NEWS FROM THE GRAND BASILEUS
 
International Grand Basileus  
Deborah Catchings-Smith
Greetings Sorors, Philos and Rhoers!  
 
Our momentum continues. July was a month filled with our sisterhood making significant impacts across our nation! Below are a few highlights.  

Sigma Gamma Rho at the 2019 Essence Festival
More than 50,000 people attended the 2019 Essence Festival this year in New Orleans, LA. We elevated our national partnership with Essence resulting in Sigma Gamma Rho and our sisterhood being well positioned  during the festival's activities.
Essence Center Stage 
From our marketing and branding of our amazing sisterhood to our annual Swim 1922 Clinic at the historic North Rampart Community Center Pool, the celebration of our mission and purpose was on full display to the public.  
 
Kudos to our National Headquarters Team, Membership
Essence Festival Branding
Services Director Soror Elaina Hamilton, Regional Syntakti LaShonda Johnson and Jakimva Martin, UCC Miranda Moore, and the Sorors, Philos, and Rhoers who served on the volunteer team during the four-day Festival! Thank you to all the local Sorors and those who traveled across the nation to New Orleans to watch Sigma making an impact in action. Special thanks to USA Swimming National Liaison, Soror Scenario Jones, USA Swimming Productions Director Nailah Timberlake, and Olympians Soror Maritza McClendon and Cullen Jones for their unwavering support of our Swim 1922 drowning prevention initiative.  
 
International Board of Directors Meeting and National Boule Planning Meeting in Atlanta
Your international leadership, met, deliberated, and engaged in conducting the business of our sisterhood during the International Board of Directors Meeting on July 17-19, 2019 in Atlanta, GA. We also held our National Boule Planning Meeting with the local, supporting Atlanta Area Chapters. We appreciate the support of all Atlanta Area Sorors. Get Ready! We are excited about the 2020 Boule!  
 
National NAACP Convention in Detroit
During our time attending the NAACP convention as a national partner, we were reminded about the importance of joining forces across organizations to tackle racism, bigotry, sexism, xenophobia, white nationalism, white supremacy, voter suppression, and intimidation. We focused our dialogue around the expansion of our civic engagement with a re-ignited laser-focus on voter mobilization.  
 
The NAACP convention theme, "When We Fight, We Win", is a testament to our resilience. We applaud our Sorors who are participating in the NAACP NEXTGEN Young Professionals Leadership Development Program. Sorors Elaina Hamilton, Shazneka Blue, and Mahasin Salim-Chambers are being armed with the knowledge around leadership fundamentals pertaining to get out the vote (GOTV), voter registration, political action, criminal justice, and economic empowerment. We appreciate our National Social Action Chair, Anita Laster Mays, Esq., for representing the sisterhood at the National NAACP and Urban League Conventions.  
 
Photos L to R: NAACP Vice Chairman of the National Board Karen Boykins-Towns.NAACP Panelist with NAACP National Board Vice Chair Karen Boykins-Towns. NAACP National Board Chairman Leon Russell.     
 
 
NAACP NEXTGEN Young Professionals Leadership Development Class
 
National Social Action Chair, Anita Laster Mays, Esq., at the National NAACP Convention.
 
Historic Rho Sigma Chapter Family Swim Day
While in Detroit on July 21, 2019, we also attended Rho Sigma Chapter's Family Swim
Rho Sigma Swim Clinic attended by US Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib.
Day and Swim 1922 Clinic. More than 1,000 participants learned about drowning prevention and water safety. To date, this has been the largest Swim 1922 Clinic hosted by a local chapter of our sisterhood.  
 
The event garnered recognition by U.S. Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib who attended the Swim Clinic to reinforce the need to tackle drowning prevention in her district. Congresswoman Tlaib applauded Sigma Gamma Rho for addressing this epidemic affecting communities of color. The Swim Clinic was led by our very own Soror, Olympian Maritza McClendon with support from Olympian Candace Cooper.  
 
National USA Swimming Liaison Soror Scenario Jones also assisted in providing support for this milestone event. Congratulations to Rho Sigma Chapter Sorors, Philos, and Rhoers for their hard work on this event. Special thanks to Basileus Soror Summer Caldwell, Swim Clinic Event Chair Soror Kimberly Banguil, and her committee on the monumental community service impact in the Detroit community. We are saving lives!
 
Sigma Gamma Rho Supports NPHC at National Conventions
Our strategic travels throughout July purposefully promoted our remarkable brand, impactful community service, and unmatched sisterhood. I want to applaud the tremendous outpouring from Sorors, Philos, and Rhoers who came out to support national leadership in New Orleans, Atlanta, Las Vegas, Charlotte, Detroit, Indianapolis, and Philadelphia. Your presence exhibited our focused community engagement and dominance in improving the lives of women, children, and families.  
 
I want to also thank International First Grand Anti-Basileus Rasheeda Liberty for representing our sisterhood at the National Phi Beta Sigma and Alpha Phi Alpha Conventions. Much appreciation is also extended to our International Executive Director, Soror Cynthia Eubanks, for her extraordinary support of our national leadership. Soror Eubanks was able to take advantage of our strategic networking, partnership expansions, and collaboration opportunities while crisscrossing the country to attend conferences and forums.        
Photos L to R: Delta Sigma Theta National President Beverly Smith. National Sorority of Phi Delta Kappa 26 th Supreme Basileus Dr. Etta F. Carter. Iota Phi Theta Past Grand Polaris Robert Clark. Kappa Alpha Psi 33 rd Grand Polemarch Thomas Battles.
   
