The Association of Fraternity/Sorority Advisors recognizes that diversity, equity, inclusion, and access (DEIA) initiatives are an important facet of the forward progression of both the fraternity/sorority profession and the fraternity/sorority experience. AFA also recognizes that the landscape of DEI in higher education exists on a spectrum of understanding and application, with colleges/universities and fraternal organizations at varying levels in their progress to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion. AFA strongly encourages the leadership of all colleges, universities, fraternities and sororities to actively prioritize the work of diversity, equity, inclusion, and access in order to create increasingly more diverse and caring fraternity/sorority communities.
Every individual brings value to AFA and the fraternity/sorority profession in all of their identities and lived experiences to fully actualize our mission and vision DEI must be integrated into all facts of the work of the Association. AFA believes 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. This also means that one singular or majority fraternity or sorority experience cannot dominate a larger narrative, 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 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. The Association acknowledges how divisive social dialogue impacts its members and continues to assess the culture of the Association in order to implement new ways of approaching equity and inclusion.
Diversity is the recognition, understanding, and appreciation for those human characteristics grounded in a spectrum of backgrounds and cultures different from our own. There are social identities often recognized as more obvious elements of diversity. AFA also recognizes differences in the lived fraternal experiences of our students and professionals, diversity in the how and where of our work, and diversity in the level of professional development needed to find success in this work.
Inclusion is the intentional effort to cultivate a sense of belonging, to value and appreciate equitable contribution and participation, and to ensure all constituents across all human characteristics are able to actively contribute to a balance of power and influence. AFA recognizes the historical and persistant exclusion that has served as a contributing framework of the sorority and fraternity experience. AFA recognizes the substantial effort needed to advance inclusion.
Equity is a focus on the achievement of equal outcomes for all community members, with recognition that this necessitates an application of different resources and opportunities based upon different human and organizational characteristics. AFA recognizes that equity-minded work includes challenging the historical and current patterns of thinking and practice that exist within the fraternity/sorority profession that contribute to inequitable support, upward mobility, and definitions of success.
Accessibility is the recognition and removal of the historical and structural barriers preventing full participation, with specific attention to the cultural, physical, mental, emotional, and financial barriers inhibiting engagement and investment. AFA recognizes the continued importance of universal design in crafting professional development programs and community spaces that are designed to be accessed across identities, and recognizes the consideration of cost and its relationship to value as it crafts professional development offerings.
*The term “othered” refers to the view or treatment of a person or group of people as intrinsically different from the historical majority.
The AFA Central Office and Board of Directors have worked together to construct position statements on areas that have a substantial impact on the higher education and fraternity/sorority industries. This statement serves as reference for those interested in understanding AFA’s position surrounding historical and current issues. AFA will continue to review, edit, and enhance its positions over time. If you have suggestions or feedback, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.