During the spring of 2016, the JLNVB began working with the AJLI to reevaluate and reenergize our direct impact on South Hampton Roads. As a result, the Community Council has been working hard to implement several critical changes to strengthen and expand our reach to address the needs of our community by shifting its focus from a project-based mindset to a results-based approach. Moving forward, the JLNVB Community Impact Strategy will seek to address the most critical issues identified within our community that align with the overall mission. As part of the new Community Impact Strategy, members of the Community Impact Development Committee have started researching and sharing information on various issues with our members. The goal is to educate the membership and ensure a holistic understanding of the societal challenges in South Hampton Roads before selecting our future focus areas.
In October 2016, our members identified their top 10 focus areas – listed below – that will be evaluated further and narrowed down to our top four signature focus areas over the course of Spring 2017. Please click on the below links to read more about each issue. Check back for weekly updates and additional information.
- Human Trafficking
Human trafficking is described by the U.S. Department of State as the “act of recruiting, harboring, transporting, providing or obtaining a person for compelled labor or commercial sex acts through the use of force, fraud or coercion.” For more information on human trafficking, please read the attached PDF.
- Women in Advocacy
Over the last century, individual Junior Leagues have played an active role in educating the public on the pressing issues of the day and advocating for change, legislative or otherwise, on behalf of those who don’t have a voice. Junior Leagues across the country have formed Public Affairs Committees (PACs), State Public Affairs Committees (SPACs) and Legislative Issue Committees (LICs) to educate and take action on public policy issues relevant to the Junior League Mission. Please click here to learn more about SPACs and what other Junior Leagues are doing.
- Childhood Literacy
Childhood literacy has been a concern in the United States for over 30 years. Research consistently shows that children who have reading skills below grade level as young as 6 will continue to struggle throughout adulthood. Adults who are functionally illiterate are more likely to live in poverty and their children are often behind when entering school, perpetuating the cycle. Early intervention to help these children can help end the cycle of illiteracy and allow the children to perform at a level comparable to their peers. More information available here.
- Education and College Readiness
Hampton Roads is a large region that includes many different school districts with each district covering multiple demographics. On average, the students in this region perform as well as or better than their peers across the state and country and their performance is steadily improving. However, areas of high poverty and low population score far lower than Virginia’s averages. Currently, programs are focusing on targeting hard skills and career preparedness, but less effort is focused on soft skills such as collaboration, time management, and problem solving. Please click here to read more about this topic.
- Sexual Assault Prevention and Response
- Career Readiness and Financial Literacy
- Foster System Transition
- Battling Homelessness
- Food Insecurity and Childhood Obesity
- Women’s Health (Safe Pregnancy & Breastfeeding)