Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Our commitment  |  Signature events  |  Programming  | Recruitment  |  Communication  |  Volunteer Committees  |  National leadership education  |  chapter recognition  |  additional resources  |  Share your voices, ideas and concerns


Alpha Chi Omega’s commitment

“To see and appreciate all that is noble in another…”

– The Symphony of Alpha Chi Omega

Diversity, equity and inclusion are unequivocally essential. But we know they have been challenging for us, for the entire sorority/fraternity industry and for our world as a whole. We acknowledge that we haven’t always lived up to these principles throughout our history. It is in the trying and the striving to do better that we learn more about what is at the core of Alpha Chi Omega – our values of wisdom, devotion and achievement – and we define and redefine what it means to be a real, strong woman.
 
We know our work in this space is never done. Our intention in this work is to facilitate the hard conversations that members, leaders and our national organization want, and need, to have. We continue to learn and explore new avenues to increase diversity and create inclusive and equitable environments where members can feel safe and confident to connect, lead, grow and serve as real, strong women.

Priorities

Alpha Chi Omega is committed to being on the forefront of the challenging conversations and the hard work necessary to achieve this goal.

Alpha Chi Omega has two desired outcomes from our diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) work – to increase diversity in our membership throughout every level of the organization and to nurture and develop a membership experience that is increasingly equitable and inclusive for members, volunteers and staff. This project list represents our highest priorities at this time and is not meant to be all inclusive. ​

A midyear 2020-21 update was shared with the members about steps taken in the first half of the fiscal year.

We ask for your dedication and support as we commit to these next steps.

There is much work to do. Together let us seek the heights.


Signature In-person events

Diversity and inclusion training and education is prioritized as part of signature in-person national leadership programs: Leadership Academy, Collegiate Growth Academy, national convention and Volunteer Summit. Specifically, the focus is on issues related to social justice and privilege and how to create and promote inclusive environments. Training targeted at collegiate chapter leaders as well as chapter advisors and operational volunteers ensures the highest priority is given to working toward social change in our chapters, campuses and communities.
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collegiate Chapter Programming

MyJourney, Alpha Chi Omega’s member education program, connects our core values of wisdom, devotion and achievement to the life experiences collegiate members face during their college career and beyond. This peer-facilitated program includes a diversity and inclusion learning path with sessions such as “Advocates Make A World of Difference,” “Being an Inclusive Sister,” “Being My Sister’s Ally,” “Embracing Diversity in Alpha Chi Omega,” and “Why Define, Refine: Learning to Unlabel.”
 
Alpha Chi Omega’s new member education program, the Dedication, includes learning, conversations and explorations about diversity, equity and inclusion. Topics include defining diversity, equity and inclusion; understanding the difference between equality and equity; identifying components of identity; and exploring the history and today’s role of national fraternities and sororities.
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Online learning

Educational webinar training for collegiate members and advisors is hosted periodically. Past webinar topics have focused on conversations about race in recruitment, cultural appropriation, stereotypes, how harmful attempts at humor are not required to have a successful event, how to intervene when something isn’t right and how to take responsibility for harm in their communities.
 
The Heights Learning Center, Alpha Chi Omega’s learning management system, includes power-skills development sessions for collegiate chapter officers on how to be inclusive leaders. Additional educational modules are available about the six major umbrella organizations in the fraternity and sorority industry, including information about their histories and missions. These training modules are designed with the audience in mind and feature engaging, interactive and impactful content to ensure success as a collegiate officer and create an inclusive chapter experience.
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Volunteer Training

Volunteer onboarding and orientation training includes a focus on inclusive volunteering for our operational volunteers. These self-directed trainings include defining what inclusive volunteering means to Alpha Chi Omega and an exploration guide with suggested reading and self-reflection questions. Additionally, various volunteer roles are asked to participate in training throughout the year focused on a variety of topics.
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Recruitment

As a women’s organization, Alpha Chi Omega is committed to creating a more inclusive membership experience and removing barriers to joining. Revisions to policies and practices continue to evolve as an increasing number of individuals choose to join Alpha Chi Omega. Whether joining via a collegiate chapter or through the National Alumna Initiate Program, there are so many opportunities to maximize the lifelong membership experience. 

