2020 Dec. Mag.
April Lieberman is a rotarian on a mission!
April Lieberman is Rotary District 6760’s Governor for 2020-2021. April is the fourth woman to serve in this role in the 106-year history of her District, which serves 61 Rotary clubs across Middle and West Tennessee. She is one of 535 District Governors leading Rotary International in over 200 countries, representing 1.4 million Rotarians and Rotaractors in over 46,000 clubs.
In discussing her goals, “Rotary’s theme this year is ‘Rotary Opens Opportunities.’ When my class left the Rotary International Assembly in San Diego in late January, we couldn’t have imagined how much the world would change in just a few short weeks. Yet with the unprecedented needs presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, we also have great opportunities for service.”
“I am challenging our Rotarians to find those community needs which are not currently being met, and pull resources together and rally to launch new club service projects. Whether organizing mobile food pantries, sponsoring medical equipment and protective gear, or supporting our frontline healthcare providers, I want our communities to know Rotary is there.”
“My other call to service for 2020-2021 is for Rotarians to be peacebuilders in our communities. It is unacceptable for my friends to live in fear that their children might not come back home at night because they live in Black skin. I want Rotary to do what it does best and pull together community leaders to discuss these issues of racial injustice and help forge solutions.”
“We talk about race, but usually only with our close friends or family, who probably look a lot like us. We rarely talk about race across racial lines. For the most part, we worship separately—there are Black churches and White churches. We socialize separately. We might live in different neighborhoods. We talk about each other, but we seldom talk to each other.”
“Rotarians can play a unique role. In Rotary, we welcome members of every race, gender, ability, sexual orientation, and religion. We bring together community leaders of every background, creed, and ideology, putting our energies into championing those issues on which we can agree, one of which is Peacebuilding and Conflict Resolution. But peace isn’t just something that is needed in warzones overseas. I am challenging our members to be peacebuilders right here in our own town squares.”
“We Rotarians live by the ideal of the Four-Way Test of the things we think, say, and do–valuing truth, fairness, and building goodwill and better friendships for the benefit of all. It is our charge to ensure that we treat all with basic fairness, not just in our actions as individuals, but collectively as a society. This is not a matter of politics; it is a matter of basic human rights.”
“We cannot have peace until we have equal justice for all. But to address the problem, we must admit the underlying truth—that Black Americans for too long have been systematically discriminated against and brutalized by our institutions. It is time for us White Americans to stand with our Black friends and neighbors and say, ‘We’re not going to have this anymore.’”
“Anyone who feels that we all deserve fair treatment should come on over and join us in Rotary and be part of the solution. Anyone who feels helpless watching the devastating effects of this pandemic in the media, come join in the relief efforts in your community, or start your own Rotary club to serve those most in need. We are People of Action, and we welcome you.”
April Lieberman is a Yale Law graduate and former appellate attorney. She served as a federal judicial law clerk to the Honorable Rosemary Barkett of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit and was admitted to practice before the District of Connecticut, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second and Eleventh Circuits, and the U.S. Supreme Court.
April played Division I college basketball at Austin Peay State University. She graduated summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Vanderbilt University in 1991 with an A.B. degree in Philosophy.
She discovered her passion for service after joining Rotary in 2013, serving as Club President, Assistant Governor, Newsletter Editor, Public Image Coordinator, and now District Governor. She supports the work of The Rotary Foundation as a multilevel Paul Harris Fellow, member of the Paul Harris Society and the Bequest Society.
District 6760 honored April as Rotarian of the Year in 2018-2019 for launching #ItsTimeRI, an international campaign advocating for women to lead in all levels of Rotary International. She is incredibly proud that Jennifer Jones of Canada, recently selected as RI President for 2022-2023, will be the first woman to lead Rotary International in its 115-year history.
April’s older daughter Tennessee is a Middle Eastern Studies major at Tel Aviv University in Israel. Her younger daughter, Willie D, is studying European History at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. April spends her free time renovating her 1850s Gothic Revival home, which happens to be Northwest Tennessee’s most infamous haunted house.