Educate, Listen, Amplify
Have the courage to speak up.
Have the grace to listen and educate yourself.
Pray for peace and be a person who works to bring peace to the world.
To our Black Sisters and Sisters of Color, friends and family,
Alpha Xi Delta sees you and we are here for you.
Our Fraternity is working to intentionally create lasting change within our Sisterhood with an action plan moving forward. In coordination with that plan, we are seeking to identify, create and improve resources, experiences, training, and education within our Sisterhood for collegiate and alumnae members, staff, officers, and volunteers.
Our "Why" and How It Will Impact Our Work as shared in 2021
We recognize that the immediate items listed below are not enough and we still have more to do. This is a long-term commitment and dedication to ensure lasting change for the Fraternity.
This page will be updated on an ongoing basis as our action plan, additional resources, programming, education resources, and more are released.
Recent action steps taken:
- Worked directly with our BIPOC Sisters to curate a blog series to tell their stories and to amplify Black voices and presence on all of our digital platforms.
- Completed diversity, equity and inclusion training for volunteers at our Volunteer Leadership Conference that was facilitated by Dr. Suzette Walden Cole.
- Investigated and engaged with consulting firms to research and build DEI programs for our undergraduate members.
- Removed preferential treatment for legacies during recruitment.
- The voting membership body passed recommendations to modify ceremonies to be more inclusive.
- Updated the Real Merit and Worth: The New Member Program to include new content that recognizes Alpha Xi Delta’s injustices in our history and how they have impacted our organization.
- Hosted Let's Talk: Social Justice and Our Sisterhood for undergraduate members.
- Hosted a Racial Justice Workshop for all members.
Ongoing action items:
- Continuing to review on-going feedback received from members. If you would like to provide feedback, please fill out our Contact Us form. Your feedback will be forwarded to the appropriate person.
- Continuing to create additional resources and improve existing ones. We commit to reevaluate every aspect of our member experience. This includes, but is not limited to, policies, programs, training and more.
- Continuing to research and educate ourselves about diversity and inclusion best practices from reputable organizations and how to implement them.
Why is this work important?
Alpha Xi Delta cannot stay silent. We do not stand for racism, xenophobia, police brutality, and any other form of social injustice that impacts communities of color. When we know better, we do better. We acknowledge that within our 129 years of existence, we have not always been inclusive to people of color, different religions, sexual orientations and abilities. For this, we are sorry and acknowledge the pain we have caused. Alpha Xi Delta is committed to working toward creating additional and better resources for our members that address diversity, inclusivity, social justice, advocacy, equality and more.
What can you do? Where can you start?
We realize there is a lot of information coming at you at every angle – the news, social media, your personal relationships, etc. It can be overwhelming to know where to begin. Start by picking one book, one article, one podcast or one organization to donate to. Just keep moving forward and committing yourself to doing and learning more.
Educate. Listen. Amplify. If you aren’t sure where to start, here’s a break down of some actionable items:
First and foremost, it is your responsibility to educate yourself, not the responsibility of the Black community.
- Here is a comprehensive list from Forbes of books, podcasts, documentaries, blogs, television shows and more. Click here to read it.
- Understand and recognize white privilege. Click here to see a series of graphics from @theconsciouskid that breaks it down.
- Talking About Race: The National Museum of African American History & Culture has a comprehensive website that provides tools and resources. Click here to view it.
- What is systemic racism? Race Forward has an 8-part video series that shows how racism shows up in our lives across institutions and society: wealth gap, employment, housing discrimination, government surveillance, incarceration, drug arrests, immigration arrests and infant mortality. Click here to view it.
- Project Implicit is a long-term research project based at Harvard University that aims to measure people's preferences for certain social groups over others. You can take the test here.
- Understand what is appropriation vs. appreciation. Here is a helpful article from Greenheart.org. Here is another article that gives an example and explanation about “blackfishing” on Twitter and Instagram. The bottom line is that you do not get to take or use things from a culture that is not your own and then use it for your own benefit, i.e. financial gain, followers on social media, etc.
Learn more about advocacy opportunities and things you can do in your local community to help.
Contact your elected officials and ask them what they are doing to advocate for the Black community and the most marginalized. What policies are they supporting?
