Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Initiatives
My name is Kattie Nguyen, and I am the current VP of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion officer for the Alpha Chi Omega Epsilon Chapter at the University of Southern California. Here at Alpha Chi Omega, we acknowledge that the Greek organization was rooted upon racial and socioeconomic exclusivity, and we know that diversity, equity, and inclusion has been challenging for everyone, for the entire Greek community, and for society, however it should be an integral and essential part in everyone’s lives. As a first-generation Vietnamese American woman, I have grown up often feeling underrepresented and undermined, especially within Greek life; therefore, all my efforts and strengths will go towards making DEI an integral core value at Alpha Chi Omega, rather than something that belongs on a checklist, to initiate positive change considering the negative trend we have seen in the past. As a person of color, I try to be as empathetic and open-minded about other peoples’ experiences as I can, and as I am aware that implicit biases still exist everywhere, I will strive to continue to make this chapter as inclusive and diverse as it can be, and work to make sure everyone’s’ voice is heard. From our recent progressions, our sisterhood has grown to become over 50% BIPOC women, and I cannot be prouder that our sisterhood has truly grown for the better!
In this current position, I am so grateful to have the opportunity to work and give back to the chapter by promoting an inclusive culture that first so strongly appealed me to Alpha Chi Omega when I first joined. I remember feeling so respected, heard, safe, and welcomed here at Alpha Chi Omega, and I will make it my mission to make sure everyone who walks through those doors feel the same security and inclusivity. At Alpha Chi Omega, we recognize that in the past we haven’t done enough to ensure a more inclusive environment for BIPOC members, therefore through implementing Alpha Chi DEI Tabletalks, DEI Film Nights, DEI Themed Monday Night Dinner, social and service events with other Greek organizations off the Greek row itself, and more, our chapter will dedicate itself to these initiatives and spark change within the larger Greek community.
The Epsilon executive board and I have worked together to create two working documents which outlines the areas our chapter wishes to improve in. The external action plan outlines our basic general plans, while our internal action plan outlines specifically how, as a chapter, we will initiate such change, and how such aspects will continue to foster a more inclusive and welcoming environment for all. These two documents are the beginning of our start for positive change, by creating transparency and holding each other accountable within and outside our chapter. We plan to review and update these plans, if necessary, in order to keep our chapter an inclusive space.
Alpha Chi Omega and I welcome all feedback to improve upon or expand our action items in either document. Although this is our first step, it is an important step to fostering greater change within the Epsilon chapter at the University of Southern California. We know that our work within DEI can never be fully done, however we intend to facilitate hard conversations that everyone should have, and needs; only through these hard conversations can we continue to learn and unlearn, and expand our awareness to increase diversity, while creating an inclusive and equitable environment where everyone can be the best version of themselves, and grow into the real, strong women, which we define ourselves here, at Alpha Chi Omega.