Kappa Kappa Gamma Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
Progress Report: 8.6.2020
Our Commitment to Progress
Kappa Kappa Gamma is an organization that empowers women to find purpose, meaning and common values within the bonds of lasting friendship. We want our members to welcome and celebrate differences by widening their circles of influence and using their voices to make a positive difference in Kappa and their world. The inherent good of our organization’s mission of uniting women to learn, grow and inspire positive change is only impactful if all members commit to living out this purpose throughout their lives — even if that means advocating for necessary change in longstanding beliefs and traditions. By committing to becoming agents of change, the influence of all Kappa members will be felt in driving forward-facing societal movements that will positively impact our organization and our global society.
In June 2020, Kappa Kappa Gamma committed to taking a bold step forward. When we shared our Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Priority Actions with our members and the world, we knew we were committed to becoming a different kind of Greek-letter organization. In the weeks that followed, we heard from our members, alumnae, volunteers and staff that this change is sorely needed and long overdue. We are grateful to our membership for holding us accountable for actionable change, and as part of our commitment to keeping you apprised of our progress, we have compiled the following report. As we move forward with these action steps, we continue to invite our members to share their questions, comments, insights and ideas on how we can create a better future for our organization.
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
- Special Committee: In 2016, Kappa Kappa Gamma established the DEI Task Force to develop recommendations and best practices for incorporating DEI initiatives into the organization at every level. We built upon this initiative in 2019 with the establishment of the DEI Special Committee, whose work has primarily focused on reflecting the needs and desires of underrepresented groups within our membership. In recent years, the work of these groups has led to updated position statements to be more inclusive and better state our diversity commitment, the adoption of a Human Dignity Statement, a review of all ritual to ensure it is inclusive of all faiths and beliefs and uses inclusive language, planning and presentation of programming at Fraternity events, and collaboration with Kappa Headquarters staff on a resource to support LGBTQIA+ members.
- Led by Brittany Henderson, Puget Sound, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Chairman, this committee includes 16 members, each of whom will be assigned to one of Kappa’s content teams to serve as a DEI liaison. The function of each DEI liaison will be to help our organization apply a DEI lens to each content area and create change.
- In addition to this committee, we are working to build a team of collegians and alumnae interested in contributing to DEI projects and special initiatives who will be called upon to serve on special working groups.
- Advisory Consulting Board: Composed of DEI professionals and outside experts, this qualified group will be asked to provide outside expertise and counsel on different DEI focus areas, challenge the organization to examine the root causes of racism and discrimination, and suggest new DEI initiatives and systemic change. Kappa Kappa Gamma is currently in the process of developing the board structure, focus, job description, time requirements, etc., for this group, and we will be identifying experienced individuals to serve as members of this board in the coming months. Each member will be fairly compensated for their involvement on this board.
- DEI Listening Sessions: We conducted two global listening sessions for collegiate and alumna members in June with approximately 200 members participating from across the globe. Additionally, we conducted three chapter-focused virtual listening sessions. Reports from these listening sessions are being finalized and will be delivered to the organization’s leadership this month. These reports will be used to create the DEI work plan. In an early analysis, the top three emerging themes from these listening sessions include:
- Educational resources are needed to incorporate DEI at all levels, including with alumnae, especially on topics of tokenism and microaggressions.
- Kappa must examine systems, policies, practices and systemic issues related to recruitment practices.
- Members expressed a desire for representation in decision-making, leadership and action steps related to DEI.
- DEI Leadership Training: We have enhanced our efforts to provide regular diversity and inclusion training for Fraternity Council, Foundation Board of Trustees, District Directors, Content Directors, special/standing committee chairman, professional staff and volunteers. In addition to these regular trainings, a DEI-focused training will be provided to all elected and appointed local and international volunteer leadership prior to fall 2020 Recruitment. We will continue to build and provide regular DEI training to collegiate and alumna members. Additional progress includes:
- Fraternity Council has approved a plan for all chapters to receive our DEI program, Are You Ensuring Everyone’s Asked to Dance? Doing Your Part, virtually during the 2020–21 academic year. This program was developed in partnership with DEI experts, Cross Cultural Fraternal Advisors Institute (CCFAI) Collaborative.
