Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
The Diversity, Equity & Inclusion web page provides updates on Kappa Alpha Theta's actions regarding our efforts on inclusion and diversity within our organization.
Kappa Alpha Theta is committed to fighting racism, discrimination, and inequity—both within our sisterhood and within our world. This page will provide updates on Kappa Alpha Theta's actions regarding our efforts on inclusion and diversity within our organization. Please check back often to learn more about what steps we are taking.
Our new Plan of Aspirations includes diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts as a core component, and Theta has supported an inclusion workgroup since 2013. But these efforts simply must advance with more urgency, and we have heard your calls for Theta to do better and make real changes. Here is an update on what you can expect moving forward.
You can expect to hear from us regularly updating you on our progress.
Kappa Alpha Theta welcomes as members, in accordance with the laws of the Fraternity, college women, without regard to race, religion, national origin, age, disability, or other characteristics protected by applicable law. As some of the earliest women to attend college, Kappa Alpha Theta’s founders fought for inclusion in a frequently hostile educational and social environment. Our mission is to offer women lifelong opportunities for intellectual, and personal growth. Those who identify as women are eligible for membership in Kappa Alpha Theta.
As announced in September 2020, Theta created new volunteer positions for diversity, equity, and inclusion. Grand Council has made two recent appointments: a director of diversity, equity & inclusion (DEI) and a diversity, equity, & inclusion (DEI) committee chairman.
The director of DEI will attend Grand Council meetings, collaborate with the DEI committee chairman to implement strategies developed by Grand Council, and in conjunction with the DEI committee and staff, regularly assess the organization to better understand member experience and impacts of practices, policies and procedures.
Dr. Christina (Tina) V. Tran, Zeta Nu/UC Davis, will serve as the director of DEI. Tina is a first-generation Filipino-American raised outside of Chicago. After completing her undergraduate degree at University of California, Davis, Tina received her veterinary degree from University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. Tina is on faculty at University of Arizona College of Veterinary Medicine as associate professor and Clinical Relations Lead Veterinarian. She serves as the immediate past president and founding board member for the Multicultural Veterinary Medical Association. Tina's DEI effort experience includes opening up the veterinary pipeline to underrepresented minorities; providing remote outreach, ongoing support and mentorship to K-12 and undergraduate students; working with veterinary organizations and academic institutions to identify and remove barriers to entering veterinary school and becoming leaders within the profession; collaborating on DEI-focused research projects; and serving on multiple DEI commissions and panel discussions.
The DEI committee chairman is responsible for providing guidance and support to the staff and committee as they proactively address DEI concerns within the organization and ensure there is an open and positive environment for members to flourish. The chairman reports to and is supported by the director of education & leadership.
Lisa Combs, Alpha Gamma/Ohio State, will serve as the new DEI committee chairman. Lisa recently transitioned from her role as program coordinator in the Student Diversity and Multicultural Affairs Office at Loyola University Chicago. She is currently a doctoral student at Ohio State University in the Higher Education and Student Affairs program. She plans to write her dissertation about multiraciality. Lisa’s research interests include identity interconnections, multiraciality in higher education, Filipinx identity development, and deconstructing social constructs around race. Lisa is working on an edited book (with Dr. Aeriel Ashlee) called Identity Interconnections: Facilitating Empathy and Connectivity Across and Between Identity Experiences. She has also published an article in the Journal of College Student Development. Lisa currently serves as the co-chair for the Multiracial Network in the American College Personnel Association (ACPA) and has presented about multiracial topics at many conferences including ACPA, the Association for the Study of Higher Education (ASHE), Critical Mixed Race Studies (CMRS), and the National Conference on Race and Ethnicity in American Higher Education (NCORE). She received her bachelor of arts in political science and English from Ohio State and her master of science in student affairs in higher education from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio.
Task forces on several diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) topics are starting this fall. These topics were chosen based on the conversations and consultations with members (both students and alumnae). Nearly 50 members were selected to serve on these task forces. While each task force will work at its own pace, each will be supported by the DEI committee, staff, and other volunteers. The recommendations from each task force will be made to the proper authority for the specific recommendation (Grand Convention, Grand Council, a Theta committee, etc.) as well as announced on this page.
Our current task force topics are:
If you have ideas, thoughts or suggestions for any of these task forces, please let us know.
New identity-based affinity groups are currently being established on ThetaConnect, our members-only platform where Thetas can join like-minded groups, search for career opportunities and network with each other. More groups will be formed in the coming weeks, so members (both alumnae and collegian) are encouraged to sign up for ThetaConnect and participate in these groups.
We are pleased to announce a new role within Theta’s volunteer workforce, the director of diversity, equity, & inclusion. The director will participate directly in Grand Council meetings. Visit the Volunteer page to learn more about this new position and how to apply. The deadline for applications is Sept. 23.
A new member orientation e-learning module has been added starting this fall. All new members will be required to complete the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion module as part of their member orientation. This module, while designed to be a part of member orientation, is available for all members and advisors. Learn more about our Member Orientation program.
Effective immediately, Kappa Alpha Theta has eliminated all preferential treatment given to legacies during the recruitment process. This means that there will no longer be an automatic invitation following the first round of recruitment or an automatic placement on the chapter’s bid list.
We acknowledge that many women are not legacies because their mothers, sisters, grandmothers, and great-grandmothers simply did not have the same access to higher education or the means to join Kappa Alpha Theta. By eliminating preferential treatment for legacies, Theta ensures that potential new members are not receiving additional credit for things beyond their control, such as hometown, race, family connections, etc. Read the full announcement.
The following changes are being implemented immediately.
Resources for scholarship, recruitment, social media and member development committee guidance may be found in the chapter portal for college chapter members.
Here are resources that we’ve found helpful. They are very comprehensive with articles, books, films, podcasts, and more. Please review and share with your members.