In honor of Black History Month in the United States and Canada, we asked several Junior League leaders to share some key insights. These women are true trailblazers, having served as the first Black President of their Junior League. Here are just a few highlights from the video:

“Take pride in being first, but do not be the last. Be the first that ushers in the second, the third and the fourth. Break down barriers, not just for those who remind you of yourself, but for anyone who has not yet had a chance to enjoy the spotlight.” – Dr. Aronté Bennett (Junior League of Philadelphia, PA)

“You want to make sure, being a trailblazer, that you bring others along on the journey, you bring others along on the path and on the trail to where we’re marching towards one common goal.” – Laureen Pellegrino (Junior League of the Lehigh Valley, PA)

“Be intentional about leaning on your leaders and allowing them to lead. Your ultimate mission is really to show others how to trail-blaze, how to take a chance on themselves and this can only happen when you allow your Members, who have accepted leadership positions, to actually lead.” – Erica Stiff-Coopwood (Junior League of Memphis, TN)

“Stay true to your foundational values and always be your authentic self. You were selected based on your experiences and competence to lead. You are worthy and you belong.” – Denise Poindexter (Junior League of Champaign-Urbana, IL)

“Be you, be authentic, be genuine, that’s what being a trailblazer is.” – Dr. Karen Thompson-Jackson, Ph.D. (Junior League of Tuscaloosa, AL)