AFA’s Position Statement on Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Access reinforces the following core values critical to a thriving sorority/fraternity profession:
- That every individual brings value to AFA and the fraternity/sorority profession in all of their identities and lived experiences, and to fully actualize our mission and vision, DEI must be integrated into all facts of the work of the Association;
- That the work of diversity, equity, and inclusion means that members of all identities have both opportunity and voice within the Association and the profession; and
- That barriers to access and meaningful involvement should be actively challenged, and efforts to center those experiences that have been historically othered is critical to the equity work of AFA and of the fraternity/sorority profession.
AFA’s vision statement calls for a profession of ‘increasing inclusion’ and actively condemns any acts of hatred and discrimination including but not limited to discrimination based upon race, gender and gender identity, sexual orientation, ability status, and socioeconomic status.
When acts of bias occur within the context of our Association, AFA calls upon our professional community and our individual members, stakeholders, and educational partners to uphold our commitment to physical and emotional safety. When incidences of bias occur within AFA, our goals are:
- To prioritize the safety of those involved and those who could be potential victims of bias,
- To identify and evaluate the extent to which reform and restoration can occur in cooperation with all constituents involved (if able), and
- To review and, if needed, shift our collective practice(s) that allows for a reduction in the likelihood of bias.
This protocol linked below is designed to respond to and address incidents of bias that occur at the Annual Meeting. AFA defines bias incidents primarily, but not exclusively, as:
- Discrimination – Discrimination is defined as any conduct that limits or denies any individual or group equal privilege or access to a particular activity or opportunity based upon the individual or group’s real or perceived identity.
- Harassment – Harassment is defined as any unwelcome conduct based upon an individual or group’s real or perceived identity that interferes with the individual or group’s ability to fully engage in the conference experience or creates an environment of intimidation, hostility, or unnecessary anxiety. This includes but is not limited to images, slurs, jokes, electronic communications, or other conduct that may be physical or verbal.
- Bias-Related Violence – Bias-Related Violence, in any form, is defined as any crimes (or alleged crimes) that manifest evidence of prejudice based on race, gender or gender identity/expression, religion, disability, sexual orientation, or ethnicity (US Office of Justice Programs, n.d.).
Creating public protocols designed to draw attention to and reduce bias can help to strengthen community expectations of of treatment towards one another, reduce the broad-reaching impact of microaggressions, and prioritize a community of safety, harm reduction, and community restoration.