It is easy to be overwhelmed by all that has happened since the turn of the new League year. We watched states ease and then reinstate restrictions as the COVID-19 pandemic seemed to wane and then wax again. We tentatively attempted to re-engage in our previous routines only to retreat when New Orleans experienced a resurgence of positive cases. Meanwhile, the city was engulfed in protests after the murders of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd. The pandemic and the world-wide uprisings in defense of Black lives have intersected in ways that encourage us to reflect on the deep inequities endemic in society and how we, as Junior League of New Orleans (JLNO) members, can begin to address them.
In this issue, “Paving Pathways” and “Women Leading” highlight the strides JLNO has made toward diversity, equity and inclusion, as well as the long road we have to tread to make these ideals a reality. Our organization is still often perceived to be the domain of an exclusive few despite the change in our membership’s demographic — a perception I hope we will continue to challenge.
This issue also showcases opportunities the League has to share its tremendous resources for the good of the entire community. The networking that takes place at events such as the Nonprofit Partner Fair offers women inside and outside the organization a chance to learn about each other’s lives and professions in order to better support one another in efforts to build the best Greater New Orleans possible. The feature on the Diaper Bank demonstrates the League’s capacity to offer services to mothers and children, whose needs have only grown in the midst of the pandemic. It is our connections, whether in-person or remote, that allow us to serve one another.
Please keep this framework in mind as you peruse these stories. Consider how the League is rising to meet the demands of this moment and what more we can do together. I know that our next issue will bear even more evidence of our collective efforts.