Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Week

“I am no longer accepting the things I cannot change. I am changing the things I cannot accept.”

Angela Davis

On a national level, Sigma Delta Tau is working our way through the first steps to becoming truly inclusive and actively anti-racist. On June 5, 2020we proudly announced sister Victoria Alexander as the chair of the newly formed Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Committee. Together, Victoria, the Board of Directors and National Office Staff reimagined the 2020 National Convention into Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Week. 

Please look through our schedule below to view the week’s programs, moderators, and click to view the recorded programs. If you have any questions, please email us at nationaloffice@sigmadeltatau.org

Schedule of Events

Monday, June 22

Introduction to Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Week 

8:00pm ET

For All Sisters

Margaux Manley Lima, National President

Introduction of Keynote Speaker 
Beth Sesler, Sigma Delta Tau Foundation President 

Closing Remarks (after Keynote Speaker) 
Victoria Alexander, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee Chair

Authentically You: It Starts with Uncomfortability

Immediately Following

For All Sisters

Sponsored by the
Sigma Delta Tau Foundation

Keynote Speaker
Christina Parle 

Let’s talk about sisterhood as Panhellenic women. Let’s talk about why we are here. Let’s talk about how the journey to authenticity involves being uncomfortable. Uncomfortableness is also a crucial component in learning and unlearning about the systems that exist that create spaces in which our sisters do not feel heard or supported. Let’s talk about that – how to be better for ourselves and others, so everyone can live authentically themselves. 

Head to our DEI Resources page to watch this webinar!

Christina Parle is a Panhellenic woman from Kansas City, Missouri. She is committed to the work of diversity, equity, and inclusion in the fight for justice for all marginalized communities. Christina works for Zeta Beta Tau Fraternity writing educational curriculum, addressing misconduct incidents, and working directly in chapter support. She is passionate about educating others while always knowing she has room to grow. Christina is also a Greys Anatomy enthusiast and has a dog named Nugget.

Tuesday, June 23

Action Hour: Being an Active Citizen

6:00pm ET

For All Sisters

Leslie Herman
Samantha Herman
Jessica Ryan 
Jasmin Santos
Paige Sioma 

What does it mean to be an active citizen? An active citizen is someone who cares about their community enough to change it. Join this discussion to learn ways you can take action to help make your community a better place. Facilitators will guide you through a variety of ways to actively engage in citizenship as modeled by the Social Change for Leadership Development. You choose the issues that speak to you. Some action can be done together in the hour, while some may be ideas to bring with you into your work and the larger community you live in.

Leslie Herman

Samantha Herman

Jessica Ryan

(See Jessica’s bio under Wednesday’s event, What Is Nude.)

Jasmin Santos

Paige Sioma

Wednesday, June 24

What Is Nude: Exploring Bias in the Panhellenic Sorority Experience

8:00pm ET

For Chapter Members & Volunteers 

Introduction and Closing Remarks
Emily Freed , National Treasurer

Nicki Rowlett 
Jessica Ryan
Bridgette Wynn

This session will explore various forms of bias related to sexuality, race, national origin, gender expression, and socio-economic status in the Panhellenic sorority experience. We will also work through identifying policies, procedures, and practices that contribute to these various forms of bias, which will offer participants take away ideas they can put into practice when working with Panhellenic sorority members.

Head to our DEI Resources page to watch this webinar!

Nicki Rowlett is a proud member of Delta Phi Epsilon International Sorority and serves as the Director of Leadership Programs for Triangle Fraternity. She has engaged with over 1,400 professionals and students on the topics of privilege, inclusion and social injustices. Over the past six years, she has served serval committees in various organizations that have written policies, procured foundational content related to cultural competency, and set strategic plans. Most recently, Nicki founded The Parallel Agency, an organization that empowers Panhellenic sorority members to address inequalities and systems of oppression within their organizations.