- Staff and volunteer trainings have been organized and will begin in fall 2020.
- Updates have been made to the following chapter officer documents to ensure DEI consideration:
- Membership Support and Standards Accountability Guidelines (forthcoming)
- New Member Experience Guidebook
- Senior Member Experience Guidebook
- All-Member Experience Guidebook
- Event Themes resource
- Membership Commitment Statement
These updated documents may be found by logging in to kappa.org/members and navigating to More Resources.
- DEI Recruitment Virtual Workshop: We conducted two DEI membership growth virtual training sessions with nearly 500 chapter officers and advisers in July. Full recordings of these sessions can be found on Kappa’s online learning portal, Minerva, which is accessible to all members. This week, membership officers and advisers will receive a new resource, Membership Growth Through a Lens of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. Created in partnership with CCFAI Collaborative, this new guide expands upon the previously mentioned workshop.
- Recruitment Policy Updates: We have reviewed and revised our recruitment policies where needed to ensure they are reflective of our updated DEI priority action items and focus.
- This includes renewing the process of how we interact with new members during Recruitment. We have established individual interaction reviews rather than relying on group consensus or discussion.
- Kappa Kognitives: We have eliminated the use of “Kappa Kognitives” as part of our recruitment process, as we recognize the importance of ensuring each potential new member is considered for who they are as a person and not a shorthand description or adjective. We will continue to work with our chapters to consider each prospective member as a person worthy of individual consideration and respect.
- Membership Resources: In addition to the DEI recruitment virtual workshop, Kappa Kappa Gamma’s membership team, education team, and chapter services team have revised the Membership Chairman Leadership Guide and resources to ensure an inclusive process.
- Chapter DEI Leadership: All chapters will be provided with resources and a recommended structure for establishing an appointed DEI leadership position to ensure consideration of DEI initiatives and progress across all areas of chapter operations. This appointed person will also serve as a liaison between campus DEI initiatives and the chapter.
- Legacy Task Force: Kappa Kappa Gamma received many notes, comments and recommendations from members regarding its legacy policy, and we have initiated steps to thoughtfully review our connections to legacies and related policies, including the establishment of a Legacy Focus Group.
- Reminder: Kappa’s current legacy policy defines legacy as “a sister, stepsister, daughter, stepdaughter, granddaughter or great-granddaughter of an initiated Kappa.” Currently, legacies invited to preference round must be placed at the top of the bid list. Chapters, in collaboration with the Membership Adviser and/or Membership Specialist, may establish their own legacy management during Recruitment.
- We will continue to review and discuss our finance structure to ensure we can deliver the best value for our members and alumnae and provide for the future of the organization.
- COVID-19 Response: In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, Kappa Kappa Gamma temporarily adjusted the billing structure for chapter member dues to provide more flexibility to members in the current economic climate. This includes allowing for an installment-based payment structure. Our goal is to reduce any finance-related stress that might impact our members’ involvement in Kappa Kappa Gamma in the coming year.
- Chapter Budget Support: The Chapter and House Board Finance Accountants have contacted every chapter to offer their services in helping chapters re-evaluate their budgets prior to the beginning of the academic year to determine how best to support them in reducing chapter budgets.
- Investments: Kappa Kappa Gamma is committed to ensuring that the investments in its portfolios are aligned with the organization’s mission and values.
Kappa Kappa Gamma recognizes these are just the first steps toward creating a future where diversity, equity and inclusion are an ingrained part of the organization’s activities, policies and future. We are committed to keeping our membership informed of our progress, and we will continue to share regular progress reports in the coming weeks and months as we move forward. We invite our members to share their questions, comments, insights and ideas with our team by reaching out to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Additionally, if you are interested in volunteering to directly contribute to Kappa Kappa Gamma’s DEI efforts as part of the committees and working groups, please contact email@example.com.