Diversity & Inclusion

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.

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:

JL Award for Diversity and Inclusion

The JL Award for Diversity and Inclusion recognizes Junior Leagues that have developed truly innovative strategies and practices toward fulfillment of The Junior League's commitment to diversity and inclusion. This award honors Leagues that have taken meaningful strides toward building diversity and promoting inclusion within the League and, through those efforts, improved the League. 
  • Junior League of Jackson (JLJ)

    2018 JL Awards: Diversity and Inclusion Winner

    Junior League of Jackson

    This year’s JL Award for Diversity and Inclusion goes to the Junior League of Jackson (JLJ) for their Diversity and Inclusion Program.

    Find out more about this year's recipient >

  • 2018 JL Awards: Diversity and Inclusion Honorable Mention

    Junior League of Lufkin

    The 2018 Honorable Mention in Diversity & Inclusion goes to the Junior League of Lufkin's Diversity and Inclusion Campaign.

    Find out more about this year's honorable mention >

  • Junior League of Wichita

    2017 JL Awards: Diversity and Inclusion Winner

    Junior League of Wichita

    This year’s JL Award for Diversity and Inclusion goes to the Junior League of Wichita (JLW) for their Diversity and Inclusion Committee.

    Find out more about this year's recipient >

  • Junior League San Diego

    2017 JL Awards: Diversity and Inclusion Honorable Mention

    Junior League of San Diego

    What is the connection between member diversity and member satisfaction? For the Junior League of San Diego there was no quick answer.

    Find out more about this year's honorable mention >

Voices of Change

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:

The Racial Equity Institute

Undoing Racism workshop by The People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond

Anti Racist Alliance

Cook Ross: Partnering with the world's most influential organizations to create inclusive leadership & cultures.

BoardSource on Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity

National Diversity Council

Trailblazers

Developing leaders in our midst is inherent to the mission. Meet some of these Junior League trailblazers who have pushed for progress.

  • Tamara Ashford

    Junior League of Northern Virginia

    First Black woman judge appointed to US Tax Court (2014)

  • Monique Bahadur

    Junior League of London

    First Black President

    1998-99

  • Mitzi Ambrose-Washington

    Junior League of Bronxville

    First Black President
    2016-17
  • Deborah Brittain

    Junior League of Greater Princeton

    First Black President of Junior League of N. VA, 1992-93; First Black President of AJLI, 2000-02

  • Mitzi Cole

    Junior League of Montgomery, AL

    First Black President
    2018-19
  • Krystal Clark

    Junior League of Nashville

    First Black President
    2017-18
  • Monika Brinkley Davis

    Junior League of Richmond

    First Black President
    2014-15
  • Kim Evans

    Junior League of Little Rock

    First Black President
    2003-04
  • Annette Harris

    Junior League of San Francisco

    First Black President

    2000-01

  • Carla Hallman

    Junior League of Charlottesville

    First Black President
    2017-19
  • Lisa Haynes-Scott

    Junior League of Fresno

    First Black President
    2011-12
  • Leria Lowe Jordan

    Junior League of Birmingham, AL

    First Black Member
    1986
  • Melissa Jackson

    Junior League of Savannah

    First Black President
    2017-18
  • Camille Kesler

    Junior League of Atlanta

    First Black President
    2012-13
  • Gena Lovett

    Junior League of The City of New York

    First Black President
    2008-09
  • Cylia Lowe

    Junior League of Baltimore

    First Black President
    2015-16
  • Thelma Lovette Morris

    Thelma Lovette Morris

    Junior League of Pittsburgh

    First Black President
    1990-91

  • Enjoli Joy Reed

    Junior League of Moore County

    First Black President
    2017-18
  • Kathy Sawyer

    Junior League of Montgomery, AL

    First Black Member
    1980's
  • Diane Scott

    Junior League of Pasadena

    First Black President
    1990-91
  • Charlotte Seals

    Junior League of Jackson, MS

    First Black President
    2015-16
  • Erica Stiff-Coopwood

    Junior League of Memphis

    First Black President
    2018-20
  • Karen Thompson

    Junior League of Tuscaloosa

    First Black President
    2018-2019
  • Kathy Fletcher Victorian

    Junior League Baton Rouge, LA

    First Black President
    2016-17
  • Tycely Williams

    Tycely Williams

    Junior League of Washington D.C.

