NEWS FROM THE GRAND BASILEUS
 
International Grand Basileus  
Deborah Catchings-Smith
Greetings Sorors, Philos, and Rhoers!
 
We kicked off 2019 with a re-energized focus on community service outreach along with membership and affiliate growth. During Black History Month, we are ever mindful of the trailblazing contributions of African Americans that continues to shape the foundation and the fabric of this nation. Each of you are living examples of what we can accomplish with hard work, dedication, and a strategic focus.  Your strategic efforts will certainly yield our desired documented outcomes for positively impacting the communities we serve. Don't forget to log your community service hours in our Golden Service Tool. I am looking forward to attending the 2019 Regional Conferences and seeing each of you. I wish you all safe travels!
 
Northeastern Midwinter Meeting  
The 2019 Northeastern Regional Midwinter Meeting was a tremendous success! The
2019 Northeastern Region Opening Session. 
entire day of relevant workshops, information sharing, brainstorming, and networking was dynamic. We were thrilled to welcome new Philos and Rhoers who were inducted during the Midwinter Meeting. I was honored to attend. I thoroughly enjoyed spending time with all Sorors, Philos, and Rhoers! I would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to the entire Northeastern Regional leadership team, Sorors, and Affiliates for the sisterly love and courtesies extended!
 
 
Photos Left to Right: 2019 Northeastern Region Host Chapter Eta Zeta Sigma Chapter. Northeastern Region Philos inducted during the 2019 Midwinter Meeting with Northeastern Region Philo Coordinator Dr. Cheryl Simmons Gray. Northeastern Region Rhoers inducted during the 2019 Midwinter Meeting. 
 
New York City Community Outreach
On Saturday, February 2, 2019, Northeastern Region Syntaktes Thomasina Gore, Area 4 Coordinator Dr. Jodi Jacobs, and I joined our New York City Area Sorors and our New York City Divine Nine Sorors and Fraters to tackle hunger by supporting Rise Against Hunger. The agency distributes food to women, children, and families in the New York City Area. The Divine Nine collective work over the non-stop 24-hour marathon period resulted in over 27,000 meals being prepared for distribution to feed the hungry. It was a humbling experience to participate in such an impactful effort. Thank you Sorors and Fraters for demonstrating our significant community impacts when the Divine Nine Organizations join forces.
 
Syntaktes Gore and I engaged New York City Area and Connecticut Sorors at a chat and chew brunch. I thoroughly enjoyed the sisterhood bonding and great conversations! Thank you Area 4 Coordinator Soror Jacobs and all Sorors for the loving courtesies extended and for taking time out of your busy schedules for our brunch gathering.  
 
Photos L to R: With SyntaktesThomasina Gore and Area 4 Coordinator Dr. Jodi Jacobs at Rise Against Hunger food preparation community service event. Divine Nine Organizations at the Rise Against Hunger food preparation community service event. Theta Rho Sigma Chapter Sorors at the Rise Against Hunger food preparation community service event.  
 
 
Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. - Mission Accomplished Gala
It was an honor to be joined by Northeastern Region Syntaktes Thomasina Gore in representing our sisterhood at the Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. Mission Accomplished Gala saluting the 25th International Grand Basileus Valerie Hollingsworth-Baker. The Divine Nine Organizations joined numerous dignitaries in extending congratulatory well wishes. It was a great evening of networking and festivities.
 
We congratulate Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. International Grand Basileus Hollingsworth-Baker. We look forward to her leadership. Thank you Northeastern Region Syntaktes Thomasina Gore and Area 4 Coordinator Soror Jacobs for your tremendous support throughout the amazing weekend!   
 
Photos L to R: With Kappa Alpha Psi Grand Polemarch Thomas Battles at the salute of 25th International Grand Basileus of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. Valerie Hollingsworth-Baker. Joined by Northeastern Region Syntaktes Thomasina Gore at the salute of 25th International Grand Basileus of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. Valerie Hollingsworth-Baker. 25th International Grand Basileus of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. Valerie Hollingsworth-Baker.
 
