Founders’ Day: Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority Celebrates 98th Anniversary

98 years and counting


On Thursday, November 12, 2020, Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc. will celebrate Founders’ Day, marking 98 years of dedication to sisterhood, scholarship and service. 

Leading up to the occasion, Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc. chapters across the globe will come together during the month of November to commemorate the great work of the organization, outline its goals for the future and celebrate its illustrious legacy. 


During their rich history, the sisters of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc. have been trailblazing and change-making women on the forefront of societal contributions including: 


  • Hattie McDaniel – the first African American to win an Academy Award.
  • Alice Allison Dunnigan – the first African American female journalist to receive White House credentials, and the first black female member of the Senate and House of Representatives press galleries.
  • Maritza Correia McClendon – the first African American Female Olympic Swimmer and Medalist.
  • Georgia Davis Powers – the first Person of Color and the first woman elected to the Kentucky State Senate in 1967. 
  • Gwendolyn “Gwen” Sawyer Cherry – the first African American woman to serve as a state legislator in Florida in 1970. 


Founded on the campus of Butler University in Indianapolis, Indiana by seven young educators, Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc. now boasts more than 100,000 members in over 500 chapters across the U.S., Africa, Bahamas, Bermuda, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Canada, Germany and Korea. 


“As we celebrate 98 years of community impact, social engagement, and committed partnership, I am reminded of the seven young educators who boldly created a sisterhood to address adversity, create meaningful solutions and empower women and youth,” said Rasheeda S. Liberty, 25th International Grand Basileus. “Fast forward to today, we walk in those dedicated footsteps, seeking to expand beyond identifying problems, but defining ways to eradicate them, as we focus-forward towards our Centennial.” 


Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, has continued to put an emphasis on social action and community impact in their commitment to serve. The vision for the future is to grow the sisterhood into a female empowerment and professional development organization to enhance the universal quality of life for women and their families. 


In the midst of the current social unrest and global pandemic, they have made strides by registering countless voters for this year’s election, hosting a Voter Engagement Forum to educate people on the power of their voice and working with the Oprah Winfrey Network’s election initiative “OWN Your Vote” to mobilize women to make change; teaming up with the NAACP for the “Get Out The Census” campaign to combat common and to encourage the African American community to complete the census; partnering with Sisters National Inc., to provide free mammograms to underserved women in low income communities during Breast Cancer Awareness Month; and raising over $160,000 on a goal of $75,000 for St. Jude Children’s Hospital. 


As they look toward the future, additional partnerships with USA Swimming, March of Dimes, and more underline the dedication to making an impact in all sectors of society. 


For more information about the organization and how you can support Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc, please visit the website.

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