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National Programs

Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc., is fully committed to assisting those in need as well as the betterment of communities around the globe. Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority works in partnership with national support organizations including the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), The National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC), National Urban League, The United Negro College Fund (UNCF) and many others.

Since 1922, Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc. has made a substantial impact nationally and abroad. The Sorority has a proud history of offering service wherever chapters exists under the auspice of the organization’s signature program entitled, Project Reassurance. Through active participation in programs and through networking with other organizations such as the National Council of Negro Women, Urban League and the NAACP, Sigma’s legacy of service to improve the quality of life for all continues. The service of Sigma Gamma Rho’s global service includes Project Africa and Project Mwanamgimu.

As our organization and world is adapting to life in a post COVID-19 era, many chapters have shifted to provide unique and innovative programming. Members are advised to remain vigilant and adhere to local and state guidance in reference to safety protocols. This resource has been compiled to be offered as a guide and not a full exhaustive list of national programming activities.

 

Greater Service, Greater Progress!

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Operation BigBookBag

OperationBigBookBag is a program designed to address the needs, challenges and issues that face school-aged children who are educationally at-risk, in local homeless shelters and extended-care hospitals and facilities. Through this program, chapters and members collect and donate educational materials, equipment and school supplies.

Our goal is to:

  • Provide quick and easy access to reference materials and other studying aids and tools that will help students with educational endeavors.
  • Equip students with the means of completing their homework assignments in effort to keep them current and up to date.
  • Assist shelters, youth centers, schools and hospitals in their efforts to meet some of the educational needs of children and young adults housed at their facilities.

OperationBigBookBag was established in 1996 by the late Dr. LaRona J. Morris, 18th International Grand Basileus. It was established in partnership with the Ancient Egyptian Arabic Order, Nobles Mystic Shrine, Inc. (Shriners). The program has expanded in recent years to focus on exposing students to STEM curriculum and careers, and a refocus on tutoring support and mentoring programs. Programs can be held by chapters all year long with the back to school supply give-away held every August and January of the school year.

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Women’s Wellness Initiative

The Women’s Wellness Initiative is a consolidated effort that allows chapters to focus on health issues that impact women; specifically, women of color. The Women’s Wellness Initiative was developed after the Sorority’s participation in the United Nations/March of Dimes Prematurity Awareness panel in New York. Acceptable educational and programmatic efforts under this Initiative include, but are not limited to Breast Cancer Awareness, Intimate and Domestic Violence, Heart Health, Diabetes Health, Mental Health and other issues that target women. WWI programs can be conducted at any time during the sorority year.

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Swim 1922 In Partnership with USA Swimming

Swim 1922 was created to address the unfortunate truth that according to the CDC, approximately 10 people drown every day in the U.S.A. An even more startling fact is that 70 percent of African American children and 60 percent of Hispanic children in the U.S. do not know how to swim. Additionally, African American children are three times more likely to drown than Caucasian children. Through the partnership with USA Swimming, Sigma Gamma Rho’s Swim 1922 campaign aims to address this disparity by having. Olympians and members of the sorority teach the community about water safety and how to swim. With USA Swimming, Sigma Gamma Rho has touched close to 20,000 lives, directly, with the projection of changing multiple generations to come. Swim 1922 programs are conducted during May-August of the sorority year.

Our goal is to strengthen USA Swimming’s commitment to diversity and inclusion by breaking down barriers, created by a lack of access and exposure, and expanding our footprint in the local community to increase swim participation and decrease drowning rates.

Program Benefits:

  • Provides opportunities for youth and adults within the African-American community to learn water safety in general and swimming specifically.
  • Reduces the level of fear and apprehension of learning to swim.
  • Opens minds and change attitudes regarding Blacks and swimming.
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Project Cradle Care

Our goal is to have a positive impact on the quality of life for children who are born prematurely, or as a result of teen pregnancy.

Program Benefits:

  • Financial contributions to help improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth, and infant mortality.
  •  Help teen mothers prepare for life with a newborn.
  • Support teen mothers so they may continue their education and development.

A collaboration between Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc. and the March of Dimes, Project Cradle Care Prenatal Health Program seeks to improve pregnancy outcomes in high-risk communities by increasing the number of women of childbearing age who receive adequate prenatal education and care. The program also focuses on educating moms about proper infant care and child development.

Premature birth and its complications are the largest contributor to infant death in this country. Each year in the U.S. more than 22,000 babies die—that’s two babies every hour—and approximately 1 in 10 babies is born prematurely. The number of infants born too soon increased for the fourth year in a row, according to the National Center for Health Statistics based on 2018 data. Additionally, racial and ethnic disparities in preterm birth rates persist with the rate among Black women being 49% higher than the rate among all other women.

Sigma Gamma Rho is also concerned with teenage pregnancy and parenthood in the U.S. Approximately 13 percent of all birth defects affect babies born to teenage mothers. Adolescent childbearing presents health risks to both moms and their babies. These health risks have long-term consequences for teenagers, their babies and society.

Through Project Cradle Care Prenatal Health Program, Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc., and the March of Dimes join forces with medical professionals and community-based organizations to educate and raise awareness in high-risk communities of prematurity prevention by hosting informational baby showers, health symposiums and health fairs. Participants receive information on prenatal and postnatal care, birth defects, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), newborn care and more. Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc. hosts the Project Cradle Care Prenatal Health Program annually on the third Saturday in January.

 

Annual Youth Symposium

Held simultaneously, on the second Saturday of March by Alumnae Chapters across the nation, our Youth Symposium serves as a unifying effort during Sigma Week. The Symposium (supported by undergraduate chapters and affiliates) is designed to highlight some of the prevalent concerns that negatively impact our youth (drugs, teen violence, abuse, low self-esteem, suicide, teen pregnancy, human trafficking, etc.).

The late Dr. LaRona J. Morris, Past Grand Basileus (National President), was the originator of this nationwide, one-day symposium. Dr. Morris initiated this program under her administration during the periods of 1996 – 2000. We are honored to continue her thrust to empower youth in our communities through hands-on, interactive leadership activities centered on a relevant annual theme. The Youth Symposium has a standardized agenda and program package to be used nationwide.

Our goal is to be relevant in the lives of our youth.

Program Benefits:

  • Improved educational outcomes.
  • Improved behavioral outcomes.
  • A highly anticipated annual event supported by local communities.
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