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Organization News, Press Release

Open Letter from Fraternity Council

6/30/2020

Dear Kappas,

Kappa Kappa Gamma was founded 150 years ago on the principles of integrity, respect and regard for others. The events of the past few weeks have challenged our commitment to those ideals, and we are grateful to our members for speaking up and holding us accountable for change. We are committed to becoming part of the solution, and that begins with action today.

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Kappa Kappa Gamma has reflected on the path forward, and we are beginning with actions that speak to our belief that all members — particularly our Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) members — are valued.

These past few weeks, Kappa Kappa Gamma has reflected on the path forward, and we are beginning with actions that speak to our belief that all members — particularly our Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) members — are valued. We acknowledge where we have failed to protect and promote the integrity of our Black and Brown members and communities, and we recognize our role in contributing to discrimination and racism in the past. Kappa Kappa Gamma condemns the words and actions of those who perpetuate hate, bigotry and violence, and we are determined to actively fight racism, discrimination and social injustice wherever we find it.


We heard from our members that words are not enough to affect change, and we agree. Following the tragic losses of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and so many others, Kappa Kappa Gamma is enacting the following steps to advance our progress in this area. We know there will be more work that needs to be done to impart lasting change. Kappa Kappa Gamma will continue to listen to our membership, counsel with experts and diverse voices, and build on our existing Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) practices until our work reflects our mission: an organization that unites women to learn, grow and inspire positive change throughout their lives.

Kappa Kappa Gamma Priority Action Items

In 2016, Kappa Kappa Gamma established the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Task Force to develop recommendations and best practices for incorporating DEI initiatives into our 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 response to recent calls to action from our membership related to actively fighting racism and social injustice, Kappa Kappa Gamma has committed to the following actions as part of our DEI efforts:

  • Kappa Kappa Gamma will conduct an organization-wide diversity, equity and inclusion audit to hear directly from our members and recognize their experiences. We will begin this effort by conducting two organization-wide listening sessions focused on collegiate and alumna voices. We invite and encourage all our members to attend and contribute to these listening sessions as we are seeking your input, feedback, ideas and voices to make our organization stronger.

          Registration for listening sessions is now closed.

  • Kappa Kappa Gamma will create a diversity, equity and inclusion work plan that is aligned with the Fraternity’s strategic plan and implement it at every level of the organization. This plan will guide the organization’s DEI work and initiatives, examine systems and content areas for inequities and non-inclusive practices, and outline a path forward for these areas. The elements of this plan and its progress will be communicated to our membership regularly.
  • Kappa Kappa Gamma will establish a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Advisory Board of subject-matter experts and industry experts to provide counsel and guidance on the Fraternity’s policies, initiatives and activities
  • Kappa Kappa Gamma will develop a diversity, equity and inclusion communications strategy to keep our membership informed of the organization’s progress in these areas, provide educational tools and resources, and share more information about our DEI work plan.
  • Kappa Kappa Gamma will continue our work to build and 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.
  • Kappa Kappa Gamma’s Fraternity Council will explore options for transitioning the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Special Committee to a content team that will focus on creating and implementing DEI initiatives across all areas of our organization’s operations.


We are committed to sharing regular updates and information regarding these initiatives with our membership. To view our existing resources and keep updated with our process, visit http://kappa.org/diversity-equity-and-inclusion-initiative.

If you would like to share your feedback, reflections or ideas with Kappa Kappa Gamma, please join the organization-wide listening sessions (registration now closed).

If you would like to share your questions or reactions with Kappa Kappa Gamma’s leadership, please email kkghq@kappa.org. Additionally, if you are interested in volunteering to directly contribute to Kappa Kappa Gamma’s DEI efforts as part of our committees and working groups, please contact volunteer@kappa.org.

We appreciate the feedback we have received these past few weeks, and we encourage our members to continue the conversation on these important topics so we can grow as an organization.


Loyally,


Fraternity Council


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