DIVERSITY, EQUITY, AND INCLUSION IN ALPHA DELTA PI
Grand Council Names Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion as a Top Priority for the Sorority
Last week, Alpha Delta Pi shared our commitment to creating a diverse and inclusive sisterhood that celebrates the identities of our lived experiences. We made a commitment to stand with and hear our Black members as they navigate the pain and harm caused by a longstanding history of racism and injustice. We also 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, and other marginalized identity groups. We want to ensure we are truly embodying our motto, We Live For Each Other, in our words and actions. For it is only in doing so that we can be better as a partner on campuses and within communities.
On June 2, 2020, Grand Council shared the sorority’s 2020 Strategic Plan for the biennium with the International Officers and Staff who will be responsible for executing it. Developed over the course of the last few months, this new plan prioritizes Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion and identifies inclusivity as one of the core values of our organization.
Strategies for this prioritization 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 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 into 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.
An impactful campaign for change within our organization cannot be developed or delivered in a week. We have provided a space for members to engage in this conversation through our Talk About It Tuesdays webinar series, which provides the opportunity for listening, learning, and sharing on topics of inclusion. The upcoming issue of The Adelphean includes content around this topic. More details will be forthcoming in member and stakeholder communications.
We hear the demand for action from our sisters. We agree and commit to addressing them with the direction of the outstanding professionals on our Diversity and Inclusion Committee. Change takes time and we appreciate your continued accountability to move our Sorority and one another forward. While the organization has significant work to do as we unlearn and dismantle internally oppressive systems, we ask our members to commit to the following call to action:
- Educate yourself. Participate in the Talk About It Tuesdays webinar series, including our upcoming webinar on deconstructing implicit bias. 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.
Many sisters have found themselves compelled to financially support one or many non-profit organizations or special fundraisers that offer resources and education to the Black Lives Matter movement and community organizations around the country. As an international organization, Alpha Delta Pi has not endorsed any particular giving outlet, as there are many that are worthy of receipt. Instead we encourage our members to research options in their communities and throughout the country to find a fund that resonates with them. Whether it be a non-profit dedicated to helping Black women start small businesses, a private fund to help the families of victims, or a large national movement, we are confident that our sisters will give as they are able in order to fulfill our commitment to unselfish service to mankind.
The Diversity & Inclusion Committee continues to examine and evaluate Alpha Delta Pi’s efforts to create a more inclusive sisterhood. We want to ensure the voices of all our members are accurately represented at the table, especially those who have often felt silenced by our Sorority’s past practices. If you have further insights, questions, or suggestions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Published: June 3, 2020