Alpha Sigma Alpha DEI Statement
Alpha Sigma Alpha views diversity as the full range of identities, perspectives and experiences our members bring to the organization. The interplay between these differences and similarities creates the richness of our membership. We are committed to cultivating an inclusive environment where all members feel a sense of belonging. This is only achieved if members feel comfortable expressing every dimension of their authentic selves and trust they will be respected.
Prioritize Diversity, Equity and Inclusion – We need leadership and a committed effort to make Alpha Sigma Alpha more inclusive. A vision reminds us why the work is important and metrics keep us focused.
- Conduct strategic planning through a DEI lens – The 2022-2024 strategic plan encourages increased access to the sorority experience through new approaches, as well as an inclusive environment based on a culture of care.
- Include DEI criteria for the establishment of new chapters- Began implementation in fall 2020
- Create a collegiate officer position that focuses on DEI – Created the position in fall 2020
- Acknowledge the native land our headquarters is built upon –Land acknowledgment statement posted at HQ and on the website Fall 2020
- Conduct land acknowledgments at regional and national events – This practice began during the summer of 2020 and continues at in-person and virtual events.
Culture – This work will require all members of Alpha Sigma Alpha working together to create a membership experience that facilitates an environment of trust and authenticity.
- Share DEI initiatives and progress with the organization on a regular basis
- Revise The Ritual of Alpha Sigma Alpha to be more welcoming to members of all faiths – Updated version published July 2020
- Identify strategies for holding members accountable that are built upon on a culture of care – Recommendations have been made by the DEI Task Force (Membership Experience Workgroup) that will be implemented in fall 2023.
- Increase accessibility for members of different abilities at the chapter and national level – Revisions made to The Ritual in the spring of 2020 help chapters make rituals and ceremonies more accessible. In addition, the DEI Task Force (Membership Experience Workgroup) created an Accessibility Resource Guide that will be made available by fall 2023.
- Review collegiate and alumnae chapter events, operations and norms to address implicit biases – Recommendations have been made by the DEI Task Force (Membership Experience Workgroup) that will be implemented throughout 2023.
- Assess membership fees for potential barriers to membership – In the spring of 2022, a volunteer team researched potential financial commitment models for greater access to membership and to mitigate financial barriers.
- Review the Foundation scholarship application process for potential barriers and implicit bias – Changes to the application and review process were implemented beginning with the 2022-2023 scholarships.
Tell Our Story – The portrait of Alpha Sigma Alpha membership has changed over time and we have an incredible wealth of identities, stories and backgrounds to share and learn from our members.
- Highlight the diversity of our membership on our national and chapter social media platforms – We continue to highlight women in all stages of membership while also showcasing the full range of identities, perspectives and experiences our members bring to the organization.
- Review and update, as necessary, all marketing and recruitment materials to ensure equitable representation – The spring 2022 issue of the Phoenix featured an article titled “Grappling with our Past, Looking Towards a Better Future” written by the DEI Task Force (Historical Research and Documentation Workgroup).
- Acknowledge and address prejudices in Alpha Sigma Alpha’s history
- Engage in on-going facilitated conversations with the membership to understand structural racisms/isms, othering and exclusions which may have been naturally normalized in policies and practices
Recruit and Develop Diverse Talent – The success of Alpha Sigma Alpha is amplified when we engage with individuals who bring different perspectives to our sisterhood.
- Review and assess the Membership Selection procedure for implicit bias – Recommendations have been made by the DEI Task Force (Inclusive Recruitment Workgroup) that will be implemented by fall 2023.
- Identify recruitment strategies that create a sense of belonging – The Recruitment Resource Project Team is developing a guide to be available for fall 2023 recruitment.
- Continue to diversify our board of directors, staff and volunteer roles
- Explore opportunities for DEI-focused leadership positions throughout the organization
Leadership Development – Growth and development allows members to reach their potential as women and leaders, especially when that learning is rooted in the principles of diversity, equity and inclusion.
- Educate members on the use of individual pronouns
- Normalize the use of pronouns by encouraging members to add pronouns to email signatures and other forms of communication – The sorority began documenting pronouns in the membership database, as well as asking members to share their pronouns through event registrations so they can be included on name tags.
- Define desired outcomes and identify education content and delivery for the following topics:
– Appropriate Gendered Language
– Social Justice and Equity (which includes color blindness, ability and socioeconomic differences)
– Implicit Bias – The DEI Task Force (Learning & Development Workgroup) created a workshop that will be presented at The Academy events during the spring and fall of 2023, and will be made available to chapters.
– Body Image & Sizeism
– Leading with a DEI Lens
Alpha Sigma Alpha DEI Task Force
Alpha Sigma Alpha has appointed a task force comprised of four workgroups that focus on the different areas specific to the DEI Framework. Each workgroup has a leader working with a team of members to complete specific tasks.
The DEI Task Force is responsible for the following areas of work:
1. Learning & Development Workgroup
2. Historical Research & Documentation Workgroup
3. Membership Experience Workgroup
4. Membership Selection Workgroup