Statement on diversity, equity, and inclusion from the NYJL Board of Directors

We recognize the heartbreaking and devastating effects of racism and inequity that are playing out in our City and country. For the past 120 years, New York Junior League (NYJL) volunteers have been community builders. At no other time in our history has this been more critical. We stand together with our NYC community, and in particular with the Black community, against exclusion, bias, structural and systemic racism and prejudice in all forms. Together, we find power and joy in working collaboratively to ensure that the Junior League of the City of New York is a place of ethical stance and substance, a place in which all members cultivate personal integrity in service to the collective values of respect and trust. The brutal events of the last several days have reinforced the importance of this, now more than ever. We will remember the names George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and so many others who have lost their lives to violence or who have been threatened as a result of structural and systemic racism.

In 1901, Mary Harriman and 80 other women broke barriers by actively going out into the community and improving the social conditions of New York City.  Today we face a defining moment, when we need to ensure our current NYJL culture is connected to the reality of our NYC community, and ensure that we continue to be catalysts for lasting, positive community change.

The NYJL Board of Directors and Management Council will continue to support and drive diversity, equity, and inclusion for the New York Junior League.  We are grounded in an authentic and abiding commitment to inclusive environments of diverse individuals, organizations, and communities.  This commitment stems from a fundamental belief that truly diverse and inclusive organizations have a greater propensity for innovation, for attracting and retaining incredible members and for stronger relationships with the communities where we serve and are accountable to.

We understand this is a commitment that requires ongoing action. We welcome all women who value our mission and are guided by our shared values of respect, service and leadership, and recognize the need to expand leadership development opportunities to more diverse populations of women, ensuring a dynamic membership that reflects the city in which we live and serve.  We are investing in ongoing diversity, equity and inclusion training, and we will continue to look for ways to meaningfully advocate shoulder-to-shoulder with our community and advocacy partners on behalf of pressing issues in our community.

We are proud of the work that has come before us and want to make a difference today by focusing on how we will plan to stand together to move the needle on these critically important issues.