In 2015, as a result of discussions on how best to update our 1978 Reaching Out Statement to better reflect our changing world, The Junior League adopted the following Diversity and Inclusion Commitment Statement: The Junior League welcomes all women who value our Mission. We are committed to inclusive environments of diverse individuals, organizations and communities.
But adoption of the Commitment Statement was just a first step in our journey towards becoming a truly diverse and inclusive organization. In the years since, we have embarked on a deep examination of what concrete changes we must make in order to continue to work towards that goal.
- How do we ensure that we are collectively living up to our commitment to diversity and inclusion?
- When it comes to D&I, are we as Leagues taking action and creating change that back up our words?
- What changes and culture shifts are necessary for us as an organization to better connect with our communities?
These questions are complex—but at the root of it, we know the answer lies in how we intentionally and authentically become more inclusive of all women who value our Mission. This includes not only how we alter the diverse composition of our membership to reflect the richness of our collective identities, but also how we stimulate and expand an environment where all voices and identities are equally powerful and influential in shaping our shared Junior League future.
This work requires deep examination of our entrenched history, traditions, values and biases—both in The Junior League and in the broader world. It requires personal and organizational reflection on the complicated issues of race, religion, sexual orientation, age, socio-economic status, national origin and how these intersect to shape our responses, both socially and civically, for building better communities.
As an organization, we are not alone in facing these big questions, and as we move through our diversity and inclusion journey, we look to other voices of change who also blaze this trail in the important work of diversity, equity and inclusion. Here are some of our favorites:
We recognize that a major part of our diversity and inclusion journey is personal education and reflection. These are some of our favorite resources that help frame this work:
In November of 2017, we invited others to join us in this important conversation. We assembled an impressive array of internal and external voices to help us explore the landscape of diversity and inclusion today. We invite you to listen in on this conversation and the Annual Review that grew out of it.
Articles of Interest
While we know that there is still much work to be done, we also wish to celebrate our successes by spotlighting outstanding League work on diversity & inclusion: