Statement on JWHO vs. Dobbs SCOTUS Decision
Posted by Vanessa Léon on June 25, 2022


June 25, 2022


Trigger Warning: abortion, maternal health care and pregnancy, health care insecurity, gender inequality, racism

Hello Powerhouses,

Yesterday, the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade and nearly 50 years of precedent, eliminating the federal constitutional right to abortion. With this decision, the Supreme Court has taken our power to control our own bodies, our lives, and personal medical decisions — and handed it to politicians. Knowing this was coming does not make this moment any less harmful and horrifying.

Understanding the Impact:

 

26 states are poised to move to quickly ban abortion — including 13 states with laws that could immediately go into effect. That’s half the country where people may no longer have power over their own bodies and their own lives. That means 36 million women — nearly half of the women of reproductive age (18-49) in the United States — plus, more people who can become pregnant, could soon lose abortion access.

Because of this country’s legacy of racism and discrimination, we know the consequences of this decision will disproportionately harm Black, Latinx, Indigenous, and other people of color, as well as LGBTQIA+ communities, people who use public insurance programs, immigrants, rural communities, and people with disabilities. People who do not have access to the resources and support they need to travel out of state may be forced to carry pregnancies against their will or seek abortion outside of the health care system. This is unacceptable.

Everyone should have the choice and power to control their own bodies, lives, and futures. Together we have the power stand up against abortion bans and reclaim our rights. Here’s what you can do TODAY:

Donate

  • Local abortion funds and independent clinics have worked for decades to help their communities navigate barriers to abortion care. More than ever, they need our support.

Speak Out

Find Care

  • If you need an abortion, visit iNeedAnA.org and abortionfinder.org
  • If you live in a state where abortion is banned, or you have other barriers to accessing abortion, such as travel, then you can use Aid Access. Aid Access is an online service for reproductive health created by Rebecca Gromperts, a Dutch physician. Here's how it works: you perform an online consultation and if you meet the eligible criteria, then Dr. Gromperts fulfills your prescription using a pharmacy in India and mails it to your home.

Provide Emotional Support

  • This decision may have placed critical care out of reach for someone you know. If you know someone who is emotionally overwhelmed by this decision or its impact in their lives, please encourage them to call the Disaster Distress Hotline at 1-800-985-5990, which is available 24/7.


National Board recognizes the enormous impact this decision has, and we know many of you, your families, and loved ones have been feeling the effect of this cruel decision in your communities and in the country. Please do not hesitate to reach out to us for support or to share more resources and information on how to get involved.

With love,
National Board

Happy Juneteenth Day!
Posted by Vanessa Léon on June 19, 2022

June 19, 2022

Hello Powerhouses,

For Black Americans, June includes one of the most celebrated days in Black History. Juneteenth is a day created to celebrate true emancipation and freedom for enslaved Black and African Americans in the United States.On June 19th, 1865, Major General Gordon Granger landed in Galveston, Texas with news that slavery had been abolished. Sadly, this news was bittersweet as this meant Black Americans had been held as slaves for more than 2.5 years after slavery had been officially abolished on January 1st, 1863.

In Texas, Juneteenth became an official state holiday in 1980. It was 41 years later that President Joe Biden signed Juneteenth into law as the federally-recognized holiday that we know and love today. Although Juneteenth is a holiday that has widely been celebrated by Black and African Americans, it is a holiday that should be celebrated by all.


10 Ways You Can Celebrate Juneteenth:

1. Participate in local and virtual Juneteenth events.

2. Shop at Black-owned businesses.

3. Donate and get involved with nonprofits organizations dedicated to driving change and advancing racial equity.

4. Educate yourself on Black History and monumental events in Black History.

5. Stream music, movies, podcasts and more from your favorite Black/AA artist.

6. Read literature from Black/AA authors, including the official Juneteenth poem WE ROSE.

7. Support Black-owned restaurants and learn the history behind your favorite Black/AA dishes.

8. Have a cook-out. Share space with Black/AA friends and family and participate in their celebration.

9. Educate the youth around you. Encourage them to explore Black History.

10. Bring Juneteenth celebrations into your workplaces.

 

We Must Keep Moving Forward
Though establishing Juneteenth as a state and federal holiday were both major milestones, we still have so much to fight for. Black Americans and Black individuals around the world still face racism, discrimination, and inequalities that negatively impact their daily lives. As former President Barack Obama said, “Juneteenth has never been a celebration of victory or an acceptance of the way things are. It’s a celebration of progress. It’s an affirmation that despite the most painful parts of our history, change is possible – and there is still so much work to do.”

Learn More

*SHOW US How You Celebrate Juneteenth*
Tag us #ZSCJuneteenth

Please feel free to reach out to let us know of more spaces and places for engagement during this important time. We wish you all a fulfilling, meaningful, and joyous Juneteenth!

With love,
National Board

 
Gun Violence Awareness Day & Wear Orange This Weekend.
Posted by Vanessa Léon on June 3, 2022

June 3, 2022

Trigger warning: violence, gun violence, mass shootings & death, racism, and discrimination

Hello Powerhouses,

Today is National Gun Violence Awareness Day, and this weekend is Wear Orange Weekend (click here to find a rally in your community this weekend). Wear Orange Weekend started after Hadiya Pendleton, a Black teenager, was shot and killed in a playground in Chicago. Her friends commemorated her life by wearing orange, the color hunters wear in the woods to protect themselves and others. Wear Orange Weekend is observed every June. As the Wear Orange campaign states, “Thousands of people wear the color orange to honor Hadiya and the more than 40,000 people who are killed with guns and approximately 85,000 who are shot and wounded every year.” 

It is without question that gun violence is an epidemic in the United States—one that needs to be addressed with federal gun law reform.Every day our elected officials fail to address gun violence, another community risks being upended by tragic deaths. National Board would like to take a moment to acknowledge the recent mass shooting tragedies and all the beautiful people who were lost in these appalling events: 

  • Laguna Woods, CA - May 16, 2022, a gunman attacked a lunch banquet at the Geneva Presbyterian Church killing one person and wounding five others. Congregants were able to detain and disarm him. This attack was motivated by discrimination and hatred against Taiwan and Taiwanese people. (Los Angeles Times)
  • Uvalde, Texas - May 24, 2022, in a horrific event and one of the deadliest school shootings in the United States’s history, 18 year-old Salvador Ramos shot and killed nineteen students and two teachers, and wounded seventeen other people at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas. (Texas Tribune)
  • Tulsa, OK - June 1, 2022, a man carrying a rifle and handgun opened fire in a medical office building killing four people and injuring several others. The man blamed his doctor for chronic pain after receiving back surgery at this medical center. Allegedly, the gunman also died after a self-inflicted gunshot. (NPR)
  • Pittston, PA - June 2, 2022, a shooting near a Walmart in Pittston Township, Luzerne County wounded a 20-year-old woman. Police have a suspect in custody and believe this was a targeted attack. Details are still being developed. (WNEP 16 - Local News)

Understanding the Impact:

The harm and deaths that have resulted from gun violence in the United States is staggering. On average, there is around one mass shooting for each day in America. In 2022 alone, there have been 233 mass shootings in the United States, and there have been at least 15 mass shootings since the tragedy in Uvalde. Gun violence disproportionately impacts Black Americanswho experience 10 times the gun homicides, 18 times the gun assault injuries, and nearly 3 times the fatal shootings by police of white Americans. Tragically, the United States leads globally in deaths due to gun violence, far exceeding levels in other high-income countries.

 

National Board encourages you all to continue to support each other through this incredibly difficult reality. We understand how triggering and traumatic this ongoing violence is, including the fact that this violence disproportionately affects communities of color. We want to continue offering safe spaces and resources. If you need a safe space to hold conversation, please do not hesitate to reach out to our Director of Social Justice, Britt Jasper.  

 

As we continue to drive change, we'd like to offer a list of ways you can get involved:

Donate

Learn More & Get Involved in Gun Reform

Vote

  • The 2022 midterm elections will be on Tuesday, Nov. 8. Voters can urge their representatives and senators to vote in favor of measures and policies that reform our gun laws and prevent gun violence.

Provide Emotional Support

  • The American Psychological Association published resources for coping with mass shootings and understanding gun violence.
  • Please recognize that this reality hits close to home for a lot of people, both figuratively and physically. If you know someone who is emotionally overwhelmed by these events, please encourage them to call the Disaster Distress Hotline at 1-800-985-5990, which is available 24/7.
     

