OPERATION BIG BOOK BAG (OBBB)
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.
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.
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.
PROJECT CRADLE CARE
A collaboration between Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc. and the March of Dimes, Project Cradle Care Prenatal Health Program seeks to improve pregnancy outcomes in high-risk communities by increasing the number of women of childbearing age who receive adequate prenatal education and care. The program also focuses on educating moms about proper infant care and child development.
Premature birth and its complications are the largest contributors to infant death in this country. Each year in the U.S. more than 22,000 babies die—that’s two babies every hour—and approximately 1 in 10 babies is born prematurely. The number of infants born too soon increased for the fourth year in a row, according to the National Center for Health Statistics based on 2018 data. Additionally, racial and ethnic disparities in preterm birth rates persist with the rate among Black women being 49% higher than the rate among all other women.
Sigma Gamma Rho is also concerned with teenage pregnancy and parenthood in the U.S. Approximately 13 percent of all birth defects affect babies born to teenage mothers. Adolescent childbearing presents health risks to both moms and their babies. These health risks have long-term consequences for teenagers, their babies, and society.
Through Project Cradle Care Prenatal Health Program, Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc., and the March of Dimes join forces with medical professionals and community-based organizations to educate and raise awareness in high-risk communities of prematurity prevention by hosting informational baby showers, health symposiums, and health fairs. Participants receive information on prenatal and postnatal care, birth defects, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), newborn care, and more. Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc. hosts the Project Cradle Care Prenatal Health Program annually on the third Saturday in January.
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.