NEWS FROM THE GRAND BASILEUS
 
International Grand Basileus  
Deborah Catchings-Smith
Greetings Sorors, Philos, and Rhoers!
  
We are remarkable women who demonstrate daily our conviction and passion for our families and our communities.  It is critical that we maintain our laser focus and determination to be engaged in the democratic process. Join me in making sure everyone you know is registered to vote, understands the issues on the ballot, reviews candidate platforms,  and goes to the polls on Tuesday, November 6, 2018! Let's Rhock the vote!
 
Alice Allison Dunnigan Unveiling
On Friday, September 21, 2018, Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority Member, Alice Allison
Alice Allison Dunnigan  
Life-Sized Statue 
Dunnigan, was honored with a life-sized statue created by Sculptor Amanda Matthews at the Newseum Museum in Washington, DC. Soror Dunnigan was the first African-American female journalist credentialed to cover the White House. A true trailblazer, Dunnigan also holds the distinction of being the first African-American woman with access to the Senate and House Press Galleries as well as the Department of State Press Corps.

It was an honor to be joined at the statue unveiling by Past International Grand Basileus (Past President) Dr. Mynora J. Bryant, Sigma Gamma Rho Executive Director Cynthia Eubanks, International Grand Epistoleus (Historian and Communications Director) Tamika Nicole Williams-Clark, Northeastern Regional Syntaktes (Regional Director) Thomasina Gore, ESQ, Cheryl Procter-Rogers (PR Consultant), and a whole host of Sigma Gamma Rho members and affiliates.

Special thanks to John Maynard of the Newseum and Soror Tracy Brown (Phi Sigma Chapter) for assisting with research and coordination.
 
Video Links:
Alice Allison Dunnigan's Legacy and Impact
Soror Alice Allison Dunnigan's Legacy and Impact 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Soror Alice Allison Dunnigan-Sigma Gamma Rho Trailblazer
Soror Alice Allison Dunnigan-Sigma Gamma Rho Trailblazer
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
MC Lyte: Lyte as a Rock 30th Anniversary Concert
MC Lyte Performing at the Kennedy Center 
Our talented and legendary Soror Lana Moorer (aka MC Lyte) celebrated the 30
th anniversary of her debut album "Lyte As A Rock". The event was held on Friday, September 21, 2018 at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC.  The audience was packed.  Several national leadership team members along with countless sorors and affiliates were in attendance.  
MC Lyte and Deborah Catchings-Smith.

The event highlighted Soror Moorer's historic career and philanthropic outreach. To date her foundation, Hip Hop Sisters, has provided more than $900,000 in scholarships to youth pursuing higher education.  Our sisterhood presented Soror Moorer with an award saluting her commitment to excellence. Congratulations to Soror Moorer on her trailblazing career.
 
 
 
2018 Congressional Black Caucus and NPHC Forum
Several members of our national leadership team attended the
9th Annual
NPHC Greek Forum 
Congressional Black Caucus Foundation Annual Legislative Conference (CBCFALC) in Washington, DC September 12- 16, 2018.  We were actively engaged in policy discussions, meetings with elected officials, advocacy work, community service outreach, partnership meetings, collaborations, and networking throughout the conference.  These activities serve as a way to propel the impactful work of our sisterhood.

The prelude to the CBCFALC began on Wednesday, September 12th with the 9th
NPHC Council of Presidents (Missing Missing Alpha Kappa Alpha, Alpha Phi Alpha and Iota Phi Theta) 
Annual NPHC Greek Forum. The panel discussion "#WhatsAtStake" was hosted by Congresswoman Marsha Fudge and included the international presidents all of the NPHC organizations.  The forum addressed a number of topics including:
  • The importance of voter registration and education for the 2018 midterm elections.
  • Accurate and inclusive census count in 2020.
  • The impacts of the 2018 and 2020 redistricting and funding allocations based on the census.  
All of these discussions provided insight on how we as organizations can help to educate and empower our communities through service.

