Message from the President

Welcome! We’re thrilled you’ve stopped by to learn more about the Junior League of Topeka!

This year, we are embarking upon our 85th anniversary and I find myself feeling incredibly humbled to be following in the footsteps of the many women who have worked tirelessly to build this organization over the past nine decades. The rich legacy we have built is deeply rooted in developing the leadership of women, preparing us to do the hard work in our community to identify the root causes of issues impacting Topeka, and working together, alongside our community partners, to find solutions. This is how, through volunteerism, we have transformed our community through projects like our Capital Impact Leadership Summit, the Diaper Depot, CASA of Shawnee County, Meals on Wheels, the Ronald McDonald House, the Topeka Community Foundation and so many other wonderful organizations and projects within the Topeka area.

This legacy is also a reflection of 85 years (90 years if you consider the 5 years we operated as Junior Charities of Topeka) of strong women surrounding themselves with other strong, bold, compassionate, and intelligent women joining together to develop their leadership skills while transforming our community, all the while, empowering each other to go out and be effective and efficient agents for change. For the past 85 years, the Junior League of Topeka has cultivated personal growth and leadership development through civic leadership, and I’m truly honored to have the opportunity to serve beside these women and work to continue this legacy for the betterment of the amazing community that we live and work in today.

The Junior League provides women with an unparalleled outlet to develop, advance and hone skills in so many areas – from leadership development, community outreach, business, personal growth and so much more the Junior League provides our members a safe place to grow as a leader and as a person.

Our 2021-2022 League Year will be packed full as we continue to work toward the goals we’ve outlined in our strategic plan. With our focus on four key pillars – civic engagement and community impact, membership development, organizational governance, and sustainability, some key work that we’ll tackle this year will be to:

  • Begin work with this year’s annual community partner, the YWCA Center for Safety and Empowerment, to develop a dedicated space in the shelter(s) for adolescent residents. These spaces will provide a safe/comfortable place for staff to use while educating children and parents on the impact of trauma and how to develop non-violent conflict resolution solutions.
  • Host our 3rd Annual Capital Impact Leadership Summit for high schoolers in Topeka and Shawnee County.
  • Hold our 3rd Annual Little Black Dress Initiative to help raise awareness and fight poverty and community instability.
  • Continue our efforts to educate ourselves on our diversity, equity, and inclusion journey, digging in and exploring our weaknesses and have open and honest discussions surrounding difficult and sensitive topics. In addition, our DEI Committee is working diligently to dig into our policies, procedures, and bylaws to ensure that the work we do going forward is equitable and inclusive to all.
  • Begin developing a plan to tackle the root causes of childhood poverty.
  • Provide a variety of training and development opportunities for our members in the areas of: Marketing, Business, Personal Growth, Fundraising, Organizational Management, Governance, DEI, Relationship Development, Strategic Planning and more.

Whether you are a potential member, a donor, or a community partner, I hope you will join us as we work together to strengthen our community. There are several ways you can get involved:

  • Become a member!
    To learn more about the mission, vision and work of the Junior League contact our Recruiting chair at recruitment@jltopeka.org.
  • Become a sponsor!
    To learn about sponsorship opportunities, contact our VP of Fund Development at fundingdevelopment@jltopeka.org.
  • Participate in one of our community donation drives!
    Contact our VP of Community Impact at communityimpact@jltopeka.org for upcoming opportunities.

We look forward to working together to continue transforming the Topeka community.

Brie Engelken-Parks
President, 2021-2022
Junior League of Topeka

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