Iota Phi Theta Grand Polaris Andre Manson along with NPHC International Leaders and Representatives. 
 
Upcoming National and International Events
ESPN / Air Force Reserve Kickoff of Celebration of Service Football Game (MEAC /SWAC) Grand Basileus Live Interview  
September 1, 2019 @ 3:00 pm ET
Georgia State Stadium, Atlanta, GA
 
Congressional Black Caucus Annual Legislative Conference / Sigma Gamma Rho Reception
September 13, 2019 @ 6:00 pm ET
Conrad Hilton Hotel, Washington, DC
 
International Chartering  
September 28, 2019, United Arab Emirates
 
September Holidays and Observances 
Labor Day
On September 2, 2019, we will celebrate American workers on Labor Day.  
 
GREATER IS DEMONSTRATED THROUGH GROWTH 

International First Grand
Anti-Basileus  Rasheeda S. Liberty
As we enter into our next 100 years, we have consistently met and in fact, exceeded our growth expectations. Today, this officer is proud to share that we have exceeded our 2018-19 sorority goals ( 100.4%). With that, we have grown by nearly 10% which is ahead of our pace outlined for the last couple of years. 
In the last 4 years, we have grown by 53.2%. The Sigma Family, inclusive of affiliates, has achieved another historical milestone for us with Rhoers and Rhosebuds leading the charge.  All regions have contributed to our success, but we would like to recognize a couple.
The Southeastern Region is the largest region for both Sorors and Affiliates (2018-19), with a growth year over year of 11.5% for Sorors. The Central Region was a close follower at 11.3% growth year over year.  
We aspire for all chapters to be at least at a Ruby Status (22-49 members). We have continually seen this number grow with a record number of our undergraduate and alumnae chapters falling into this status and beyond. 
We want to celebrate our Centennial and Sesquicentennial Chapters in order of size:
Centennial Chapters (100-149 Members)
Gamma Phi Sigma (Houston, Texas)
Lambda Sigma Sigma (Stockbridge, Georgia)
Eta Nu Sigma (Brooklyn/Queens, New York)
Zeta Sigma (St. Louis, Missouri) *
Lambda Delta Sigma (Anne Arundel County, Maryland)
Alpha Lambda Sigma (Cleveland, Ohio)
Rho Sigma (Detroit, Michigan) *
Alpha Sigma (Indianapolis, Indiana)
Delta Sigma (Chicago, Illinois)
Sesquicentennial Chapters (150+ Members)
Eta Sigma (Atlanta, Georgia)**
Eta Xi Sigma Chapter (Oaklawn, Illinois)** - the largest chapter of the sisterhood for the 2018-19 sorority year.
*New Centennial Chapter
**New Sesquicentennial Chapter
Eta Xi Sigma Chapter (Oaklawn, Illinois)
 
Thank you for your work in making Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc. a choice for top-tier sorority membership.
AUGUST 2019 UPDATE
 
International Grand Epistoleus 
Tamika Nicole   
Williams-Clark 
 
Hello Sorors, Philos, and Rhoers,
 
The 2019-2020 Sorority Year is in full swing. Our committees have been busy working to release some awesome projects so that you will be better equipped to share your stories, document your history, and spread the positive impact that you are having in your communities both nationally and internationally. Thank you for your ongoing support.
 
Social Media Impact (March 6, 2019- August 6, 2019):
Here is a snapshot of where we are in terms of our official social media pages:
  
Facebook:
Instagram:
Twitter:
As of 03/06/19:
Followers: 14,613
Likes: 14,663
As of 03/06/19:
Followers: 12,615
 
As of 03/06/19:
Followers: 11,007
 
As of 08/06/19:
Followers: 15,792
Likes: 15,499
As of 08/06/19:
Followers: 13,915
 
As of 08/06/19:
Followers: 11,639
 
   
Last sorority year, we were able to average 15% growth across our primary social media platforms. However, there is still a need for significant growth. The International Social Media Committee is actively working to make this happen. We encourage you to continue to share, like, and actively engage. Remember to use our official hashtags below:
 
#SigmaGammaRho
#SGRho
#SGRhoUpdates
 
International History Committee Update
The History committee has created an awesome historical interview project. We have also been able to acquire a copy of the Official Sigma Gamma Rho Songbook. Special thanks to Soror Ollie Smith of Theta Zeta Sigma Chapter in Aurora, CO for providing it to the committee. More information regarding the re-printing of the songbook and its availability as well as the historical interview project will be forthcoming.
 
Epistoleus Tools and Resources Coming Soon
This officer has begun compiling information to share with the body on resources that would be helpful to those currently serving as Epistolei. We will notify you as soon as the information is available.
 
MEMBERSHIP COMMITTEE UPDATE-YOUR IDEAS AT WORK
   
We value our membership's voice. As we work to plan our events in the upcoming years, we would like your feedback on your entertainment preferences. Our intent is to put your ideas to work. Thanks for your participation.  
 
  
 
August 2019