Greater Service, Greater Progress
Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority provides service to the community through its national programs. All sorority national programs and initiatives are under the “umbrella” of a signature program entitled, Project Reassurance. Through Project Reassurance, Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority seeks to promote responsible living highlighted by the slogan “H3: It’s All About ME!” which focuses on Healthy Living, Healthy Choices, and Healthy Generations. Listed below are sorority “Essential Programs” which all chapters are asked to execute:
Operation BigBookBag – AUGUST & JANUARY
A Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority International Project in which chapters provide selected schools and other facilities across the nation with bookbags, notebooks, writing and drawing paper, pencils and pens, dictionaries, thesauri, rulers, glue, construction paper, textbooks, computers and many other needed school items. In addition, many chapters have expanded this project to be implemented twice a year because the supplies given in the fall often need replenishing after the New Year holiday. Under this project, some chapters have decided to do more with this project by tutoring and mentoring young women and men in their communities.
Mwanimugimu (Wah-nah-moo-gee-moo) Essay Contest – AUGUST - FEBRUARY
The Mwanamugimu Essay contest was started under past grand basileus Dr. LaRona Morris with its focus on providing an opportunity for students to increase their knowledge of the historical and contemporary development of Africa. Since its beginning, the contest has been expanded to include pertinent global and current community issues. Its prime objective includes improving writing and research skills. Programs Page 2 The project title, Mwanamugimu, is a proverb from the Republic of Uganda that means "from small acorns come mighty oaks." Chapters sponsor local essay contests that usually include awards programs. Regional and national contests are also held with winning essays announced at each respective level. The Theme for this year is: “Accentuating Africa and Our Local Communities” The committee has identified several sub-topics for students to write about this year.
Hattie McDaniel Breast Cancer Awareness - OCTOBER
Cognizant that African Americans bear a disproportionate burden of cancer — the highest mortality rate of any ethnic group — Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority is committed to providing education on and active support of early detection as well as research for the prevention and cure of breast, prostate, ovarian, colon and other types of cancers. We highlight this project in various ways in October as we honor our soror and actress, the late Hattie McDaniel, who died from breast cancer.
Project Cradle Care - JANUARY
“Project CRADLE Care” is a prenatal education and resource program that seeks to improve pregnancy outcomes in high-risk communities by increasing the number of women of childbearing age who receive adequate prenatal education and prenatal care and who better understand proper infant care and child development. On the 3rd Saturday of January, Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc. alumnae chapters simultaneously host prenatal education fairs during National Birth Defects Awareness Month. The goal of the project is to provide a wealth of information, resources, and tools for women of childbearing age to help ensure a healthy baby. This community based collaboration includes hospitals, managed care organizations, community-based prenatal care providers, and special guest speakers. This program is done in conjunction with our national partner, the March of Dimes.
Youth Symposium - MARCH
Sponsored in conjunction with and in commemoration of Sigma Week, the Sigma Youth Symposium was designed to highlight some of the prevalent concerns that negatively impact our youth: drugs, teen violence, abuse, low self-esteem, suicide, teen pregnancy, etc. Held on the second Saturday of March by each Alumnae Chapter, simultaneous Sigma Youth Symposiums address issues that affect teens today. Our undergraduate chapters and affiliates are encouraged to participate with their advising chapters on this program.
Girl Scouts of the USA -Sigma Gamma Rho has joined forces with the Girl Scouts of the USA to build awareness about the career possibilities in science, technology, engineering, and math or STEM. Working with local Girl Scout councils around the country, Sigma Gamma Rho's alumnae chapters have Programs Page 3 made GSUSA's Imagine Engineering initiative, funded by the National Science Foundation, a focus of the sorority's annual National Youth Symposium. The National Youth Symposium is held on the second Saturday in March annually.
March for Babies – MARCH & APRIL Sigma Gamma Rho is a national March for Babies team, in support of our partner, the March of Dimes. We help babies by raising funds that can be used to sponsor research, medical services, and support to families with premature births. Through this partnership, the sorority focuses on our H3- Healthy Generations. March for Babies was started as a part of the sorority signature project, Project Reassurance. SIGMAS and affiliates across the country March For Babies in walk-a-thons which are scheduled in the spring of the year.
St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital Campaign – AUGUST - JUNE Through the collaborative efforts of undergraduates and alumnae chapters of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, we have committed to raising $90,000 in honor of our Founders for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital through the Girls’ Night In Campaign. For more information on how you can support this fundraising effort, visit: www.girlsnightin.stjude.org, or e-mail the sorority international second grand at firstname.lastname@example.org or our partnership liaison to St. Jude, Barbara Sawyer at email@example.com.
USA Swimming- MAY & JUNE The partnership with USA Swimming is a groundbreaking initiative that seeks to strengthen USA Swimming’s commitment to Diversity and Inclusion by partnering to increase swim participation and decrease drowning rates in the community. In keeping with Sigma Gamma Rho’s motto of Greater Service, Greater Progress, and USA Swimming’s core objectives: Build the Base – Promote the Sport – Achieve Competitive Success, these organizations come together to affect change and influence the community of black women and girls. This is a year-round activity depending on location and is highlighted at our regional and national conferences by actual participation of sorority members and affiliates, usually with in the water activities. (Sorors may go to the “sorors only” section for manuals, instructional power points, webinars, and resources to assist in planning these essential programs. You may also contact your regional or national program coordinators.
Act Against AIDS Leadership Initiative (AAALI) The Act Against AIDS Leadership Initiative (AAALI) is a $16 million, six-year CDC partnership that harnesses the collective strength of some of the nation’s leading organizations to fight HIV in populations hardest hit. The effort brings together a wide range of organizations, including civic, social, civil rights and professional, as well as those in government, education and media. While many AAALI partners have longstanding commitments to fighting HIV in their communities, the initiative provides the critical funding needed to allow each group to make Programs Page 4 HIV prevention a core component of its day-to-day activities. Each organization uses AAALI funds to support an HIV coordinator who works through the organization’s membership networks to disseminate Act Against AIDS campaign materials and HIV prevention services. AAALI is a key component of Act Against AIDS (AAA) – CDC’s five-year, $45 million campaign to re-engage every American in the fight against HIV by combating complacency, increasing testing, and raising awareness among communities at risk. Dr. Faith E. Foreman serves as the project director for the grant. The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy Sigma Gamma Rho works with the National Campaign in its mission to improve the lives and future prospects of children and families and, in particular, to help ensure that children are born into stable, two-parent families who are committed to and ready for the demanding task of raising the next generation. Through this grant, the sorority has received funds to develop an educational module which can educate on the prevention of teen pregnancy and unplanned pregnancy, especially among single adults. All new members must complete the module, and it is recommended that all members take the module for awareness about how unplanned pregnancy can impact a family or prevent completion of an education plan.