Communication

Alpha Chi Omega strives to maximize communication channels to share critical content. One of those ways is an intentional social media strategy focused on honoring and learning about our diverse membership. In addition to recognizing a wide range of holidays important to our members – from Eid al-Fitr to Bodhi Day – our social media channels highlight heritage and identity recognition events, such as Hispanic Heritage Month and Black History Month, through education about the events’ history and impact and through members sharing how their heritage or identity has been part of their Alpha Chi Omega experience. You can review some of our past posts related to heritage and identity in the Highlights section on the @AlphaChiOmegaHQ Instagram account.

Communication continues through e-newsletters, blogs and our quarterly magazine, The Lyre, as we share member stories and education on topics like cultural appropriation. To read more about our commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion work on a broad scale, see this spring 2020 Lyre article. Explore a few of our member stories and educational pieces below: 
  • January 2021 blog post by a member sharing about her Hispanic heritage  
  • Winter 2020 Lyre article on fraternity/sorority umbrella organizations and how Alpha Chi Omegas can support their members 
  • Winter 2020 Lyre article on religious and cultural holidays  
  • October 2020 Hispanic Heritage Month reflection by a member on our blog  
  • October 2020 blog post on cultural appropriation (also shared in e-newsletters) 
  • Fall 2020 Lyre article about domestic violence and oppression 
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Diversity, equity and Inclusion work group

A DEI Work Group was established in August 2020 to commit to advancing DEI priorities of the organization. This group of dedicated collegians and alumnae will first focus on creating a definition of diversity and a statement of position for diversity, equity and inclusion; creating the resources and support materials for the new collegiate chapter DEI executive board officer; and establishing a process for reporting bias incidents.

MEMBERSHIP RECRUITMENT TASK FORCE 

The Membership Recruitment Task Force is a volunteer committee comprised of collegians and alumnae who will review membership recruitment policies and practices, evaluate barriers to membership and make recommendations to the National Council for any needed changes.  

Diversity and Inclusion Study Group

In 2016, Alpha Chi Omega formed a study group to explore all issues related to diversity, equity and inclusion and to pursue opportunities for education, policy development and programming to address the needs of our collegians and alumnae in this complex area. The group focused on the five areas of data collection and assessment; organizational policy, language and practices; collegiate programming; alumnae programming; and marketing and communications. The recommendations of the study group continue to guide the organization’s work. 
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Headquarters Staff and Board Member Education

The headquarters professional staff participates in ongoing education and discussions on topics of diversity, equity and inclusion, including social identities, privilege and current events impacting historically marginalized populations. These conversations and trainings occur at all-staff retreats, as part of consultant training, via webinar training series and monthly at all-staff meetings or within dedicated department discussions. 
  
The 2018-20 National Council participated in trainings and talks with national inclusion expert Jessica Pettitt. Further, in 2021 the Enterprise boards established an Enterprise DEI Board Committee to focus on further education and development of board members. Our national leaders do not shy away from challenging topics or conversations and continually seek opportunities for education.  
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collegiate Chapter Recognition

Alpha Chi Omega believes in the importance of supporting individual and local actions of our chapters. The national Diversity and Inclusion Award is presented annually to recognize chapters’ commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion at the local level. The 2020 recipient, Alpha Nu (University of Missouri) chapter, created a diversity and inclusion committee to help educate members and help ensure every aspect of chapter operations makes members feel safe, accepted and empowered. A sister served as an accessibility liaison for the Panhellenic Association, and the chapter has set a goal with its local house corporation that its facility meets full ADA requirements. The 2019 recipient, Alpha (DePauw University) chapter, hosted biweekly lunch discussions organized and facilitated by its diversity and inclusion chair to create the opportunity for sisters to come together and talk about current topics related to race, power, privilege and social justice. The chapter also shared presentations on social justice, hosted movie nights with educational documentaries and prioritized community-building with the National Pan-Hellenic Council and National Multicultural Greek Council organizations on campus.
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Educate and take action

Members are encouraged to educate themselves about topics related to diversity, equity and inclusion and to join Alpha Chi Omega in taking part in change. Below you’ll find a list of resources to support members in their development; we’ve included just a few of the many resources available for the most recent recognition months and events.

Women's History Month

Black History Month

Alpha Chi Omega Resources and Trainings

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share with us

We welcome our members’ feedback on our efforts and their ideas for resources and initiatives that we can provide as part of our commitment to the Real. Strong. Women. Experience. Share your voices, ideas and concerns here.
 
© 2021 Alpha Chi Omega.  All Rights Reserved.
Alpha Chi Omega Headquarters
5939 Castle Creek Parkway N. Dr.
Indianapolis, IN 46250

Phone: 317.579.5050
Fax: 317.579.5051
Email: info@alphachiomega.org