01 Jun An Important Message from the JLT Board and AJLI Board
For us, the events of the past week have once again underscored the severity and violence of racism that our communities experience in the United States and across the world every day.
This has been a tragic week, where we’ve all watched the hurt and anger on display at the death of an unarmed and restrained Black man. And now we see cities across our country have erupt in response to racial injustice.
As Junior League Leaders, we cannot stay silent and sit on the sidelines watching as our community feels the heaviness of grief.
In the midst of the global COVID-19 pandemic, this week has again raised the veil of racial inequities that are pervasive in our cities and in our countries, seeing racial turmoil unfold in our communities is particularly painful and difficult to witness.
As an organization that believes in building better communities and strives for leadership excellence, many of us have asked what we can do.
We as Junior League women strive to be civic leaders in our communities. As such we should hold ourselves accountable for our own racism. We must do the work. We must be willing to be humiliated and vulnerable. We must speak out and we must be visible. We have to know when to be quiet and listen. And equally important, when to speak up.
“…the white moderate, who is more devoted to “order” than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; who constantly says: “I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I cannot agree with your methods of direct action.”
16 April 1963
Martin Luther King, Jr.
Letter from a Birmingham Jail
We must give support to all members of color—neighbors, friends, coworkers, partners…and as an organization be an authentic ally in this fight for justice.
Our commitment to equity and inclusion is as important as ever.
For suggestions, comments or feedback on how the Junior League of Tacoma can advocate for social justice, please contact me anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Junior League of Tacoma Board of Directors
We face a defining moment. The devastating effects of structural and systemic racism and health inequities have been laid bare and left at our feet. We cannot and should not look away.
Our members and their communities are heartbroken, and we are with them.
For the past 120 years Junior League women have been community builders, and at no other time in our history has it been more critical for us to be fully present.
We will remember their names – George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Atatiana Jefferson, Michael Brown, Freddie Gray, and devastatingly too many more. And we will keep count as the number of deaths for individuals of color from COVID-19 continues to rise at a disproportionate rate.
We will also build, learn, grow and stand shoulder-to-shoulder with our brothers and sisters in the shared quest for real and meaningful positive community change. We will be grounded in an authentic and abiding commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion and guided by our shared values of respect, service and leadership.
We are catalysts for lasting community change and at no other time in our history is that more desperately needed.
We welcome all who stand with us.
The Association of Junior Leagues International Board of Directors