About Jack and Jill of America, Inc.
Our Mission Statement
Jack and Jill of America, Incorporated is a membership organization with children ages 2-19, dedicated to nurturing future African-American leaders by strengthening children through development, volunteer service, philanthropic giving and civic duty.
History of the Sun Valley Chapter
The history of the Sun Valley Provisional Chapter began swiftly! A decision was made by the Far West Region to see if there would be enough sustained interest to begin a new chapter when the established Phoenix Chapter could no longer accommodate the interest of mothers from across the valley. And so our story begins.
An interest meeting via conference call was hosted by Past National Officer and Far West Regional Growing Strategically Task Force Chair Kimberley Goode of the Contra Costa, California Chapter in July 2019. Though eligible for associate status, PNO Goode took the challenge of assisting this new interest group as her final contribution as a Jack and Jill mother member. Since she too had been a part of a provisional group, PNO Goode often shared that she was leaving as she had begun.
During the interest meeting, an overview of Jack and Jill of America, Incorporated and the provisional process was shared. Time was short and the interest group had to move quickly to meet the impending deadline to request provisional status. Under the guidance and leadership of Organizer Chilesa J. Ready, who later became the group’s first president, documents were gathered from mothers all over the valley. Within the span of one week, the necessary information was collected from 29 mothers and the request for provisional group status timely filed.
With the support of the Phoenix Chapter and the Far West Regional Leadership Team, the National Executive Board of Jack and Jill of America, Incorporated approved the request on October 2, 2019, and the Phoenix Valley Provisional Group was born. Over the coming months, the mothers selected leaders, created children’s programming and began training for the work at hand. The chartering officers were Chilesa J. Ready, President; Tina Swanson, Vice President; Jenoia Ivy, Program Director; Erica L. Richmond, Recording Secretary; Jessica Delafield, Corresponding Secretary; Kimberly Roberson, Treasurer; Janet Melvin, Financial Secretary; Miranda Baugh, Editor/Historian; Erica Tatum-Sheade, Chaplain; Tanya L. Smith, Parliamentarian; and Tamika Sanders, Foundation Chair.
They engaged in a robust national training schedule led by National Vice President Tanya Hand and Past National President Alice Leigh Peoples. In addition, regional trainings were held by PNO Goode and a Regional Tea/Meet & Greet hosted by Regional Director Diane Little.
The Phoenix Valley Provisional Group would face many challenges as mothers of varying backgrounds sought to come together to create a serving and kind community. However, the sponsoring Phoenix Chapter was never far from their side. With the mentorship and support of Phoenix Chapter President Dawn Smith and Phoenix Chapter 2nd Vice President and Liaison Pamela Starks, the young group forged forward. They participated in the city’s annual MLK March, visited senior centers, made packages for the homeless, packed meals at a local food bank and engaged in STEM targeted activities. The fathers organized the group’s first family gathering, and the teens joined their sponsor chapter in viewing the Harriet Movie.
In March of 2020, the world was stunned by a global pandemic. Businesses closed, jobs were lost, public venues shut down, and stay at home orders were issued. Grocery stores rationed basic essentials, schools sent children home and mask mandates were enforced. Not to be deterred or discouraged by the prohibition against in-person gathering, the group met virtually via zoom for its business meetings and the mothers created engaging virtual programming for the children. A virtual calendar was created including weekly prayer calls, yoga and informationals on schooling from home to provide mother support. In addition, President Chilesa facilitated the first virtual executive board retreat which included
greetings from National Program Director Lisa Grant Dawson, a mini facial demonstration and strategic planning around the theme Moving Forward As One: Service, Compassion, Sisterhood.
During the same period, America entered a season of heightened awareness regarding social inequality incited by the deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and others who were unjustly killed. Massive protest marches and rallies occurred around the country led by individuals uniting under the banner of Black Lives Matter. It created a unique opportunity for the group to engage in civic activities and become a part of history in the making. During the summer months, mothers and their children took to the streets to participate in rallies for the cause of justice.
On August 23, 2020 at the 44th National Convention, delegates from 247 chapters rendered an affirmative vote granting the mothers of the Phoenix Valley Provisional Group the new status - Sun Valley Provisional Chapter. To commemorate this approval, the mothers had their first virtual Mothers Retreat Weekend kicked off with a Comedy Nite hosted by the Fathers Auxiliary and followed by a fun day of painting, yoga and self-care sessions. The Provisional Chapter was honored to receive special greetings and congratulations from National Vice President Claudia Curtis, National Editor Florence Lankford and Past National Officer Kimberley Goode.
Today, October 23, 2020, 20 mothers officially charter the Sun Valley Chapter, dedicated to impacting the lives of their children, their community and their world.