National Board understands and recognizes the deep impact this ongoing violence has, and we know many of you, your families, and loved ones have been feeling the effect of the events in your communities and in the country. Please do not hesitate to reach out to us for support or to share more resources and information on how to get involved.

With love,
National Board

 

Buffalo, NY Violence
Posted by Vanessa Léon on May 19, 2022

May 19, 2022

 

Trigger warning: racism, violence, mass shooting & death

 

Hello Powerhouses,

 

On May 14, 2022, the United States experienced yet another heart-breaking and devastating racially motivated attack in Buffalo, New York. On this day, a domestic terrorist and self-proclaimed white supremacist drove over 300 miles to a city that he exclaimed, “had the highest African American population closest to him” and carried out what has been the deadliest mass shooting in 2022, all while live streaming on Twitch. He killed 10 beautiful people and injured 3 more that day. 

 

Understanding the Impact:

It is without question that this domestic terrorist purposely singled out a community of people to carry out such horrific acts. As we continue in our fight to ensure we are doing our part as an organization to fight for social justice for all, National Board encourages you all to continue to support each other through these difficult times. We understand how triggering and traumatic these recurring events are and want to ensure we are continuing to create safe spaces for you all. With that being said, if you feel that you need a safe space to hold conversation, please do not hesitate to reach out to our Director of Social Justice, Britt Jasper.  

As we continue to drive change, we'd like to offer a list of ways you can get involved:

Donate

 

Provide Emotional Support

  • Please recognize that this hit close to home for a lot of people, both figuratively and physically. If you know someone who is emotionally overwhelmed by this event, please encourage them to call the Disaster Distress Hotline at 1-800-985-5990, which is available 24/7.

Vote

  • The 2022 midterm elections will be on Tuesday, Nov. 8. Voters can urge their representatives and senators to vote in favor of measures and policies that reform our gun laws and prevent gun violence.

National Board understands and recognizes the deep impact these events have, and we know many of you, your families, and loved ones have been feeling the effect of this violence. Please do not hesitate to reach out to us for support or to share more resources and information on how to get involved.


With love,
National Board

 

May is AAPI Heritage Month!
Posted by Vanessa Léon on May 8, 2022

 

Hello Powerhouses,

 

May is Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month, and we're excited to celebrate it with you! AAPI Heritage Month is an annual celebration that recognizes the historical and cultural contributions of individuals and groups of Asian and Pacific Islander descent to the United States. Individuals who identify as AAPI are incredibly diverseand AAPI communities consist of approximately 50 ethnic groups speaking over 100 languages, with connections to Chinese, Indian, Japanese, Filipino, Vietnamese, Korean, Hawaiian, and other Asian and Pacific Islander ancestries. As of 2020, Asian Americans are the fastest-growing racial or ethnic group in the United States.

AAPI individuals are a vital part of our organization. Your voices, perspectives, and lived experiences are a crucial part of who we are, and we want to take this moment to say to all of our AAPI sorors: we see you, we support you, and we will always stand with you. We are excited to learn more about AAPI history and culture, identify ways we can be allies to your communities, and celebrate you.

10 Ways you can celebrate AAPI Heritage Month:

1. Support AAPI-Owned businesses

2. Feast your way through the month, trying new AAPI dishes at restaurants and recipes at home

3. Learn about noteworthy AAPI figures and their contributions

4. Support and learn about AAPI women

5. Support and encourage AAPI influencers that align with you and your interest 

6. Purchase, read, and share books by AAPI authors

7. Support AAPI artists

8. Attend local and virtual AAPI Heritage Month celebrations

9. Offer community service with organizations that support anti-racism equity and equality and proactively address issues and adversities that AAPI communities face

10. Have open dialogue/conversation with AAPI people and sorors on how to be an effective ally

Looking Forward
Despite the AAPI community's tremendous growth in the United States, this community is one of the most understudied racial groups in the country. Lack of data, including granular data on AAPI subgroups, contributes to the “model minority myth” — the notion that virtually all AAPIs are self-sufficient, well-educated, and upwardly mobile. Greater access to disaggregated data will support better policies that reflect AAPI community realities and needs.

*SHOW US How You Celebrate AAPI Heritage Month*
Tag us #ZSC4APAHM

Abortion is a human right.
Posted by Vanessa Léon on May 5, 2022

Hello Powerhouses,

Trigger Warning: abortion, maternal health care and pregnancy, health care insecurity, gender inequality, racism

We write to you with important information and ways to take action about the recent draft decision from the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS). We want to offer a safe space for sorors in light of this incredibly difficult and sad development – please feel free to reach out to National Board or each other for support. We also encourage you to share any aligning resources that you would like to uplift on this issue.

