NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - June 17, 2010) -  The Association of Junior Leagues International, Inc. (AJLI) today noted with pride the selection of seven Junior League members as delegates to Vision 2020, a national project of the Institute for Women's Health and Leadership committed to a decade-long action agenda to move America toward equality by inspiring and engaging new generations of women -- and men -- to finish the work of the suffragists in anticipation of the centennial of the 19th Amendment in 2020.

"It is very appropriate that so many Junior League members are closely involved with the important work that Vision 2020 is doing to advance gender equality by energizing the dialogue about women and leadership," said AJLI President Delly Beekman. "For more than 100 years, our members have been involved in almost every single major social initiative in this country. I am pleased that these seven League members, coming from a wide variety of backgrounds, have been chosen by Vision 2020 to volunteer their skills as civic leaders to this compelling initiative."

Ms. Beekman noted that the seven League members, each in her own way, demonstrate the face of civic leadership today.

Three of the League members are among the 13 Visionary Delegates to Vision 2020:

  • Former President of The Association of Junior Leagues International, Inc. and member of The Junior League of Greater Princeton, Deborah Brittain has over 40 years of community involvement spanning the fields of public and special education, child welfare, social justice, women's issues and the arts. 
  • Former President of The Association of Junior Leagues International, Inc. and current member of The Junior League of Buffalo, Clotilde Perez-Bode Dedecker has more than two decades of leadership experience focused on community collaborations, organizational change, leadership development and board governance.
  • Junior League of Des Moines member Lori SchraderBachar is passionate about social justice issues and community volunteerism.

Four of the 102 National Delegates (two from every state and the District of Columbia) are League members:

  • Junior League of Columbus member Subha Lembach is a graduate of Cornell University and Fordham University School of Law, where she was a Stein Scholar in Public Interest Law and Ethics.
  • Junior League of Seattle member Bernadette Merikle serves on the Senior Leadership Team of the Highline Public School District (Burien, WA) as the Community Engagement Manager.
  • Junior League of Wilmington member Liane Sorenson is the Minority Whip of the Delaware State Senate, where she has sponsored legislation focused on the areas of domestic violence, health, genetic testing, education and finance.
  • Junior League of Wichita member and former president Mildred Edwards is a passionate community leader, mobilizer and advocate and currently serves as the Executive Director for the Kansas African American Affairs Commission in the Office of Gov. Mark Parkinson.

Vision 2020's first public event will take place on Oct. 21-22, 2010, when the National Delegates meet in congress at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia.

About the Association of Junior Leagues International Inc. (AJLI)
Founded in 1901 by New Yorker and social activism pioneer Mary Harriman, the Junior Leagues are charitable nonprofit organizations of women, developed as civic leaders, creating demonstrable community impact.

Today, The Association of Junior Leagues International, Inc. (AJLI) is comprised of more than 160,000 women in 293 Junior Leagues throughout Canada, Mexico, the United Kingdom and the United States. Together, they constitute one of the largest, most effective volunteer organizations in the world. For more information please visit

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