Month: April 2015

Junior League Screening of “The Mask You Live In” – Tuesday, May 12

By Kate Killpack

“Act like a man!” “Don’t be a sissy!” “Grow some balls!” “Man up!” Millions of boys hear these commands every single day. These common phrases says a lot about how we, as a society, train men to view themselves and interact with others. In her newest film, The Mask You Live In, Jennifer Siebel Newsom (the maker of the film Miss Representation) confronts the narrow definition of masculinity within our culture and illustrates how our society can raise a healthier generation of boys and young men.

The Mask You Live In follows boys and young men as they struggle to stay true to themselves while negotiating America’s narrow definition of masculinity.

Pressured by the media, their peer group, and even the adults in their lives, our protagonists confront messages encouraging them to disconnect from their emotions, devalue authentic friendships, objectify and degrade women, and resolve conflicts through violence. These gender stereotypes interconnect with race, class, and circumstance, creating a maze of identity issues boys and young men must navigate to become “real” men. Additionally, the film features experts in neuroscience, psychology, sociology, sports, education, and media who weigh in, offering empirical evidence of the “boy crisis” and tactics to combat it.

Join the Advocacy Committee of the Junior League of Seattle for a special screening of this important film:

“Man Up” for The Mask You Live In: For this special Film Screen & Chat, we are encouraging each member to “man up,” by inviting a man in your life to join us for a screening of The Mask You Live In. Stay after and begin the conversation.

Tuesday, May 12th, 6-9pm
SIFF Cinema Uptown Theatre 511
Queen Anne Ave N, Seattle, WA 98109

We hope you can join this important conversation, which will also include the opportunity to connect with community partners who are addressing these important issues. If you are a nonprofit organization working with young boys in the community, contact Grace Schouten (grace.schouten@gmail.com) for ticket availability.

This event is open to all Junior League members and we encourage you to bring a guest. Members will receive a training credit. Reserve your spot now on the JLS website. See you then!

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JLS Provisional Project: Volunteering at Ryther

During her first year in the Junior League of Seattle, a Provisional member is assigned a project that gets her involved in the community in a variety of ways. One of the Provisional project opportunities is working with the League’s Done-in-a-Day (DIAD) committee. DIAD focuses on hands-on, short-term projects that are planned and implemented on a monthly basis to benefit organizations in the greater Seattle area in need of assistance. Ryther, a Seattle-area facility that provides behavioral health services for children and their families, is one of the organizations with which DIAD works. Two JLS Provisional members shared their experiences working with Ryther on this committee. See their thoughts below:

“I’ve known about Ryther for many years. Having received my master’s in psychology, I had the privilege of knowing someone who worked at Ryther’s clinic during their graduate internship. Ryther’s reputation is strong for providing care to children and families in need. I’m so grateful for organizations like this that exist. Even more so, I’m excited to be a part of an organization like the Junior League of Seattle that partners with facilities like Ryther. It was a fantastic merge of two phenomenal organizations and I really enjoyed my time volunteering.

My Provisional project group led a hat painting activity for the children who were currently staying at the group home. The kids came one by one, sometimes in small groups of two or three. It was a cold and rainy day and as they walked timidly into the room, I hoped that our excited greetings wouldn’t scare them away. As the children sat and painted their hats, I began to think about the work we were doing that day and as a larger organization. As a group, JLS is involved in supporting many organizations across the Seattle area. In my provisional year alone, I came in contact with six organizations that were new to me: Mary’s Place, the YWCA, Ryther, Westside Baby, Seattle Urban Academy, and Washington DECA. I have learned so much about the organizations and services that are available to the Seattle community through these volunteer activities. This was one of the reasons why I joined JLS last year. I’ve been an active volunteer both through my church and my community since I was a pre-teen. I’ve loved being involved in promoting social justice, giving humanitarian aid to those in need and participating in philanthropic work. I’ve been a part of some amazing things. However, I’ve also witnessed how short-term volunteer opportunities can get a bad reputation. Critics will often say that short-term volunteer opportunities are not able to address the deep, longstanding issues that plague so many communities. In some ways, I agree.

As I sat and watched the young children come in one by one, I realized how organizations like JLS fit into the larger puzzle of social services. The Junior League of Seattle comes alongside many wonderful organizations and provides much needed assistance. When an urban school needs to feed its students, JLS sends women to cover those shifts, cook the food, and serve the meals. When the holidays are near and homeless women are without the means to provide for their families, JLS stands along the organizations that supply these families with gifts and food. And when an in-patient program could use an afternoon activity for their kids to participate in, JLS is available to fill the gap and provide the fun.Ryther 2

As the children painted their hats that afternoon, I wondered what they would be doing if our group wasn’t providing this extra activity for them. I didn’t know the stories of these children but I do know that in some ways, their childhoods have been difficult ones to bear. If painting a hat gave them some sense of normalcy, a moment of creativity, or a chance to take a short detour from their normal Sunday afternoon plans, then I was proud to be there for those few short minutes.  

