New York, April 20, 2015 – Public policy, women’s issues and diversity were key topics at the 93rd Annual Conference of The Association of Junior Leagues International held April 16-18 in Los Angeles. The event, which brought Junior League members from among 292 independent Leagues in four countries, coincided with the 90th anniversary of the Junior League of Los Angeles, which was the host-League.
The conference’s keynote speaker was Geena Davis, who spoke on a topic she knows well – how women and girls are portrayed (or ignored) in popular media. Ms. Davis is an Academy Award-winner and founder of the research-based Geena Davis Institute on Gender in the Media and its programming arm, See Jane. The Geena Davis Institute engages film and television creators to dramatically increase the percentage of female characters—and reduce gender stereotyping—in media made for children 11 and under.
For the first time, the 93rd Annual Conference featured The Next Chapter: AJLI’s Past Governance Reunion, a program designed to inspire, inform and motivate former leaders of the Association in the next phase of their journey and self-actualization. Addressing the challenges of leadership were some of today’s thought leaders in business, the arts, technology, philanthropy, media and entertainment, politics and pop culture, including:
- One Kings Lane founder Susan Feldman;
- Former First Lady of California and self-described career volunteer, Gayle Wilson;
- Media entrepreneur and author Mallika Chopra;
- Innovation strategist and author Lisa Kay Solomon; and
- Children’s advocate and policymaker Deborah Taylor Tate.
AJLI also announced two new major corporate partnerships.
First, Colgate-Palmolive is expanding its corporate partnership with the Association by sponsoring the Colgate Bright Smiles, Bright Futures Community Impact Award for three years, starting in 2015. This will allow AJLI to recognize two Junior Leagues each year. The Colgate Bright Smiles, Bright Futures® program, which provides free dental screenings and oral health education to children through a fleet of mobile dental vans that travel to under-served rural and urban communities across the U.S., is already working with a number of Junior Leagues across the Association.
Second, the Lincoln Motor Company will support AJLI through a multi-component partnership that provides valuable financial support for Association programs while, at the same time, providing funding opportunities for the Leagues hosting Annual Conference in Los Angeles and, later this year, Fall Leadership in New Orleans. A special feature will be member test drives of the Lincoln MKZ midsize premium sedan (gas and hybrid), Lincoln MKC small premium utility and Lincoln Navigator full-size SUV. For each test drive conducted, Lincoln will donate $25 to the local Junior League.
“This is an exciting time for The Junior League,” said AJLI President Ellen Rose, a member of the New York Junior League. “Never before has women’s leadership been so widely valued in our society; at the same time, the need for effective, hands-on leadership at the community level continues to grow. For 114 years, The Junior League has been the source of leadership training for women determined to be the agents of change in their communities. Now, more than ever, women are turning to The League because they find their commitment to creating lasting community impact through voluntarism is aligned with other League members.”
About The Association of Junior Leagues International
Founded in 1901 by New Yorker and social activism pioneer, Mary Harriman, the Junior Leagues are charitable nonprofit organizations of women, developed as civic leaders, creating demonstrable community impact.
Today, The Association of Junior Leagues International (AJLI) is comprised of more than 150,000 women in 292 Junior Leagues throughout Canada, Mexico, the United Kingdom and the United States. Together, they constitute one of the largest, most effective volunteer organizations in the world.
Tracy Van Buskirk
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