 

 

Draft Dobbs vs. Jackson Women’s Health Organization Decision from SCOTUS

In an unprecedented move, a draft of a majority Supreme Court opinion drafted by Justice Alito in the Dobbs vs. Jackson Women’s Health Organization case was released on Monday, May 2. Justice Alito’s draft opinion overrules Roe vs. Wade and eliminates nearly 50 years of precedent establishing and protecting the legal right to abortion in the United States.

We want to emphasize that this is a draft decision, and abortion is still legal in the United States. It remains your constitutional right. While this is not a final decision, it clearly indicates the likely direction the majority of SCOTUS will take when it issues a final decision. 

The draft decision also shows that we are at a crisis moment for abortion access in this country. The consequences of this impending SCOTUS decision will be swift and devastating for communities nationwide: overturning Roemeans 26 states could swiftly move to ban abortion – including 13 states with laws that could immediately go into effect. 

It is important to note, the people who will be most harmed by this decision are Black, Latinx, Indigenous, and other people of color who disproportionately feel the effects of abortion bans and restrictions, a product of this country's legacy of racism and discrimination.

We are in a fight to make sure everyone has the power to control their own bodies, lives, and futures, and we’d like to offer a list of ways you can engage and support abortion access and rights:

National Board underscores the deep impact of this issue, and we know many of you, your families, and loved ones are already feeling the effect of Monday’s draft decision. Please do not hesitate to reach out to us for support or to share more resources and information on how to support abortion access and rights.

With love,
National Board

February is Black History Month!
Posted by Vanessa Léon on February 1, 2022

Hello Powerhouses,

It was with great pride and excitement that we are kicking off Black History Month (BHM) today with you! BHM is an annual celebration of achievements by African Americans and a time for recognizing their central role in U.S. history. While this celebration may have started in the United States, it is truly global in nature, with other countries around the world, including Canada and the United Kingdom, also devoting a month to celebrating Black history.

Black women and individuals make up an important part of our organization. Black voices are a vital part of who we are, and we want to take this moment to say to all of our Black sorors: we see you, we support you, we encourage you and we will always stand with you. We are excited to embark on this journey with you and learn about Black history and adversity, grow in our social justice advocacy, and celebrate you.

Here are 10 ways YOU can celebrate:

1. Support Black-Owned businesses

2. Learn about noteworthy Black figures and their contributions

3. Support and encourage black influencers that align with you and your interest 

4. Offer community service with organizations that support anti-racism equity and equality

5. Purchase, read, and share books by Black authors

6. Support and learn about Black women

7. Listen to or read “The 1619 Project” by the New York Times

8. Attend virtual Black History Month celebrations

9. Have open dialogue/conversation with Black people on what being an ally looks like

10. Support Black artists

 

Did You Know?
 
Throughout the month of February, the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) is launching virtual events and conversations that affirm and preserve the accomplishments of African Americans throughout history. Events are free and open to all — but registration is required.
 
SHOW US How You Celebrate BHM

Tag us #ZSC4BHM

 

 

 

Welcome your 2022-2024 National Board! External Inbox
Posted by Vanessa Léon on December 29, 2021

We are so excited to formally announce our newly elected 2022-2024 National Board!????

Please extend a warm welcome and much love to this new board. We are so excited to see the incredible things that they accomplish together and all that the term ahead has in store for them. 

As we close out this year and current term, we send you much love, gratitude, and appreciation for all that each of you are. We hope that rest and restoration is in store for you as we head into 2022 together.


- Your 2019-2021 National Board Officers
Statement - November 20, 2021
Posted by Gabby Miller on November 20, 2021

November 20, 2021

 

TW: Police brutality, mass incarceration, violence, death penalty, white supremacy 

 

Dear Powerhouses,

 

Yesterday we learned of the Rittenhouse verdict. This verdict is disheartening, disgusting, and maddening and is a reflection of the system working as it has been intended to function: to serve white people and uphold white supremacy in our laws. We are also seeing firsthand in this case’s result the reality that systemic racism is very much alive. 

