What We’re Thinking (the JL blog)

Dec
18

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 …

Dec
17

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, …

Dec
15

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 – …

Dec
2

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 …

Oct
1

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 …

Oct
1

While there are many great examples of what individual Junior Leagues and SPACs are doing to fight human trafficking, the Junior League of Kalamazoo’s Sara Morley-LaCroix shows how League members can use their training to create community-based organizations to address critical issues.
How did you become involved in the human trafficking issue?
I became aware of the severity of the human trafficking crisis in Michigan through my work as a delegate to the Michigan State Council of Junior Leagues, which represents nine Leagues in Michigan, and its State Public Affairs Committee. MSC has …

Oct
1

The fight against human trafficking has become one that a number of SPACs have adopted as their own. Here, the Junior League of the City of New York’s Lisa Hofflich describes how the New York State Public Affairs Committee got into the game early—and became a player in the action in Albany.
When did NYSPAC get involved in fighting against human trafficking in New York?
We’ve been involved at the state level since 2006, when we strongly urged members of the New York State Assembly and Senate to enact a strong, comprehensive …

Aug
22

This is a fact that many Junior Leagues have embraced over the years with programs that encourage childhood literacy and look to involve parents as well as teachers in the process. Which is why we were delighted to see the recent announcement by the American Academy of Pediatrics asking its 62,000 members to take the time in office visits to tell parents of young children that reading aloud and talking about pictures and words in age-appropriate books can strengthen language skills, literacy development and parent-child relationships. The statistics on the …

Jul
8

You arrive at school to an empty dorm room. And outfitting that room with even the basics – sheets, towels, blankets, pillows and the like – can be very costly (according to the National Retail Federation’s Back to School report in 2012, the average back-to-college family spending was $907).
Enter stage right the Junior League of Bronxville. For the second year, in partnership with Yonkers Partners in Education (YPIE), the League held a successful “Dorm Room Drive” this spring to collect necessities for college-bound graduating high school seniors of neighboring Yonkers, …

Jun
17

Very! For over 35 years, May 18 has been celebrated worldwide as International Museum Day, to raise public awareness about the role of museums in the development of society. But the importance of museums to a community – particularly children’s museums – is nothing new to Junior Leagues.  In fact, Junior Leagues across the U.S. have been key players for decades in the movement to develop hands-on, learning-oriented children’s museums to supplement education in the sciences and arts.
According to League history, the first mention of Junior League members getting involved …