NEWS FROM THE GRAND BASILEUS
International Grand Basileus
Deborah Catchings-Smith
 
Welcome to the new sorority year!  Thank you to all those Sorors and Philos who helped make our special boule in Las Vegas a success.  There were many firsts for our Sisterhood and we made some significant bylaw and constitution changes that will move our organization forward in support of our Going for Sigma Gold: 2015-2018 Strategic Plan.  A full report will be distributed to the membership soon.

It is with regret that on Friday, I announced the resignation of Soror Rachel Morris as executive director of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc, after nine years of service. Soror Morris has been presented with an opportunity to advance her career and we wish her well.  Please see the email blast that was sent Friday, August 4th for more details.

We are a few weeks away from another Sigma Gamma Rho first.  As presenting s
ponsor of the 2017 Fédération Internationale de Natation (FINA) biennial World Junior Swimming Championships, August 23 - 28 in Indianapolis, Indiana, we gain international exposu re and will highlight our partnership with USA Swimming, the Swim 1922 initiative.  You will see Sigma Gamma Rho signage prominently displayed throughout the venues and on all athlete bibs.  NB C Olympic Channel will broadcast the events, so plan to watch on television if you can't attend. Thank you to the many members of our Sigma Gamma Rho Sisterhood that volunteered to hel p with the Swim 1922 swim clinic Saturday, August 26th.  More information about this sponsorship and our partnership with USA Swimming can be found on the website.  I look forward to updating you on the FINA championship events on our social media platforms!  


We have taken this five-year-old partnership between USA Swimming and Sigma Gamma Rho to new heights. Thanks to each of you, we have hosted more than 100 swimming events nationwide, logged over 1,000 hours of related to swimming, with 2,500 swim lessons completed and 500,000 laps swam. A recent survey noted that the number of African Americans lacking basic swimming skills has dropped from 70 percent to 64 percent. USA Swimming attributes much of this decline to the sorority's efforts.

It is back-to-school season and our signature program, Operation Big Book Bag, is in full swing. Chapters and affiliates are collecting and donating school supplies for children in need. We want to see your pictures! Please send them to International Grand Epistoleus Angela Spears at pressoffice@sgrho1922.org. Please use the hashtags #SGRho #SigmaGammaRho #OBBB on social media.

Help us capture and measure our community service hours by using our   Community Service Reporting Tool

Enjoy what remains of the summer and find a good spot to watch the solar eclipse, with the proper glasses, on August 21st.  
2017 SPECIAL BOULE




CELEBRATING OUR MEMBERSHIP

International First Grand Anti-Basileus Rasheeda Liberty
Membership is not as simple as growth. Growth and engagement, together, drive sustainable membership. At the Special Boule, the Grand Chapter helped drive another phase of transformation on the strategic plan. This sorority year will start with the roll out of the following initiatives:

Region Harmonization - The Regional Leadership Team will be launching area meetings with a unified structure. You will experience a different approach to noting key dates and information, workshops based on the needs of your region or area, and affiliate participation opportunities. Our syntakti have worked together for the past year to deliver this approach.

Undergraduate Marketing Tools - Our undergraduates will no longer need to create presentations or draft speaking points for "Meet the Greek" campus activities, tabling events or informal rush activities. The Undergraduate Recruitment Task Force will be launching a branded marketing presentation for use by advisors and undergraduate members. This tool will be posted in the Sorors Only section of sgrho1922.org by Aug. 21.

Celebrating our Membership - Each month, the National Membership Committee will ask sorors and chapters to promote different membership foci. The focus areas are centered around membership categories and visibly sharing images via social media outlets and hosting events and activities on campuses and in communities. Stay tuned on how to celebrate our sorors and our sisterhood as whole in each Golden Communique during the 2017 - 2018 sorority year.
 
These are just a few of the initiatives that our on the immediate horizon. I truly look forward to working collaboratively with all of our membership-focused task force members and National Membership Committee on designing all of the activities around the decisions made at the Special Boule by our Grand Chapter. We will be impactful, intentional and measurable, as we build a sisterhood for the future.

Celebrating Membership (September)

Starting in September, the National Membership Committee would like all chapters and sorors to celebrate our dedicated members - Cultured Pearls, Rubies and Life Members. During the month of 
September, we want you to share photos, images and host events that celebrate our dedicated sorors, using the hashtags #SGRho #SigmaGammaRho #Dedicated. 

Suggested activities include:
* Highlighting all Cultured Pearls, Life Members and/or Rubies in your chapter via social media using our designated hashtags
* Celebrating your Life Membership via social media by posting a photo of yourself and your life membership number on Sept. 7 using  our designated hashtags
* Hosting a dinner, lunch or chapter meeting reception for Cultured Pearls or Life  Members
* Encouraging those with 10 or more paid years to seek Life Membership by doing a Life Membership Blitz for your chapter
* Sending flowers to Cultured Pearls as a chapter or member
* Thanking these members in a creative way for their dedication to the sisterhood.
AREA MEETING SCHEDULE


