Solidarity With Charlottesville

-President’s Statement-

All too often those of us North of the border congratulate ourselves that our nation is unblemished by the type of prejudice and racial divide we have recently watched erupting around our neighbours in the United States. Canadians have much to be proud of and much to celebrate, it is true. But we must never become complacent about our responsibilities around equity and inclusion. The legacy of our colonial heritage, and atrocious record with the marginalised, but particularly Indigenous peoples has left us with much work to do.

We stand in solidarity with our global sisters, ever more determined that as members of the Junior League we will resist all forms of oppression committed under the guise of freedom of expression or choice. Our diversity is our strength, and inclusion is the only way forward.

-Hannah Barrington, President, Junior League of Edmonton

“For more than a century, The Junior League has empowered women to lead in a world of ever-evolving needs. Carla Hallman, President of the Junior League of Charlottesville, embodies the importance of women working alongside community partners to ensure a peaceful, just world for all.” -Susan Danish, Executive Director Association of Junior Leagues International, Inc. (AJLI)

Charlottesville- August 14, 2017

This weekend, we witnessed the largest demonstration of hate, bigotry, and violence our community has seen in my lifetime. Saturday’s events led to senseless acts of violence, in which our citizens and first responders were put in immediate danger. These acts of terror left many injured and took the life of activist, Heather D. Heyer. Two Virginia State Police officers, Lt. H. Jay Cullen and trooper-pilot Berke M.M. Bates, also lost their lives while on their way to assist with the unrest in our beautiful city.

Now more than ever, our league’s mission and values come into my mind. We, not only as members of the Junior League of Charlottesville, but members of the Charlottesville community, are here to improve the community through effective action and leadership. We will not only condemn the vitriol experienced this weekend by voice, but in our hearts and actions, and show our community that we are here to provide trained volunteers. Now is the time to be ready to assist in reclaiming the Charlottesville that we know and hold dear. We will and are growing through this challenging experience, and as a community will be stronger than ever.

For 85 years, the JLC has had women invested in this community. It is also not lost on me that 85 years ago, many of our membership, myself included, would have been unable to be members of the Junior League. This is undeniable proof to me that diversity, inclusiveness, and mutual respect can and have grown our league, community, and world into a greater, stronger place. We will reject the ideologies of intolerance and bigotry by continuing to invest in the diverse home we call Charlottesville.

As President of the Junior League of Charlottesville, I want to reaffirm our league’s and the Association of Junior Leagues International’s commitment to diversity and inclusion. We are committed to inclusive environments of diverse individuals, organizations, and communities.

Carla Hallman

President, Junior League of Charlottesville