Notes of Belonging

Notes of Belonging

“Will You Accept the Challenge”

By Autumn McBride (Tau, Brenau University), assistant director of diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives

We are Alpha Chi Omega. We are real women: diverse in our experiences, our identities and our stories. From Bid Day to graduation all the way to membership milestones, Alpha Chi Omega remains a sisterhood committed to creating spaces where all members are respected, are included and feel a sense of belonging. Each of us has walked a different path that brought us to our “home away from home,” and what better way to recognize our diverse experiences than by sharing our Notes of Belonging? 

Together we will compose the melody of our organization, highlighting moments our members championed change and embraced their unique identities through membership in Alpha Chi Omega, all while exploring quick tips and resources to aid your diversity, equity and inclusion learning. 

It is our hope that through Notes of Belonging, you will learn something valuable that will encourage you to foster diversity and cultivate equitable and inclusive environments. 

The work in this space is never done, but it is in the trying and the striving to do better that we learn more about ourselves and we define and redefine what it means to be a real, strong woman.   

And that brings us to our first Note of Belonging … Will You Accept the Challenge?

“We accept the challenge. We recognize our weaknesses, our imperfections – they do not impede our progress, rather they are urges to greater perfection. Let us not talk about beautiful ideas, let us live them.” – Ethel Mead Van Auken (Lambda, Syracuse University) 

Sister Ethel Mead Van Auken (1891-1955)  believed in the power of change and action. The world will never stop evolving — so Alpha Chi Omega will never stop embracing the women who champion that change and accept the challenge. The Real. Strong. Women.® Experience prepares our members to evolve with the world and continue to lead change in it.


• Read– Consider reading a book from your local library or an article online as a starting point and having a conversation with a sister, family member or friend to discuss the information. Taking personal ownership to educate yourself is important! 

• Listen – Listen to the needs of individuals and your community and make commitments to take action. Reflect using these questions:

  • What is the identified problem or community need?
  • What communities/identity groups are you a member of? How might this be related to your commitment to service?
  • What do you hope to gain from this experience? 

• Act – Explore organizations that are taking action within your community and decide how you might engage. Try exploring volunteer opportunities by visiting Volunteer Match, donate or expand an organization’s reach by spreading the word!

Did Ethel’s quote inspire you? What did you learn from this Note of Belonging? Join Alpha Chi Omega in being champions for change and explore topics related to diversity, equity and inclusion by visiting the Educate and Take Action webpage. 

Want to share your thoughts or personal experience with belonging through your Alpha Chi Omega experience? Share your story now