Diversity & Inclusion
A message from our International President
Friday, September 18th, 2020
Since our inception in 2009, it has been Alpha Pi Phi’s goal to create an environment where young women could come together, bound by shared values, virtues, and friendships. We have always tried to foster a sisterhood where all could feel welcome and valued for what unique qualities they brought to the table. However, while this has always been our goal, it is important to acknowledge that we have not always lived up to these standards.
This summer, Nozizwe Buthelezi (A-049), Venika Christophe (A-062), Lauren Crosby (A-000), and Jessica Troyanovsky (A-000) brought forward a proposal to the International Council of Alpha Pi Phi to implement a Diversity and Inclusion initiative within the organization.
I believe they said it best in their initial letter:
When the founding mothers of Alpha Pi Phi came together, one of our main objectives was to be as inclusive as possible. Unfortunately, as this sorority grew, we did not fully consider what it meant to support our sisters of colour or acknowledge their experience as members of marginalized groups. We welcomed all young women to join us, no matter their ethnicity or race, but we failed to consciously consider or account for the specific experiences of our sisters of colour. We offered love, loyalty and friendship from a position of privilege; we failed to adequately consider how this would be achieved, or that each sister would have needs unique to her person, her race and culture, and her experiences. There were gaps we did not recognize which persist today and need to be filled to provide a truly supportive sisterhood.
As Alpha Pi Phi continues to grow and evolve, we must do so in a way that ensures each and every sister within Alpha Pi Phi feels as though she is seen, heard, and valued. We must create and provide support systems on both a chapter and organizational level so that our sisters have the necessary resources to thrive. As such, we have worked together over the last few months to develop and adopt a Diversity and Inclusion Initiative.
The purpose of creating a Diversity and Inclusion Initiative within Alpha Pi Phi is to give our sisters of colour a safe space in our organization, and also create a space where sisters who are not people of colour (POC) can learn to become better allies. This will be done by creating positions and support systems on both an organizational and a chapter level. The systems and resources made available by and through this initiative will allow sisters to support women of colour’s experiences through activism and to create a positive and lasting change in their lives as they move on from university life. They will teach our sisters to put our values into practice and help them understand that this is a constant day-to-day fight against racism, bigotry, and hatred. Not only should our sisters of colour feel supported, they should also feel our empathy and love - especially all those who are suffering from injustice in so many ways.
Our Diversity and Inclusion Chair
Alpha Pi Phi Beta Chapter
My role as the diversity and inclusion chair is to create a safe space within and outside the sorority. Understanding that everyone comes from different backgrounds and stories, I will promote how to be an ally. Throughout this school year, I plan to touch on several other factors and ideas that show the harm of prejudices based on different ethnicities. By gaining knowledge on these topics, the women of Alpha Pi Phi will be more knowledgeable and aware of all the situations they are surrounded by.
My three main goals are:
1. Alpha Pi Phi must be able to distinguish between practicing versus performing allyship.
2. Shed light upon typical stereotypes that most societies have— and explain how changing how we look at things can make all the difference.
3. Promote attending/showing up for all or a majority of presentations/discussions I will be hosting. If people can not show up, I will create a small project for them to understand the material we all learned during the session and apply it to the situation at hand.