By Autumn McBride (Tau, Brenau University), assistant director of diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives
Did you know that the United States Interstate Highway System spans nearly 47,000 miles? Think of having to drive all of those roads. Where would you start? What resources would you need? Who might you meet along the way?
It is Alpha Chi Omega’s goal to create a welcoming environment where all members feel they can share the road, inviting others along the way to join them. By sharing our unique experiences and championing diversity, our members are creating spaces where individuals feel like they belong and most importantly, that there is room for them to be their most authentic self.
So where on the road will we meet you? Whether in the fast or the slow lane, there’s always room for more passengers! Read more below about Alpha Chi Omega’s Social Justice Freeway to identify your starting point and ways to further your social justice efforts.
The Slow Lane
The slow lane is the starting place for many, chipping away at injustice little by little.
Congrats on beginning on your social justice educational journey – we are so glad you are here! Maybe you were brought here by curiosity or life experiences; either way, the slow lane is a great starting point. Here you can build a strong foundation and further your diversity, equity and inclusion skills and awareness of social issues.
Pit Stop – Consider expanding your cultural awareness and defining cultural humility and cultural competency. Check out this quick video to learn more!
The Middle Lane
Individuals here have found their direction and speed and are working with others. Lane changes may occur.
You are cruising steadily along! Some days you find yourself confident in the fast lane, and other times you may travel back to the slow lane building up your foundational skills. You have a list of destinations along the way and are working with others to get there!
Pit Stop – Have you connected with your local social justice-based nonprofit (e.g., YWCA)? Find an organization near you and consider attending an upcoming program or workshop to further your knowledge!
The Fast Lane
Individuals who advocate for the ideal and are confidently gaining speed drive in the fast lane.
You’re on the move! The car is on cruise control, and you have a destination in mind and the tools needed to get there. Maybe you’ve been in this lane for a couple of hours. Or maybe it’s just been minutes. Either way, you are energized and ready to go!
Pit Stop – Living life in the fast lane takes a lot of energy, and it’s important to prioritize self-care and do all you can to prevent burnout and compassion fatigue. Read this resource guide to develop a self-care plan and identify how to practice sustainable activism.
The Carpool Lane (HOV Lane)
In the carpool lane, you’ll find those working together to advance the mission, support their community and increase their impact. All passengers are welcome.
Imagine this: You and your friends are on a cross-country trip, one you’ve dreamed of forever. Your playlist is set, your map is ready to go, and you have a full tank of gas – the road is yours for the taking! You are confident and feeling equipped, and you know that this trip will be the best one yet. You hope to meet a friend or two along the way and can’t wait to share your story with others.
Pit Stop – There are numerous social justice organizations helping to advance the work of the communities they support. Try exploring volunteer opportunities by visiting VolunteerMatch, donating or expanding an organization’s reach by spreading the word!
Resource adapted from “On-ramps and Lanes on the Racial Justice Freeway” by Shelly Tochluk
Are you feeling inspired? 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!