2024 Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging Award

Prior to the 2022-2023 League year, while always emphasizing DEIB principles, they had not directly focused on each principle individually. To address this gap, The Junior League of Washington, JLW, worked with an outside consultant to assess the organization. As a result of their work with League members, JLW decided to expand DEIB to DEIAB, adding “Accessibility” as a core focus. These principles are now deeply integrated into their organizational structure and long-term strategic plan.  JLW has introduced quarterly town hall meetings for members to engage with the Board of Directors, fostering an environment of open dialogue. They have also enhanced food accessibility by intentionally diversifying menu options at League events and committee meetings to accommodate various dietary needs and food allergies.  

They established a DEIAB task force to continuously assess our efforts and promote a culture where members feel empowered to share areas where we can improve. This feedback also informs their evaluations of community partners and their DEIAB practices. In addition to targeted DEIAB training for JLW leaders, they continue to invest in ongoing training and other resources for all members to ensure our work is sustained. During a recent renovation of their headquarters, they expanded doorways and space for easier wheelchair access to our elevator and installed automatic swing door openers at our entrance.   

Their weekly member newsletter, League Lines, regularly includes a DEIAB Moments section, providing detailed knowledge and understanding on topics such as cultural holidays and tips for identifying and addressing DEIAB needs of members. These ongoing initiatives and efforts have made a significant impact in advancing DEIAB principles throughout JLW and the community. It signifies a shift towards proactive, intentional, and inclusive practices that are now ingrained in their organizational culture and future planning. Congratulations to the Junior League of Washington!