A Culture of Belonging in Alpha Delta Pi
Alpha Delta Pi affirms the worth of every individual and actively seeks and supports a membership which represents a diverse population. We ask our members to create an atmosphere where respect for different identities, personalities, experiences, backgrounds, and beliefs are encouraged. Alpha Delta Pi is committed to providing an inclusive space for our members and communities rooted in awareness, transparency, and foundational learning, and we believe an exceptional membership experience comes from the understanding that diversity and inclusion are strengths within our sisterhood as we celebrate the lived experiences of our members.
Alpha Delta Pi creates a culture of belonging through inclusive action in our membership selection process, educational initiatives, programming, policies and procedures, and organizational operations. We call upon all members to understand innate and learned biases so they may realize the impact they have on others, and we commit to learning from our sorority’s past in order to reduce barriers to membership. We will keep the guiding principles of high educational standards, respect for our fellow beings, service to others, and the empowerment of women at the forefront as we learn and evolve through open dialogue. We commit to continual efforts to be more intentional with our inclusionary work as we endeavor to live each day by our motto, We Live for Each Other, and ensure that in doing so, our lives will be enriched by true friendships and by unselfish service to mankind.
Alpha Delta Pi is committed to creating a diverse and inclusive sisterhood that celebrates the identities and lived experiences of our members. We want to ensure we are truly embodying our motto, We Live For Each Other, in our words and actions.
On June 3, 2020, Grand Council shared the sorority’s Strategic Plan for the triennium which includes the prioritization of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI). Developed over the course of several months, this plan identified inclusivity as one of the core values of our organization.
Areas of focus include:
- Ensuring a multi-level and multi-faceted approach in addressing the needs of all organization members and integrating inclusive practices into Alpha Delta Pi.
- Understanding the sorority experience through the lens of identity using assessment and evaluation.
- Completing an education, resource, and policy audit to address shifting campus and chapter demographics.
- Researching informed programs, policy, and operations to maintain a standard of excellence.
- Enhancing diversity, equity, and inclusion resources for members.
- Determining appropriate preventative practices and restorative response process to ensure inclusive sisterhood.
- Consistently reviewing methods to ensure relevancy to student and host institution expectations.
These steps are only a starting point in our efforts to be actively anti-racist and fulfill our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. They are the beginning of a multi-year plan developed by the Diversity and Inclusion Committee with the support of Sorority leadership.
- In 2017, Alpha Delta Pi formed the Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Group and this group transitioned to the Diversity and Inclusion Committee in 2019. This committee has developed education and resources, facilitated training for chapters and volunteers, provided chapter and alumnae volunteer support, and collaborated with Sorority leadership to support DEI strategic planning.
- Alpha Delta Pi’s membership policy language was updated in 2017 to include membership eligibility to individuals identifying as women, including trans women.
- Educational sessions were held at Grand Convention 2017; in 2018 at Adelphean Compass, District Leadership Conference, and Leadership Seminar; and at Grand Convention 2019. These sessions were designed for collegiate officers and alumnae volunteers on topics relating to inclusive leadership, cultivating an inclusive sisterhood, understanding our history, and support the identities and lived experiences of members. DEI concepts continue to be infused into facilitator training and sessions for in-person experiences.
- Launched Talk About It Tuesdays, an educational series consisting of both webinars, educational posts on social media, and an online community, for members to learn and engage with one another on various topics including diversity, equity, and inclusion; health and safety; and other topics impact our members today.
- Provided education and resources for members to understand Alpha Delta Pi history, its impact today, and how we move forward to be a more inclusive organization. This item includes the Summer 2020 issues of The Adelphean, training, education, and resource development.
- Built out support and resources for already existing Diversity & Inclusion Officers in our collegiate chapters, whether at chapter-level or on the campus Panhellenic.
- Established Director of Inclusion position in the chapter officer structure.
- Developed a bias incident reporting form and support procedures laid out, disseminated, and assessed for continuous improvement.
- Created affinity spaces on Facebook for LGBTQ+ identified members, BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) members, and Interfaith discussion.
- Partnered with stakeholders, beginning with recruitment, membership experience, and Panhellenic, to evaluate current procedures and resources, identify priority areas for improvement from a DEI lens, and implement timeline for related updates and changes.
- Implemented foundational education on diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging for collegiate members, chapter officers, alumnae volunteers, and staff in partnership with Campus Prevention Network.
