As we bring to a close one milestone in our journey together, and begin a new chapter in the story of the Magnificent Mile Chapter of Jack and Jill of America, Inc., I want to thank each of you for the opportunity and privilege to serve as your provisional president this past year. It has been a truly valuable and rewarding experience.
It is an honor to be 1 of 81 talented and inspiring mothers who contribute their time and expertise to advancing the mission and vision of Jack and Jill of America, Inc.
I have been fortunate to have worked closely with such qualified past and present board, committee, and individual mother members along the way and appreciate all they’ve done to make the Magnificent Mile Chapter a reality.
The accomplishments of this provisional group over the past year have been quite impressive, and it was truly a team effort. There have been so many noteworthy moments, first of which was packing the gymnasium of Vanderpoel school for our first June planning meeting, where we laid the foundation for our very first program year, our fabulous first Mother’s Retreat at Gallery Guichard and our impressive turn out for the 2019 Jack and Jill/Carole Roberson Day last September. We also completed our very first program handbook, and it was here the established organization was put on notice there were some new mothers on the block and we came to play! At the turn of the decade, we were challenged to navigate unchartered territory. COVID-19. Our entire world shut down, literally and figuratively. We were gripped with fear and uncertainty. Businesses closed, schools closed, travel stopped, and unfortunately we lost over 250,000 precious lives. We continue to pray for each and everyone of those souls. Our challenges were heightened by Civil and Social unrest, the murder of black lives, the brutal reality that there is NO JUSTICE for US, the blatant and tolerated racism, and pure disrespect for the bearer of all civilization, the black woman! The Black Mother!
This was compounded by natural disasters, wildfires, tornados, hurricanes, and other harsh effects of climate change. Our nation experienced unprecedented unemployment and economic turmoil. We battled depression, anxiety, loss, stress, loneliness, inferiority, confusion, and doubt…But GOD! This group of strong, intelligent, praying women triumphed even in tragedy!
We moved our meetings, programming and even socialization to digital platforms. We executed innovative activities like a virtual Membership Week, Virtual Mother’s Retreat and Virtual June Planning. We compromised and we collaborated. We prayed together and we cared for one another. Our children; Our children are resilient. They bonded in spite of the challenges, they mastered the digital divide, they taught us a thing or two. From Virtual Slumber parties, virtual book clubs, Mag Mille teens virtually tutoring Mag Mile Scholars, and grassroots organizing for social change. We discovered hidden talents like our very own Jordan Williams’ publishing her own digital magazine, Jonathan Williams receiving a Full Scholarship to College and the McDade and Savage Children being featured in Virtual concert!
There are so many more outstanding accomplishments to celebrate and I look forward to continuing to lead this chapter into our next phase. It is my personal commitment to set the Magnificent Mile Chapter on a course that is rooted in the traditions of this awesome organization, and focused on an exceptional future for our children!
Long Live Jack and Jill!
President Kia R. Banks