EQUITY, DIVERSITY, AND INCLUSION
Statement in support of Asian and Pacific Islander Communities
In response to the growing discrimination, hate, and violence towards communities of Asian and Pacific Islander heritage, and the shootings in Georgia on March 16th, we want to share the following message with our members:
Alpha Omega Epsilon supports our members of Asian and Pacific Islander heritage in the midst of the ongoing violence towards those communities. We stand with those members and all people of those communities. Alpha Omega Epsilon is committed to providing education and resources to our members, and to utilizing our platform for inclusion of thoughts, ideas and customs to be a bridge of unity for diverse individuals. Alpha Omega Epsilon condemns all hate-related actions based on racial identities. #StopAAPIHate
We encourage our members to support each other and work to end hate. We are including some resources below, but encourage you to reach out to your advisors, Board members, or to the Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Committee if you are in need of support.
For Mental Health Support:
Crisis Line: 1-800-273-TALK
Crisis Text Line: Text “Connect” to 741741
Crisis Services Canada: 1-833-456-4566
Crisis Services Canada Text Line: 45645
For More Resources:
While Alpha Omega Epsilon remains focused on our core mission and vision as a STEM organization, it absolutely includes a commitment to a safe and non-discriminating environment. As part of our call to fight systemic racism, we are committed to make change happen from within our sisterhood. To that end, we have committed to the following:
- To be allies to the Black community and provide resources to our sisters on how to help support the Black Lives Matter movement with the aim of stopping systemic racism, prejudice, and inequality
- To listen to our members’ ideas of how to improve our sisterhood and to enact programs which will help our Sorority be more supportive to our BIPOC sisters
- To organize and deliver diversity and inclusion training to our sisterhood, starting with the Board of Directors, with the aim of not only educating our members, but also increasing the diversity within our members and empowering those members to take more leadership roles within our organization
- To actively recruit and onboard persons of color as international volunteers
- To facilitate open, honest, and supportive conversations between our sisters around the topics of cultural awareness, bias, and privilege
- To work together to uplift those underrepresented in STEM fields by sponsoring scholarships, actively leading STEM programs at underfunded K-12 schools, and applying for grants to bring STEM programming to underserved communities
Our work has just begun and we cannot implement all of our goals overnight, but we know with the love and support of our sisters we are capable of anything.
To Our Sisters
We have heard from many in our sorority through direct conversations, social media messages, video, and written petitions sharing your calls to action and demanding that we do more. We have heard you and we want to continue to hear from you!
Alpha Omega Epsilon is outraged at the unacceptable injustices against the Black community. We want our platform to be used as an ally to the Black Lives Matter movement and as a force for change against institutionalized racism prevalent in our society. The appalling and senseless deaths of Rayshard Brooks, George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbrey, and so many others is unacceptable. Alpha Omega Epsilon, and its leaders, unequivocally condemns any insensitive, racisist, bigoted, or discriminatory actions or words.
Silence is not the answer. We believe silence is a stance, and not the right one. We want to educate ourselves, our sisters, and our community. We want to be an ally for change.
Historically, our organization has been composed of white women as our members and leaders. Over the years our organization has grown significantly in its diversity. We are proud to have sisters of color in the organization, but overall, there is a lack of understanding within our organization regarding the Black women and women of color experiences in STEM. We promise to listen to these experiences and take actions to educate our sisterhood. We will continue to learn from our sisters and seek to uphold our values, ideals, and objectives in our actions and our words. Out of love for our BIPOC sisters, we are willing to make mistakes, learn from them, and try to correct them. We care, we support you, and we will do better.
We’ve recently established a new committee within Alpha Omega Epsilon called the Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Committee. We are very thrilled that many passionate sisters have agreed to serve on this committee to help the sorority in uplifting our sisters, educating our sisterhood, and providing the best resources to support you in raising your voices for equity, diversity, and inclusion within our sisterhood. If you have any ideas/resources you’d like to be shared with our sisterhood, please email EDI@alphaomegaepsilon.org.
We believe that education is a large first step of our organization and the community at large for fighting racism. We will continually add and update this page to reflect the most recent resources we are recommending.
- “White Fragility: Why It’s so Hard for White People to Talk About Racism” by Robin DiAngelo, PhD
- “Race Against Time: A Reporter Reopens the Unsolved Murder Cases of the Civil Rights Era” by Jerry Mitchell
- “Born A Crime” by Trevor Noah
- “Just Mercy” by Bryan Stevenson
- Understanding the work, the trust required, and ability to take action to work at dismantling systemic racism as a white person
- Curriculum for White Americans to Educate Themselves on Race and Racism - from Ferguson to Charleston
- Challenging Assumptions and Practices in Board Diversity