NPC Announces Access and Equity Advisory Committee to Help Identify Reforms to Eliminate Structural and Systemic Barriers to Sorority Membership

By August 3, 2020News Release

The NPC Access and Equity Advisory Committee is charged with recommending ways to increase access to the sorority experience and equity across NPC policies and procedures

Committee work to complement efforts led at the NPC member organizational level regarding membership policies, programming and practices

INDIANAPOLIS — The National Panhellenic Conference (NPC) announced today the creation of a new NPC Access and Equity Advisory Committee, which will provide the NPC Board of Directors with recommendations and guidance on increasing access to the sorority experience and equity across NPC policies and procedures. The formation of this committee is one step NPC is taking to identify and eliminate the structural and systemic barriers for women to join our organizations.

“As a Panhellenic community, we must be more deliberate and intentional if we are to honestly address the intersection of systemic racism and the sorority experience,” said NPC Chairman Carole J. Jones. “As the NPC Board of Directors outlined in June, we must embrace our responsibility to examine our own practices, seek feedback and create change. Today’s announcement is a natural extension of that approach, even as the hard work of prioritizing and enacting concrete additional reforms remains ahead of us.

“It is essential that our work is informed by broadly diverse perspectives, including from BIPOC. To that end the members we announce today represent a range of identities—based on race, ethnicity, religion, age, ability—and also represent varied Greek-letter organizations. Their insights and perspectives will be critical as we consider how we operate, recruit and support collegiate sorority women—and make ours a community in which all women can engage as their full selves.”

The members of the NPC Access and Equity Advisory Committee, serving though June 30, 2021, are:

  • Krystal N. Clark, M.Ed., director of student leadership development at Vanderbilt University and a member of Delta Delta Delta, committee chairman.
  • Parice S. Bowser, M.S., director of Greek life at University of Arkansas and a member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc.
  • Teresa L. Clounch, Ed.D., assistant vice president for student affairs at Fort Hays State University and member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.
  • Teresa Jones-Haney, M.A., special education teacher in a Cerritos, California, school district and member of Gamma Phi Beta.
  • Kalina Haynes, television news producer at a Dallas/Fort-Worth area station and member of Alpha Gamma Delta.
  • Christopher Jefferson, M.Ed., director of fraternity and sorority life at Pennsylvania State University and a member of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity. Inc.
  • Stephanie Koprince, client services associate for a global outplacement and career transition firm and member of Alpha Sigma Alpha.
  • Mojdeh Nourbakhsh, student at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University and a member of Kappa Alpha Theta.
  • Alexa Nunn, student at The University of Alabama and member of Alpha Chi Omega.
  • Beth Reisinger, global technology and operations market leader program lead for a national banking and financial services corporation and member of Phi Mu.
  • Ani Rodriguez-Newbern, JD, attorney at law at an Orlando-based firm and member of Delta Zeta.
  • Ebony R. Rose, M.A., CCDP, senior learning and development consultant and adjunct faculty member at Texas Christian University and member of Alpha Delta Pi.
  • Rabbi Melissa Zalkin Stollman, major gifts officer for the Union for Reform Judaism and member of Alpha Epsilon Phi.
  • Toney Welborn, M.D., medical practice improvement and wellness consultant, speaker and blogger and member of Sigma Sigma Sigma.

Jones said the NPC Equity and Access Advisory Committee will begin its work immediately and that one of its first actions will be to hold a listening tour, alongside the NPC Board of Directors, with various constituencies including College Panhellenic officers, fraternity/sorority advisors, collegiate members and alumnae members regarding access and equity. The listening tour will be facilitated by the Cross Cultural Fraternal Advisors Institute Collaborative team. Session dates and ways to attend will be shared with the constituencies soon.

Following the listening tour, the committee will begin its work with an audit of Unanimous Agreements, policies, best practices and template documents to provide recommendations for changes to increase access and equity. They will also review norms and practices that have emerged on campuses that create barriers facing potential members based on racial identity, ethnicity, LGBTQ identity, religious beliefs, ability and socioeconomic status, among others. The committee’s recommendations for changes to NPC policies and practices will be designed to complement efforts led at the NPC member organizational level regarding membership policies, programming and practices.

The committee will also be asked to consult with NPC leadership regarding DEI factors that should be considered during NPC volunteer and staff recruitment.

“Sororities should be places where members know they belong, that they matter and that they are heard just as they are,” said Krystal N. Clark, M.Ed., NPC Access and Equity Advisory Committee chairman. “But, we know that is not the belief about or experience of Panhellenic sororities for far too many women. Our goal as a committee will be to listen, collaborate and have robust conversations in order to provide guidance and recommendations on what NPC can do to make the sorority experience more welcoming, inclusive and accessible to more women. We have a great deal of good, challenging and necessary work to do.”

Other NPC Actions to Increase Access and Equity

NPC has engaged the Cross Cultural Fraternal Advisors Institute Collaborative team to facilitate a virtual education session “Cultivating a More Inclusive Recruitment Experience and Addressing Implicit Bias” for College Panhellenic officers and recruitment counselors. The session is intended to help these Panhellenic leaders be better positioned to act with integrity across all aspects of membership growth, development and experience. The education session will be held the week of Aug. 3, ahead of fall recruitment on most campuses.

NPC leadership will also continue to engage with experts in the field of diversity, inclusion, equity and access to develop additional programs and make impactful change within the Panhellenic community.

In addition, NPC member organizations have also taken action in recent weeks, with more than half our organizations ending, or currently reviewing, legacy and recommendations policies that gave preferential treatment to potential new members in way that significantly benefited white women and others with privilege.

To report on the progress of NPC’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion, including the work of the NPC Access and Equity Advisory Committee, NPC has created a new page on its website. View the page.

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About the National Panhellenic Conference (NPC)
NPC, one of the largest organizations advocating for women, is the umbrella group for 26 national and international sororities. NPC sororities are located on more than 670 campuses with over 400,000 undergraduate members in more than 3,350 chapters. Alumnae are represented in 3,650 associations throughout the world. For more information, including a complete list of NPC sororities, visit npcwomen.org or find NPC on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

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