What We’re Thinking (the JL blog)


We can’t find statistics on the number of girls who don’t go to their high school proms every year because they can’t afford a prom dress and the shoes and accessories needed to put on a good show on the big night out. But we all know it’s more than a few.
With prom season 2015 nearly over, we wanted to take this opportunity to give a shout out to all of the Junior Leagues that have prom-related initiatives. While we know there are many other non-League programs out there – …


There are a lot of days, weeks and months dedicated to worthy causes that call out for our support – both emotional and financial. To pick just a few, in May alone there is (in addition to Mother’s Day!) International Missing Children’s Day, National Women’s Health Week and National Safety Month. All great causes.
But here’s one that catches our attention every May: National Teen Self-Esteem Month, which provides a necessary focus on an issue that many Junior Leagues have adopted as their own, particularly as it affects girls and young …


First question: Do you know whose face is on the $20 bill? (Answer: Andrew Jackson)
Second question: Should we put a woman on the $20 bill? (Answer: Yes! It’s about time!)
In case you haven’t heard, an advocacy group aptly called Women on 20s is pushing hard to put the face of an outstanding American woman on the 20 bill by the year 2020 (the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment).
And you can vote on a slate of 15 candidates, ranging from Rosa Parks to Margaret Sanger to Eleanor …


Maybe you already know this, but March is National Nutrition Month. And that’s a good thing!
It’s no secret that developed countries are faced with soaring obesity rates, particularly for children but also adults. Type 2 diabetes affects more than 27 million Americans. And poor dietary habits are a critical factor in the onset of cardiac disease. None of this is the result of lack of food; it’s the result of, well, bad nutrition.
In fact, according to the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition, typical American diets exceed the recommended …


In fact, a recent national survey of young people on mentoring relationships called The Mentoring Effect found that young people who are mentored experience significant positive life outcomes related to academics, community involvement and leadership, and career development. (They also are more likely to volunteer within their communities than those who weren’t mentored.)
This month marks the 14th annual observation of National Mentoring Month. But it didn’t take a Presidential Proclamation for Junior Leagues to recognize the importance of mentoring in enriching the lives of both children and women in their …


Representing 17 member Leagues across the state and acting on behalf of their nearly 10,000 members, the Junior Leagues of California State Public Affairs Committee advocates for policies that improve the lives of California women, children and families, including initiatives against human trafficking.
Why did CalSPAC become involved in the fight against human trafficking?
Because the data was simply too hard to ignore: California is one of the top four states in the nation for trafficking of human beings and harbors three of the FBI’s highest child sex trafficking areas in the …


Across the country, 23.5 million Americans—including 6.5 million children—live in underserved communities that do not have affordable access to healthy foods. Among these are communities located in Greater Philadelphia, one of the areas with the highest food insecurity in the United States The Junior League of Philadelphia is addressing the issue in innovative, hands-on ways.
How did you become involved in addressing food insecurity in Philadelphia?
Our League conducted research and discovered the sad statistic that one in three Philadelphia-area children lives in poverty, and his/her parents are unable to meet basic, …


In one of the poorest neighborhoods in one of the poorest cities in the U.S., the Junior League of Hartford tackled food insecurity head on through an ambitious initiative to “reinvent” the basic food pantry while also targeting the underlying issues of poverty that create the need for emergency food.
Why did you become involved in this issue of food access?
Hunger is a significant problem in the Greater Hartford area – one that affects 128,000 people in our community. Chronic hunger exacerbates many of the social problems in our area – …


November 25th was International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women.
Missed it? Maybe that’s not surprising. A Google search on the name results in only 312,000 hits, a relatively small number in our always-online world. (Searching the keywords “Kim Kardashian,” in contrast, yields up 21.4 million hits!)
This UN-sponsored event started in 1999 as a way to organize activities designed to raise public awareness of the problem globally. And it’s a huge problem; according to the UN, 35% of women and girls experience some form of physical and or sexual …


The Junior League of Tampa made a big impression on the Tampa Bay community this year with an aggressive, multi-media awareness campaign called AbolishMovement.com with the theme Abolish Child Sex Slavery. Here’s what Lee Lowry, former JLT President and recent gubernatorial appointee to the newly created Statewide Council on Human Trafficking, thinks other Leagues can do to make their human trafficking initiatives powerful and, in the process, raise their own community awareness and impact.
How did JLT become involved in the human trafficking fight?
The ball really started rolling three years …