On October 24th, 2020, twenty-six Chi Omegas and friends came together with open hearts via Zoom to conduct the first ever meeting of Chi Omega’s Special Committee on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. It was a seven hour day devoted to information sharing and Sisterhood with the ultimate goal in mind—-an ever evolving, more inclusive Chi Omega.
The meeting took place from 9am-5p CT, was led by Chair Joslyn McGriff (Psi Delta) and facilitated by Sarah Moore (Zeta Lambda). Interactive conversation was facilitated by S.H. Laura Miller, S.M.Gena Runnion, CEO Leslie Herington, DEI Consultant Marlon Gibson and guest legal consultant Stevie Tran on a variety of topics including recruitment, ritual, campus partnerships, dues and affordability, and membership criteria.
The first set of recommendations will be submitted to the Governing Council in the coming weeks. If there is anything you would like to share with the Committee, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Chi Omega Symphony charges our Sisters “to choose thoughtfully that course which occasion and conscience demand.” In that spirit, and to deepen the bonds of our Sisterhood, Chi Omega is furthering its work in relation to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion among our collegiate and alumnae members. As an organization of purposeful women, it’s imperative to challenge ourselves and each other by listening to and learning from those whose experiences differ from our own.
Chi Omega members represent different racial, religious and ethnic backgrounds. Our membership is comprised of women who reflect and live the values of Chi Omega. Click here for more.
Update sent via email Thursday, August 27, 2020
As the world continues to receive news reports of violence and tragedy, Chi Omega wants to provide another update on the work of our Special Committee on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.
The Special Committee is charged with making recommendations to the Supreme Governing Council, after a holistic review of the practices, policies, procedures and member feedback, to ensure a more inclusive and ever-evolving Chi Omega.
Progress thus far includes the following:
- Over 100 Sisters answered our open call to serve on the Special Committee.
- Twenty-seven Chi Omegas were selected based on our desire for a committee made up of women who bring different life experiences and perspectives to this important work.
- Sister Joslyn McGriff was appointed as Chair.
- One-third of the Chi Omegas on the committee are undergraduates or recent graduates under the age of 25.
- Two subject matter experts have been engaged, including professional DEI Consultant Marlon Gibson.
- A special DEI link has been added to the Chi Omega homepage that includes committee bios and recent updates on the committee’s work.
Members of the Special Committee leadership team recently met virtually to set a working agenda. As reflected in the charge, the first order of business will be to review practices, policies and procedures in a wide range areas, including campus and Panhellenic partnership opportunities for greater diversity; member experience and chapter operations including training of leaders and advisors; DEI education, training and support; financial transparency and affordability; and, recruitment practices. We expect this first phase will last several weeks.
If you would like to submit topics for discussion and consideration within these or additional areas, please email email@example.com. Your thoughts, suggestions, and opinions are all welcome and encouraged.
Special Committee on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
Over 100 Sisters responded to our all-call for volunteers to serve on Chi Omega’s Special Committee on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. Twenty-seven Sisters, as well as additional subject matter experts, have been selected for the initial meeting, and we expect work groups to develop within this committee in the very near future.
Joslyn McGriff, a 2002 initiate of our Psi Delta Chapter at the University of Wyoming, a long time national volunteer and respected student affairs professional, will chair the committee at the invitation of the newly installed Governing Council. Her experience, intelligence and commitment to organizational evolution will be invaluable as we embark on this vital work.
The committee’s charge is to make recommendations to the Supreme Governing Council, after a holistic review of the practices, policies and procedures and member feedback, to ensure an ever-evolving and more inclusive Chi Omega.
The committee includes an incredible range of Sisters-in almost every way you can imagine. They live all over the United States and range in age from a college sophomore to a Sister whose sophomore year in college was many decades ago. The professional and personal expertise of the collective is inspiring! To learn more about the committee members, see below.
The first meeting will be team facilitated by Chair Joslyn McGriff and our consultant, Marlon Gibson, former university professional and member of the NPHC organization Kappa Alpha Psi along with Sarah Moore, an initiate of Zeta Lambda Chapter of Chi Omega at Wake Forest, and a change management professional. Marlon is a professional Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Consultant also concurrently serving as the Director of Community Engagement for Kappa Alpha Order. Marlon was chosen for his track record in successfully navigating conflict and dialogue in the DEI space. Being male, Marlon also contributes the level of neutrality we are seeking in terms of preconceived notion about sorority, Chi Omega, other NPC sororities or Sisterhood, in general. Sarah Moore is a national volunteer and serves on The Nancy Walton Laurie Leadership Institute of Chi Omega Committee. The leadership of these three outstanding individuals, along with S.M. Gena Runnion and CEO Leslie Herington, is critical to the important work of this special committee.
