The events that occurred in Charlottesville, VA this past weekend are a harsh reminder of the many lines of divisions within our society, whether cultural, political, sexual, and/or racial. Our thoughts go out to all those affected by the hateful incidents that transpired this weekend as a result of the promotion of white supremacy. The problems of race and racism in the United States have become so abundant and pervasive that ignoring them and remaining silent would contradict the original purpose of Gamma Zeta Alpha Fraternity, Inc. (GZA). We stand in solidarity with our diverse and multicultural communities. GZA was founded in trying times where underrepresented students lacked advocacy and allies. Through our guiding principles, our fraternity has and continues to stand side by side with disenfranchised communities, helping to gain access and equity.
This organization stands with marginalized groups that have been ousted and made feel less than as a result of recent events. We move forward with compassion and will continue to use our platforms to help the suppressed voices become heard. Relegating it to be voiceless and aligning it with the unfortunate silence that racial injustices typically face. The recent incidents in Charlottesville, Baton Rouge, and Minnesota implore that we, as an organization speak up against these acts of intolerance. Each moment of anguish of another mother and father’s eyes filled with tears, of another daughter or son bereaved of an equitable opportunity to live a full life, embodies the deeply rooted manifestations of racism and bigotry in our country. We call upon our members and contemporaries to commit time to studying these disturbing narratives and create spaces of inclusion and tolerance.
It is evident that following the 2016 Presidential Election, hateful rhetoric has proliferated against several already marginalized communities across our country. Our history, both past and present, is full of examples in which minority groups of people and cultures have been excluded — from a proper education system to proper working conditions, to even presently the perpetual idea of exclusion as a whole by a wall. GZA is built upon the idea of inclusion and support of all of our members, and we can, and will, extend that concept of inclusion beyond our Fraternity. For the last 30 years, GZA has continuously pushed to foster a space in which our members can feel safe, free, and inclusive of our unique diversity within our organization that strengthens our bonds of support in our collective pursuit of our personal, academic, and professional growth. However, in the same light we must remind ourselves, as this weekend highlights, that although we build these spaces to protect ourselves and build our community, we must also remember that the diversity of this organization, the familiar inclusiveness of all Brothers as Brothers, is not only important but necessary in order to not creep down bigoted paths that come from the myopic belief that some people are different, and therefore must be excluded.
Echoing our previous communications, the Board of Directors and the Judicial Board of Gamma Zeta Alpha has deepened its commitment to social justice. We ask you to practice inclusion — inclusion in the education process, inclusion in the workplace, inclusion in our communities, and inclusion within the United States. We wish to remind you to extend this acceptance and inclusion of others beyond your own groups and communities, to communities at large; whether they be black, white, brown, male, female, straight, gay, trans, blonde, brunette, republican, democrat, fearful, or emboldened. With this mentality, we can try and help avoid senseless tragedies. We can do this by reminding ourselves that all of us do not come from the same political, social, racial, sexual, and/or economic backgrounds; however, we should allow all these different perspectives into our lives in order to help our communities and our fellow human beings attain greatness.
Gamma Zeta Alpha’s commitment does not start and end with this statement, or any future statement and advocacy efforts. When we work together to empower, mentor, and support our communities, we promote equality, fairness, tolerance, and acceptance. Now is the time to unify, act and revel in the results of embodying our true humanity. Together, we can provide inclusive spaces where you can learn and connect with each other. We are confident that by pulling together, we can begin to heal and be stronger while setting the example for each other and exemplifying to the world what a strong and united community looks like when poise, dignity, and generosity are the standards that guide and embody our actions. Gamma Zeta Alpha Fraternity, Inc. remains unwavering in our efforts to use, create and promote knowledge that is essential to eliminating racism in the US and beyond.