 

The day before this verdict, that we learned about Julius Jones' execution in Oklahoma being halted four hours before him being scheduled to receive a lethal injection. Julius Jones still had to face severe levels of cruelty, with him being forced to undergo the rituals of execution. Since the halting of this execution, he has been sentenced to life imprisonment with no chance of parole. Julius Jones has maintained his innocence throughout his case. Let us be clear: what shifted this execution was the power of people coming through to organize and elevate his voice. We need to also be clear that this result is just one step in the right direction though it is not by any means satisfactory, and continued work is still left to be done.

 

We elevate the following ways to get involved in these issues:

  • Donate to Julius Jones campaign here, which is fighting his current case.

  • If you are unfamiliar with Julius Jones and his case, learn more here including a docu-series by Viola Davis, a podcast diving into his innocence and other sources of knowledge.  

  • How will you talk about the Rittenhouse verdict with those around you? Your language is important and how you discuss this case//the outcome with those around you can make an impact. It also shows your lifelong commitment to unlearning and challenging systems of oppression in our country. 

  • Many protests are happening around the country as we speak. When in movement please remember to keep the following tips in mind:. 








 

  • In the midst of these moments of involvement, please also prioritize your care and rest. We uplift @TheNapMinistry created by Tricia Hersey who views rest as a form of resistance. We offer a quote by her which speaks to the power of this notion:

    •  “I think seeing that in this culture in this culture where Black bodies are looked at as a problem, where Black bodies are looked at as something shameful, something that wants and needs to be ended and the violence of trauma that’s happened to our bodies, to see us in a rest state, to see us relaxing and laying back is really, really powerful.” (Prism, 2020)

 

With love, gratitude and connection,

National Board

 

Virtual Memorial - Courtney Croslin Saturday July 10, 2021
Posted by Gabby Miller on July 8, 2021

Please join us this Saturday at 10 AM PST/12 PM CST/1 PM EST for a Virtual Memorial to honor our beloved soror Courtney Croslin.

 

This space will provide an opportunity to elevate the legacy of Courtney and spend time in community together. We will have an open space for folks who would like to share any memories, love, or acknowledgments that they would like to offer - both verbally or through writing depending on your comfort.

 

Additionally, on Saturday we will recognize and acknowledge the opening of our Omega Chapter within this organization. You can join this event on zoom here.

 

Meeting ID: 846 5576 0217 Passcode: 517707

 

If you have any photos of Courtney you would like included in a presentation we have created, you can send them directly to President@zetasigmachi.com.

 

 

If unable to attend this event, but you are in a space of being able to financially give, you can contribute directly to her GoFundMe at this link.

 

 

 

Courtney Croslin - Omicron Chapter
Posted by Gabby Miller on June 26, 2021

As Zeta Sigma Chi Multicultural Sorority, Incorporated, we express our deepest sympathies over the passing of our soror, Courtney Croslin. Courtney was a leader throughout our entire organization, and her legacy will forever be remembered. She had an incredibly dynamic way of moving in her power and radiance, and served as an endless source of inspiration for every individual who had the opportunity to connect with her. Courtney’s heart was simply unmatched in the ways she showed up in this lifetime, and this will endure on throughout time. We firmly believe that Courtney embodied everything that makes a Radiant Lady, in the very essence of her being. We will have more information coming soon about the ways we will be honoring her legacy and offering support to her loved ones.

 

Her Peach & Black flame will shine eternally in our hearts.

 

<3 CalitZa Thalia, VainGloriouZ ΣXtraVIIgance, Omicron Chapter <3

 

Donate

Virtual National Summit 2021
Posted by Gabby Miller on March 3, 2021

It is with a heavy heart that we have made the decision to cancel our National Summit for this year.

This decision comes post dialogue with hotels in Los Angeles, National Board and our Summit planning committee and heavy monitoring regarding health and wellness Nationally. As it stands, hosting an event of this nature is simply not a possibility due to the nature of where legally protocols stand around events of this size. Hotels throughout Los Angeles feel strongly this will not be shifting anytime soon and advised we move to schedule for much farther in the future. We also believe for the continued protection of our membership this decision is the most responsible way to move.

Thank you for joining us for VIRTUAL 30! - Virtual Founders' Week 2021 - 

We hope you had a great time reconnecting and learning. See you soon!

HAPPY JUNETEENTH ❤️
Posted by Gabrielle Miller on June 19, 2020