Chi Omega is very fortunate to have a Symphony of perspective, ideas, and life experience at this table, and it is our hope that through this comprehensive endeavor, our Fraternity will emerge stronger and more relevant to each and every Sister today and tomorrow. Please check back on here for future updates on the committee’s work.
Chair, Joslyn McGriff
Psi Delta | Wyoming
Longtime Chi Omega National Volunteer and Interim Director of the Association of Fraternity /Sorority Advisors
Meeting Facilitator, Sarah Moore
Zeta Lambda | Wake Forest
Change management professional & member of The Nancy Walton Laurie Leadership Institute of Chi Omega
DEI Professional, Marlon Gibson
University of Toledo
Resource and Subject Matter Expert: Member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity and professional Diversity, Equity and Inclusion consultant specializing in community engagement
Kappa Beta | Rhodes
Collegiate member with recent service on the Rhodes College Senate DEI Committee
Eve Amanuel Abraha
Chi Alpha | Tufts
Tufts rising senior serving as Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion leader for her Chi Alpha Chapter
Epsilon | SUNY
High school educator & advisor to organizations that teach/practice safe & healthy protesting
Sigma Epsilon | Vanderbilt
Rising pre-law senior and leader in Sigma Epsilon Chapter
Epsilon Delta | Southern Mississippi
Diversity and Inclusion Director for Epsilon Delta Chapter
Xi Delta | Toledo
Chi Omega advisor serving professionally as a leader for her corporate Diversity, Gender and Inclusion committee
Sigma Zeta | Texas A&M – Commerce
Chi Omega advisor and anti-bias educator
Kappa Lambda | UC San Diego
San Diego, CA
Clinical Health Psychologist & current chapter advisor
Leia De La Garza
Omicron Theta | Midwestern State
Oklahoma City, OK
Law student and former Greek Woman of the Year
Mary Ann Frugé
Tau | Mississippi
Former Chi Omega National President and recent service on the University of Mississippi DEI Committee
Jorja L. Kimball
Upsilon Theta | Texas A&I
College Station, TX
Higher education researcher with experience in underrepresented groups
Barbara L. Kornblau
Nu | Wisconsin – Madison
Researcher, attorney and higher education professional at a historically black university with experience in ADA implementation and other civil rights laws
Sigma Epsilon | Vanderbilt
Professional career development coordinator and former Chi Omega National Leadership Consultant
Kappa Lambda | UC – San Diego
New York, NY
Finance professional who founded an investment firm focused on seeding women and minority owned hedge funds
Mu | UC – Berkeley
Created the Diversity and Inclusion Task Force for her Chi Omega chapter
Eta Alpha | Oregon State
Daly City, CA
Professional with ongoing and previous community engagement and diversity experience in the corporate world
Alpha | Washington
Former Chi Omega National Leadership Consultant, community activist and practicing attorney
Zeta Theta | Middle Tennessee State
Recently led the Diversity and Inclusion Committee for the Junior League of Nashville
Pi Gamma | New Mexico
College Student Personnel professional educating students about diversity, inclusion, and cultural competence and has served 15 years as a safe space facilitator for LGBTQ students and faculty
Amanda Kay Seals
Eta Gamma | South Carolina
Lawyer and law professor in civil and human rights serving on her firm’s diversity and inclusion task force
Xi Beta | Maine
Collegiate author of this Olympia Snowe Women’s Leadership Institute essay
Gayle L. Spencer
Zeta Delta | Nebraska – Omaha
Longtime Chi Omega volunteer and higher education professional for over 40 years with experience developing leadership and diversity, equity and inclusion
Beta Theta | South Alabama
New Orleans, LA
Higher education professional at a historically black college
Arizona State University
Resource and Subject Matter Expert: Attorney specializing in transgender inclusion and Fraternal law, former National President of Sigma Phi Beta Fraternity
Sisterhood Chats Regarding Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
Beginning in the fall term of 2020, all members and new members will be required to participate in conversation curriculum focused on the topic of Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion. Conversations are student led, and there is facilitated content as well as open discussion. Each member and new member must select between the two topics available in the DEI portion of Chi Omega’s Membership Experience Guide (Exploring Social Identities or Understanding Implicit Bias).
It is our hope that, through these small-group conversations, understanding and sensitivity surrounding these important topics will be fostered, and Sisters will make thoughtful choices throughout their lives, while standing together as advocates and allies for marginalized communities.