The 2016 annual Founder’s Day Tea at the Peninsula Chicago was an elegant way to celebrate our Founder Lucy McCormick Blair Linn, and 104 years of the Junior League of Chicago (JLC). The focus of the day was Advocacy, the JLC Council that supports health and wellness, education, and fighting human trafficking.
Nearly 100 JLC members gathered in anticipation of the two keynote speakers. Tea was served, along with scones, towers of delectable treats such as cucumber sandwiches, smoked salmon, merveilleux, and macarons.
Ruth Nelson, President of the Junior League of Chicago, helped introduce the event and the two guest speakers—Beth Waldo, JLC Sustainer and Former Vice President of Advocacy; and Delia Coleman, Vice President, Strategy & Policy at Forefront.
Waldo emphasized the importance of Advocacy and how writing to legislators can help enact change. With over 25,000 hours of volunteer service each year, she said that JLC is an organization uniquely positioned to be heard by legislators.
Coleman stressed that it’s our duty as women to raise issues a male legislator may not consider to the forefront. As women of JLC, she reminded us that even if we’re not traveling to Springfield to provide support at the capital, an email or letter can be just as effective.
“Female voices are necessary,” Coleman said. “The League’s voices are necessary.” She added that all members of JLC can be advocates and often, advocacy means just sending an email or a letter to a legislator. Both speakers underscored the point that our voices do matter, and that all members of JLC should advocate to influence decisions at local, state, and federal levels.
President Nelson added in closing that JLC has always advocated for women and children, and has helped change the lives of thousands, if not millions of people for the better.
By Jeanne Chapin, 2016-17 Topics & Trends staff member