Jessica Ryan has worked with Panhellenic communities and volunteered with several organizations for almost a decade. Early on in her work as a Fraternity & Sorority Advisor she was a member of the Division of Student Affairs Multicultural Competency Committee (at University of West Florida) which influenced her role working with fraternity and sorority communities. She has been working for several years on education, resources, and advising to help create inclusive experiences for BIPOC within PWI colleges and chapters. At the University of Pennsylvania she has been able to work with a fraternity and sorority community that has focused on DEI work for several years, creating key positions and experiences such as implementing a VP of Diversity position on Panhellenic and within chapters, a FSA Office Position for Diversity Programs, a Diversity and Inclusion Board and continuous education in programs. As a member of Sigma Delta Tau, Jessica has volunteered in many capacities and notably in the areas of recruitment, alternative break programs, and strategic planning.

Bridgette Wynn has researched and presented on the Identity Development and Experiences of Minoritized students within Majority Greek Organizations for several years. As a Black woman, who is also a panhellenic sorority alumna,  she has experienced the challenges minoritized individuals face while navigating the greek life experience. Bridgette also has years of experience within fraternity and sorority advising, working with campus diversity & inclusion, and cultural competency curriculum development. Bridgette is a member of Phi Mu Fraternity and currently works in fraternity and sorority life at Arizona State University. 

Thursday, June 25

Diversity Forum 

8:00pm ET

For Sisters from underrepresented groups with regards to race, national origin, gender and/or sexuality 

Victoria Alexander, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee Chair
Samantha Herman
Olivia Reevey

This is a platform to elevate the voices of our sisters from underrepresented groups with regards to race, national origin, gender and/or sexuality.  Please join us if you want to share your experiences in a safe space. 

Victoria Alexander has an extensive background in racial equity and diversity, as well as experience in leadership development and Greek affairs. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Communications from Northeastern University, and a Master’s in Higher Education Administration from the University of Southern California. Currently, she works as a Program Coordinator for the Center for Leadership, Engagement, Advocacy and Diversity at Salem State University, in Salem, MA. In the fall, she will begin work on a PhD at the University of Maryland, studying anti-racist pedagogy at colleges and universities, and will be working as the Graduate Coordinator for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion for the Department of Fraternity and Sorority Life.

Samantha Herman is the Manager of Chapter Services for the Association of Talent Development (ATD) in Alexandria, VA, where she serves as the department project manager and provides resources to nearly 100 ATD chapters across the U.S. Samantha is a graduate of the Alpha Tau chapter at The George Washington University. After graduating, she spent two years as Sigma Delta Tau Leadership Consultant. She currently serves as the South Chapter Services Coordinator and the Rho chapter advisor.

Olivia Reevey is a graduate of the Gamma Mu chapter and has been advisor to the Omega chapter since 2015. Olivia graduated with a Bachelors of Health Science from Northeastern University. After graduating, Olivia joined Teach for America Chicago Corps and earned a Master of Arts in Teaching.  Olivia just finished her 5th year teaching, currently in Brooklyn, NY. 

Friday, June 26

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Chapter Programming Panel 

1:00pm ET

For Chapter Members, Advisors and Volunteers 

Toyana Niraula, Past President of Tau Chapter—University of Texas 
Amy Rodnick

Rachel Brenner, President at Beta Chapter—University of Penn
Morgan Grant, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Chair at Gamma Tau Chapter—Columbia University
Cali Platt, President at Alpha Theta Chapter—University of Maryland
Jianna Voghel, President at Alpha Iota Chapter—Tulane University

This panel will provide sisters and volunteers with an opportunity to hear from chapter leaders who have either already established DE&I programming into their chapter calendar, or plan to make significant implementations throughout the upcoming and future academic years. Attendees will hear about successful experiences, spaces for improvement, the importance of the programming, and the opportunity to ask questions. 

Head to our DEI Resources page to watch this panel!

Toyana Niraula

Amy Rodnick