Sigma Gamma Rho Reached More Than 700 Youth During CBCFALC Weekend
USA Swimming and Sigma Gamma Rho also did amazing work during the weekend. Special thanks to USA Swimming National Partner Liaison Soror Secenario Jones for
Swim 1922 Dry Clinic during
CBCFALC Weekend  
her leadership and the support.  We are making a s
i gnificant impact in helping to decrease drowning rates. Sorors and Chapters in the DMV Metropolitan Area supported the four free clinics.  More than 700 youth were reached . The clinics focused on  water safety and drowning pre vention training.

During CBCFALC, we also hosted a Swim 1922 booth at  the Walter E. Washington Convention Center September 13th - 15th.  More than
Soror and Olympian Maritza McClendon and Olympian Cullen Jones with workshop participants 
10,000 attendees had access to drowning prevention information. Special thanks to our Olympian Soror Maritza McClendon, Olympian Cullen Jones, as well as Naliah Ellis Timberlake of USA Swimming Productions for their engagement in the Swim 1922 activities. We will continue to
McClendon,  Catchings-Smith, Nance, and Jones 
at the 
Swim1922 Event.
provide life-saving information to African-Americans and Communities of Color.   
 
 
NPHC and ESPN Celebration of Service  
The NPHC Council of Presidents has entered into a national partnership with ESPN.
The goal of this first of a kind initiative is to showcase the collective service outreach provided by "The Divine Nine" (D9) organizations in communities around the country.  All D9 organizations will jointly perform a community service project in Birmingham, Orlando, and Atlanta. Each national president will be interviewed to promote the positive impacts their individual organization has made through service.

The culmination of the service will occur in Atlanta, Georgia on December 14-15, 2018 at the Celebration Bowl at  Mercedes Benz Stadium. The event will spotlight each D9 organization's service outreach in slated cities. On December 15th,  ABC will broadcast live on national television to 20 million households.

Below are the cities and dates where each organization will conduct joint community service projects. The location of each televised game is also listed.
  • October 26- 27, 2018 Magic City Classic; Birmingham, Alabama
  • November 16-17, 2018 Florida Classic; Orlando, Florida
  • December 14-15, 2018 Celebration Bowl; Atlanta, Georgia
I will be interviewed during the Magic City Classic Game on October 27th in Birmingham, Alabama. All Sorors and Affiliates are encouraged to attend the games or tune into ABC television on the scheduled dates.  Check your local television stations for times.

Importance of Our Organizational Program Involvement
Our service engagements and partnerships matter.  It is imperative that we engage in critical deliberations when determining the programs that we decide to activate.  We share our results with our current partners and those who have a passion about for meaningful community work. 

Your documentation in the Golden Service Tool is critical. As we march towards our Centennial Celebration we also need to document the amazing work we do and the impact we make. Our documentation should include our work in action along with photos of us executing our community service engagement.

The community service work of all Sorors, Philos and Rhoers tell OUR story. Without the data, we do not have the ability to control our own narrative. We want to ensure that we own the rights to the story about our incredible sisterhood. Our work should align with our mission of making an impact to improve the quality of life for women, children, and families.
HELPFUL STRATEGIES FOR MEMBERSHIP RETENTION 
 
International
First Grand Anti-Basileus  Rasheeda S. Liberty
The chapter retreat and planning meetings have concluded. The new executive board is in place. The grace period has expired...and there are some voices and faces missing. It is that time of the year where chapters are looking back to the previous sorority year and realize that the current roster is lighter. This presents an interesting challenge. However,  it is not too hard for us to solve together. Whether you are a chapter basileus, membership chair, or a dedicated chapter member, you can play a role in retention. Below are some tips to assist you.