    First Black President
    2018-19

  • Harriet Yocum

    Harriet Yocum

    Junior League of Sioux Falls

    First Black President
    2015-2016

League Spotlights

  • Junior League of Baton Rouge

    POWER OF AN OPEN MIND DIVERSITY SUMMIT

    Junior League of Baton Rouge

    The Junior League of Baton Rouge hosts the "Power of An Open Mind" diversity summit to bring the Baton Rouge community together to promote positive and progressive conversations on the issues that divide us. They hope to enlighten citizens to the fact that we are more alike than different and all it takes is an open mind to bring about unity and change.

    Read more about the summit >

  • Junior League of Battle Creek

    Junior League Women of Color Affinity Group

    Junior League of Battle Creek

    Tiffany Blackman started the Women of Color Affinity Group. The mission of the Junior League Women of Color affinity group is to create an opportunity for historically underrepresented women of the Junior League to connect and build capacity. We aim to enhance member experience and offer strength in our shared experiences. Our goal is to empower women by offering member support and leadership opportunities. The activities of the group will enhance ongoing efforts within Junior League to develop the potential of a diverse group of women leaders in our communities. Woman of color is defined as any group of women historically underrepresented in Junior League and typically includes, but is not limited to, women of African, Asian, Latino/Hispanic, Middle-Eastern, Native American or Pacific Island descent.
  • Junior League of Boston

    FROM DIVERSITY & INCLUSION TO BELONGING: DISCOVERING BIAS WITH MALIA LAZU

    Junior League of Boston

    Malia Lazu of The Urban Labs presented a three-session training on moving from diversity and inclusion to belonging to help the Junior League of Boston understand bias and explore belonging to create authentic diversity. In the first session, the League worked through the definition of bias and introduced concepts of diversity and inclusion belonging to begin to answer the question, “What does change for the Junior League look like?”

    Read more about the work of the League's Diversity Task Force and their ongoing member training sessions >

  • Junior League of Buffalo

    Community Discussions

    Junior League of Buffalo

    The Junior League of Buffalo hosts Community Discussions such as “Women in Policy,” which included elected officials and transit authority representatives, in partnership with a local college and civic organization.

    Read more about their Community Discussions >

  • Junior League of Lufkin

    Diversity and Inclusion Campaign

    Junior League of Lufkin

    Becoming more and more diverse is a natural process in many communities, although sometimes the organizations that serve them don’t diversify at the same pace.

    Read more about their award-winning Diversity and Inclusion Campaign >

  • Junior Leagues Los Angeles

    Civic Leadership Forum

    Junior League Los Angeles

    Annually hosts a Civic Leadership Forum to bring members of the community together to focus on an issue impacting Los Angeles.

    Learn more about their Civic Leadership Forum >

  • Junior League Memphis

    Social Justice Affinity Group (SJAG)

    Junior League of Memphis

    The Junior League of Memphis' social justice affinity group (SJAG) is working to equip Junior League of Memphis members with the skills to attack the root causes of social injustices in Memphis, as well as provide social opportunities for members interested in social justice initiatives.  In partnership with the JLM's Diversity and Inclusion Task Force, the group offered a training to JLM members about poverty and economic inequalities in Memphis, presented by Dr. Elena Delavega of the University of Memphis. The training about poverty and economic inequalities in Memphis' is one of several trainings that we plan to offer to our members.
  • Junior League Wichita

    Participant in Advance Kansas

    Junior League of Wichita

    The Junior League of Wichita sends a representative annually to Advance Kansas, a forum that brings together people who are already leaders from across the community to create and strengthen relationships and acquire skills for addressing diversity challenges and opportunities.