Sigma Celebrates Black History Month
Black History Month is an annual celebration that honors the contributions of African Americans in the United States. Started in 1926 as Negro History Week by Carter G. Woodson, it became a month-long celebration in 1976. African-Americans have made significant contributions to American society. Here are the trailblazers featured in this year's graphic:
 
James Baldwin- American novelist, playwright, and social critic. He is regarded as a highly insightful and iconic writer.
 
Bessie Coleman- American civil aviator. She was the first woman of African-American and Native American descent to hold a pilot's license.
 
Madam CJ Walker- Created specialized hair products for African-American hair. She was one of the first American women to become a self-made millionaire
.
Thurgood Marshall - First African-American Supreme Court Justice. He was instrumental in helping to end legal segregation in the United States.  
 
Alice Allison Dunnigan - American journalist, civil rights activist, and author. She was the first African-American female correspondent to receive White House credentials and the first black female member of the Senate and House of Representatives press galleries.  
 
Jackie Robinson - First African-American athlete to play Major League Baseball in the 20th century.
 
Claudette Colvin - Civil Rights activist in Alabama during the 1950s. She refused to give up her seat on a bus months before Rosa Parks' more famous protest.
We are proud to recognize the contributions of African Americans to American History!
 
National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day
Today is National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day (NBHAAD). This day serves to help
increase awareness about HIV in the Black community. It also serves as a way to help get people involved in prevention efforts, to get tested, and to get treatment if they have been diagnosed with HIV.
 
According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), HIV diagnoses have fallen slightly in recent years in the Black community. However, it is still important for us to continue our efforts. Actively engage in helping to educate people about prevention and awareness. Know your status and get tested!
 
Happy Birthday Sandra Bland!
Today we remember the bright and outspoken change agent who wanted to make a difference and change history. Happy Birthday Soror Sandra Bland!  
 #SayHerNameSandraBland 
 
A GREAT START TO MEMBERSHIP & AFFILIATE GROWTH THIS YEAR
 
International
First Grand Anti-Basileus  Rasheeda S. Liberty
We have just validated the membership results from this fall and are excited to share recruitment, reactivation, and retention results. Our membership goals, as outlined by each regional syntaktes with input from her team, are definitely a stretch, yet attainable. It's time to see how we are doing.
 
Membership Goal
We are at 83.0% of our membership goal to deliver our Centennial commitment for 2018-19, which is pacing strong given our upcoming spring processes. The Western, Southeastern, and Central regions have the most favorable goal attainment thus far.  From a retention perspective, 92% of our members have returned to membership as compared to prior year with both the Western and Central regions leading the way.   
 
From a recruitment focus, we had the largest fall intake process that we have recorded since we have been tracking membership growth. The Southeastern Region had the greatest percentage and amount of new members this past fall. For overall membership, the Southwestern Region has the strongest growth compared to prior year based on fall statistics. The Southeastern Region is the largest region for both members and affiliates, with the Northeastern Region tracking closely.  
 
 
Centennial Chapters (100+ Members) as of January 2019
Central Region
Alpha Lambda Sigma, Cleveland, OH
Alpha Sigma, Indianapolis, IN
Delta Sigma, Chicago, IL
Eta Xi Sigma, Oak Lawn, IL
 
Southeastern Region
Eta Sigma, Atlanta, GA (Sesquincentennial Chapter, 150+ members), Largest chapter in our sisterhood
Lambda Sigma Sigma, Stockbridge, GA
 
Northeastern Region
Lambda Delta Sigma, Anne Arundel County, MD
 
We have several more chapters tracking closely to both Sesquincentennial and Centennial Chapter status, so we are headed in the right direction.
 
We have an opportunity to continue membership growth for this sorority year. Attracting and retaining membership are the responsibilities of each member of our sisterhood. All chapters should be hosting a Spring intake process to help fuel our organizational growth. We are all accountable for growing and sowing into our membership to deliver on our motto and fulfill the vision of our Founders. We can do it!
UNDERGRADUATE FOCUS
 
International  Second Grand Anti-Basileus
Christie Nance
Hello Sorors!
I hope you all are having a wonderful start to your year! I am in the process of planning a full Prissy and Precise reboot with the Regional YSCs. This includes Instagram, a newsletter and much more. It is set to be relaunched in the upcoming months so please be on the lookout.
Undergraduates, if you have any accomplishments that you would like to share, no matter how big or small, I would love to hear about them and share them. If you would like to communicate with me please email me at secondgrand@sgrho1922.org or direct message me on Instagram @sgrhosecondgrand. I am also looking forward to meeting and connecting with all of you at our regional conferences!
Undergraduates and Rhoers, I wish you all a blessed and successful second half of the school year!
CELEBRATING OUR MEMBERSHIP
 
Each month, we will be celebrating various types of members across the Sigma family. Please make sure to post photos, memories, and share stories about each member class.
 
