EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. – Beloved track star and Olympic gold medalist Jackie Joyner-Kersee hosted a luncheon Friday to celebrate and advocate for women.
The Jackie Joyner-Kersee Foundation recognized local leaders to discuss how they make a change in their communities. A diverse group of women from different walks of life filled the JJK Center in East St. Louis for a panel about inclusion and opening dialogue.
“We're talking about Women's History Month. And so much women have contributed to, you know, this nation, being the day of International Women's Day, what women have contributed to the world,” said Joyner-Kersee. “…And to bring us all together in a dialogue that I hope extends beyond this luncheon. Is that how do we continue to make a difference, not only in our communities but the workforce. You know, trying to balance having a leveled playing field. The equity dealing with the social economics of why different communities are beat down, and how we can continue trying to invest and lift up different communities.”
The most important thing that Joyner-Kersee wants women to know is that we need everyone when it comes to making the change we want to see.
“You know, what I want the women to know is that it's all-inclusive. We are not alienating the men because we need each other to build a stronger community, a stronger nation, and a better world,” she said. “So for me, it’s that if we can start today, and we start today with a luncheon here at the JJK Center, eventually I want to parlay that into workshops. You know, working with the schools and bringing in a lot of young girls so they can see, when you go into the corporate world, the different challenges and also the progression being made.”