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Our Commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Taking Steps Forward

Since the National Council established Kappa Delta’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee in summer 2020 (meet the committee members below), we have been working hard to take steps forward with intentionality and care. Additionally, while there is much “in progress” – and this work, in its nature, will never be “done” – here are updates on what we have focused on thus far.

  • Worked with experts and the DE&I Committee to heighten our efforts to educate our national leaders, local volunteers, members and staff on the issues of diversity, equity, racial justice, inclusion, implicit bias and privilege, and developed additional educational programming for chapters and local advisors. We have: 
    • Facilitated Identity Exploration workshops for all undergraduates, comprised of meaningful activities to engage women in conversation about diversity, social identities and privilege. 
    • Partnered with CAMPUSPEAK to provide foundational diversity, equity and inclusion training to headquarters staff, national volunteers, chapter leaders and local advisors; Dr. Stacey Pearson-Wharton, a respected campus professional and counselor, facilitated these workshops.  
    • Partnered with Plaid, LLC to provide online training to collegiate members and national and local alumnae volunteers. The course focused on creating inclusive environments. Local chapter advisors also took a second course related to their role, and collegians took one focused on risk management and safety.
  • Implemented Sisterhood Community Conversations to provide alumnae who identify as Black, Sisters of Color, LGBTQ+, and Sisters with Disabilities with affinity spaces to connect. (More info below.)
  • Hosted listening sessions with alumnae, collegians and volunteers to hear their perspectives.  
  • Conducted a chapter climate study to gather information about the current state within each chapter on several issues related to diversity, equity and inclusion, allowing us to better understand and support the needs for each chapter.
  • Implemented the Bias Response and Intervention Team (BRIT), a new group with a process to help collegiate chapters address incidences of bias that may occur in the chapter. The response team supplements a chapter’s standards board, providing an additional layer of support focused on creating an inclusive and safe environment for our collegiate members.
  • Updated the sorority’s legacy practices to give chapters greater autonomy.  
  • Made revisions and enhancements to the Ritual to create a greater sense of belonging for our diverse membership while retaining the core tenets envisioned by our founders of a sisterhood based on true friendship.
  • Established need-based scholarships through the Kappa Delta Foundation.  
  • Enhanced the appointment process for the National Leadership Team to improve the inclusivity of our process, with the goal of drawing a more diverse team to serve Kappa Delta.  
  • Piloted a new chapter elections and slating process to create a transparent and equitable election process inclusive of all membership that builds an empowering foundation for collegiate leaders to experience personal development.
  • Developing resources to support a DE&I appointed officer in every chapter.  
  • Working with the committee to identify an expert on diversity, equity and inclusion to provide a comprehensive analysis of policies and procedures across all areas of the organization — leadership, membership, finances, operations, programming, etc.as well as review them in the context of our history related to diversity, equity and inclusion. This will help us identify biases, barriers and prejudices that have or currently impact the opportunities and experiences of our members, as well as address other important aspects of diversity, equity and inclusion.
  • Taking a closer look at Kappa Delta’s publications and communication channels to ensure they continue to represent members of all races and backgrounds. You can help ensure your voice is heard and your experience and communities are represented in our communications and social media by sending us story ideas, photos, and general feedback toKDnews@kappadelta.org, as well as responding to calls for stories.
  • Will continue to work to foster a safe place for open and authentic conversations on the topics of diversity, equity and inclusion. 
  • Will continue to inspire our members to take action in their communities and speak out.

Updated March 18, 2021

Share your thoughts and ideas with National Council.

We encourage you to complete this form or email yourexperience@kappadelta.org to offer your perspective. Please note that all member experiences, comments and suggestions have been documented and will be referenced as we develop the near- and long-term plans.

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee

Fifteen members were appointed by the National Council to serve on Kappa Delta’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee from more than 150 collegiate and alumnae applicants. Michelle Robinson McNulty, chair of the committee, served on Kappa Delta’s National Leadership Team for seven years, most recently as a division director. She has worked in higher education for nearly 10 years and currently holds the position of assistant director of New Student Connections at the University of South Florida where she is pursuing her doctorate. As a 14-year member of Kappa Delta, Michelle brings a valuable perspective to lead these efforts.

The Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee members include:

  • Michelle Robinson McNulty, chair, Beta Mu-Bowling Green State
  • Jackie Bruce, Ph.D., a 1994 initiate of Phi Epsilon-Colorado State
  • Lucy Dang, a 2015 initiate of Zeta Omega-Memphis
  • Susan M. Drange, Ph.D., a 1979 initiate of Omega Chi-Cornell
  • Stefanie Zimmerman Gray, a 2003 initiate of Epsilon Iota-Missouri
  • Carly Griffith Hotvedt, a 2002 initiate of Nu-Oklahoma State
  • Kim Lewis, a 2008 initiate of Eta Eta-Northern Kentucky
  • Brianna Blackshire Miller, a 2010 initiate of Eta Beta-Bradley
  • Samantha Mosby, a 2005 initiate of Eta Eta-Northern Kentucky
  • Lindsey White Peterson, a 2005 initiate of Lambda-Northwestern
  • Lakeisha Phillips, a 2019 initiate of Eta Epsilon-South/Sewanee
  • Alivia Roberts, a 2014 initiate of Delta Omega-Mississippi State
  • Natalie Rooney, a 2009 initiate of Epsilon Iota-Missouri
  • Rose Sall, a 2019 initiate of Alpha Omicron-Queens
  • Grace Tabor, a 2018 initiate of Beta Alpha-Virginia

 

National President Tricia Ruma Spence and University Case Manager Emily Ulmer Feinstein serve as ex-officio members of the committee. Read the full press release.

The Committee’s Guiding Principles

We believe in building confidence within all of our members and inspiring them to action. Therefore, the committee will recommend resources, training, and educational tools for all collegiate and alumnae members. 

We believe in growth through lifetime learning. Therefore the committee’s efforts will focus at all levels of the membership experience from potential new members through the alumnae member experience. 

We believe in taking responsibility one’s integrity and ethical actions. Therefore, the committee will be steadfast in recommending the removal and/or revision of practices, policies, ritual, and traditions centered in whiteness, colorblind and white supremacist ideologies, and all other forms of bias. Therefore, the committee will recommend methods to address behaviors inconsistent with our efforts to become a more inclusive organization that is standing against racial injustice and any other form of discrimination.  

We believe in engaging in social and civic interest. Therefore, the committee will recommend the creation of communities for members who share identities and experiences to connect, build coalitions, and advocate for change within this organization and others.  

We believe in altruistically serving others. Therefore, the committee will serve in the best interest of the organization by recommending the dismantling of any systemic and systematic oppression and providing recommendations to replace those systems with more inclusive systems. 

We believe in offering truth and loyalty to Kappa Deltas everywhere. Therefore, the committee affirms each member comes to diversity, equity, and inclusion work at different levels. The committee will consult on correcting any missteps and adjusting course as we move towards becoming a more inclusive organization.

 

Sisterhood Community Conversations

Sisterhood Community Conversations provide opportunities for members who share identities and similar experiences to connect. Current groups include: Black Sisters, Sisters of Color, LGBTQ+ Sisters, and Sisters with Disabilities. By providing members with a dedicated space to network and connect, we hope all sisters can find a space of support and care.

If you are interested in joining the conversation, let us know which SCC is of interest to you! Click this link to connect with a group facilitator: SCC Connect

 

Take Action

We are proud of our members, collegians and alumnae, who are taking action to recognize and address institutional, structural, and individual and systemic racism in their communities. For those who are looking for a place to start or want to take additional action, we encourage you to consider these steps:

Reach out. Listen. Seek opportunities to listen, start the conversation and provide a safe space for others to speak about their experiences and perspectives.

 

Educate Yourself. Take steps to acknowledge experiences are different and learn about your biases and behaviors that support systemic racism.

 

Take Action. Make an impact in your community.

  • Participate in the 21-Day Racial Equity Habit Building Challenge.
  • Support businesses owned by members of marginalized communities in your local community.
  • Amplify diverse voices through your social media and communication channels.
  • Consider volunteering your time to an organization in need of support.
  • Take an active role in your community through joining an organization or advocating for change to local officials.
  • Donate to an organization of your choosing that addresses racial injustice.
  • Call out or report racism or bias when you see it.
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