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June 19th is recognized as Juneteenth, otherwise known as Freedom Day, a celebration of the end of slavery in the United States.
Juneteenth marks the day when news of the end of slavery and the Civil War finally reached Galveston, Texas, the most remote of the slave-holding states. Despite the Emancipation Proclamation two and a half years earlier, freedom had finally come to those still kept in bondage. Juneteenth became a symbolic date representing freedom for Black people and is the oldest known celebration of the end of slavery in America.
We wish a very happy Pride Month to our LGBTQ+ members, volunteers, and friends of Delta Chi! Delta Chi is committed to creating a safe and inclusive environment for everyone of all sexual orientations, races, ages, abilities, and ethnic backgrounds.
We know we have work to do and continuing to educate ourselves is an important part of that journey. We hope that you will join us in continuing to research and learn more about Pride Month. There are several links below that we hope you will explore and find ways that you can get involved.
Pride Month commemorates years of struggle for civil rights and the ongoing pursuit of equal justice under the law for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer community, as well as the accomplishments of LGBTQ+ individuals.
On June 28, 1969 in New York City’s Greenwich Village at the Stonewall Inn, police raided the popular gathering place for young gay men, lesbians, bisexuals, and transgender people, issuing arrests and utilizing extreme physical force. Outside, the crowd that watched the bar’s patrons being herded into police vans became enraged. The crowd jeered the police and threw coins and debris at them, forcing the police to barricade themselves in the bar. Protests and riots took place outside the bar for the next five days and these Stonewall riots provided the spark that ignited the gay rights movement in the United States.
Black History and Pride Month
It is important to note, deeply entwined in the history of Pride Month are black roots. Per Jessica Sager, “The Pride Movement began with the Stonewall riots against police brutality and oppression in 1969, which were largely led by LGBTQ+ people of color (namely Stormé DeLarverie, Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera), making Pride, at its core, a voice for intersectionality since its inception.”
Stormé DeLarverie, a lifelong gay rights activist and drag performer, is credited with the scuffle with police that, according to many eyewitnesses, ignited the Stonewall riots, spurring the crowd to action.
Sylvia Rivera was a Latina-American drag queen who became one of the most radical gay and transgender activists of the 1960s and 70s. As co-founder of the Gay Liberation Front, Rivera was known for participating in the Stonewall Riots of 1969 and establishing the political organization STAR (Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries) with fellow friend and drag queen, Marsha P. Johnson.
Marsha P. Johnson was an activist, self-identified drag queen, performer, and survivor. Marsha went by “Black Marsha” before settling on Marsha P. Johnson. The “P” stood for “Pay It No Mind,” which is what Marsha would say in response to questions about her gender. It is the consideration of who “Black Marsha” was that inspired The Marsha P. Johnson Institute.
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From Jerod Breit, Executive Director & CEO, and Aaron Otto “AA”, 53rd International President:
Delta Chi’s mission to promote friendship, develop character, advance justice, and assist in the acquisition of a sound education continues to be paramount to our existence. More than ever, the need to advance justice must be central to our organization’s place in this world and in the hearts and minds of our brotherhood.
There is a pain deeply etched in the soul of our nation and in the hearts of millions of our fellow Americans. To stand together, we must stand up for one another and recognize the fear, hurt, and outrage cannot continue to go unnoticed.
The Delta Chi Fraternity denounces all forms of hatred, racism, bigotry and violence. The Fraternity must continue to draw on the fundamental meaning of justice, be men of action, and be persistent in supporting, amplifying, and standing with Black voices. This comes with a layer of responsibility that involves holding one another accountable when we witness actions that do not meet our fraternity’s Basic Expectations. Fairness, rightness, and a system of law in which every person receives equal treatment is the only way in which justice may truly be advanced.
More important than words are actions. This past spring, the International Headquarters (IHQ) staff began developing diversity and inclusion programming that will continue to assist our membership in developing cultural competence, promoting chapter cultures focused on equity and inclusion, and assisting our members in contextualizing our fraternity’s history as an organization, while understanding how this impacts our existence moving forward. This summer, IHQ will engage members in conversations that lead to implementation of change throughout the organization and on our host campuses. We look forward to implementing this in the future.
