It is hard to believe this is my eighth issue with Lagniappe.

Three years ago, during my provisional year, I would have never imagined being a regular contributor to the magazine, let alone the Editor. Back then, I considered writing a personal area of weakness. Instead of resigning myself to a future devoid of literary cultivation, though, I decided to seize every chance to learn and grow as a writer. Junior League of New Orleans (JLNO) gave me one of my first and best opportunities to do so.

This is what I love most about being a member of JLNO; it offers a myriad of ways to challenge yourself. As an organization, the League is never satisfied with simply maintaining the status quo. This year’s final installment of the three-part series on the Bloomin’ Deals Legacy Project (page 16) shows how JLNO is honoring the hard work of sustainers while simultaneously adapting to the shifting priorities of its members. For me, it is an example of how we can all build on our past successes while pushing ourselves to new heights.

With every issue of Lagniappe, I learn about more female luminaries in the League. As a non-traditional, post-baccalaureate student pursuing a career in medicine, I was especially inspired by the “Hope STEMs Eternal” article (page 14), featured as this issue’s cover story. Editing the article about League Day at the Capitol (page 21) introduced me to JLNO members’ laudable efforts to amplify our voices at the state legislature, advocating for equal pay, safe housing and basic dignity for all women. Learning about these impressive and impactful efforts of these women can be intimidating, but I choose to let their stories motivate me. I hope you will, too.

I want every woman in the Greater New Orleans area to know there is a place for you at JLNO to develop as a volunteer, civic-minded citizen and effective leader. Even if you have not yet attained your ultimate goals, the League provides avenues for growth and the ability to make your mark along the way.

I found a home in Lagniappe simply by showing up and consistently demonstrating my enthusiasm for crafting a narrative that articulates all that JLNO has to offer our members and our community. Each article I have the pleasure to write or edit reminds me that this organization is an incredible resource for the women and children of New Orleans and has ever-increasing potential to make our city even stronger.

I am honored to be your incoming Editor and look forward to telling the stories — your stories — that will help us exceed our expectations as individuals and as an organization. These masks may cover our mouths, but they will not stifle our voices.


Sonia Godfrey
2020-2021 Lagniappe Editor