Black Lives Matter – Today, and Every Day
We at the JLC recognize our role in working to dismantle systemic racism and build an anti-racist multicultural diverse society. We are stronger together when we live our values of diversity, inclusion, equity, community, and respect. To read the JLC’s letter regarding George Floyd and other acts of racism, click here.
We are committed to educating ourselves and our Membership in order to become well-informed allies in the fight against racism. Do you have an idea that you would like to share? Is there something you would like to see on this page? Reach out to our Diversification Leadership, Damaris Aquino, and Colleen Carrillo.
Statement from AJLI
The Association of Junior Leagues International condemns discrimination, racism, and racial injustice in our communities and in our Junior Leagues. Click here to read the rest of AJLI’s statement.
How to Maintain Active Advocacy for Black Lives Matter
The path to justice is long – you will get tired, you will make mistakes. Here are a few ways to keep going.
2) Set up recurring donations for the organizations you want to support. Two options in alignment with the Junior League’s mission of supporting women and children:
- Cradles to Crayons Chicago – Supporting Chicago children in poverty
- Resilience – Empowering Survivors of Sexual Violence
3) Diversify your news feed. If you just started hearing about BLM recently, you may not be following enough voices of color to stay in the loop. Check out this list and hit the follow button on the accounts!
How to Be an Ally
We included this guide from CNN on supporting marginalized communities in real and meaningful ways in our June 1st letter on George Floyd and racial injustice, which is linked above.
AJLI Diversity & Inclusion Resources
AJLI has many useful Diversity and Inclusion resources on their website.
Advocacy’s Role in Combatting Racism
Advocacy is critically important in combatting systemic racism. For examples of advocacy strategies, tools, and tactics to advance racial equity, check out the advocacy tool kit from Racial Equity Tools.
Civil Rights Organizations Call Upon Congress to Act
The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights and 400 other civil rights organizations have called on congressional leadership to swiftly address anti-black racism. Read more about their call to action and opportunities for federal policy change here.
It is never too early to talk to your children about race. This week, we would like to recommend a few books for members with children or who work with children.
- Sulwe, by Lupita N’yongo
- Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History, by Vashti Harrison
- It’s OK to be Different: A Children’s Picture Book About Diversity and Kindness, by Sharon Purtill
What Can We Do?
- Reach out to your friends of color. Read this article to find out why and how. Simply ask, “I’m thinking about you this week with everything going on. How are you coping?” Be prepared to listen. You do not need any further expertise to open this discussion.
- Reach out to your white friends and start a discussion they might never have had before. This might start with, “I’m heartbroken over George Floyd’s death and all the racial injustice coming to light right now. How are you processing it all?” It’s ok to express your feelings about the rioting, but remember to focus on the underlying racial injustice. Have you previously been so keenly attuned to issues of racial injustice? Why or why not? What is it about these most recent events that stir the feelings you have?
- Read a book to understand unconscious bias and understand institutional racism. Here is a good list for where to start.
- Watch a documentary about racism in America. Here is a list of 13 available on Netflix.
- Tell people that the Junior League welcomes ALL women who value our Mission of promoting voluntarism, developing the potential of women, and improving communities through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers. We are a safe place for all women.
- Speak up. Intervene when you see injustice or racism in action, no matter how big or small.
- Know when to be quiet, empathize, learn, and listen. We will be looking for ways to turn this commitment into community action, now and into the future. These conversations can feel uncomfortable. We have to do the work.