our continued commitment: building a sisterhood of belonging

To achieve the Fraternity’s Vision, Pi Beta Phi believes an organization-wide Commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) is imperative. A sense of belonging is not enough; the ability to fully belong must be intrinsic to our sisterhood. Pi Beta Phi continues to commit to DEI through a focus on five key areas.


Establishing a Vision and Plan for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI)
Pi Beta Phi aims to foster spaces of belonging for all members through our programs, events and efforts. Grounded in the Fraternity's vision, Grand Council adopted a Commitment to DEI Statement in 2020 that defines the desired future for our Fraternity:

As true friends, we honor the uniqueness of each sister. We empower one another, through meaningful relationships grounded in empathy. We promise an inclusive sisterhood, where every member feels welcome, is supported, and knows they belong.

As the first fraternity for women, we own our role and responsibility in the fraternal movement. We recognize our power and privilege as college-educated women, to work for an equitable society. We commit to develop the servant leaders our diverse world needs.

Turning to Expert Pi Phis
Pi Beta Phi’s Inaugural Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Advisory Committee (DEI AC) was announced in July 2020. The three undergraduate members and nine alumnae were selected to serve on the committee from a large number of members who expressed interest. The role of the DEI AC is to be a collaborative resource by offering advisement to Fraternity leaders. In October 2020, members of the DEI AC joined Grand Council and Headquarters staff leaders in two half-day strategic conversations where an in-depth analysis was conducted of the Fraternity’s current situation and opportunities. The insights gained from these conversations were used to inform the development of the Fraternity’s Commitment to DEI statement and develop strategies to focus the Fraternity’s efforts. DEI AC members continue to serve the fraternity and are integrated into projects across all specialty areas of Pi Phi. The 2023-2025 DEI AC will work to operationalize our belonging initiatives across the Fraternity, Foundation and FHC as subject matter experts and advocates for inclusion in all facets of Pi Phi life.

Telling the Story of Stronger Together
The Fall 2020 issue of The Arrow explored how Pi Phi is a stronger sisterhood when we work to ensure a diverse, equitable and inclusive membership experience and what every Pi Phi can do to move our sisterhood forward in our efforts. We continue to center the stories of Pi Phis through our #WeArePiPhi campaign that highlights the diverse identities of our members through education and member stories on social media. We know we are stronger together because of the unique thread each member contributes to the fabric of our sisterhood. 

Data Collection
Demographic information regarding key aspects of diversity was once a gap in Pi Beta Phi's assessment efforts. Collecting demographic data is key to understanding inclusivity, equity and accessibility and can help the Fraternity make more informed decisions. Beginning in 2020, the Annual Member Evaluation (AME), administered to all initiated collegians each fall, included an expanded demographic section. The AME also continues to help us understand the value of quality DEI programming in the collegian member experience. The 2021 Member Satisfaction Survey, which surveys alumnae every four years, also included a demographic section and will continue to help us understand the changing demographic and needs of our alumnae.

Exploring Our History
In 2021, the Fraternity began a project to examine the historical contexts of Pi Beta Phi's founding in 1867 and its impact today, the roles of faith and religion in Pi Beta Phi, membership selection policies and practices, the Fraternity’s existence as a predominantly white organization, and issues of gender, race and sexual orientation. A team of volunteers began exploring how the history of Pi Phi’s policies and practices has impacted diversity within our sisterhood. The impact of historical decisions of the Fraternity continue to position us to be intentional about current decisions and future strategic initiatives.

Member Development

Educational Programming
An update of Pi Beta Phi’s Member Development Program, Leading with Values®, launched in January 2021 with overall programmatic outcomes and seminars more aligned with Pi Beta Phi’s Commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, to enhance intentional, purposeful conversations about Pi Beta Phi’s six core values. In addition, the Critical Conversations Speakers Series program, Every Act of Yours, was revised to allow the program to accommodate a DEI-focused chapter conversation. Continued updates to member development programs and education have occurred to ensure equity, inclusion and accessibility are intentionally woven through the member experience. 

Understanding Implicit Bias and Its Impact on the Member Experience
Pi Beta Phi launched DEI pre-recruitment training series on July 28, 2020, just ahead of the fall recruitment period. All chapters were encouraged to participate in the training prior to recruitment. Two self-guided programs explore identity development and the relationship between power and privilege. A third program assists chapters in discussion surrounding implicit bias. The final program is designed specifically for Alumnae Advisory Committee (AAC) members and focuses on the importance of language and the understanding impact of words, especially as mentors and advisors. Each training session is accompanied by an assessment which has illustrated substantial knowledge growth as well as overwhelmingly positive remarks on the relevancy of content and satisfaction of the programs. Chapters will be expected to engage in similar training experiences each year prior to facilitating recruitment.

Phasing in Additional Resources
To aid members in their personal member development, the Fraternity continues to make DEI resources available on our website. In addition to the key terms and definitions and a resource list supplied by the DEI AC, an Inclusive Language Guide can be found in the Resource Library for member use. Pi Beta Phi will continue to phase in additional DEI focused resources as we support member development in this area.

