Kappa Delta Affirms Commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
June 8, 2020
Last week, Kappa Delta made a commitment to our members to take a stand against racial injustice and address the need for diversity, equity and inclusion in our sisterhood. We recognize this important issue requires us to make decisions to ensure Kappa Delta remains true to its mission and values.
You may have seen our statement on the national Kappa Delta Instagram or Facebook page. We thank those who engaged with us in this important dialogue. Your perspectives are shaping our response to this issue and added urgency to the need for changes within Kappa Delta.
We stand behind our commitment to change and acknowledge that white privilege has long been a part of the fraternity and sorority community. Our efforts to become a more inclusive organization that stands against racial injustice have been ongoing and will continue with increased focus. We are working to take bold steps and use our platform to communicate Kappa Delta’s values and inspire action. The National Council met by video conference this past weekend to determine our next steps.
Our Commitment to You…
- We have established a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee to provide guidance to the National Council. We are pleased to announce we have appointed Michelle Robinson McNulty (Beta Mu-Bowling Green State) as chairman of the committee. Michelle has served on Kappa Delta’s National Leadership Team for seven years, currently serving as a division director. For more than five years, she has held the position of Assistant Director of New Student Connections at the University of South Florida and previously served as the Associate Director of Fraternity and Sorority Life at Florida State University. Michelle holds a bachelor’s degree in education, human development and family studies from Bowling Green State, a master’s in higher education and student affairs from Florida State and is pursuing her Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction with a concentration in measurement, research and evaluation at USF. As a 14-year member of Kappa Delta, Michelle brings a valuable perspective to lead these efforts. She will assume her role immediately and will begin working on the formation of the committee.
- 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.
- 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 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.
We, your National Council, acknowledge the significant responsibility we have to you, our members, to shape Kappa Delta for the future. Thank you to all of our sisters who have challenged us to do better, shared their perspectives and experiences, and brought to our attention areas where we have work to do. More than 100 members completed a form or emailed to share their thoughts and ideas with us. We encourage you to complete the 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.
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.
Thank you for your support and encouragement. You can expect to hear from us periodically on our progress and steps you can take as members, leaders and chapters to create change. This is a time for transformational change within our sisterhood. We encourage you to continue the conversation with us as, together, we shape Kappa Delta for the future.
In our Kappa Delta,
Tricia Ruma Spence, Ph.D.
Kappa Delta Sorority is a national organization for women with more than 272,000 members, 168 active collegiate chapters and 224 active alumnae chapters nationwide. Kappa Delta is active in a number of philanthropic endeavors, including the prevention of child abuse and confidence-building programming with Girl Scouts of the USA. In 2009, the sorority created the Confidence Coalition, an international movement to promote confidence in women and girls. In 2010, Kappa Delta established International Girls Day to empower girls to reach their potential. It also created International Women’s Friendship Month for women everywhere. Kappa Delta’s national headquarters is in Memphis, Tennessee. For more information, visit www.kappadelta.org.