Recent events in the United States, as well as the continued threat of violence and intimidation to undermine our democratic process has required us to mobilize our collective voice. We value the diverse identities and perspectives of our Membership, it is a cornerstone of our affiliation culture, but to not speak up would dishonor the courageous women who started our organization. Following is the External Statement on Civic Responsibility that the Board of Directors unanimously approved after receiving Junior League input:
On Jan. 6, 2021, Junior League Members around the world witnessed what was irreconcilable with our values: a direct and violent insurrection at the U.S. Capitol and on the pillars of American civic leadership. We unequivocally condemn: acts that undermine fundamental democratic ideals and the rule of law; racism, antisemitism, and hate; and the unequal application of justice.
We affirm our civic responsibilities and believe:
In debate, not destruction;
In voting, not violence;
In the diversity of races, not racism;
In freedom of religion, not religious persecution; and
In inclusion and belonging, not division and discord.
Together, we will advance equity and accountability and work to dismantle systemic racism and religious hatred. The Junior League supports the peaceful transition of power and is committed to work with all who share our values of respect, collaboration and civil discourse.
A fundamental part of the work to become a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive organization is to look internally and acknowledge that the issues highlighted in the statement also exist within our organization, and not just something that’s happening around us. The Junior League is a microcosm of our larger society. We must hold each other accountable and uphold our collective responsibility to be truly better together. While this process is not always easy or without conflict, that is why it matters.
WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE: THE NEXT STEPS
We understand that the work to embed diversity, equity and inclusion into every facet of The Association will take commitment way beyond a statement or resource. AJLI CEO Patsy Doerr, in partnership with the AJLI Board, is leading the way through the development and implementation of a long-term strategy, which will utilize feedback from stakeholders across the Association. Learn more about the DEI Action Plan HERE.