The Junior League, one of the oldest, largest, and most effective women’s volunteer organizations in the world, was founded in 1901. Eleven years later, The Junior League of Chicago was founded to involve young women in the industrial and social issues of the city, research ways to effectively address those issues, and to bring about positive change. Now, more than a century later, The Junior League of Chicago (JLC) continues to empower women to lead.
The JLC exists to promote voluntarism, develop the potential of women, and improve the community through effective action and leadership of trained volunteers. Each year, members of the JLC donate more than 125,000 volunteer hours to community agencies and programs that support women and children in the Chicagoland area. In addition, the JLC raises thousands of dollars each year to fund 12 community projects. For more than a century, the JLC has diligently worked to empower at-risk families - especially women and girls - around our signature issues: Meeting Essential Needs, Violence Prevention & Awareness, and Literacy.
All funds raised during the Little Black Dress Initiative (LBDI) campaign will be used to put trained volunteers into areas of need in the Chicagoland area. While funds will benefit many elements of the JLC’s work, the focus of the LBDI campaign is to raise awareness of our work around violence prevention, one of our signature issues. Specifically, we’ll focus on combatting human trafficking through our Freeing Individuals from Human Trafficking (FIHT) project.
FIHT was formed to support the fight against Human Trafficking in Chicagoland, a significant area of need given proximity to an international airport and well-connected highway system. The FIHT committee works with organizations across the city to support the community effort against human trafficking. FIHT has organized community drives and manned hotlines, and continues to explore opportunities for getting our members involved. Additionally, awareness and education on the issue continue to be a significant focus for the JLC.
Thank you to our Donors!
Founded in 2014 by the Junior League of London, the Little Black Dress Initiative (LBDI) is a week-long awareness and fundraising campaign that harnesses the power of social media to illustrate the restrictions poverty places on choices, opportunities, and access to resources. Champions wear one black dress (or outfit) for five consecutive days, in an effort to spark conversations and awareness about critical issues. They also tap into their social media networks by posting about the initiative throughout the week. To date, dozens of Junior Leagues have replicated the initiative in their own communities, collectively sparking countless conversations and raising hundreds of thousands of dollars in support of important community programs.
Over the course of its 117-year history, The Junior League has amassed an archive of irrefutable results and an indisputable reputation as thoughtful and influential change agents for the public good. There is perhaps no better example of this than the achievements of Junior Leagues in the fight to end human trafficking.
This year marks the Junior League of Chicago’s first-ever organized participation in the LBDI campaign but, for more than 15 years, Leagues across the nation have joined forces with law enforcement, government officials, anti-trafficking organizations and other critical and influential community change-makers to raise awareness on the hidden world of human trafficking, advocate for the passage of anti-trafficking legislation and support survivors. League coalitions have worked to pass more than 25 different pieces of anti-trafficking legislation, primarily at the state and local level. In 2011, The Junior League was honored by the United Nations Association of New York for its work fighting against human trafficking.
We invite you to register to participate today!