Word from the President

The past year was a time of transition and change for us at the Junior League of Portland. We restructured our organization’s leadership and adjusted our General Membership Meeting schedule, we offered more opportunities to train our members, and we launched new events and partnerships. We are proud of the exciting growth we experienced last year! There were growing pains and new situations to navigate and this is what this year will be; a time of rebuilding the foundations. Last year’s theme of Disrupting Convention served us well and we look forward to harnessing the success of last year and streamlining our internal processes.

Each year, AJLI, our parent organization, provides direction for more than 140,000 volunteers in 291 Leagues with a theme to help guide the work in our respective communities. This theme unites us, yet provides an opportunity for each League to tailor  how to best execute it in their own community. This year, AJLI has seized on a moment in history when events in our lives are impacting us like never before. You have all heard the words: #MeToo, gender equity, pay-gap, diversity, equity, and inclusion and wondered, “how can I help?” Women are hearing the call and taking action in numbers, the likes of which have not been seen for decades. They want to make changes in their lives, in their communities and in the world. They want to stop injustices, and change the ‘old ways of doing things’. They are speaking out about intolerance and wanting to right wrongs. Women of the world want to continue to Disrupt Convention and they are looking for platforms to help them do it. So, what’s next now that we made these disruptions? Well, we are UNSTOPPABLE and we are developing women to be the next generation of civic leaders, making a difference in our communities, our states, our countries and our world.

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 in numbers  to move forward with big ideas. We have amazing women with incomparable skill sets paired with the attitude, energy and drive to accomplish our lofty goals. We’ve made big changes to our League through our Governance and Management Team split, produced the successful first annual Rose City Women’s Summit and expanded Gingerbread Jamboree by partnering with Providence and the Festival of Trees. In addition,we hosted a record breaking Harvest Soiree, expanded JLP CARES, added new community partners to impact the homelessness crisis in our city and reworked our internal Training and Development structure to offer more opportunities to develop our member’s leadership skills. In closing, we feel UNSTOPPABLE.

Kristin Kilshaw
President, Junior League of Portland