Creating a Missing Sorors Report
The first step is to identify who these sorors are. Compare the roster from 2017-18 to 2018-19 to identify who is missing. After that, ask members of the chapter who are passionate about making connections to assist in this effort. Ask those sorors to kindly invite those missing to remain active this sorority year. Do not shame them. Encourage those missing sorors to return.

Meet the Need
Sometimes sorors are not able to retain their membership due to personal or financial obligations. Inquire within your chapter if there is a group of sorors who are willing to assist a soror with their dues. If there is a personal issue such as childcare or work schedule conflicts, offer creative options so the soror can remain involved with the chapter.

Seek to Understand
Sometimes other issues can affect activity. If there was an issue or concern that you believe caused a soror to choose not to return, work diligently to resolve the issue. Send your best conflict resolvers to these sorors as a mediator and resource. Encourage them to do their best to move towards reconciliation.Help to resolve hurt feelings, remedy past tense situations, and move forward.  
 
Maintain Connection
Consider sending a newsletter for the next couple of months showcasing what is planned for the chapter. Draft a "We Miss You" note signed by all chapter members and share with newly inactive members. This may be the type of contact they need to end their short period of inactivity. Phone Calls, newsletters, and email messages can help tremendously.

Define Gaps in Service and Set Wheels in Motion
Sorors want to feel that their knowledge, skills, and efforts are valued. They want to feel needed. Actively work to define where the chapter has potential gaps in service, committee tasks, or membership initiatives. Consistently ask those sorors to review exactly where there skills can be utilized.  
 
We tend to focus on recruitment and reclamation during this time of the year. However, the easiest win for most chapters is to first retain the members that they already have in place. Retention is a an indicator of long-term chapter health. Continue to share ideas to help encourage retention.
UNDERGRADUATE FOCUS
 
International  Second Grand Anti-Basileus
Christie Nance
Greetings Sorors!
 
I hope all is well. As I mentioned last month, I have multiple initiatives and programs that will help support the Undergraduates in Sisterhood, Scholarship, and Service. One of my initiatives is Beyond the TORCH. This initiative is a seven-step program to encourage the importance of sisterhood building beyond TORCH. Building bonds takes time, creativity, and a willingness to grow. The initial 6 portions will be done by the Undergrads on their campuses. The remaining portion will take place at regional conferences and/or Boule. Look for more information in the upcoming months.
SHAPING AND COMMUNICATING THE BRAND 
 
International Grand Epistoleus
Tamika Nicole
Williams-Clark

Greetings Soror, Philos, and Rhoers!

My name is Tamika Nicole Williams-Clark and I am your new International Grand Epistoleus. I am excited to serve you for the 2018-2020 term. I have already gotten the opportunity to engage with many of you on projects as well as online.

On Tuesday, October 23, 2018 at 9:00pm EST/8:00pm CST/6:00pm PST, I will be hosting a webinar. This will help to educate and assist you with information and strategies about how to best maximize and empower our collective vision. More information about how to register will be released soon.
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.
 
October Highlight: Ruby Members 
During the month of October, Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc. will be celebrating
our Ruby Members. Rubies are sorors who have 22 or more years of membership. Chapters and sorors please post photos and images of these special members all month long.
Please use the hashtag #SGRhoRuby on your posts.  
 
Upcoming Features
November-Reactivating Members (Welcome Home Campaign) #WelcomeHome
RHOER TO SOROR PIPELINE 
 
National Rhoer Coordinator Shyreeta Peacox, M.M.
 
I nductions
Fall is in full swing and Rhoers are in the second month of inductions. Across our sisterhood, young ladies are taking their next step in growth and development by becoming members of
Zeta Phi Sigma Rhoers
local Rhoer Clubs. Rhoer Advisors make sure you are sharing pictures of all the new Rhoers with your Regional Rhoer Coordinator and in all your chapter communications.
 
 
 
Rhoer Advisor Milestones

Below are some October milestones to ensure your Rhoer Club is operating successfully.

