Diversity FYI

APhiG Discussion: Black Greek Council

The Sisters of UIUC Charter executed a focus event this past/last Fall semester called “APhiG Discusses: Black Greek Council”. This panel-style, discussion-based event had a main focus of branching out to the Black Greek Council, where we explored the history and impact that the BGC organizations have had on the cultural greek community. The Brothers and Sisters were invited to speak on behalf of their organizations – Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., Delta Sigma Theta Sorority inc., Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc., Iota Phi Theta Fraternity, Inc., and La Unidad Latina Lambda Upsilon Lambda Fraternity, Inc. (who are members of UGC but are ‘cousins’ with Alpha Phi Alpha, who helped establish them).

We discussed a range of topics such as stepping & strolling, traditions from Divine 9 that have carried over, and the impact/importance/value of being in a cultural organization at a pre-dominantly white institution. The discussion of the last point was something that helped bring the purpose of the event home – unity. A point of discussion came up as to why our minority communities are so alike yet segregated; we had an engaging conversation as to how we, as community & organizational leaders, can combat this by doing what Alpha Phi Gamma has done today: taking the step forward.

As a new Charter, one primary focus is to bridge the intercultural disconnect that exists between marginalized communities on campus. As it is often unspoken but well known, greek unity within the United Greek Council (UGC, MGC for other charters) is not as strong as it could be. Conventionally, individuals gravitate towards those who are alike to them – the reason we have cultural organizations in the first place; to celebrate this alikeness and unity. However, to take a step forward towards cross-cultural understanding and true geek unity, we must broaden our horizons and take those first steps. This past semester, Alpha Phi Gamma at UIUC was the first Asian-interest greek organization on campus that had Black Greek Council present for roll call at our New Member Presentation.