September 9, 2017
  • Central Region: St. Louis, MO - Area V
  • Northeastern Region: George Mason University - Fairfax, VA - Area I (Eta Iota Sigma and Mu Omega Chapters)
  • Southeastern Region: Huntsville, AL - Alabama Area (Theta Theta Sigma Chapter)
  • Southwestern Region: Pine Bluff, AR - Area I (Alpha Chi Sigma Chapter)
September 16, 2017
  • Central Region: South Bend, IN - Areas IV & VI (Iota Xi Sigma Chapter)
  • Northeastern Region: Elizabeth City State University - Elizabeth City, NC - Areas II and III (Northeastern Region)
  • Southeastern Region: Columbus, MS - Mississippi Area (Zeta Lambda Sigma Chapter)
  • Southwestern Region: Round Rock, TX - Area III (Mu Beta Sigma Chapter)
  • Western Region: Flagstaff, AZ - Area IV (Kappa Sigma Sigma Chapter)
September 23, 2017
  • Western Region: Portland, OR - Area III (Beta Eta Sigma Chapter)
September 30, 2017
  • Central Region: Detroit, MI - Area II (Rho Sigma Chapter)
  • Southeastern Region: Charleston, SC - South Carolina Area (Delta Iota Sigma Chapter
  • Southwestern Region: Oklahoma City, OK - Area II (Gamma Mu Sigma Chapter)
October 7, 2017
  • Central Region: Lexington, KY - Area VII (Eta Epsilon Sigma Chapter)
  • Northeastern Region: Southern Connecticut State University - New Haven, CT - Area IV (Iota Chi Sigma and Sigma Gamma Chapters)
  • Southeastern Region: Jacksonville, FL - Florida Area (Gamma Omicron Sigma Chapter)
  • Western Region: San Jose, CA - Area II (Iota Beta Sigma Chapter)
October 14, 2017
  • Central Region: Kansas City, MO - Area I, VIII and IX (Psi Sigma Chapter)
  • Northeastern Region: Bermuda - International (Gamma Sigma Sigma Chapter)
  • Southeastern Region: Savannah, GA - Georgia Area (Alpha Iota Sigma Chapter)
  • Southwestern: Fort Worth, TX - Area IV (Alpha Pi Sigma Chapter) 
  • Western Region: Inland Empire, CA - Area I (Theta Pi Sigma Chapter)
October 21, 2017
  • Central Region: Akron, OH - Area III (Eta Delta Sigma Chapter)
  • Northeastern Region: University of Pittsburgh - Pittsburgh, PA - Area V (Delta Phi Sigma and Theta Nu Chapters)
  • Southwestern Region: Lake Charles, LA - Area V (Gamma Lambda Sigma Chapter) 
  • Western Region: Las Vegas, NV - Area V (Eta Chi Sigma Chapter)
October 28, 2017
  • Northeastern Region: Stockton University - Galloway, NJ - Area VI (Epsilon Zeta Sigma and Theta Mu Chapters) 
  • Southeastern Region: Memphis, TN - Tennessee Area (Omicron Sigma Chapter)
  • Western Region: Aurora, CO - Area VI (Theta Zeta Sigma Chapter)
November 11, 2017
  • Western Region: Honolulu, HI -  Hawaii Area (Lambda Mu Sigma Chapter)
November 18, 2017
  • Southeastern Region: Freeport, Bahamas - Bahamas Area (Zeta Rho Sigma Chapter)
YOU STILL HAVE TIME TO PAY YOUR DUES

Membership cards for the new sorority year will be in the mail soon. Please remember you still have
time to pay your dues for the 2017 - 2018 sorority year. We are currently in the grace period where dues and assessments can be submitted by Sept. 30 without incurring a late fee. The  membership remittance form and  affiliate remittance form are available.

Let's continue to grow the Sigma Family through retention, recruitment and reclamation.
TWITTER TOWN HALL ON HEALTHCARE

Thank you for your participation on Wed., July 26, during the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) Twitter Town Hall on Trumpcare and how it will impact Americans. During the town hall, Illinois Congresswoman and Soror Robin Kelly answered a question submitted by Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc. about changes to mental health coverage. 

Other questions submitted included: the effect Trumpcare will have on mammogram coverage, well care coverage for women and children, and access to healthcare for rural communities. You can find the questions and answers on Twitter. Look for the hashtags #SGRho #SigmaGammaRho #SGRhoOnHealthcare.

We will keep you informed as more opportunities arise for Sigma Gamma Rho to directly participate in forums such as the town hall. These opportunities allow us to disseminate important information to lawmakers and in our communities. 

An informed community is an effective community. We have a voice, let's use it!
SIGMAS ON THE MOVE
 
Sigma Gamma Rho has been busy this summer. We have had representation and volunteered at several conferences across the country.
  • Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. Conclave- Baltimore, MD  
  • Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. Conclave - Orlando, FL
  • Iota Phi Theta Fraternity, Inc. International Conclave - Orlando, FL
  • National Urban League Annual Conference - St. Louis, MO
  • Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. 2017 Leadership Conference - Cincinnati, OH
  • Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. National Convention - Las Vegas, NV
  • National Association of Black Journalists Convention and Career Fair - New Orleans, LA
95TH INTERNATIONAL DAY OF SERVICE

We continue to prepare for our centennial!  We are excited to announce our first milestone event on our journey to 2022! On Saturday, November 11, 2017, we will join together as an international sisterhood for International Day of Service. We are asking all Sorors, undergraduate and alumnae chapters, along with their affiliates in the U.S. and abroad, to perform an impactful day of service in their communities. On the day of service, chapters may on their own or in collaboration with other chapters and affiliates pick from one of the three H3 Program Thrusts that encompasses healthy choices, healthy living and healthy generations to promote overall health. Also, since Nov. 11 is Veterans Day, consider hosting a volunteer opportunity to serve our veterans. 

All Sorors, Philos and Rhoers should perform a minimum of two hours of service. Please document your service activities on our Community Service Reporting Tool.

You can also order commemorative t-shirts Aug. 15 - Sept. 15. Wear your shirt boldly and proudly on the International Day of Service! 




SAVE THE DATE

Mark your calendar for the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation 47th Annual Legislative Conference Sept. 20 - 24. Sigma Gamma Rho will host a reception on Sept 22 at 7 p.m. at the Renaissance Hotel. 

Details are coming soon. We look forward to seeing you in Washington, D.C.!
August 2017