Welcome to the Junior League of Washington!
Welcome to the 108th year of the Junior League of Washington. Normally, at the start of a new Junior League year, the president shares a hopeful message with the community about the good works planned for the upcoming year. This year, the moment feels quite different, as Washington is the midst of a pandemic, and then,our city was at the heart of protests as our year began. As we grapple with the realities of racism, violence, and injustice in our country, and community, there is great fear about what is to come, and what role we will play in building a better Washington – a mission that could not be more worthy than at this moment in time.
The Junior League of Washington is committed to asking ourselves hard questions about our work, and how we serve. How might we disrupt the cycles of racism that may be perpetuated in our work? Are we willing to learn about and address our own biases? How willing are we to speak out? The answers to these questions are not easy, but our membership is determined to do what is right and work towards equality in all that we do.
Junior League members are leaders, called to action to better the community and themselves. In the course of our history, our volunteers have faced many challenges. This time, the challenges we face will test our leadership, our health, and our humanity. Even in the face of crisis, our mission remains unchanged. The work we have committed to do will go on, though it may look and feel a bit different.
For the past 20 years, the JLW has devoted much of its volunteer and financial resources toward combating illiteracy in the region. This year, we are assessing our work and the current landscape to determine if JLW is best addressing current community needs. Responsiveness to the community and serving in meaningful ways is critical to JLW members and part of our mission.
The pandemic has laid bare the wide disparities in our community and has created an even more urgent situation for the most vulnerable among us. In response, the JLW created a Community Assistance Fund to provide direct support to nonprofits in the region who are serving vulnerable populations. Learn more about the fund here.
Each year, the JLW President selects a theme that will guide our work throughout the year. I am excited to announce the theme, which I hope, is reflective of this time:
GIVE. GAIN. GROW.
GIVE your time, talent, and treasure
GAIN experience, purpose, and community
GROW your leadership through the league’s impact
This year, we will set on an intentional course to embrace our culture of philanthropy, service, and action. The true value of Junior League membership is that our work is a force multiplier for community impact. Throughout the years, thousands of JLW women have come before us and improved our community by giving of themselves, growing as leaders, and taking the skills and purpose they’ve gained to effect real change as community organizers, board members, elected officials, business owners, civil servants, and neighbors. The contributions of each member supports those efforts. Each gift, each shift, each moment of sharing about our mission advances our impact. This year, we will do the same, though much of the work will be virtual as we learn to navigate this new normal of volunteer service during a pandemic.
As we serve this year, navigating uncharted waters, JLW will work for the greater good with persistence, compassion, flexibility, and grace.
Yours in service,
Jessica Taylor White
2020-21 JLW President
Junior League of Washington