SIE President elect Anna Wszelaczynska has written the following call in anticipation of the SI Centenary in 2021:
Soroptimist International was founded in 1921 in Oakland, California, as a service organisation for women. Today Soroptimist Clubs are spread over 122 countries, and in 2021 Soroptimists will celebrate the centenary of our organisation.
Soroptimist International of the Americas is organising a 100th Anniversary Celebration for members of all Federations from 1-3 October 2021 in San Francisco, but Soroptimist International of Europe, our Unions, Single Clubs, the Board and myself are determined to commemorate this event in our Federation as well. That is why we have decided to begin the 22nd Congress held in Krakow, Poland on 2 – 4 July 2021 with a jubilee celebration.
We should not miss this opportunity to raise awareness of our organisation to the outside world. I see it as a great way to astonish and amaze participants and invited media alike. A centenary does not happen every year, so celebrations have to be unforgettable! Even if you might not be able to participate personally, all Unions and Single Clubs of SIE should use this opportunity for public events.
As the largest global service organisation of professional women and one of the oldest, Soroptimist International is still modern and vibrant. The centenary will be a perfect opportunity to remind ourselves and the wider public of our achievements and our international connections to decision-making organisations.
There are several ideas how to celebrate: competition of projects, 100 projects for a 100th anniversary, a Jubilee Prize, a Jubilee Scholarship, stories, films, a Federation-wide project, etc. And how about inviting well-known speakers, e.g. celebrities to support us with our work for women? I’m sure they will come to support an organisation which is represented at so many international bodies. It will give us another opportunity to show how much still has to be done! Let’s think of something great; sky is the limit.
All this has to be done together; it has to be the joint work of all Soroptimists. We need a team to co-ordinate activities and to develop the best ideas. So we appeal to Union Presidents and Single Club Presidents to appoint someone from their respective country to be a member of our organising team, which will be led by Christine Peer, SI Representative UN/Vienna. We will also work closely with Advocacy Co-ordinators.
Please submit your nominees by the end of February 2019 and send their contact details to firstname.lastname@example.org, using the reference “SI turns 100”.
I’m sure that joint work will result in an amazing jubilee!