Prior to COVID-19, the league partnered with Francine Pratt, a former president of Missouri’s Springfield NAACP chapter and a leader of several diversity and inclusion projects throughout the community. She has also provided consultation services for several community organizations specific to increasing cultural consciousness. A plan was developed for JLS including four meetings based on Awareness, Understanding, Change Readiness, and Process for Inclusion. The first meeting to work on awareness was completed. Shortly after, COVID-19 became a reality and JLS suspended all planned activities and meetings for the rest of the league year.
Due to funding limitations and the climate of 2020, the D&I task force pivoted along with the rest of the league when starting the new league year. The task force plans to continue the work with Francine Pratt but has shifted the focus to a more internal capacity for membership growth and development. Grants are being pursued with the intent to restart the very important work of increasing the cultural consciousness of the league as a whole. While the sessions might look a little different for a bit, the goal remains the same.
2019-2020 League Year
JLS members did a deep dive by discussing the bylaws and policies of the league and identifying ways that these might present barriers to some individuals or groups. With the goal of making the league a more inclusive atmosphere, attendees began exploring opportunities to improve these for the future.
2020-2021 League Year
- August 2020: Language Lingo Discussion: JLS Sustainer and Past President Crista Hogan and her husband, Abram McGull, an individual who is Black and a member of Springfield City Council.
- August 2020: Discussion with the Springfield Chief of Police, Paul Williams, to discuss current issues facing the police department and issues surrounding diversity
- December 2020: Understanding Workshop with Francine Pratt. Using the information identified at the Awareness workshop, JLS will determine areas of focus to change internal operations in the Junior League.
- January 2021: Change Readiness Workshop with Francine Pratt- focused on learning about bias and understand more about “racially minoritized people”.
- March 2021: Process for Inclusion Workshop with Francine Pratt – JLS will watch The House You Live In and learn the foundation for implementing the Inclusive Excellence Model.
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