Our Commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
Taking Steps Forward
- We have established a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee to provide guidance to the National Council.
- We will work with the committee to identify an expert on diversity, equity and inclusion to provide a comprehensive analysis of all policies and procedures across all areas of the organization — leadership, membership, finances, operations, programming, etc. The goal is to discover biases and barriers that impact the opportunities and experiences of Black women, Indigenous women and women of color in Kappa Delta as well as address other important aspects of diversity, equity and inclusion. Already, the National Council revised the sorority’s legacy practices to give chapters more autonomy.
- The annual update to the Member Handbook, usually released in November, was moved up to early August. Revisions are meant to ensure the organization’s policies and procedures are inclusive and equitable as we welcome new members.
- We 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. The changes to our Ritual reflect who we are today and, in doing so, the National Council believes this will create a more inclusive ceremony for all members.
- We are taking a critical look at our history in the context of diversity, equity and inclusion. We are working with volunteers and staff to gather information on how bias and prejudice have played a part in our history so we can provide transparency, and contextualitzation of Kappa Delta’s past. We recognize the society our founders experienced and how the sorority was shaped by the times in which they lived.
- We are taking a closer look at Kappa Delta’s publications to ensure they continue to represent members of all races and backgrounds. You can make sure your voice is heard and your experience and communities are represented in our communications and social media by sending us story ideas, photos, suggestions for notable KDs to feature and general feedback to KDnews@kappadelta.org.
- We will work with experts and our new Diversity, Equity and Inclusion 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 white privilege and develop additional educational programming for chapters and local advisors.
- We will provide a space for collegians to engage in virtual or in-person conversations and learning this fall. All members and new members will participate in an Identity Exploration workshop comprised of meaningful activities to engage women in a conversation about diversity, social identities, and privilege. This is the first step in laying a foundation for future programming.
- The DE&I Committee will host listening sessions with alumnae, collegians and volunteers to hear their perspectives. Watch for more information on how you can join a listening session. Your input will be crucial. Additionally, we are planning Sisterhood Community Conversations where members with similar backgrounds and experiences will have a space to share the challenges they are facing in today’s world.
- Some chapters have already established an appointed officer position to oversee their efforts in this area, and the national organization is creating a detailed plan to support a DE&I appointed officer position in every chapter.
- We will work to foster a safe place for open and authentic conversations on the topics of diversity, equity and inclusion.
- We will continue to inspire our members to take action in their communities and speak out.
Share your thoughts and ideas with us.
We encourage you to complete this form or email firstname.lastname@example.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.
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.
- Review The 8 R’s of Talking About Race: How to Have Meaningful Conversations.
- Read Eight Lessons for Talking about Race, Racism and Racial Injustice.
- Read So you Want to Talk about Race?, by Ijeoma Oluo.
Educate Yourself. Take steps to acknowledge experiences are different and learn about your biases and behaviors that support systemic racism.
- Read White Fragility, by Robin DiAngelo, or How to be an Antiracist, by Ibram X. Kendi.
- Watch the documentary, 13th (available on Netflix).
- Take the Harvard Implicit Association Test, Project Implicit: Social Attitudes.
- Learn how to help children learn and take action against racism with this guide from our philanthropic partner Girl Scouts of the USA.
Take Action. Make an impact in your community.
- Participate in the 21-Day Racial Equity Habit Building Challenge.
- Support black-owned businesses in your local community.
- Consider volunteering your time to an organization in need of support.
- Attend a protest in your community.
- Donate to an organization of your choosing that addresses racial injustice.