International Grand Basileus Deborah Catchings-Smith
It's a new year and new opportunities for service. I am excited about what's in store for Sigma Gamma Rho in 2017. Because of your hard work, we had many accomplishments in 2016. President Barack and First Lady Michelle Obama invited the sisterhood to the White House Holiday Reception. First Grand Anti-basileus Rasheeda Liberty and I represented the sorority. We made great connections to enhance our programs and partnerships.

We were invited to meet with President-elect Donald Trump's Transition Team at the African-American Listening Tour in Washington, D.C. We thank Soror and former Maryland State Delegate  Aisha Braveboy, Esq., who served as the envoy for the sisterhood. More than 40 national civic, social, civil rights and business organizations participated in discussions about the challenges facing our communities and collaboration opportunities. Sigma Gamma Rho was the only National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC) sorority in attendance.  We are hopeful about the future prospects of having a seat at the table of the new administration.
Each of us has the unique opportunity to submit strategic plan suggestions that have the potential of determining the future of our sisterhood.  Be sure to submit your strategic suggestions  by February 28.  Click here  to view the Strategic Plan brochure.

I am extremely proud to share another outreach opportunity. Sigma Gamma Rho was invited to watch a live episode and be a part of a taping of "The Talk." Sheryl Underwood, a co-host of the show and past grand basileus of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, invited us and other NPHC leaders to sit in on an interview with Taraji P. Henson about the movie, "Hidden Figures." They had a great discussion about women who have made and continue to make an impact across the world in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). Chapters across the country are hosting and attending movie viewing parties in support of this magnificent story in American history. Please be sure to send pictures to our international grand epistoleus, Angela Spears, at pressoffice@sgrho1922.org so that she can share them on social media.

Let's be intentional, impactful and measure our success. We are making a difference all across the country! 
Sigma Gamma Rho Leaders at the  White House
Sigma Leaders with Valerie Jarrett, Senior Advisor to the President
Grand Basileus on the Set of The Talk
International First Grand Anti-Basileus Rasheeda Liberty
We are entering the largest membership intake period for our sisterhood, especially for our undergraduate members. All members are asked to actively market and recruit new members. Often times, it is how we as members represent on campus, in the community and in the workplace that creates the first impression of Sigma Gamma Rho to prospective members. Here are some critical reminders about recruitment and proper execution of the T.O.R.C.H. process:

  • Market Early and Often - With busy schedules and competing interests, prospective members need timely notice of membership activities and need consistent communication.
  • Be On Time - When hosting membership activities, we are not guests for the event. Therefore, we need to be prepared to receive guests at least 30 minutes prior to the start of the event with audio visual, presenters, handouts, refreshments and materials completely set.
  • Represent OUR Brand - First impressions are lasting ones. Royal blue and gold attire, with a professional look are representative of our brand.
  • Operate in Transparency - Prospective members need to know financial obligations and time commitments during informational meetings so that they can properly plan for the membership intake process.
  • Select the Best - Invite the very best to membership, those who are active in their communities or on campus or have positional power in their careers or exceptional academic performance.
  • Expect Excellence - How soon and how well our new members begin contributing to our mission directly correlates with how well the members are trained by you.
  • Grow Perspective - It is not enough to have new members isolated to a campus or a local community. New members should be taught that participation in area, regional and national meetings is critical to long-term membership.
To build our membership base for programs and partnerships, we need each of you to play a part. Let's be intentional about our membership strategy. 


Our members and affiliates continue to take a stand and be a positive force in our communities. The work will not stop when it comes to our involvement in social action and legislative issues. A 
Golden Alertâ„¢
 is still in effect!

Members of the National Social Action Committee, chaired by Soror Anita Laster Mays, have set an aggressive agenda for 2017. They are calling for you to write and talk with federal, state and local lawmakers. They also encourage you to attend legislative meetings in order to make your voice heard.

Here is a list of topics and issues that Sigma Gamma Rho will focus on for the year:
  • Voter Suppression
  • Electoral College
  • Human Trafficking
  • Gun Violence
  • Domestic Violence
  • Education
  • Legislative Day (Sigma-on-the-Hill)
Get involved and let's continue to make a difference!
Get ready for another major community service opportunity. Sigma Gamma Rho chapters across the country will host   Project CRADLE Care  on January 21. This will be a community-based collaboration that w ill include hospitals, managed care organizations,  comm unity-based prenatal care providers and health experts.

Project CRADLE Care is a pre and postnatal education and resource program that seeks to improve pregnancy outcomes in high-risk communities. The goals are to provide women of childbearing age with adequate prenatal education and prenatal care  and help them better understand proper infant care and child development. This program provides a wealth of information, resources and tools to ensure moms have a healthy baby. 
Members and Philos of Sigma Gamma Rho are Vegas bound! We will see you this summer for the Special Boule in Las Vegas July 21 - 22. We will get down to business as we vote on bylaw and strategic plan recommendations.

Save the dates on your calendar. Special customized hotel and registration rates will be released soon. 

Please mark the following important dates on your calendar. You don't want to miss these excellent membership engagement and training opportunities.
#MORETHANAHASHTAG Webinar - January 11
New Year Prayer Conference Call -  January 12
Communication Process and Strategy Webinar - January 24 
March of Dimes - March for Babies Webinar - January 25

Have you registered for your regional conference? Please take advantage of the opportunity to learn more about Sigma Gamma Rho, how you can get involved in your region and of course, do a lot of sisterly bonding! Be sure to get the latest information about your annual conference. Access your region's website by logging onto www.sgrho1922.org. Then, click on membership and look for regional access. 

Central Regional Conference: Detroit, Michigan - April 6 - 9
Northeastern Regional ConferenceLong Island, New York - April 27 - 30
Southeastern Regional Conference: Orlando, Florida - March 30 - April 2
Southwestern Regional Conference: Austin, Texas - March 16 - 19
Western Regional Conference: Chandler, Arizona - April 21 - 23                
January 2017