Message from the President

2020-2021 JLCU President

Emily Cross Vayr

Welcome to a new and uncharted year of League… and of everything!

When we entered this crisis in March, I hoped by the time May arrived we’d be back to normal. Instead, not only have we left our old normal behind, but we have no idea what our new normal will be.

As many of you know, my husband and I are grappling with this new world while preparing for our first child, a daughter due in July. I want to raise her to be strong and independent, two virtues I was instilled with as a girl. But thanks to this crisis I realize that believing in our abilities and welcoming support from others are bffs, not frenemies. In the last two months I’ve leaned on my relationships more than I ever have, and much of that support is thanks to League.

Strong woman or not, I don’t know how to best serve League during a pandemic. But what I do know is regardless of your status as a Provisional, Active, or Sustaining member, you are so important to me and I believe we are each important to this moment.

It’s an annual tradition for the incoming President to choose a theme for the new year. I think this year has instead chosen a theme for us, and I’m calling it “the Promise of Together.” It’s cheesy, but it’s real: our future still has promise if we bravely go there together. With everything else in the world called into question, what has never been clearer is how fortunate I am to know and learn from you.

There will be some who try to benefit by steering us into division and blame. I challenge us to choose compassion and solidarity. To choose to understand each other, even when it’s hard, and to be vulnerable, even when it’s scary. To approach every email or Zoom meeting knowing the woman on the other end is doing the best she can, too.

With a little openness to fail and a lot of collaboration, we will find creative solutions and discover better ways of accomplishing our goals. We will emerge a stronger League, and best of all, we will emerge with stronger connections with each other.

This time will require open dialogue and a willingness to engage in trial and error, so never hesitate to send us a message or give us a call if you have ideas or questions. We’re all on the same team.

Thank you for stepping up. Let’s do this, JLCU!

Emily Cross Vayr
President, Junior League of Champaign-Urbana – 2020-2021