Rotary Club of Harlem

Welcome to Harlem, N.Y., USA.

Celebrating over 50 Years of “Service Above Self” The Rotary Club of Harlem has a long history of service work in New York and around the world.

Thank you for supporting our COVID-19 Relief Efforts!

Visit our GoFundMe page to learn more.

Our club is normally a very hands-on volunteer type of group, but with the added risks that COVID19 presents we have slowed our in person volunteer efforts. That certainly doesn’t mean we have stopped serving our community. Behind the scenes we have been coordinating relief efforts for our community to ensure the most vulnerable do not get left behind. That means supporting organizations who are working on the front-lines and helping them with resources needed to continue their impact. Since March we have:
  • Partnered with the Rotary Club of Bronxville who donated $5,000 to assist us in emergency response to the Harlem community
  • Received a matching grant of $2,500 from Rotary District 7230 to support emergency relief
  • Raised over $4,500 via online GoFundMe page to purchase food, protective equipment, and sanitary supplies for the Salvation Army Harlem Temple
  • Purchased over $10,000 worth of food supplies for the Salvation Army Harlem Temple to keep their pantry shelves stocked and their daily soup kitchen open
  • Donated 50 Boxes (500+ meals) of Happi Foodi microwaveable Keto meals
  • Donated 200 KN95 masks and 11,000 pairs of gloves and cleaning supplies so Salvation Army volunteers and staff can be safe when feeding the public
  • Partnered with New York State Nurses Association (NYSNA) to deliver 343 meals to Registered Nurses working at Harlem Hospital for Nurses Week
  • Collaborated with One Sandwich at a Time to have 119 sandwiches donated to Salvation Army Harlem for local distribution
  • Delivered an additional 50 meals to Harlem Hospital healthcare workers in collaboration with Chinatown Rotary Club
  • Secured a cargo van on loan from Willdan Electrical to the Salvation Army for six weeks to help expand door to door deliveries to home-bound Harlem residents
  • Awarded District 7230 emergency grant funding to donate $673 to Iris House and $673 to St. Mary’s Episcopal Church
  • Donated and delivered 1,000 books to WestCOP in New Rochelle for students and families to read during quarantine
Watch our Panel Discussion on Gun Violence w/ Rotary Club of Chicago _ Gun Violence in America – 10/1/2020
Watch our Panel Discussion on Community Activism _ Activate Your Community – 9/24/2020
Watch our Panel Discussion on Police Reform _ Behind the Badge: Policing in America _ 8/27/2020
Watch our Panel Discussion on Criminal Justice Reform _ Abuse of Power: A Systemic Injustice _ 7/23/2020

Our club on the front page of the Harlem Community News >>> Check it out here!

RCOH Front Page HCN-

Read about the Second Annual Food for the Soul event where we packed 25, 488 meals!

Civic-Minded Business and Professional Men and Women Working Together To Make Our Community And The World A Better Place To Live, Work, and Study!

Please DONATE – Your help is greatly appreciated!

Donate Now

History of Rotary Club of Harlem   (Formerly the Rotary Club of Upper Manhattan)

The Rotary Club of Upper Manhattan was chartered on November 25, 1966 and formally welcomed on February 23, 1967 on Rotary International’s 62nd birthday with a gala banquet sponsored by the Rotary Club of New York.

Our club is a community based charter member of Rotary International, which is comprised of roughly 1.3 million individual members worldwide. The Rotary Club of Harlem is one of 35,000+ clubs that work together to promote peace, fight disease, provide clean water, sanitation efforts, hygiene, safety of mothers and children, support education and grow local economies.

Many of our founding members were the New York and National leaders of the Civil Rights movement of the 1960’s. Our Club’s members had long fought many battles for civil rights and liberties. In fact, they were instrumental in ending all discrimination including gender discrimination even within Rotary International. This is because even in the 1970’s membership was available only to men. In September 1970, our club decided to seek the removal of all gender restrictions from membership in Rotary International. In 1972, we submitted a legal proposal enactment to change the Constitution and Bylaws of Rotary International to admit women into Rotary. We did so at each Council of Legislation until it passed in 1989. Finally, the Supreme Court ordered Rotary International to permit women to be permitted in the United States. As of July, 1989, women are important members in many Rotary clubs in the world. Hundreds of thousands of women worldwide are now Rotarians.

Our club was founded with the encouragement of David Rockefeller and he invited the Rotary Club of Upper Manhattan to conduct their meetings at the Denmark Room of The International House that was founded by the Rockefeller Family to promote the same goals as Rotary of international understanding and exchange.  The International House is located at 500 Riverside Drive, just opposite of Grant’s Tomb (Riverside Drive and W. 123rd St.) Our club met there until 2009.

At the meetings we plan and develop community and international service projects. Often, we invite an informative and recognized industry or community leader to be our Guest Speaker and to meet with club members. They provide us with first-hand insight on a wide-array of relevant topics such as politics, education, economics, finance, poverty-eradication, health, media, art, music, history, film, etc. The presentation and Q&A period normally lasts about 30 minutes, but our guests usually remain for an informal, extended conversation. We invite all Rotarians, and those interested in joining Rotary, to visit us.

Contact our club directly @ for more information and visit to learn more about Rotary International and our global initiatives.


President – Dean Williams

President-Elect – Marva Wade

Vice President – Yvette Forbes

Secretary – Elloise Bennett

Treasurer – Yvette Forbes

Membership Chair – Ishmael Brown

Foundation Chair – Wayne Charles II