The first year you're in the Junior League is called your "provisional" year. It's basically a year of learning about the JL (ie, lots of meetings), and then getting little tastes of the many different community projects the JL supports through volunteering. (And also noted, there are lots of fun little get togethers and activities throughout the year.)
Well, my provisional year ended in May. It was an awesome experience. I adored the girls in my "small group," and actually feel like I've made some genuine friends from the whole thing. I think it helped that the small groups were created according to where we live - so ours consisted of the midtown & downtown provisionals (perhaps a slightly cooler crop than say, the Collierville girls).
But anyway, now that the first year is done, I had to pick a JL-sponsored community project that would be my specific "placement" for this whole year (2011-2012). There were a ton of cool-sounding options, but I decided to go with Facing History & Ourselves. If you've never heard of it before, it's an exhibit that runs in different cities for about 4 months at a time. The purpose is to look at events of the past and link them with moral choices in the present. Historically, they've used the Holocaust as one of the past events. In our Memphis exhibit, there will be a few different "past" events: one about hate crimes in a small town; one about the desegregation of schools in Arkansas; and a few others that I can't remember.
As volunteers, we will act as docents at the exhibit - so people and/or schools groups will come to see the exhibit and we'll have a group of maybe 20 people we walk through, start up the different presentations, and then lead some follow-up discussion. It's all set up at the big public library in town.
We had our first meeting a couple nights ago, and it made me really excited about the exhibit itself. Apparently it's quite an honor that it will run in Memphis (since we aren't necessarily one of the big US cities). And they are anticipating a lot of people coming through to see it, which makes me hopeful it will have a big impact on our sometimes-challenged city.
(I was less than excited to hear that some of the original info we'd received about the placement [ie, the hours of operation] were a little off. That is, they're expecting most of the tour groups to come through M-F between 9 and 3 [not exactly ideal for a full-time worker], when we'd originally been told it would run 7 days a week from 9am-9pm [making it ideal if you have a full-time job]. But our group leader seems super nice and wants to accommodate us and our schedules, so hopefully we'll work that out.)
But yeah - overall I'm really excited about it. It's nice to have one specific thing into which I'm pouring my energy for Junior League. Hopefully it will be a good year!