International Governing Board Of Delta Phi Epsilon Adopts New Anti-racist Resolution

Philadelphia, PA – The leadership of Delta Phi Epsilon Sorority released a new Anti-Racist Resolution today. Working with the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee led by International Governing Board Member Vashtina Boyce, the International Governing Board adopted the important document unanimously earlier this week.

According to International President Roxanne Donovan, “This Resolution is an important step in bringing change to our ever-evolving sorority, with initiatives that will help us accomplish our goals for improving the member experience and living our values of justice, sisterhood and love.”

Formed first as a task force in 2016, the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion(DEI) Committee has been working toward creating an equitable environment in which members who identify as Black, Indigenous, People Of Color(BIPOC) can lead and thrive. This resolution states the sorority’s position and outlines a comprehensive plan.

We have been working on broader diversity initiatives “behind the scenes” the past couple of years, but we felt that we needed to make a bold and deliberate statement to address the concerns of our membership. While we can’t fix all the problems of our society with this resolution, we will use it to make a positive impact within our Sisterhood.”, says Boyce.

DE&I Committee Anti-Racist Resolution – 2020

Whereas, Delta Phi Epsilon, having been founded with the core value of justice, cannot stay silent while members of our Sisterhood and their loved ones feel the impact of hate. Both past and recent acts of brutality against Black bodies are reprehensible. Our organization strongly condemns racism, injustice, and the abuse of power in no uncertain terms; and

Whereas, Delta Phi Epsilon is committed to providing a space for membership to be heard, valued, and appreciated. Knowing we cannot address these issues alone; we will continue to seek meaningful partnerships to ensure our actions and words are well informed; and

Whereas, the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DE&I) Task Force (July 2018 – May 2019) began as part of the (2018-2020) Strategic Plan outlined by the International Governing Board (IGB); and

Whereas, the current DE&I Committee was created from the goals and ideas set forth from the Task Force, the Committee has been meeting monthly since December 2019; engaging in a broad range of equity work as it relates to Delta Phi Epsilon and it’s operations; and

Whereas, we understand our current efforts are just the beginning. We will continue to work to dismantle the inequalities in our organization and the systems of oppression that exist beyond. Creating change can happen at many levels, and we ask all our members to speak out against racism and acts of hatred; and

Whereas, we acknowledge, that those efforts must start by ending racism in our chapters, associations, international headquarters, and volunteer spaces; and

Whereas, we recognize that these efforts are long past due and that much more needs to be done on behalf of our Black Sisters, as well as our other Sisters of Color. We recognize that for far too long the voices of Sisters decrying our silence and inaction have done nothing but add to the trauma and anguish of their lived experience. It is the sincerest expectation of this Committee, with the unequivocal support and engagement of the International Governing Board, that we will move past performative justice towards a more authentic example of our founding principles;

Therefore, Be It Resolved;

That the International Governing Board has issued a call to action for the DE&I Committee to execute work more focused on racial equity, and to a finer point work in support of our Black members and we suggest the following actions.

Resolved, That a grant from the Educational Foundation will be executed to support the funding of the educationally focused endeavors listed within this resolution.

Resolved, That all three Boards of the Delta Phi Epsilon Enterprise will make individual donations to organizations that work internationally and locally on behalf of the Black community with 100% participation of said board members.

Resolved, That the DE&I Committee will draft policy, directly addressing the experience of our Black Sisters and all women of color within our organization, not unlike our Transgender and Non-Binary Policy.

Resolved, That the DE&I Committee will review, update, and redevelop the Standards Board manual and procedures for undergraduate and alumnae membership consistency, accountability, and instill anti-racist and restorative justice practices in our judicial process.

Resolved, That the DEI committee will review and put forth suggested revisions to the entire DPhiE Policy Manual to remove barriers for members to join and enjoy the full benefits of Sisterhood, to identify policies that negatively impact Sisters of Color and to ensure that a regular review of the Manual happens no less than once a biennium.

Resolved, That holidays that are outside of the dominant culture will be observed by our IHQ and membership. We will manage and maintain a DE&I calendar to support recognition of and education in diverse holidays.

Resolved, That in concert with the Human Resources Committee and International Executive Director the DEI committee will review and update Talent Management hiring and placement processes, including the Employee Manual.

Resolved, That as the Nominating Committee has been actively engaged in diversification of our volunteer leadership on the International Governing Board for the past ten years, we will heighten these practices to increase the diversity of our boards, volunteers, and staff in the coming biennium – this Diversity will include individuals who identify as Black, Indigenous, and People of Color.

Resolved, That the International Headquarters staff in conjunction with specialists in the area of diversity, equity and inclusion will review and update our educational programs, including: New Member Orientation, Team Excellence, and alumnae initiate to incorporate an anti-racist, equity lens into all facets of Sorority membership, with a special focus on development or procurement of recruitment specific training to ensure inclusive, equitable, and non-discriminatory recruiting practices.

Resolved, That we will thoroughly review our financial structure and identify ways in which every level of participation is more affordable and accessible. We will do our part to address the lasting impact of racially-based economic inequality and will work to eliminate barriers of access in all levels of our organization.

Resolved, That we will provide required annual educational training to undergraduate members, chapter advisory board members, volunteers (including Enterprise Board members), and staff on critical conversations and Intergroup Dialogue.

Resolved, That the DE&I Committee will extend at least one slot for an undergraduate Sister to ensure the voice of active membership is included in ongoing work.

Resolved, That the International Headquarters will assign a staff member who is dedicated to the implementation and integration of anti-racist initiatives into our daily operations and culture. This individual will lead an annual Equity Audit, will source and recommend materials, vendors, trainers, and speakers for the Sorority. This individual will also work directly with the DE&I Committee to facilitate constant feedback between our Sisterhood and International Headquarters.

Resolved, That the International Headquarters will release communications endorsing this resolution, for multimedia distribution (i.e. social media, mail, email, etc.) for our members to share, celebrate and integrate.

Resolved, That we will release biannual reports on the DE&I initiatives taken by our organization. These will be made available to the entire membership to ensure transparency, visibility, and accountability of our ongoing efforts.

Resolved, That we will gather and retain demographic information for every Sister, volunteer, and staff to better facilitate evidenced-based decision making in relation to equal representation and anti-racist policies.

Resolved, That we will have at least two of our social justice programming endeavors focused solely on the experience of our Black members.

Resolved, That we will ensure that the leadership of our organization (all boards, staff, and Chapter Advisory Boards) will deepen their knowledge on racism, micro aggressions, and inclusion, and we will hold the first of many post-read listening sessions in September 2020, where the themes will be discussed after reflection on a related book.

Resolved, That we will add Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion specific programming to the International Leadership Forum (ILF) sessions to bolster our work in this area. We will provide our membership with opportunities to engage in dialogue and expand their knowledge around these topics.

Resolved, That we will create a Leadership Team role of Vice President of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion; with the expressed understanding that it is the work of every member, volunteer, and staff to ensure we maintain our principle of justice.

About Delta Phi Epsilon, Inc.

Delta Phi Epsilon Sorority was founded on March 17, 1917 at New York University Law School as a social organization for women. The mission is to provide a sisterhood experience rich with tradition, innovation and opportunities for growth. Learn more about Delta Phi Epsilon at www.dphie.org.