Engaging in diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts is a collective responsibility that requires both individual and organizational efforts. Here are some ways we invite our members to engage in these efforts:
- Educate yourself. Participate in the Talk About It Tuesdays webinar series. Read, view, and listen to some of the recommended resources shared by the Diversity and Inclusion Committee.
- Invite others into the conversation with grace. Each individual comes into this discussion at a different place in their learning journey and holding each other accountable to do better is key to growth and change.
- Be an active bystander. Address acts of racism and oppression. Actively engage your sisters, family, friends, fraternity, and sorority communities in conversations about the need to educate and advocate against racism and oppression.
- Don’t tokenize others. Be careful not to lean on our sisters of color, especially our Black sisters, to educate you about these topics. There is emotional labor in their being the ones to educate while also managing their feelings – it is not their job to educate the whole.
- Advocate for and amplify the voices of those oppressed. This will look different depending upon our stage of life. It could involve peacefully protesting in support of addressing these issues, holding our sisters, including Sorority leadership, accountable for change, speaking up to ensure there is representation at the decision-making tables of your chapter, campus, or workplace, or inquiring about the diversity and inclusion strategic plan for your campus or workplace.
The Sorority’s Work
- Owning Our Past: An Exploration of Membership Selection in Alpha Delta Pi’s History. Summer 2020 Adelphean. A review of Alpha Delta Pi’s historical membership selection processes revealed exclusionary practices that disqualified certain women from consideration. This article shares the history of those practices as well as the efforts to effect change in the organization.
- Looking Ahead: Where Do We Go from Here. Summer 2020 Adelphean. Processing our history and committing to inclusionary efforts.
- Reframing Affirmations: An Actionable Future. Spring 2021 Adelphean. Reporting on a year of work in the diversity, equity, and inclusion space since its declaration as a strategic priority.
- An Actionable Future: The Great Untangling. Summer 2021 Adelphean. Looking forward to next steps in diversity, equity, and inclusion work.
From Our Members
- Welcome. Seen. Valued. Summer 2020 Adelphean. MaDonna Connors, Zeta Pi—San Diego
- Effecting Change from Within. Summer 2020 Adelphean. Clemence Ravacon Mershon, Alpha Delta—Colby
- Aspiring to Inspire. Summer 2020 Adelphean. Inesha Wiseman, Delta Pi—Ripon
- Addressing the Model-Minority Myth. Summer 2021 Adelphean. Virginia Chang Kiraly, Omega Alpha—Alumnae Initiates
- Celebrating Their Hispanic Heritage. October 2021 Blog. Valeria Lopez, Delta Eta—McNeese State; Victoria Soliz, Theta Eta—Drake; Pamela Rodriguez, Epsilon Omicron—Murray State
Understanding Our History
As the first secret society for college women, Alpha Delta Pi has existed for over 170 years. While we have a long history and legacy, we recognize our responsibility to acknowledge our contributions to the racist and oppressive systems still in existence today. We are long overdue in taking responsibility to be better for all of our members, especially Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC), and other marginalized identity groups.
The summer 2020 issue of The Adelphean includes a report on a year’s worth of research into our exclusionary past. This was not written in reaction to recent events. Our commitment to transparency and owning our history goes back long before summer of 2020.
Part of the rollout of this report includes the development of tools and resources for our chapters, volunteers, and members to have at the ready to assist in understanding Alpha Delta Pi’s history, learning from it, and moving forward to ensure ADPi is an inclusive space for all members.
Reading Guide and History Resources
Review The Adelphean reading guide along with additional resources as they become available.
We invite members to view a recording of our Talk About It Tuesday Webinar, Owning Our History with Eyes on the Future, as a starting point to examining and exploring Alpha Delta Pi History.
Meet the Diversity and Inclusion Committee
The Diversity and Inclusion Committee is comprised of alumnae volunteers and collegiate members who drive the vision and initiatives of Alpha Delta Pi as they relate to identity and equity for the sorority. Their roles include developing resources, facilitating educational experiences, advising sorority leadership, and supporting chapters.
Vision: To encourage a membership that represents and supports a diverse population by celebrating our common values and appreciating the differences we each bring to create a sisterhood that is a welcoming space for all members.
This committee is comprised of members representing a variety of both invisible and visible identities, professions, and lived experiences. This committee is appointed each biennium with the current committee serving through 2023. If you have questions, please contact email@example.com.
* Members returning from the 2019-2021 Committee