Official Newsletter of the Salem Rotary Club

This week at Rotary... 



Kenann McKenzie-DeFranza

This week's speaker at Rotary was Kenann McKenzie-DeFranza, current president of the North Shore Branch of the NAACP. Dr. McKenzie-DeFranza is a native of Georgetown Guyana, having immigrated to the United States at the age of 7. She has recently joined Gordon College’s School of Education as the Director of Academic Innovation and Strategic Partnerships and will also serve as an Associate Professor of Practice. Dr. McKenzie-DeFranza founded the Aspiring Spirit, LLC which includes a podcast and motivational speaking on professional development topics. 

In addition to being a spouse and parent - in her civic life, she is serves as a board member for her church Anchor Bay Church in Beverly MA, is a Rotarian, serves on several non-profit boards, is an elected public official on the Beverly Massachusetts School Committee and serves as President of the North Shore Branch of the NAACP ‘23-’25. 

Dr. McKenzie-DeFranza began her speech with her own background. Her son Ian unfortunately passed away thirteen years ago and serves as her inspiration for everything she does. His face is even the cover of her podcast. She has a deep love for children. SHe recalls growing up with a "free range" parenting model where she was able to move around pretty freely. Years later, she moved to Brooklyn and was raised very differently at that time and still longs for that childhood freedom. She remembers being in sixth grade and feeling different from everyone else. She entered public school that year and it was her first encounter with the concept of race. Her teacher at the time noticed that young Kenann was interested in reading and the teacher became a huge advocate of Kenann's. Therein began her interest in bringing children together and giving them a sense of belonging. 

Dr. McKenzie-DeFranza went into her son Ian's experiences with race as a young child, recalling how her son saw a book that depicted the death of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King while Ian was in kindergarten. She want to find a better way of connecting with children like her sixth grade teacher had done for her. This led to Kenann becoming much involved in the school and became a critical part of her thought process as a professional, as well as a mother. This started the process that ended with Dr. McKenzie-DeFranza becoming the current president of the North Shore Branch of the NAACP. The organization reaches all areas of the North Shore and is building an interracial coalition of people seeking to promote racial healing and justice. The NAACP is structured to do its work through its many field units. The organization has many focuses on the national level including Race and Justice, Educational Innovation, Environmental and Climate Justice, Inclusive Economy, Health and Well-Being, Next Generation Leadership, and Advocacy and Litigation. The North Shore Branch has its own focuses as well, which include Early Childhood Education (an obvious passion of Dr. McKenzie-DeFranza), Housing, Health Care, and History. Recently the North Shore Branch created a Martin Luther King Day of Service event, organized a Salem Murals Tour, Coat Drive, and worked in Ipswich in renaming a park after a formerly enslaved individual. 

There was also a Board of Directors meeting prior to the regular Salem Rotary meeting and some committees reported to the club in general. Funds Allocation approved donations to the New Liberty School, Friends Forever, Citizen's Inn, and North Shore Children's Museum. The DEI/Membership Committee has been busy getting applications out to several new potential members. Stay tuned for news about your newest Salem Rotarians!
The Scholarship Committee has the application website up and running. Send potential applicants to this website!
Wine and scratch tickets should be brought next week. 

RYLA 2024 Applications are now live!

We are excited to share applications for RYLA can be found on this year’s Linktree page: This year, we are excited for the first time to join forces with District 7950 and their students and are welcoming up to five students from every town, until spots fill up.So be sure to have students apply soon!
As you begin to share applications with students, we are ready to visit any interested clubs, to share the new video and a little more about RYLA. Please email Christina Harris, or call her at 978.270.6706.  Thank you again for your support of the RYLA program!


WHEN: 2 evenings, February 27 + 29, 6:00 - 9:00 pm
WHERE: From the comfort of your own home!
WHO: For any Rotarians who want to learn more about Rotary’s structure, programs, leadership styles, fundraising, and service opportunities. It is not necessary to be on a club leadership track to participate.
COST: $25 for the combined 2 nights
NEW FLYER:Download this PDF to print & hand out to club members
REGISTER NOW AT and then on the left side click on More Info under the heading "RLI NEA Seminar - Dist 7930-Wakefield, MA-Virtual; February 27th 2024"
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Visiting Rotarians & Guests

Gary Stirgwolt visited us once again. 

Calendar Winner!

Derek Arnold sold by Bill Henning

50:50 Raffle

Pot $1265
Jen Close and Liz Bradt played. No winners this week!


  • Jason Consalvo and family got a stomach bug while on vacation up north. Wash yo hands!


Salem Rotary Annual Auction
Wednesday, March 20 at 6 PM
Hawthorne Hotel
Details and sponsorship packages coming soon!
Upcoming Speakers
Feb 27, 2024
Speaker: Dr. Kenaan McKenzie DiFranza - The Aspiring Spirit
Mar 05, 2024
Legislative Luncheon Series 1: Senator Joan Lovely (jointly w. Salem Chamber of Commerce)
Mar 19, 2024
Site Visit: Salem High School CTE Black Cat Cafe Visit
View entire list
Member Birthdays
Adria Duijvesteijn
February 9
Jason Lang
February 10
Jeffery Shribman
February 19
Board of Directors
President Elect
Vice President
Immediate Past President
Public Image Chair
Service Chair
Club Information
Tuesdays at 12:15 PM
Hawthorne Hotel
18 Washington Square
Salem, MA 01970
United States of America
NOTE: The fourth Tuesday of the month is an evening meeting, beginning at 5:15. If you are interested in learning more about Salem Rotary, please email
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