Next week I will be driving to New Jersey to speak and meet with members of the Junior League of Monmouth County of New Jersey. The Junior League of Monmouth County (JLMC) currently focuses on empowering homeless women and families through partnership with transitional housing facilities. Their life and parenting skills programs provide the young women with the tools necessary to transition to independent living with their children.
The JLMC is one of the eight Junior Leagues in NJ, each of which have delegates that make up the New Jersey State Public Affairs Committee (SPAC). SPAC is a statewide, non-partisan committee who join together to advocate on behalf of women and children and to take action in the areas of health, education, and the environment.
The Junior League was founded in 1901 by New Yorker activist, Mary Harriman. It grew into charitable nonprofit organizations of women who aimed to impact the community. Today, the Association of Junior Leagues International, Inc. (AJLI) reports having more than 155,000 women members in 292 Junior Leagues throughout Canada, Mexico, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
I am very proud to present to this organization as next month marks the one year anniversary in which AJLI was honored by the United Nations for their initiatives within the anti-human trafficking cause.
“The 110-year legacy of The Junior League is rooted in service to the under-served, and few groups in our society are as under-served as victims of human trafficking, particularly in its most vile form—commercial sexual exploitation of children,” said AJLI President Delly Beekman last year. “Human trafficking is an increasingly important issue for many Junior Leagues, and we’re pleased to receive this honor, and all it means, from the United Nations Association of New York.”Along with other Junior Leagues across the country, SPAC has continued their interest in the issue of human trafficking. SPAC co-sponsored an event at the State House in Trenton, NJ in which I was invited to speak at a press conference with Attorney General Jeffrey S. Chiesa. Other speakers included Deputy Attorney General Asha Vaghela, Division of Criminal Justice; Director Stephen Taylor, Division of Criminal Justice; Special Agent Vernon Addison, FBI; Pastor Seth Kaper-Dale, Reformed Church of Highland Park, and Project Stay Gold, Jefferson Township Middle School.
The presentation by the student members of Project Stay Gold was incredibly touching. Check out their powerful video above, and visit their website.
To learn more about AJLI or to become a member, please visit their website at www.ajli.org.