Word from the President

It is my honor and privilege to serve as the Junior League of Portland President for 2017-2018.  I am thrilled that we have such strong involvement from our membership with actives, provisionals and sustainers this year.

As you might have noticed, we have already experienced a lot of change this year- a new website domain, new location for our GMMs, new board structure, a new spring fundraising event, several new committees and new leadership positions.  There are growing pains and new situations to navigate when this much change comes into action.  With all of this change on the horizon, we’re presenting our theme for the year: Disrupting Convention. We’d like to share this video that was played at the AJLI’s Annual Meeting in April that will give you an introduction to this year’s theme.

Disrupting Convention.  Inspiring and Motivating.  But, why now?    AJLI has seized on a moment in history when events in our lives are impacting and calling us like never before.  Women are hearing the call and in numbers, the likes of which have not been seen for decades, are wanting to make changes in their lives, in their communities and in the world at large.  They want to stop injustices, change the ‘old ways of doing things’.  They are speaking out about intolerance and wanting to right wrongs.  Women of the world want to Disrupt Convention and they are looking for platforms to help them do it.  When this video played at AJLI’s annual convention last April the energy in the room was palpable.  Positive, motivating, and inspiring energy from over 600 women who stood and cheered in unison for the message we’ve just seen.  It made my skin tingle. It felt nothing short of amazing.

Still, why now and why in Portland is this the right focus for us this year?   Some of it is for the exact same reasons I mentioned before, but more importantly it’s because now is truly our time. Our League has grown to the right size to move forward with big ideas, we have amazing women with incomparable skill sets and attitude and energy and drive to accomplish our lofty goals.   We are making changes, big changes from the Governance and Management level, to Fundraising through Community and Learning and Development.

So now, we would like to issue a Call to Action.   We are asking each and every one of you in this room tonight to think about how are you going to Disrupt Convention.   Look critically at our League this year and tell us, what are we missing? What do we need to change or work on? And most importantly, what are YOU going to do to fix it?  That’s our Call to Action- What are you going to do this year to Disrupt Convention?

Sarah Burns
President, Junior League of Portland