November Highlight: Affiliate Advisors  
The National Membership Committee is celebrating membership this February with a
focus on advisors. In a month where we celebrate love and affection, we want all sorors to demonstrate this by posting images to social media. We are asking chapters to celebrate undergraduate and affiliate advisors this month with images on social media with our hashtag, #sgrhoadvisorlove   
National Rhoer Coordinator Shyreeta Peacox, M.M.
IT TAKES A SPECIAL SOROR TO BE A RHOER ADVISOR!
 
Besides Rhoers, there is one group of women who equally fill my heart with joy; they are Rhoer Advisors. I must pause for a moment and thank you for the countless hours of time and
sharing of talents you have provided to our Rhoers. You are all rare gems to me!
 
"Consider this.  Kids spell TRUST like T-I-M-E. And when you consistently invest time in a kid-even if they're acting out and you don't think they deserve it-the care and attention will pay off."
The Power of One Caring Adult - Josh Shipp
 
Regional Conference Season is Approaching
It's regional conference season and I hope to see record breaking Rhoer attendance. I can't wait to see all your smiling faces! We want to make sure each Rhoer has an amazing experience. Are your Rhoers registered? Do they need sponsors from the alumnae chapter? Have they started collecting the needed attire? Has transportation been arranged? Making sure that the Rhoers needs are met upfront will insure that they will have an amazing experience. 
 
Graduation Season is Almost Here! 
graduation_cap.jpg
Make sure you are celebrating this milestone. Don't forget to complete and submit the Graduating Rhoer Report to ICHQ and copy your Regional Rhoer Coordinator.
 
Rhoer Club Advisor Webinar Update
The Rhoer Club Advisor Webinar has been rescheduled to February 12, 2019 at 9 pm EST. Make sure all Rhoer Advisors are registered.
 
Rhoer to Soror Spotlight
Soror Jaelyn K. Brown (pictured left) Soror Shevon Reed, Rhoer Advisor, Lambda Chi Sigma Alumnae Chapter  
"The Sorors of the Lambda Chi Sigma Alumnae chapter are a phenomenal group of women that showed me that Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc. has no limit in its reach. I have become a better leader and friend because of my experiences as a Rhoer. Since becoming a member through the Delta Rho Chapter this past spring, I lean on what I observed, and I am constantly developing as a Soror as well."
 
Soror Jaelyn K. Brown
Delta Rho Chapter 
NATIONAL PROGRAMS UPDATES  
  
National Programs Chair  
Jacqueline Greely 
 
All of Us Research Program
Sigma Gamma Rho is an active participant with the Black Greek Letter Consortium of the NPHC. We have been busy this Phase educating communities about the program.  You are invited to learn more about the activities these past few months (including meeting Omega's Lifetime Achievement recipient Shaquille O'Neal) by Sigma Gamma Rho and our partners on Tuesday, February 12, 2019, at 8:00 pm EST/ 7:00 pm CST/ 6:00 pm PST.  Registration is required:  bit.ly/D9CollectivePower .
 
For questions, please email Jacqueline Greely, National Programs Coordinator at  programs@sgrho1922.org .
 
Essential Programs Updates
The 2019 Annual Youth Symposium will be held on Saturday, March 9 and the theme will be "Mission Possible: A Safe Space for Youth".  Additional information and materials are available in Sorors Only section of our international website.  
 
Golden Service
Please remember to record individual and chapter service in the Golden Service Tool . There is a handy instructional guide available on the international website.
For questions, please email  goldenservice@sgr1922.com .   
SORORS ON THE MOVE
 
Sorors all over Sigma Gamma Rho are doing some amazing things. Here are some recent highlights:
 
 
 
February 2019