Dear Members of Junior League of Orange County, CA:
This is not the letter we wanted you to be reading as we embark on a new League year, and, it’s not a letter we are comfortable writing. Yet, we know, even amidst our discomfort, how important it is to take a step forward in doing what we believe is right at this time.
This past week has been a tragic one that underscores the severity of racism that persists in communities throughout the United States and the world. There is a heaviness throughout our community, and as a result, cities across our country have erupted in response to racial injustice – including peaceful protests and violent demonstrations taking place here in Long Beach, and Orange and Los Angeles Counties.
As an organization of strong, diverse women committed to building better communities, we must recognize issues of racism and human rights and strive to combat them. As leaders in our community, it is critical that we speak out against racism, educate ourselves and others, engage in difficult conversations, connect and learn from one another and continue to be the catalysts for lasting change.
JLOCC is here to support our members who are grappling with anger, fear, disappointment and uncertainty as a result of these realities. JLOCC is here to support you and asks that you support your fellow member. Please take a moment to check on a fellow member, ask her if she’s ok, what she’s feeling and what she may need. A simple act of kindness can make all the difference – you don’t need to have any answers, listening is a start.
Finally, JLOCC’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion is part of the 2020-2024 strategic plan as well as the 2020-2021 annual plan and is as important as ever. As we forge ahead, together, our Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Task Force will work to provide members with resources and opportunities to engage in discussion and learn from one another. Despite how uncomfortable some of us may feel, there is still a place for each of us in this work. It will not be easy and we will not have all the answers; however, we will allow JLOCC’s values of diversity, community, respect and service to guide us because we are committed to building bridges to support the healing and growth of our members and the community we serve. If you would like to share ideas and input, please reach out to the Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Task Force at DEI@jlocc.org.
We are stronger together, and we are better together.
2020-2021 Past President
JLOCC Diversity, Equity Task Force