Up the Boots.” This was Summer’s second speech about her vision, to help make life easier for people who are marginalized because of their gender identity. In her passionate talk, Summer spoke about how much of the bigotry and alienation suffered by the gender non-conforming community stems from misinformation. Summer plans to work at reducing the spread of misinformation and help to change the public perception of people who do not conform to gender norms. She wrapped up her speech by sharing a short clip from a 20 minute video about Kai Shappley, a 6 year old transgender girl from Texas, and the truths that she and her family face every day. Her evaluator, Angela Marsh, noted that, although Summer was obviously passionate about the subject of her talk, she presented the information in an approachable, non-judgmental way. Angela also commented that the video clip about Kai was very powerful and that she is excited to see someone so actionable on this journey to help change public perception about the transgender community.
The second speaker of the day, Alvin Powell, delivered a talk with a surprising twist as he explored the question, “How well do you know your neighbor?” After asking his audience that question, Alvin went on to tell us about his own neighbor, a nice elderly gentleman named Ellsworth Vines. Having known Ellsworth as a friendly neighbor who walked his dog and talked about his fishing trips, Alvin was shocked to learn, after his neighbor’s passing, that Ellsworth Vines had been an American tennis champion in the 1930’s and had appeared on the cover of Time magazine. Savannah Murphy, who served as Alvin’s evaluator, said she loved the phrase he used that Ellsworth Vines “dressed like Fred Astaire and hit like Babe Ruth.” Savannah also complimented Alvin’s drawing in the audience by starting his talk with a question for us to consider, and providing us with such an interesting story to start off our morning.
Kerstin Haase served as Table Topics Master, and shared some quotes celebrating Black History Month. Kerstin asked respondents to comment on how the quotes spoke to them, and our members talked about putting aside fear in order to do what’s right, and the importance of looking at things from others’ perspectives.
Nereida Sutton served as the General Evaluator, and provided a review of the meeting. Norris Bass was the Timer this week, and reported on times for the prepared speeches, Table Topics responses and speech evaluations. Tim Murphy served as Grammarian, and noted our grammar faux pas and the word of the day usage.
The meeting roles for March and April will be posted soon. If you have availability conflicts for those months, please let your VP Education know by February 20.
The next Sunrise Toastmasters meeting will be at 7 am, February 18 EST on Zoom.
The roles for that meeting are as follows:
Speaker 1: Amelya
Speaker 2: Savannah
Table Topics 2: Greg
Gen. Evaluator: Dave
Speaker Evaluator 1: Tim
Speaker Evaluator 2: Angela
Join us at Sunrise Toastmasters where we give the gift of service to each other by providing a supportive and welcoming place to improve communication and leadership skills.
Here are links to some of the service organizations mentioned at today’s meeting:
Creative Aging Network
Out of the Garden
All Souls Natural Burial
Every Baby Guilford
Red Cross – Mental Health
Guilford Green Foundation & LGBTQ Center
United Way Family Success Center