SIGMA KAPPA Sigma Kappa

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Over the past several months, the national conversation around systemic racism and injustice on top of the challenges from the ongoing pandemic continue to weigh heavily on all of our hearts and minds.  Each of us has been affected in different ways and many of us have no experience to draw upon as we navigate these difficult times. It has been reassuring to see so many sisters continuing to Live with Heart, speaking up in solidarity to support our Black sisters, holding our organization accountable to our own values, and taking the time to educate ourselves and each other on how to actively fight racism and social injustice.    

At this moment, we are examining ourselves, our policies and practices to determine whether we are contributing, actively or passively, to social injustice. Sigma Kappa is committed to providing a welcoming, safe, and meaningful experience for all members. While we have made organizational progress since our diversity & inclusion initiative was launched in 2018, we know there is still so much more work to do. We also know our success is dependent on the help, feedback and actions of our individual members.   

We need to do more to assure our Sisters of Color and other underrepresented women feel welcomed, included and empowered in our organization. While words matter, our actions matter more. To demonstrate this commitment to action, national council, the Foundation board of trustees, the National Housing Corporation board of directors and the staff of all three entities have been working collaboratively to develop immediate next steps on how all three entity boards and staffs will continue to make diversity, equity, inclusion and access (DEIA) a priority throughout the organization.  

We want you to be proud of your association with Sigma Kappa and all that it stands for. We are confident that we can improve aspects of our organization that might prevent us from being fully inclusive, equitable, or accessible. We know that this work will enrich the membership experience for everyone and ensure that Sigma Kappa continues to thrive for generations to come. 

If you are interested in investing in DEIA work, please click here to make a gift to the PULSE annual fund which will help underwrite the programs and resources to support Sigma Kappa DEIA initiatives 

If you have questions or would like to provide feedback or share your stories, please email us at inclusion@sigmakappa.org. 

 
DEIA Commitment
  • We commit to providing quarterly updates in the Sigma Kappa Triangle and other Sigma Kappa communications on our progress on these and future initiatives in this area.   

  • We will continually ask ourselves how we are including our Women of Color and other underrepresented women as we strive to make our membership more diverse. 

  • We are investing in immediate and ongoing professional education on diversity, equity, inclusion, and access for national council, the Foundation board of trustees, the National Housing Corporation board of directors, and the national headquarters staff of all three entities. This training will be facilitated by our DEIA Consultant, Vicki Clark.

  • We are engaging with Vicki Clark, an expert in the field of diversity, equity, inclusion, and access, to identify Sigma Kappa’s needs and opportunities in this area and to create professional resources to move us forward. This work will be funded with a grant from the Sigma Kappa Foundation.

  • National council and Sorority staff is developing a new strategic plan for Sigma Kappa that takes us beyond the immediate pandemic obstacles and into the future. We are excited to share that plan with you in the coming months. DEIA will be prominently featured throughout our strategic plan and woven into everything we do. 

  • A creative team is currently creating resources to support the now required DEIA chairwoman position for collegiate chapters as well as additional DEIA resources for collegiate chapters. 

DEIA Consultant

Because we are not experts in the field of diversity, equity, inclusion and access, we have engaged a professional to guide us along this journey. Vicki Clark (Vicki Clark Consulting) will provide ongoing DEIA training and partner with the boards and staff as we identify Sigma Kappa’s needs and opportunities and create resources to move us forward. Vicki is a servant leader. As a servant leader, her approach is to begin the work first as a listener, learner, and community builder. She meets organizations where they are and builds a framework and the scaffolding to support change. Her work involves action planning and implementation designed to fully engage and harness the power of the board, members and stakeholders. Vicki has worked with dozens of women's leadership groups at local and national levels. She is aware of the nuances that exist in executing an organization's desire to move towards diversity, equity, inclusion and access, and takes a collaborative approach with boards, membership and staff. We have started working with Vicki and look forward to learning from her.

DEIA Committee & Charge

Sigma Kappa’s diversity, equity, inclusion and access committee will help us to better consider and understand the perspectives of our sisters who identify as Black, Indigenous, and Women of Color; LGBTQIA+ Women; and Women with Disabilities. The committee will: 

  • Provide feedback and advice to Sigma Kappa national council, Foundation board of trustees, National Housing Corporation board of directors, and staff of all three entities on how the boards' efforts will affect inclusion, diversity, equity, and access across the organization.   

  • Assist in implementing Sigma Kappa's DEIA action plan, developed with assistance of an outside expert.   

  • Ensure the boards and staff are aware of emerging trends within DEIA so Sigma Kappa understands how those developments impact the organization.  

  • Work with (i) the committees responsible for recommending board members of the three entities and (ii) the volunteers and staff responsible for appointing and hiring Sigma Kappa volunteers and staff to identify opportunities for greater inclusion and ascension of Women of Color and other diverse and affected groups into leadership and staff positions within Sigma Kappa.    

  • Work side-by-side with three committee members appointed by the Sorority, Foundation, and National Housing Corporation.  

 Click here to learn about the women on the DEIA Committee.

Foundation Workgroup

The Sigma Kappa Foundation commissioned a work group of alumnae and collegians to look at the mission-based ways we can use our resources to have a positive impact in DEIA. The workgroup will identify barriers that exist for our members and potential members from underrepresented groups, solutions to help eliminate those barriers, opportunities to strengthen our commitment to DEIA, and other ways in which the Sigma Kappa Foundation can provide resources to support our sisters in these areas.

 

Marissa Wilkes, Chair

Theta Iota, The State University of New York at Fredonia

Martha Bronitsky

Alpha Omicron, University of California, Los Angeles

Shannon Chang

Zeta Phi, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey

Lisa Gilbert

Kappa Xi, University of Nevada, Reno

Christie Gillespie

Best Sigma, Purdue Univeristy

Anna Henk

Gamma Theta, California State University, Long Beach

Lisa Humenik, Trustee

Gamma Mu, Eastern Illinois Unversity

Alli Kopetzky

Gamma Alpha, University of Northern Colorado

Kim Padilla

Alpha Gamma, Washington State University

Lucy Siegel

Delta, Boston University

Sarah Womble, Trustee

Delta Tau, University of Central Arkansas