SOURCE: The Association of Junior Leagues International Inc.

The Association of Junior Leagues International Inc.

January 14, 2010 09:07 ET

The Association of Junior Leagues International Is 'National Ally' of the Vision 2020 Gender Equality Initiative

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - January 14, 2010) - The Association of Junior Leagues International, one of the nation's oldest civic leadership organizations for women, has become a "national ally" of Vision 2020, a project of the Institute for Women's Health and Leadership® at Drexel University College of Medicine focused on ensuring gender equality by energizing the dialogue about women and leadership in advance of the 100th anniversary, in 2020, of the 19th Amendment, which gave women the right to vote. In this role, AJLI will work to help shape the Vision 2020 action agenda through delegate selection nomination and its commitment to the "Declaration of Equality," the action agenda that will be set at the American Conversation about Women and Leadership in Philadelphia on October 21-22, 2010.

"As an organization, we are honored to be associated with this important effort," said Susan Danish, Executive Director. "Many Junior League members were early advocates of women's suffrage and the passage of the 19th Amendment. Today, nearly 100 years later, Vision 2020 is a critical initiative for America's women and complements many of The Junior League's own programs to empower women as civic leaders.

Developing the civic leadership potential of women is the heart of The Junior League Mission and history," she added. "In 1901, Mary Harriman, a 19-year-old New York City debutante with a social conscience, founded the first Junior League. Moved by the suffering she saw around her, Harriman mobilized a group of 80 other young women to work to improve the squalid conditions in which immigrants were living on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. More than a century later, with 292 individual Junior Leagues in four countries, The Junior League continues to focus on society's toughest and most urgent problems, particularly ones that negatively impact women and girls. We look forward to working with Vision 2020 in giving new meaning to the approaching centenary of the 19th Amendment and its continued meaning for American women today."

Lynn Yeakel, co chair of Vision 2020 and past President of the Junior League of Philadelphia, said, "The Junior League Movement has played an important part in empowering American women for nearly 11 decades. Its 160,000 members are key players in the civic life of their own communities. With this new role, The Junior League and its members will have the chance to participate in a decade-long initiative to help realize the promise of the suffragist movement that their predecessors helped to bring to reality."

About Vision 2020

Vision 2020 is a national project of Drexel's Institute for Women's Health and Leadership focused on ensuring gender equality by energizing the dialogue about women and leadership. In 2010, Vision 2020 will develop and launch its decade-long action agenda to move America toward equality by inspiring and engaging new generations of women and men to finish the work of the suffragists, who pursued women's right to vote as fundamental to social and economic justice. The centennial of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution will be celebrated in 2020.

About the Institute for Women's Health and Leadership

Institute for Women's Health and Leadership at Drexel University College of Medicine carries on the tradition of the College's predecessor institution, the Woman's Medical College of Pennsylvania, established in 1850 as the first medical school for women in the world. Established in 1993, the Institute includes among its many innovative programs the premiere national leadership program for women in academic medicine -- the Hedwig van Amerigen Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine (ELAM) Program for Women. Vision 2020 draws on the Institute's firm foundation in the women's health and leadership fields and extends its sights to include women's leadership across the professions.

About The Association of Junior Leagues International Inc.

Founded in 1901 by New Yorker, Mary Harriman, the Junior Leagues are charitable nonprofit organizations of women, developed as civic leaders, creating demonstrable community impact.

Today, The Association of Junior Leagues International Inc. (AJLI) is comprised of more than 160,000 women in 292 Junior Leagues throughout Canada, Mexico, the United Kingdom and the United States. Together, they constitute one of the largest, most effective volunteer organizations in the world. For more information please visit www.ajli.org.

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