Alpha Chapter has proudly served the Indianapolis community since the inception of Sigma Gamma Rho in 1922. While we're open to serving in a variety of capacities, we especially strive to support initiatives that align with the sorority's national programs:
OperationBigBookBag is a program designed to address the needs, challenges and issues that face school-aged children who are educationally at-risk, in local homeless shelters and extended-care hospitals and facilities. Through this program, chapters and members collect and donate educational materials, equipment and school supplies.
Our goal is to:
Provide quick and easy access to reference materials and other studying aids and tools that will help students with educational endeavors.
Equip students with the means of completing their homework assignments in effort to keep them current and up to date.
Assist shelters, youth centers, schools and hospitals in their efforts to meet some of the educational needs of children and young adults housed at their facilities.
OperationBigBookBag was established in 1996 by the late Dr. LaRona J. Morris, 18th International Grand Basileus. It was established in partnership with the Ancient Egyptian Arabic Order, Nobles Mystic Shrine, Inc. (Shriners). The program has expanded in recent years to focus on exposing students to STEM curriculum and careers, and a refocus on tutoring support and mentoring programs. Programs can be held by chapters all year long with the back to school supply give-away held every August and January of the school year.
Women's Wellness Initiative
The Women’s Wellness Initiative is a consolidated effort that allows chapters to focus on health issues that impact women; specifically, women of color. The Women’s Wellness Initiative was developed after the Sorority’s participation in the United Nations/March of Dimes Prematurity Awareness panel in New York. Acceptable educational and programmatic efforts under this Initiative include, but are not limited to Breast Cancer Awareness, Intimate and Domestic Violence, Heart Health, Diabetes Health, Mental Health and other issues that target women. WWI programs can be conducted at any time during the sorority year.
Our goal is to:
Encourage women to maintain a healthy lifestyle and minimize health risks
Empower women to make informed decisions about their physical, mental, and emotional health
Ensure there is a representative number of African American women in health studies
Project Cradle Care
Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority's Project CRADLE Care is one of our essential programs designed to raise awareness of the disparate and inequitable maternal and infant health out comes of Black women. Through Project CRADLE Care, Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc. and the March of Dimes collaborate to address the issues that adversely affect Black women and their children ranging from chronic physiological stressors and underlying health conditions to structural racism and implicit biases in our healthcare system.
Black women are twelve times more likely to die from pregnancy and delivery complications in some parts of our country. This is a problem regardless of her educational level, socioeconomic status, health insurance coverage, proximity to health care services, marital status, or other health behaviors. In fact, American Black women with a college degree are more likely to have infants with low birthweight and worse health outcomes during labor and delivery than white women who have not completed high school. This is due to. a multitude of factors which range from chronic physiologic stressors and underlying health conditions to structural racism and implicit biases in our healthcare system. In collaboration with The March of Dimes, Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority aims to address the various issues that adversely affect Black maternal and infant health outcomes and life course.
in partnership with USA Swimming
Swim 1922 was created to address the unfortunate truth that according to the CDC, approximately 10 people drown every day in the U.S.A. An even more startling fact is that 70 percent of African American children and 60 percent of Hispanic children in the U.S. do not know how to swim. Additionally, African American children are three times more likely to drown than Caucasian children. Through the partnership with USA Swimming, Sigma Gamma Rho’s Swim 1922 campaign aims to address this disparity by having. Olympians and members of the sorority teach the community about water safety and how to swim. With USA Swimming, Sigma Gamma Rho has touched close to 20,000 lives, directly, with the projection of changing multiple generations to come. Swim 1922 programs are conducted during May-August of the sorority year.
Our goal is to strengthen USA Swimming’s commitment to diversity and inclusion by breaking down barriers, created by a lack of access and exposure, and expanding our footprint in the local community to increase swim participation and decrease drowning rates.
Provides opportunities for youth and adults within the African-American community to learn water safety in general and swimming specifically.
Reduces the level of fear and apprehension of learning to swim.
Opens minds and changes attitudes regarding Blacks and swimming.
Annual Youth Symposium
Held simultaneously, on the second Saturday of March by Alumnae Chapters across the nation, our Youth Symposium serves as a unifying effort during Sigma Week. The Symposium (supported by undergraduate chapters and affiliates) is designed to highlight some of the prevalent concerns that negatively impact our youth (drugs, teen violence, abuse, low self-esteem, suicide, teen pregnancy, human trafficking, etc.).
The late Dr. LaRona J. Morris, Past Grand Basileus (National President), was the originator of this nationwide, one-day symposium. Dr. Morris initiated this program under her administration during the periods of 1996 – 2000. We are honored to continue her thrust to empower youth in our communities through hands-on, interactive leadership activities centered on a relevant annual theme. The Youth Symposium has a standardized agenda and program package to be used nationwide.
Our goal is to be relevant in the lives of our youth.
Improved educational outcomes.
Improved behavioral outcomes.
A highly anticipated annual event supported by local communities.