The History of a Movement
The first Junior League was founded in 1901 by an 18-year old New York City college student named Mary Harriman. Moved by the suffering she saw around her, Mary mobilized a group of 80 other young women to work at a settlement house in lower Manhattan. The news of their work and accomplishments spread so rapidly that more and more women in cities across North America began forming their own Leagues. In 1921, more than 30 Leagues joined together to form the Association of Junior Leagues.
Since the first Junior League was convened the emphasis has been on learning. The Junior Leagues offer members extensive training in areas such as leadership and organizational development, community needs assessment, strategic planning, communications, advocacy, and fundraising. Through this unique training, our members learn to manage and train volunteers, unite communities and form partnerships.
Junior League members have been the driving force behind the kinds of initiatives and institutions that make communities healthier, more vital places to live: childhood immunization, family literacy, women's shelters, children's museums, historic preservation, leadership development, and more.
The Power of Association
Comprised of 294 Junior Leagues in four countries, the Association of Junior Leagues International Inc. (AJLI) has been providing support, guidance and leadership development opportunities to member Leagues for more than 80 years.
AJLI strives to unite all the Junior Leagues; provide continuity and support; and serve as a steward for the Junior League Movement. Today, through regional, national, and international meetings, comprehensive resources and customized consultations, we add value to our member Leagues in their fulfillment of the Junior League Mission.
The Junior League can be credited with implementing changes and improving conditions in almost every sector of our society. Junior Leagues provide hundreds of thousands of volunteer hours every year to address issues in their local communities.
AJLI is governed by a 20-member Board of Directors, all of whom are members of the Junior Leagues in their communities. The Board is accountable to the Leagues for the development of goals, which enhance Leagues' ability to fulfill the Junior League Mission. AJLI then works with the Board to provide services to Leagues that support the established goals.
The Association of Junior Leagues International Inc.
132 West 31st Street,
New York, NY 10001-3406