Dear Members and Supporters of the Junior League of Fort Myers,
For us, the events of the past week have once again underscored the severity and violence of racism that our communities experience in the United States and across the world every day.
This has been a tragic week, where we’ve all watched the hurt and anger on display at the death of an unarmed and restrained Black man. And now we see cities across our country have erupt in response to racial injustice.
As Junior League Leaders, we cannot stay silent and sit on the sidelines watching as our community feels the heaviness of grief.
In the midst of the global COVID-19 pandemic, this week has again raised the veil of racial inequities that are pervasive in our cities and in our countries, seeing racial turmoil unfold in our communities is particularly painful and difficult to witness.
As an organization that believes in building better communities and strives for leadership excellence, many of us have asked what we can do.
We as Junior League women strive to be civic leaders in our communities. As such we should hold ourselves accountable for our own racism. We must do the work. We must be willing to be humiliated and vulnerable. We must speak out and we must be visible. We have to know when to be quiet and listen. And equally important, when to speak up.
“…the white moderate, who is more devoted to “order” than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; who constantly says: “I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I cannot agree with your methods of direct action.”
16 April 1963
Martin Luther King, Jr.
Letter from a Birmingham Jail
We must give support to our Black members – and all members of color—neighbors, friends, coworkers, partners…and as an organization be an authentic ally in this fight for justice.
Our commitment to equity and inclusion is as important as ever and we, as the Junior League of Fort Myers, stand by that commitment to our community and to our members.
President of The Junior League of Fort Myers