Places like Ryther, the YWCA, and Mary’s Place are able to continue providing long-term services because of short-term volunteers like the women in JLS. We partner with those organizations to help them continue to do the deeper work in our community. As I left Ryther that afternoon, I felt a renewed sense of excitement for the work we were doing as an organization. By helping places like Ryther, we are participating in the deeper work. Even if it’s for a few hours on a rainy Sunday, we are adding to the overall work that is being done in that child’s life by sitting with them and painting a hat or showing them a moment of kindness.

 Be proud of what you do, women of Junior League.  We are doing great things.”

 -Catherine Golden (JLS Provisional 2014-15)

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Ryther was established in 1885 based on the principal “The essential thing is to love children and understand them.” Ryther provides programs and solutions for families with children who have challenges stemming from trauma, mental illness, substance abuse, Autism Spectrum Disorders, or adjustment issues with school, peers or parents. Ryther is dedicated to providing comprehensive services and innovative treatments. It guides, coaches and teaches so that every child and family it works with may experience new ways of thinking, develop positive relationships and realize a better life.

“Having the opportunity to volunteer here and witness the children interact and participate in projects was so rewarding! You can really see and feel that the children only want to be around people that love them and care about them. There were a few children that didn’t seem to necessarily love the idea of the project we had planned for them (tie-dying t-shirts). But, they loved participating and really got into creating something of their own to keep and enjoyed being around their peers, staff and volunteers! Everyone seemed to have a genuinely great time. The children were so excited and helped each other a lot. The children also provided a lot of encouraging words to their fellow peers, which was really rewarding to witness. Seeing what a positive impact Ryther has had on all of the children we interacted with was amazing to see first-hand. This was by far one of the best places I have ever volunteered!”

 -Amber Cuffel JLS Provisional 2014-15

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7 Reasons to Join the Junior League of Seattle

By Shanna Lisberg

The Junior League of Seattle is an organization of women committed to promoting voluntarism, developing the potential of women and improving the community through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers.

If you’re thinking about joining the JLS, here are 7 compelling reasons to do so:

To meet new people. Are you new to the area or looking to make some new friends? The Junior League of Seattle has over 1,200 members. With those numbers, you’re bound to meet someone who lives in your neighborhood or works in your office.

To be a leader. The Junior League of Seattle trains its members to become valuable leaders in the community. The JLS provides the tools and training to prepare women to be effective collaborators, poised negotiators, and committed volunteers, so that they may go out and serve their communities and change the lives of those who live in their neighborhoods for the better.

To make a difference and become directly involved in the community. The Junior League of Seattle works with a variety of organizations to help women and children. Not only do we volunteer at Mary’s Place, Northwest Harvest, Treehouse, and Westside Baby, to name a few, but our committees such as Northwest Art, Kids in the Kitchen, and Life Skills: Women help make a positive impact in the community. You, too, can help children discover and appreciate the beauty of art or help a teen learn how to shop for and cook a healthy meal.

To learn new things. Have you ever wanted to learn how to start your own business? Are you looking to learn more about diet and nutrition or financial stability? The JLS offers its members a training curriculum that covers a wide variety of topics, including leadership and fundraising skills, advocacy efforts related to human trafficking, work/life transition, and more.

To put the fun in fundraisers. It’s not just volunteering and learning. You could bid on a fabulous vacation package at the JLS’ Premier Event gala or dance and play boardwalk-style games at its Boardwalk Empire Game Night. Help cheer on the Mariners at Mariners Night or dance the night away at the JLS Halloween party. The Junior League of Seattle has many opportunities to mingle with fellow members and have fun.

To get healthy. Did you know that volunteering can improve your health?  Volunteering has been associated with lower depression and increased happiness. Plus, studies have shown that having a large network of friends may help you live longer.

To join a great organization of women. There are 293 chapters of Junior Leagues spread over four  countries. For over 100 years, Junior Leagues have been at the forefront of social reform, confronting critical issues, to help improve society. From funding a tuberculosis clinic and treatment center during the Depression, to promoting live weekly television shows featuring panel discussions with teenagers, to advocating for the enactment of the Family Violence Prevention and Services Act, the Junior League is one of the largest and most dedicated volunteer organizations in the world. And you can be a part of it!

If you’d like to join the Junior League of Seattle, email the Provisional Chair at newmemberinfo@jrleagueseattle.org and visit our website to sign up for one of our Meet and Greets where you can learn more information about our organization. You will meet and mingle with current JLS members and leadership as well as watch a few short presentations. Meet and Greets run through the month of April.