June 7, 2024

Celebrating Pride Month with Julia Jankowski, Xi Iota-Muhlenberg (PA)

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Delta Zeta Women's Membership Organization | Delta Zeta Sorority

June is Pride Month and we are supporting and celebrating our members that identify as LGBTQ+. We’ve asked a few chapter Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, or DEI, chairs to tell us what they do in their chapters to educate on LGBTQ+ matters.

“The Xi Iota Chapter at Muhlenberg College has a unique perspective on LGBTQ+ topics and issues with a number of our sisters identifying as part of the LGBTQ+ community. We know its important to create a space in which each of our sisters feels safe and comfortable expressing their sexuality and gender identity, and we also make a conscious effort to challenge the harmful history that Greek life, as a whole, has had excluding LGBTQ+ individuals. One topic that we plan to cover is gender binary. This then opens a broader conversation to making sure our sisters understand the difference between sex and gender, how the gender binary plays a role within our society. It is also important to discuss the timeline of increased acceptance of LGBTQ+ individuals within Greek life, as much of this progress is relatively recent, beginning in the 1980s.

Also, because our chapter is quite small, consisting of approximately 50 members, we find it valuable to facilitate group discussions to assess inclusivity and acceptance on a community level. Such discussions include creating a welcoming space for gender nonconforming individuals, assessing characteristics of healthy versus unhealthy relationships and emphasizing the importance of protecting and strengthening one’s mental health. It is also crucial to emphasize that the LGBTQ+ community does not exist in isolation, and intersects with concepts such as race, socioeconomic background, ability, and age, to name a few. As a chapter, much of our work on inclusivity has centered around education and facilitated conversations to improve and strengthen feelings of belonging and happiness within the chapter. While we live by all of Delta Zeta’s core values, curiosity, community, empowerment and belonging take the forefront in our chapter and are highly encouraged and emphasized in our education surrounding LGBTQ+ topics.” – Julia Jankowski, Xi Iota-Muhlenberg (PA)

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