Welcome to the Junior League of Washington!
Welcome to the Junior League of Washington’s (JLW) 110th year! It is with great honor, joy, and excitement that I will serve as your President in a year filled with endless opportunities and growth for our organization.
This year, together, we will Be Bold: Building our League Daily, which is the theme around which we will center our work and impact as we return to a new normal.
At the core of who we are as JLW members, is a steadfast group of women committed to doing good in our communities, while building on the opportunity we have in front of us to grow as leaders, volunteers, parents, siblings, friends, and family.
This year, our challenge to each other will be to step outside our comfort zones and rediscover what it is that brought us to our collective JLW home. After more than two years of a virtual and hybrid world, we will build on the momentum of the last year and remind ourselves of what it is that brings us “JLW Joy.”
I wanted to share a little about what is planned for this year. JLW will center our work around five core areas, building on the progress and groundwork laid by our volunteer leaders.
First, and perhaps most excitingly, JLW’s Board of Directors are planning for a continued back to normal experience. We are going to build on our history and Be BOLD in our course of action to make an impact on our Washington, DC community.
It has been 2.5 years since we ran a “normal” JLW year. With this comes its own challenges and opportunities. It may take us some time to remember how we’ve done things before, however, this also opens opportunities for us to try new things and figure out what makes sense for JLW in our 110th year. This is going to take learning and grace, but with so many enthusiastic sustainers, actives, transfers, and new members, I’m confident we’ll be able to take on this opportunity with the zeal that has made us the premier volunteer women’s organization in the region.
I hope you’ll each join me and our Board Members in attending and supporting as much as you can as we start to return to normal order.
Second, after two years of hard work, examination, and planning, we’ll be operationalizing our new focus area “pathways to opportunity.” Thanks to the leadership and support from our past leaders, this new focus area will allow JLW to expand our reach and impact. We will build on our history with existing community partners by exploring new opportunities for expanded service.
Third, JLW will dive into our new five year strategic plan “Building Bridges for Increased Impact and Connectivity.” Our new strategic plan centers on a roadmap crafted to start this year as we Begin to build (2022-2023), Uncover opportunities (2023-2024), Implement and improve (2024-2025), Lean in and listen (2025-2026), and Develop next strategies (2026 – 2027).
Fourth, I am excited to share that JLW will undertake mission-centered work around Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging (DEIB). Last year’s Board of Directors approved a task force to support a consultative process to examine and ensure our policies, procedures, and the work we do is rooted in an equitable environment that is reflective of who we are, who we serve, and our values. It is essential that JLW continues and strives to foster a community that welcomes and supports all.
Finally, as the year progresses, you will hear more about the announcement made at our last General Membership Meeting in April, regarding the Association of Junior Leagues International’s (AJLI) decision to implement a new Mission. In May, immediate past President Amanda Walke, President-Elect Kimberly Price, and I attended AJLI’s Annual Conference. At the meeting, AJLI voted in favor of a new Mission.
The new Mission of AJLI, and consequently, JLW will read:
The Junior League of Washington is an organization of women whose Mission is to advance women’s leadership for meaningful community impact through volunteer action, collaboration, and training.
JLW’s Board of Directors believes the revised Mission more simply articulates who we are: a trusted volunteer organization dedicated to improving our communities, providing leadership training and opportunities to our members all while making a positive impact in the Washington, DC region.
I assure you that this does not change JLW’s core tenets of service, leadership, and community and will not affect how we operate or are perceived in our community. This year’s Board of Directors will work to implement the new Mission change on our policies, procedures, and governance documents. More information will be shared throughout the year.
I’ll leave you with these closing thoughts:
JLW is a home for us all and has so much to offer. I encourage you to try something new, build on your experiences, and Be BOLD in your thoughts, words, and actions as community volunteers. As we look towards a year where volunteering and social moments become more plentiful, let us honor and recognize that it may take us some time to find our rhythm, but together, we can continue to build our League, while improving our community, and enhancing who we are as leaders and volunteers.
Our impact is a force multiplier. It is what has brought us to 110 years of service and support of the DC community. When we build a legacy, we do not see the fruits of our labor, or the shade of the trees we plant, but we can be confident in knowing that by doing the simplest of things, we provide a foundation that will bring others to our table in perpetuity.
Thank you again for your service, commitment, and membership in the Junior League of Washington. I sincerely hope to see you at our next event as we challenge ourselves to Be BOLD.
Yours in JLW Service,
2022-2023 JLW President