On January 28, 2017, the Public Affairs and Advocacy committee held its annual Advocacy Training and Personal Development Conference (also known as Training Boot Camp) at the Champaign Public Library. The conference covered a range of topics, all aimed at empowering women by tending to our minds, bodies, and community. Our President, Jennifer Romine, gave the opening remarks and helped set the tone for the day. Seventeen registrants attended this event, the majority being Junior League members, and we were happy to welcome several community members as well. From image consulting with Cynthia Bruno, aimed at helping women feel their best by looking their best, to the keynote speech by Judge Ronda Holliman, ‘Making the Best Out of Your Circumstance and Persevering’, the conference offered something for everyone.
Public Affairs and Advocacy chair, Lonndon Blake, summed up the day as, “an opportunity for women of various backgrounds to meet and find out what organizations are in our community,” and more importantly, “how to make [Champaign-Urbana] a better place to live.” This goal felt attainable after Ronda’s inspiring talk. Additionally, R.A.C.E.S. (Rape Advocacy, Counseling, and Education Services) Director, Jaya Kolisetty gave a stirring discussion where attendees participated in a ‘stereotype activity’ showing there are no criteria survivors and we were thrilled to learn R.A.C.E.S. is expanding their services to better serve community members in need.
Overall, our conference provided women with tools and training aimed at helping us to serve our community. As Lonndon expressed, “The more you learn about different agencies in the community, the more you can be an advocate for those in need of assistance.” Junior League offers women a way to connect and collaborate and we look forward to the coming years as we continue to strive to make the broadest impact possible.
Thank you to our 2017 presenters!
- Allen Creamean, Director of Assessment and Referral The Pavilion Behavioral Health System
- Cynthia Bruno, former WCIA 3 News Anchor
- Rose Rodriguez, Student Intern, League of Women Voters of Champaign County
- Melanie Pridemore, Owner and Certified Health, Fitness and Wellness Coach of 6 Dimensions Wellness
- Patricia Avery, President, NAACP of Champaign County
- Jaya Kolisetty, Rape Advocacy Counseling and Education Services (R.A.C.E.S.)
- Sally Carter, Executive Director and Founder of Tap In Leadership Academy