We continue to make progress toward our goal of removing barriers and building a sisterhood within Theta Phi Alpha that is truly accessible, equitable, and inclusive to our current members and our potential new members. In July 2020, a call for applications was shared seeking applicants for our Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Access (DEIA) Task Force, and by September the more than 25-member task force began gathering feedback during five Listening Sessions, which all Theta Phis were invited to join. The task force used the feedback gathered from these sessions, the research they gathered as a group, and the results of many group meetings and ad hoc sister discussions, to help identify areas where Theta Phi is lacking in DEIA, both nationally and at the chapter level.
On Jan. 9, 2021, the DEIA Task Force co-chairs submitted an extensive report of recommendations to Grand Council (GC). We thank all of them for their service and sacrifice for Theta Phi Alpha. Every one of them, especially the co-chairs, poured their passion into this endeavor. Since Jan. 9, GC has been reading, reviewing, discussing, and absorbing the report to determine a way forward to continue the work of making Theta Phi Alpha welcoming to all. We've pulled out the main sections of the three-part report and provided our responses for any member of Theta Phi Alpha to review on our Intranet. We invite you all to look these over so you'll better understand our strategic focus for the future. A login is required for our members-only Intranet pages, but if you have any trouble accessing the site please contact [email protected]thetaphialpha.org.
As you read through our plans, and as you move forward with us on this journey of important change, some of you may find yourselves feeling uncomfortable and resistant to our changes. If we are truly going to help Theta Phi Alpha arrive somewhere better, then we must agree to feel uncomfortable. Closing this uncomfortable gap requires awareness of it. It requires us to notice the available alternatives and then take deliberate, courageous action to choose the hard path toward change. When we find ourselves working through our discomfort, then we know we're doing the right thing.
I firmly believe that our efforts in DEIA will light the path to greater success for our Fraternity and greater fulfillment for our sisters. And for that, I'm very appreciative of the many passionate members who have stepped forward to offer their time, their candid experiences, and their expertise toward advocating for a better organization. This work will continue indefinitely because, as our co-chairs stated in their report, "DEIA is more than just sisterhood and friendship and traditions, it is about building a community that is thriving with inclusivity, financial stability, access to critical resources, and giving back to the campus and alumnae communities we learn, live and work in."
If you have any questions about this important work for Theta Phi Alpha, please contact [email protected]thetaphialpha.org.
Yours in the bonds of sisterhood,