As many as 300 leaders of nearly 200 independent Junior Leagues will come together for the conference, which will also celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Junior League of Detroit.
As AJLI Executive Director Susan Danish noted, while the conference is primarily designed to provide leadership training and skills for the leaders of individual Leagues, what is going on currently in the host city will provide a fruitful backdrop for discussion.
“One hundred years ago, the automotive industry in Detroit was growing. Detroit was booming as opportunities for jobs grew,” she said. “Times have changed and one can read in an abundance of articles about the complex issues facing Detroit today. As an organization, The Junior League and its members have weathered wars, serious economic downturns and dramatic social changes. I look forward to discussing with our member-leaders how we, as volunteers committed to creating civic capital and lasting community impact, can help to create change in Detroit and in our other cities, large and small, that are facing serious social issues affecting women and children.”
In its 100-year history, the Junior League of Detroit has been committed to making their city a better place to live, continually providing trained volunteers and financial support to projects and programs that help local residents. Their efforts included developing an occupational therapy program for injured service members during World War I, establishing a dropout prevention program that deployed 5,000 community volunteers in and outside classrooms by 1966, and setting up an emergency shelter for children at risk from parental abuse in the 1970s. What Junior League members in Detroit have accomplished reflects the achievements of AJLI and other Leagues across the decades. For example:
· 1960s: The Junior League of Toledo helped mobilize a still-young environmental movement by addressing the chemical pollution fouling the Maumee River, a key tributary of Lake Erie, by producing an award-winning documentary entitled “Fate of a River: Apathy or Action.”
· 1980s: The Junior League of Los Angeles daringly endeavored to dispel fear and misinformation about the AIDS virus in the mid-1980s by setting up a hotline and establishing a speakers’ bureau. It operated with six other Leagues to set up similar projects.
· 1980s: Junior Leagues played a significant role in the passage of the Family Violence Prevention and Services Act, the first federal legislation to address domestic violence in the 1980s. Today, numerous Junior Leagues continue to work in substantive ways to educate the public about the problem and to prevent violence against women and their dependent children.
· 1990s: The Association of Junior Leagues International initiated an international public awareness campaign in 1991 entitled “Don’t Wait to Vaccinate” to stem the alarming increase in preventable childhood diseases.
· 2000s: A nine-year campaign by the Junior League of Mexico City to raise awareness for the importance of recycling resulted in a national law mandating the sorting and separation of recyclables prior to garbage collection.
About The Association of Junior Leagues International, Inc.
Founded in 1901 by New Yorker and social activism pioneer, Mary Harriman, the Junior Leagues are charitable nonprofit organizations of women, developed as civic leaders, creating demonstrable community impact.
Today, The Association of Junior Leagues International, Inc. (http://www.ajli.org/
Tracy Van Buskirk
Main: (212) 537-5177 Ext. 8
Mobile: (203) 246-6165