The three stars emblazoned upon the band shine brilliantly to remind us to become proficient in the use of Research, Study and Tolerance, the only weapons which will effectively ward off the attacks of our worst enemies, Tradition, Ignorance and Prejudice. [...] The scholar who is not fortified with Tolerance, or open-mindedness, is certain to be conquered by Prejudice. - The Ritual
Phi Sigma Pi condemns racism in all its forms and the injustice that Black Americans have experienced and continue to experience. We mourn George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and the many others who also have lost their lives because of unchecked institutional racism.
Black Lives Matter. All of us at Phi Sigma Pi support and stand with our Black Members.
It is important at this time to reaffirm our commitment to our Fraternity’s values. Phi Sigma Pi is a values-based organization built upon a Tripod of scholarship, leadership, and fellowship. Equally as important are the values of respect, inclusion, and tolerance. We as Members of Phi Sigma Pi must demonstrate these values by our words and our actions, and we must hold one another accountable. Our mission has the charge of “improving humanity with honor” and we ask that you live your life by these in word and deed. This means committing to educating ourselves about the origins and effects of racism and to being actively anti-racist.
This is the time for action. To assist our Members in finding ways to contribute, we as an organization will be offering opportunities for self-reflection, listening, and open dialogue. We encourage you to participate in the solution as a leader or as an ally.
We welcome your thoughts and suggestions on how we, as a collective, can contribute to being a part of the solution. Please send your thoughts to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our Ongoing and Next Steps
In addition to the internal Diversity Committee, the National Office has been working with DEI consultants for the past two years on addressing our DEI issues. More specifically, we have been working with Inclusion Strategy Solutions LLC (ISS) since September of 2019. This work includes determining how we engage more Members of color and how to elevate Members of color to serve in National leadership positions. In January, ISS led our strategic planning process including applying a DEI lens to our mission, vision, goals, and strategies. We addressed questions including; what potential barriers to inclusion do our policies create, what potential barriers to inclusion do our processes create, what potential barriers to diversifying our membership and national representation do our recruitment practices create that need to change. We are working to identify these and other barriers.
We agree that actions speak louder than words. By positively impacting the lives of our Members by asserting our commitment to being Anti-Racists, we in turn can positively impact our communities and by having difficult conversations amongst ourselves and being the leaders and allies that we know we can be, we are and will continue to be part of the solution to racism and hate.
While our upcoming summer programming already include DEI sessions, we also have the following initiatives available now; our Leadership in Action program has a Lunch & Learn series about diversity. Two sessions in particular are “How To Have Tough Conversations About Diversity & Race” and “How To Recruit Diversity: Reaching Outside Of Our Groups.” Both sessions were led by Phi Sigma Pi Alumnae. Recruiting diversity on a collegiate level is imperative to recruiting diversity on a national level.
Additionally, Leadership in Action has the following modules available for Chapters to facilitate: “Diversity Equity and Inclusion - Leading the Conversation” (Championed by The 2018 Grand Chapter) and “Diversity, Equity & Inclusion- Recruiting For Diversity” (Championed by The 2019 Grand Chapter). For individual members, we offer a LiA mini module on Microaggressions. We are committed to adding to these DEI offerings in the future and hope that you and others make recommendations for workshop and session topics as well as other DEI resources that we can share with the Membership.
Our work continues and improvements can and are being made to move from acknowledging the importance of being diverse to being inclusive and proactive and using our resources to support that commitment.
Lastly, thank you in advance for your feedback. Open dialogue is exactly what we need.
Resources Available Now
In our statement, we shared that we would be offering opportunities for self-reflection, listening, and open dialogue for those who are leaders and allies. These resources are the first step to opening that discussion. Please know the resources listed below are not exhaustive.
Leadership in Action Mini-module: Microaggressions
Racial Equity Tools
The Antiracist Research & Policy Center
Anti-Racism Training - from the Diversity and Resiliency Institute of El Paso
Race and Higher Education Webinar (Hosted by the Chronicle of Higher Ed)
Leadership in Action Lunch & Learn: How To Recruit Diversity: Reaching Outside Of Our Groups
Leadership in Action Module: Diversity, Equity & Inclusion- Recruiting For Diversity
Removing Barriers Survey: Give your feedback on what changes to Chapter Bylaws and Recruitment we can all make to be more inclusive.
Leadership in Action Lunch & Learn: How To Have Tough Conversations About Diversity & Race
Leadership in Action Module: Diversity Equity and Inclusion - Leading the Conversation -- Attend the live presentation on Friday, June 26 at 1 p.m. ET. Register here.
Talking About Race: Being Antiracist (Smithsonian National Museum of African American History & Culture)
Me and White Supremacy, Layla F Saad
Between the World and Me, Ta-Nehisi Coates
How to Be Antiracist, Ibram X Kendi
The Warmth of Other Suns, Isabel Wilkerson
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou
Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?, Beverly Daniel Tatum
Consider ordering from a Black-owned bookstore
When They See Us (Netflix)
I Am Not Your Negro (YouTube, Amazon, iTunes)
The Hate U Give (Hulu, YouTube, Amazon, iTunes)
Watchmen (HBO Series)
Just Mercy (Free to watch)
Where to Donate
If you are financially able and want to donate funds to the cause, we suggest choosing one that aligns with your heart and goals. There are many different organizations you can give to in support of racial justice. This resource will let you filter organizations by their purpose (ie: advocacy, education or legal assistance) and also by location.
If you are unable to donate, amplify funds or organizations you support on your social media.
If you have additional ideas for how we can continue to educate and provide action items, please let us know at email@example.com.