Have you thought about the fact that your founders didn't have the right to vote?
Tomorrow is election day! Can you believe that 100 years ago women were granted the right to vote for the first time? While I’m confident that you are well aware of those facts, I wanted to take the opportunity to reflect on the role we as sorority women play.
When our organizations began, our founders believed that women's voices mattered and created a space for them to be heard. It's hard to believe that our sororities were founded at a time when women were rarely attending college and could not even advocate for their rights through voting. Remembering the context in which our sororities came to be helps us see the incredible need for sisterhood and standing together in their shared strengths & struggles.
This year more than ever, we have owned the disappointing fact that our founders’ vision for women's empowerment was flawed in that it did not include all women. Our national organizations and local chapters are working to remedy this by putting diversity, inclusion, equity, and access initiatives at the top of our priority list. In the same way that we are able to extend our founders’ vision in the way we make sisters feel welcomed, we are also to participate in spaces they didn’t have the right to be. I know I can take for granted the opportunity I have to make my voice heard through voting. Looking back on where we started motivates me to more fully participate in society and let my voice be heard in a way that our founders were not privileged to.
With the relaunch of our year long leadership course Executive Board Vision Planning, we have been talking a lot about sorority leadership lately. As chapters and councils are preparing to elect new officers for the upcoming year, we bring to mind the skills required and responsibility in holding these positions. What we often forget to discuss is the responsibility of every chapter member to participate in electing the sister who is best fit to lead and represent the chapter in each role.
As a member of your chapter, it is your responsibility to evaluate the example set and intentions expressed of the women nominated for leadership positions. Through your research, you then have the right in your chapter to have your voice heard by voting! It is also your responsibility regardless of who is elected to each role to accept the decision made by your chapter collectively, come together as a sisterhood, and continue advocating for what is right.
If you keep up with Her Sorority Journey or tune into the Your Sorority Journey podcast, I’m sure you’ve heard me preach before that fraternities & sororities are social organizations. Despite the media’s portrayal of them, social organizations are intended to equip men & women for society! Learning how to include others and advocate for yourself are skills you need not only for your sorority experience but also for you to be a contributing member of society.
I urge you in this transitional season to not be solely consumed with the politics of your chapter ~ who will be the next chapter president or vice president of membership. But instead, view the experience in your sorority elections as a small scale example of how to participate in our general election.
Use the example of sorority elections to become comfortable having your voice heard on a greater level.
Sorority members make up one of the largest groups of college educated women. I am a strong believer that sorority women can make a tremendous impact when rooted in their purpose and values. I hope you choose to translate your experience participating in the future of your chapter to make a difference in our country this week!
Want to learn how to translate your voice into a vision?
Yesterday we launched our year-long leadership course, Executive Board Vision Planning! Head to our website to learn how this 7-module course will equip you in preparing for your leadership role and support you in addressing pertinent issues throughout the year:
Be sure to enter your chapter or council executive board to WIN the course
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