Belonging and Inclusion: Priorities and Action Plan
We are dedicated to diversity, belonging, equity and inclusion within Gamma Phi Beta. We are committed to a focused, thorough, deliberate and actionable process that is rooted in and guided by our four Core Values: Love, Labor, Learning and Loyalty. Gamma Phi Beta should be an organization where all members feel welcome and equally valued at all stages of their membership.
In early 2019, the 2018-20 Gamma Phi Beta International Council (IC) established the Belonging and Inclusion Task Force (BITF). The BITF’s charge was to recommend a strategy to increase members' competency and Sorority practices related to diversity, belonging and inclusion.
In October 2019, the BITF submitted recommendations to IC based on their experiences and professional learning, listening tour results, individual appointments made to discuss the topic, as well as their general knowledge of current sorority culture, practices, policies and relationships. The full report can be viewed after login at GammaPhiBeta.org > Member > Collegians/Alumnae/Volunteers > Additional Resources.
International Council accepted the report, and as a result established the Belonging and Inclusion Committee to carry out the work of the BITF.
Based on the recommendations in the BITF report, the 2018-20 IC compiled a list of top priorities. This is not an exhaustive list of what is to come and as priorities are executed, new priorities will take their place.
GAMMA PHI BETA’S BELONGING AND INCLUSION PRIORITIES
- Audit our policies and organizational systems (e.g., dues and fee structure, recruitment practices, etc.) to decrease barriers to membership
- Improve accessibility of our facilities, programs and technology
- Increase education and programming surrounding implicit biases and anti-racism
- Ensure our diverse membership is celebrated and has a voice
- Foster diversity of leadership through inclusion
- Audit manuals, how-to-guides and resources for inclusivity
- Work collaboratively with our peer groups and universities to support the development and transformation of the entire fraternity and sorority system to be more inclusive
- Diversify our revenue model to make membership more accessible
- Examine our own history as it relates to discrimination with race, religion, etc.
- Streamline our process for reporting incidents of discrimination
- Establish chapter leadership dedicated to belonging and inclusion
- Evaluate our Legacy Policy
This list reflects tasks/projects either in progress or completed by the Gamma Phi Beta workforce. Action items are based on the task force recommendations and will be updated quarterly.
Q3 (February – April 2021)
- Evaluate workgroup findings for alternative dues structure.
- Complete an equity review of membership selection and the training around membership selection.
- Complete a belonging, equity, diversity and inclusion (BEDI) action plan for each collegiate chapter.
- Update anti-racism resources webpage.
- Perform a robust review of Fidelity for New Members for inclusion of BEDI principles.
- Add Fidelity for Initiated Members lesson, Fundamentals of Power and Privilege.
- Complete a request to hire a dedicated partner to complete a historic context study that explicates the history of discrimination in Gamma Phi Beta (race, religion, etc.).
Q2 (November 2020 – January 2021)
Still in Progress, Moved to Q3
- Equity audit of the volunteer application process.
- Audit of technology and programs, as they relate to access to Convention.
- Research and evaluate the holidays and awareness months celebrated by international Gamma Phi Beta.
- Create a Belonging and Inclusion Committee that reports directly to International Council (IC).
- Create a scholarship endowment to benefit women of color.
- Incorporate education and development of a Belonging and Inclusion competency for members of IC in orientation and onboarding.
- Utilize image descriptions in digital issues of The Crescent and social media text (to describe photos being posted) to make our content accessible to those with visual impairments.
- Provide curated learning for collegians, alumnae and workforce.
- Ensure all employee policies are applied equitably across One Gamma Phi Beta.
- Make the Belonging and Inclusion Task Force Report accessible to all members and staff.
- Create additional chapter resources focused on belonging and inclusion*.
- Create common definitions (e.g., social justice, belonging, inclusion).
- Review and clarify existing practices related to legacies and recommendations in the member selection process.
- Begin workgroup to pilot alternative dues structure aimed at increasing affordability of membership*.
- Launch of the Belonging, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Summit (Summit in February 2021; Registration opens January 2021)*.
- Collect member demographic information (This information will be used to ensure our diverse membership is celebrated and that our services, programs and events are developed with all Gamma Phi Betas in mind.).
- Develop an anti-racism resources webpage.
- Add BEDI chairwomen to all collegiate chapters.
- Add the following lessons to Fidelity for Initiated Members: Challenging Implicit Bias in Recruitment, Gamma Phi Beta Membership Today, How to be Engaged as an Anti-Racism Activist.
- Deliver opportunities to increase inclusive practices through The Collegiate Digest.
- Create affinity groups for women who identify with marginalized groups to gather virtually.
- Creation of Bias Response Team and Bias Incident Report Form*.
* Indicates an ongoing project that extends multiple quarters.