In today’s society, diversity is essential for success in any aspect of life. Being a woman of color has taught me the importance of diversity in the world around me and my daily life. The diversity within my sorority has positively impacted my experience in sorority life. When I joined my sorority almost three years ago, my chapter looked much different than it does today. I was initially hesitant because it is scary to walk into a room full of women and see no one else who looks like you. However, I am incredibly proud of my organization and the entire fraternity & sorority life community for valuing diversity and being an inclusive, safe space that has become more accessible for people of color.
Having people from different backgrounds, races, cultures, and walks of life is essential to a successful fraternity & sorority community. Understanding the challenges faced by people of color and learning how to support injustices around you is beneficial for the future of not only your organization but you as an individual in society.
Not sure how you can play a role in elevating diversity in your sisterhood? Here is where you can get started:
Educate yourself: Be willing to learn about the different cultures and backgrounds that your sisters come from. Showing that you care and making an effort to learn can go a long way!
Be aware of your privilege: Understand that your sisters of color may not have always had the same experiences you did in life, and you should be compassionate about that. Even something like “wear nude” dress attire, hair styling specifications, or registering for recruitment is intimidating for people of color due to the biases & stereotypes of the sorority experience.
Prove the stereotypes wrong: Treat all of your sisters equally, regardless of race or ethnicity. Be the most genuine sister you can be and prove the scary stereotypes of sorority women to be false.
Encourage PNMs: Support and encourage PNMs who may be hesitant to join a sorority because of stereotypical thinking. Embrace them with open arms and let them know that your organization is a safe space for them, along with all other members.
Diversity is the most beneficial thing any sorority can strive to have. Remember that membership is not defined by your race or color but by your character and passion. If I had let the stereotypes get in the way of joining a sorority, I would have never gotten many of the opportunities I have today. As a woman of color, who has worked her way up to be Chapter President of her sorority, I encourage you to break sorority stereotypes and challenge your members higher. It has changed my life, and it will change yours too!