Unity Dreams is my theme for this year – Unity for togetherness, harmony and collaboration; and Dreams for hope, vision, and for Soroptimist’s “Dreams” programs. Unity Dreams is particularly important as our world is amid the colliding pandemics of coronavirus and racism.
Mother, Grandmother, Retired State Executive, Servant Leader – I pursue my philanthropic passion to educate and assist individuals, families, and businesses by leading and actively participating in service and women’s organizations. I joined Soroptimist International of Sacramento (SIS) in 2015 because I fell in love with its core values and programs and was welcomed by our members. I immediately participated on various committees then co-chaired Crab Fiesta and Membership Committees. I was elected Board Member, Correspondence Secretary, Second then First Vice President. I am also an active member and on the Boards for Elk Grove Rotary and the Sacramento Chapter of the National Coalition of 100 Black Women.
I bring to my presidency a belief that as Soroptimists we can make an impact – from introspection and awareness to money and direct service. I proudly support the following message from Soroptimist International’s President Sharon Fisher:
“…SI is committed to being the Global Voice for Women by creating a world that is inclusive, that celebrates diversity; a world that supports women’s leadership and raises up the historically marginalized voices, and a world where everyone is valued, safe and secure. Without racial justice it will be impossible to achieve Gender Equality. We need to invest more in creating opportunities for our children and to invest in restorative justice and social services for all marginalized people. We must be bold and reimagine how to invest in our communities. Both COVID-19; and police brutality have further exposed the need to overcome the structural racism and inequality. We pledge to actively work within our communities and networks to uphold the human rights of all.” (See entire statement at https://www.soroptimistinternational.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/SI-Response-to-Racism-Letter3.pdf.)
As we “boldly reimagine” our journey through this and future years, let us remember there are no limits to what we dream. I embrace the principles of diversity, inclusion, racial and gender equity, and economic empowerment embodied in Soroptimist’s core values. We will continue to emphasize education for ourselves and the women and girls with whom we interact, welcome new members, develop our “Dreams” programs, and serve our community.
I am humbled and honored to be SIS President and look forward to collaborating with SIS members, other Soroptimists, and the greater Sacramento community to implement Unity Dreams.
With sincere gratitude,
Jennifer L. Willis
SIS President 2020-2021
Soroptimist is a global volunteer organization that provides women and girls with access to the education and training they need to achieve economic empowerment.