There is more to be done, as eradicating racism and prejudice in America is not a “check-the-box” issue. It did not start overnight and will not successfully be addressed in a day. Instead, it requires persistent effort and education. As a fraternity, we need to continue to seek out avenues that challenge our members as active participants and leaders in society to do better, while doing everything within our power to ensure that individuals of all races feel welcomed, valued, and supported within our organization. Black Lives Matter and you are valued here as a brother in The Delta Chi Fraternity.
Executive Director & CEO
Aaron Otto, “AA”
53rd International President
INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana – The Delta Chi Fraternity, along with all Greek organizations across North America, continues to face difficult decisions in the wake of the growing impact of COVID-19. Having already seen campus operations suspended at all of our chapters and colonies, Delta Chi continues to prioritize the health and safety of our members, staff, and friends of the Fraternity.
After careful consideration and recognition of expert forecasts for prolonged difficulties of mass gatherings for the foreseeable future around many parts of North America , the Board of Regents made the difficult decision to postpone and reschedule the 62nd International Convention in St. Louis, Missouri to summer 2022, with exact dates to be announced later. Many other fraternities and sororities have also postponed or cancelled their convention this summer.
Contributing factors for this difficult decision stemmed from multiple points of consideration:
1) Health and safety – As mentioned, Delta Chi prioritizes the health and safety of our members, staff, facilitators, guests, and friends of the Fraternity. We continue to advocate adhering to state and federal guidelines as they relate to social distancing and guidance on mass gatherings as well as ‘shelter-in-place’ ordinances. While we remain hopeful that conditions will improve over the coming months, the spread of COVID-19 is expected to be pervasive throughout the summer and travel advisories will likely remain in place for individuals traveling into and out of certain areas.
2) Planning and operations – When planning and executing a large-scale event such as the International Convention, hundreds of hours are spent by the International Headquarters staff and volunteers to implement the schedule of events. Many Convention partners are currently closed or have furloughed a majority of their staff. Combined with the complexity of the current situation and incomplete information, we are faced with a severely diminished window of opportunity to adequately prepare for Convention. Additionally, the number of travel options into the St. Louis area have been greatly reduced.
3) Demonstrating leadership – The leadership of Delta Chi will continue to make decisions that are not only in the best interest of our members but establish an example of doing the right thing for our collegiate brothers. This was exemplified in our decision to be one of the first Greek organizations to offer a credit back to chapters and colonies for member dues. Leadership often requires difficult decision-making, but we remain committed to our priorities despite the amount of uncertainty the future holds.
4) Finances – Our fraternity is not impervious to the current health crisis; the capacity of our members and chapters was thoughtfully considered. By renegotiating with the hotel, the Fraternity has been able to mitigate substantial loss due to added travel expense, contractually obligated food and beverage spending, room booking guarantees, and diminished sponsorship revenue.
5) Historic precedence – History has paved the way during times of crisis for the Fraternity to take measures protecting the health and safety of our brothers. We are obligated to demonstrate our individual and collective commitment to the Basic Expectations. This obligation was never more apparent than during WWI when Convention was canceled between 1915-1919 (19th and 20th) and WWII between 1940-1952 (28th and 29th). Delta Chi is not alone in taking guidance from our past: many peer organizations have already taken action or are contemplating it.
Therefore, the International Headquarters will immediately begin preparations for the rescheduled International Convention in St. Louis in 2022. Our commitment remains to provide a safe, entertaining, and productive fraternal event for the betterment of our beloved Delta Chi.
We are automatically refunding all Convention registrations. Refunds are processed in bulk by our credit card processing partner and may take up to two weeks to return to your original form of payment. If you have not received a refund by May 31, 2020, please contact Paul Bierman, Director of Meetings and Events, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We appreciate your support and share your disappointment in not being able to convene as scheduled. Delta Chi will continue to focus on maintaining the Fraternity’s excellence as we all work toward a return to normal activities in the future. If you have questions related to other steps taken by the Fraternity during the current pandemic, please see our COVID-19 page for updates and information.
We look forward to seeing you in St. Louis in 2022 and hope all our brothers and friends of the Fraternity remain safe and healthy.