District 5190 Ethics Vision

Integrity and ethical leadership is an important part of the Rotary Club experience in District 5190. Universal ethical values, the 4-Way Test, and the discussion of ethical leadership are infused into all the District 5190 New Generations and Rotary Club programs. Individual Clubs and Rotarians take the lead in promoting integrity by presenting Ethical Leadership as a signature program for outreach to our communities

Documents For Clubs

Below are links to documents for District 5190 Rotary Clubs.
Promoting a Rotary Club Ethics Program (DOC) (PDF)
Rotary Club Ethics Chair (DOC) (PDF)


Living The Four-Way Test - The Rotary Ethical Leadership Framework for Youth - Under the direction of Paul Netzel, an Ethics Task Force was created in Zone 25/26. Chaired by Roy Massey, the Task Force sought to effectively integrate Rotary Values (The 4-Way Test and Service Above Self) and other ethical values and character from the Josephson Institute (6 Pillars of Character - Trustworthiness, Respect, Responsibility, Fairness, Caring, and Citizenship) into RYLA, Interact, and the Rotary Club. District 5190 is one of 12 pilot districts. Interviews and on-line surveys were conducted which showed a disparity of values and actions.

Ethics is a part of Rotary's DNA. Character and ethics are valuable and essential elements that must be considered in this pilot project. The 4-way test was not seen by many to be an integral part of RYLA or Interact experience. They were not applied with the greatest vigor - there was a lack of uniformity and consistency in promoting youth character development, the role of ethics in developing leadership skills, and integrating the 4-way test into the programs. It was determined that there was/is untapped potential to enhance the RYLA and Interact experience regarding character and ethics.

Training modules were developed by the Josephson Institute with the input derived from task force members. The manual was designed to provide tools to help districts implement these principals more consistently and with renewed vigor to emphasize and enhance our youth leadership efforts. It has 10 program modules sections for RYLA, strategies for Interact Clubs as well as other resources to help implement the programs.


RYLA has been gearing up with an increased focus on ethical leadership bringing Service Above Self and the 4-way test to RYLA. RYLA Co-Directors and Program Directors worked to more fully integrate modules from the manual into the RYLA curriculum. This was not without its challenges to integrate more program materials in an already full week of activities. This began several years ago in concert with the pilot project. They've learned some lessons and have plans to continue to fine-tune and integrate annually the RYLA Camps. One of the keys to implementing the program will be continued training, monitoring and assessment. This can help determine what works, what doesn't, and help this program continue to evolve.
As a result of this study, District 5190 initiated a pilot program of its own - bringing ethical leadership to the eighth grade level. It was noted that our RYLA Camp provides Ethical Leadership training to incoming seniors. They become enthusiastic, motivated and they GET to share their leadership skills and new-found knowledge the following year of high school and into college. There seemed a void in the middle school leadership training and those coming into high school. The Reno/Sparks area clubs partnered with local middle schools to put on an abbreviated program using the RYLA program directors, assisted by district staff, and using RYLArians as counselors for the middle students. The Josephson modules were used as a basis for the curriculum.

This program has been an extreme success with additional eighth grade leadership camps expanding in Area 4 & 5 and now a residential camp for areas that are not large enough or close enough to implement the program locally. District 5190 ROCKS in "getting to" provide these programs to our future leaders.
Ethics modules have been presented at the district Interact conference and annual District 5190 conference break-out sessions for youth. Our district conferences highlight and focus our youth programs promoting ethical leadership. Strategies to implement the Ethics Initiative in Interact clubs has been discussed. The District Interact Chairs have been and will continue to be included in the training.

Interact is more of a challenge as the program time is shorter and continuity as seniors graduate and freshman come into the club. We will work with the New Generations Chair and District Interact Chairs to develop strategies to mitigate the issues. This might be 8-10 minute segments that can be done once per month, bringing speakers in or supporting projects or programs that promote ethical leadership at their school.
RYE - Rotary Youth Exchange
The focus for the Josephson materials developed for youth were geared primarily for RYLA and secondly for Interact. RYE provides different challenges of facing ethical dilemmas of outbound students travelling to other countries where customs are different. The same applies to those inbound students. We provided an overview of the Ethics Initiative in its formation stages. Different approaches need to be developed to best address situations more relative to the experiences and expectations of the RYE student.
Yes - Ethics is not just for youth! Rotaractors are young adults, emerging Rotarian leaders. They are very much interested in rolling out the Ethics Initiative within their clubs. Ethics is being promoted at the club level as part of Vocational Services and emphasized as part of the district-wide goals. District goals include 1) Providing a copy of the 4-Way Test and the Declaration of Rotarians in Business and Professions to all new and current members, bring the new Ethics Initiative to the club level, and each club sponsors an Ethics project in their community and/or school (including Scout programs). Ethics, as part of Vocational Services, continues to be promoted by the RI President.
We have updated the district Ethics vision. We will be implementing a district-wide Ethics committee to develop as strategic plan and support individuals and clubs. At the club level we are promoting a focus on promoting the 4-way test and Ethical Leadership within their club and community. We will participate on the board for the Ethics Initiative for Rotary Clubs and Members to provide resources to our clubs and members. We will continue to work on training our members, our leaders, and our youth.

The district Ethics web pages will continue to be updated to better support clubs and provide resources and ethics project samples at .

As quoted by Michael Josephson, "Today Rotary International has an unprecedented opportunity to challenge, and duty to assure that all its programs and activities are so visibly infused with this ethics DNA that it becomes the planet's most powerful force for honesty, integrity, compassion, services, and individual and social responsibility." Our district has been dynamic in taking a lead to roll out ethics and will continue their efforts into the future