OUR STATEMENT ON Diversity Education and Inclusion
June 28, 2020
The Gamma Beta Chapter of Chi Omega stands with the Black community, our sisters of all backgrounds, ethnicities, and races, and the fight against systemic racism.
To begin understanding how we can aid in dismantling racism within our organization, we must first take note of our history. We acknowledge our institution's past injustices and how we have failed to take the necessary actions to fight for racial justice within our organization and the Greek community as a whole.
It is crucial to recognize that Chi Omega was founded in 1895, when Black people and people of color were excluded from attending universities. Even when Black people joined campuses, they experienced (and still experience) racial discrimination. We have failed to recognize how these white elitist foundations have had a deleterious influence on our organization's current behaviors and events. We realize that this shortcoming has contributed to the perpetuation of that systemic oppression, discrimination and anti-Blackness. We have not paid proper attention to our own privilege and how our organization’s past behaviors have contributed to anti-Blackness and discrimination in the United States today.
While our members come from a diversity of backgrounds, we have not done all the necessary work to make Black women and women of color feel that they are welcome, fully supported and have a voice in our community, and for that we sincerely apologize. Our failure to create an inclusive space for women of color, especially Black women, includes microaggressions during the recruitment process, within our chapter culture, and in daily life as Panhellehnic and university women. We must do better to correct what has gone unaddressed for years.
The Gamma Beta Chapter is committing to sustaining our active allyship and doing the long-overdue work to dismantle the harmful structures that have been conducive to racism in our organization. While this change will not happen overnight, we are starting to act now. Below are our initial steps. These steps are a lifelong commitment that our organization and each of our members are taking to ensure that we are educating ourselves and others, addressing the racism in this organization and creating a more inclusive space for all women
Actionable Items for Change
1. Financial Support for Diverse Organizations
Our chapter members just completed the process of individually fundraising for the ACLU, NAACP, and Public Allies, and each member’s donations were tripled by Illumina, for a total of $12,858 raised. A portion of the Gamma Beta chapter’s internal funds ($500) will immediately be directed to Black Women’s Blueprint, which works to place Black women and girls’ lives squarely within the context of larger racial justice concerns of Black communities. We will continue our fundraising efforts all year long and donate to a variety of organizations with different missions on a regular basis.
2. Establish Diversity, Education, and Inclusion Committee
We will be establishing a Diversity, Education and Inclusion Committee, starting Fall 2020, to:
Educate chapter members on the history of racism and discrimination within our organization and Greek community.
Compile and distribute biweekly electronic newsletters about how to better ourselves as anti-racist allies, acknowledge important events in other cultures and communities, and learn how to talk about and recognize biases and discrimination.
Implement a section in the weekly chapter meetings for the committee to share resources and ideas with chapter members.
Be a resource for questions regarding the topics that are brought up each week.
Facilitate presentations, invite third-party diversity speakers from on- and off-campus organizations, and give opportunities to any chapter members who feel particularly knowledgeable and passionate about a specific subject to contribute to the presentation and discussion.
3. Engage with Diverse Film, Books and Other Media
The chapter will establish a year-round book and film club dedicated to consuming books, non-fiction novels, documentaries and films by authors and directors of color about the institutions of racism and discrimination against communities of color and LGBTQ+ communities.
4. Hold Each Other Accountable
We will practice restorative justice and de-escalation techniques with chapter members to help us engage in difficult conversations when holding each other and other Greek Life organizations accountable. Engaging in this type of learning will help our members be vocal when we see or hear behavior that contributes to the endurance of racism. Our Diversity, Education and Inclusion committee will prepare us, through the presentations and programs they host, to be able to check ourselves and others.
5. Support and Connect with Diverse Institutions
Beginning in Fall 2020 quarter, the Gamma Beta chapter will reach out to other Greek councils (such as Asian Greek Council, Latinx Greek Council, Multi-Interest Greek Council and National Pan-Hellenic Council), student unions and Black organizations to understand how we can actively support their causes, attend their philanthropies, and promote their events.
6. Make Recruitment a More Inclusive Space
We are working with the greater Panhellenic community to ensure that potential new members from all backgrounds and perspectives feel comfortable and welcome with the recruitment process, including in advertising, attire and interactions.
We are learning, we will make mistakes, and we will correct them. We realize that allyship is not an end goal, rather a constant practice for the rest of our lives. We are committed to doing the necessary work to transform the harmful structures our institution has been perpetrating. This fight is not over. We are listening to the Black women in our chapter. We will listen to all Black women and men in our community. We will check ourselves and others.
The Gamma Beta Chapter of Chi Omega stands with the Black community.
OUR STATEMENT ON SEXUAL ASSAULT AND HARASSMENT
Chi Omega at UCLA has taken note of the increased reporting of incidents involving sexual assault and harassment on university campuses, including our own. Our chapter is taking proactive steps through risk management education and bystander intervention training to help mitigate the risk of these types of incidents and increase safety in our chapter overall.
Chi Omega stands in solidarity with women of the UCLA community and all survivors. Above all, we hope that our members will be comforted by the strength of the support system that Chi Omega provides for them through all occasions.