Is it a microagression? Read the article here.
Learn more about how you can be an ally.
- Being an ally isn’t about grandstanding and making a show of your support to make yourself look good. You have to do the work.
- Use your sphere of influence, your friends, family, social media platform, etc., to call out racism.
- Being an ally may make you uncomfortable. It’s ok to sit in it and feel that discomfort. That means you’re learning and developing. It’s ok to make mistakes, but don’t use that as a crutch to not take action and give up. If you make a mistake, own it, apologize and work to do better.
- Here are some articles to learn how you can be a better ally:
If you’re a parent, we have posted some resources here to help you talk to your children about race and racism.
- If you are not part of the Black community, it is important to listen to Black voices first and foremost.
- Podcasts like “Code Switch”, “The Nod” and “1619” are a great place to start. This list from Bello Creative can give you some more listening options.
- Anti-Racist Instagram accounts to follow: https://parade.com/1045757/stephanieosmanski/anti-racist-instagram-accounts-to-follow/
- 14 inspiring Black women to follow on Instagram: https://theeverygirl.com/14-inspiring-black-women-you-need-to-follow-on-instagram/
- Follow relevant hashtags like #BlackLivesMatter #AhmaudArbery #JusticeForFloyd #BreonnaTaylor
- Located in our Inspire manual, the program More Than Saying “It’s Okay:” Helpful Tools for Tough Conversations was written for chapters with members going through times of crisis or difficulty. This program is designed to help members learn and practice how to truly sit and listen and be present for a Sisters’ feelings and experience, even when it feels uncomfortable. This resource is available in Exclusively Xi’s Resource Center.
- The Emotional Toll of Racism: Read article here.
- Lift up the voices and experiences of Black people and people of Color so they are not ignored.
- Recognize your purchasing power. Share and support Black-owned businesses with others.
- Share posts on social media from the Black community (see above) and tag the account and give credit to the original content creator.
- Before you donate to any cause, make sure you do your research. Charitynavigator.org is one resource you can use to check how funds are utilized.
- It is important to encourage and inspire others to donate, but refrain from seeking credit for your participation. It is not important that you receive credit or publicity for the donation. It’s about giving to causes or organizations you support.
- While it may seem like a good idea to organize a chapter fundraiser or encourage people to give through a competition, game, etc., there is no reason to pool money together before it is donated in this instance. Take the time and energy that would have been put into organizing a fundraiser and use it to take immediate action instead.
- Any donations made directly by a college chapter or alumnae association must follow all policies and procedures set forth in Alpha Xi Delta’s National Bylaws and Fundraising Policies.
- We encourage giving directly to an organization rather than participating in partial proceeds fundraisers or “give back” events so that more funds are given to the cause.
- Research if credit card fees are subtracted from the donation or if you have the opportunity to cover the cost of the fees.
- A note about using Venmo to collect money: This may be a risk and is strongly discouraged. Individuals/accounts collecting money may become responsible for income taxes associated with any funds received. You will be personally responsible to the IRS.
With humility meet success…
- Expect people to give you feedback or disagree with you. That’s ok – this is your opportunity to engage in a thoughtful conversation.
- In the spring, we created a program about hard conversations. Agreeing to Disagree is a Copout can help prepare you for a conversation that you might be nervous about engaging. Again, it’s ok to be uncomfortable, it’s not ok to be silent.
- Take conversations offline to engage in a productive way. The comment section on social media is not a meaningful place to have a dialog.
- Deleting someone’s comment on your post or a chapter’s account is not a productive way to start a conversation.
- Always try to explain “the why.” If someone posts something that is offensive or inconsiderate, help them to understand why and how their post or comments are impacting others.
And finally, take care of yourself.
It’s important to prioritize your mental health and wellbeing. Below are some resources to help.
- Black mental health and wellness Instagram accounts to follow: https://www.vogue.com/article/black-mental-health-wellness-instagram-accounts
- 29 Wellness Platforms and Brands Created For Black Women: https://www.popsugar.com/fitness/health-wellness-fitness-brands-for-black-women-47483894?stream_view=1#photo-47485771
- 60 digital resources for mental health: https://socialworklicensemap.com/social-work-resources/mental-health-resources-list/