  • Background Check Completed
  • All Rhoer Dues Paid
  • All Transportation, Hold Harmless and Media Release forms signed and on file
  • Yearlong Rhoer activity calendar completed and shared with your Basileus
  • Rhoer Club officers elected and installed
  • All Rhoer community service completed to date has been submitted in the CSRT
  • Plans for Rhoer attendance at regional conference initiated
Rhoer to Soror Spotlight
Soror Denica Archibald
Basileus, Lambda Omega Chapter
" Being a part of The Rhoer Club taught me  how to be a leader among peers, how to be creative, how to be the change you want to see.   Mentorship while in the Rhoer Club was all I needed to inspire me to seek membership into Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc. I wanted be the same inspiration to another little girl that a soror was to me. I am forever grateful to be a Rhoer turned Soror."
 
 
Sorors Make Sure To Pause And Give Each Rhoer You Meet  
A Word Of Encouragement!
NATIONAL PROGRAMS UPDATES
   
  
National Programs Chair  
Jacqueline Greely 
 
During the month of October, we will focus on our Women's Wellness Initiative (WWI). We will observe the Hattie McDaniel Breast Cancer Awareness Program. We will also promote Domestic Violence Awareness.
 
Hattie McDaniel Breast Cancer Awareness Program
Breast Cancer risk is higher among women whose close blood relatives have this disease. About 5% to 10% of cases are thought to be hereditary.  Early detection and screening continue to be factors that can help save a life.
 
Domestic Violence Awareness
Domestic violence is best understood as a pattern of abusive behaviors. This can include physical, sexual, and psychological attacks. Economic coercion used by one intimate partner against another (adult or adolescent) to gain, maintain, or regain power and control in the relationship is also considered domestic violence (The National Domestic Violence Hotline).
There are a number of resources and areas of outreach available. These can be used to provide relevant programming around these issues in your community.  For assistance, please contact your regional program coordinator.
 
All of Us Research Program
Sigma Gamma Rho continues to be an active partner with All of US / National Institutes of Health (NIH) to provide outreach and education regarding Precision Medicine in our communities. If you want a better understanding of Precision Medicine, the All of Us program, or if your chapter is interested in providing information or hosting an event,  resources are available. All of US / National Institutes of Health (NIH) is hosting a one-hour training webinar on Tuesday, October 9 at 8:00pm EST.
  To RSVP, email 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 will be available in the coming weeks.
 
Founders' Day is fast approaching!  Get ready for the Founders' Month Community Service Challenge!  More details to come.
 
Programs Update Webinar
Due to unforeseen circumstances, we were unable to host the Programs Updates webinar on September 18.  The date for the rescheduled Programs Updates webinar will be released soon.  
 
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 .  
THE SOCIAL ACTION COMMITTEE IS IN FULL SWING
   
 
Get Out the Vote Efforts
Our members and affiliates did an awesome job organizing Get Out The Vote (GOTV) rallies, town halls, and voter registration events.  In an effort to better assist you, we have created a Social Action Midterm Election Toolkit. We are also planning a webinar. The date will be forthcoming.

Paraphernalia and Protest Suggested Best Practices
Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc. has a rich history of women who have protested inequalities in our society. Going forward, we will continue to empower and engage the communities we serve through social action. In an effort to assist you as you participate in protests and service projects, the International Board of Directors has approved a Paraphernalia and Protest Suggested Best Practices document.

Social Action Documents
You may find the aforementioned documents on our international website www.sgrho1922.org.  Please click "Sorors Only". Then select "National Program Initiatives" and "Golden Alert".
SORORS ON THE MOVE
 
Sorors all over Sigma Gamma Rho are doing some amazing things. Here are some highlights from the last month. 
 
 
SUBMIT YOUR PHOTOS
 
Please share photos of you performing and participating in community service activities. Send only your four best photos to your Regional Epistoleus. Always indicate your chapter name, location, and community service activity. Let's show service in action!    
October 2018