Increasing Fraternity Officers Knowledge
As part of the Fraternity’s 2020 Officers Workshop, a biennial meeting for elected and appointed officers serving Pi Beta Phi above the local-level, DEI experts Christina Parle, M.S. and Dr. Suzette Walden Cole helped Fraternity leadership understand both the humanistic and business case for making DEI a top priority for Pi Beta Phi.

Pi Phi continues the prioritization of developing a shared understanding and skill building that helps Pi Phi leaders grow as individuals and officers. In 2022 we partnered with The Nova Collective to lead skill building and dialogue around topics that helped inform our DEI learning strategyThese workshops were organized to meet the needs of different audiences, including Elected and Appointed Officers and Committees, Board Leadership and Headquarters Staff. All workshop sessions created opportunities for participants to build upon knowledge from the previous session. 

Building upon this foundation, Pi Phi will launch our new premier comprehensive officer onboarding and training program, SOAR, in July 2023. The comprehensive SOAR program enables officers to achieve Success by providing resources for Orientation, strategies for growth, ongoing training for Advancement, and fostering engagement, satisfaction and belonging for Retention.  

Leadership Capacity

Officer Recruitment

Pi Beta Phi’s Leadership and Nominating Committee (LNC) has responded to member feedback for increased transparency in the process of identifying and selecting Fraternity officers and a greater focus on ensuring diversity within the leadership ranks. Pi Phi’s officer nominations process was heavily promoted in the fall of 2020, which included a Ring Ching Chat with 2020 LNC Chair Schabahn Day. Members of the LNC and DEI AC collaborated to identify opportunities to recruit more diverse officer candidates and to outline qualifications that would demonstrate a candidate’s ability to actively support Pi Beta Phi’s DEI goals. The LNC has taken great care to listen to any member who has been willing to offer feedback on potential Fraternity leaders, discussed any candidate’s DEI-related experience and remained focused on elevating to the top of the candidate pool those members who show evidence of servant leadership traits. In fulfilling the slate for Grand Council and elected Directors, LNC worked to conduct the slating process through the lens of Pi Phi’s Commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. Additionally, LNC adopted DEI competencies and behavioral based interview questions that demonstrate the expectations around Fraternity officer DEI competency. The Fraternity, Foundation and FHC continue their pursuit in being intentional about recruiting the best officers to lead Pi Beta Phi

Inclusion Officers
At the 2021 Convention, delegates voted on legislation proposed by Grand Council requiring all chapters elect two new chapter officers: a Vice President Inclusion and a Director Community Inclusion. The new officers are supported by an additional member of AAC. The Grand Vice President Inclusion/Community Relations member will oversee the Fraternity’s existing Community Relations team as well as the new Specialty Director, titled Director Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, and nine new Inclusion Specialists. A webpage has been developed to explain these changes.

This legislation followed a biennium-long pilot program to incorporate a Director Diversity and Inclusion (DDI) into the Chapter Leadership Team. In January 2020, 20 chapters opted to participate in the pilot program. Over the summer, an additional 60 chapters were welcomed to pilot the office for the fall 2020 term.

The Fraternity officially welcomed the new chapter-level inclusion officer roles in January 2022. While these roles were adopted at the 2021 Convention, their officer terms officially began in the fall 2021/winter 2022 terms. These chapter roles include Vice President Inclusion and Director Community Inclusion, and they will be advised by the AAC Inclusion Advisor. Fraternity officer roles went into effect over the summer of 2021 and utilized the fall term to train, begin integrating work within Regional Teams and prepare for these new collegiate roles to begin. Currently, more than 300 volunteers directly support DEI and accessibility work at the local, regional and international levels.

The Fraternity continues to fill AAC Inclusion Advisors who will provide guidance that helps the chapter Inclusion Team implement strategic and programmatic diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts to create a more inclusive chapter experience. If you are interested in volunteering with Pi Beta Phi or know a sister who would be a great fit, please submit this form.

Regional Inclusion specialists take the lead on supporting the day the day needs of chapter officers. They provide tailored support, regular webinars and one on one connection opportunities for AAC members and chapter leadership teams.  

Director Diversity, Equity and Inclusion 
California Eta Daphney Rose Bitanga serves as the Director Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DDEI) and supports the Inclusion structure of the Fraternity. Daphney has held a variety of volunteer roles for our sisterhood, including chairing our inaugural DEI Advisory Committee. In her role, she continues to help shape the Fraternity’s DEI strategies, provide leadership and guidance for the Inclusion Specialists, support chapters and clubs implementing DEI efforts, and promote meaningful collaboration among members and leaders with the support of the DEI Advisory Committee. Daphney works closely with Teresia Williams, the Education and Inclusion Director on Headquarters staff who is another integral part of the DEI team.

Inclusion Education at College Weekend
Keynote speaker Tianna Soto kicked off our Virtual College Weekend in early January 2022. In tie with the College Weekend theme, "The Inclusive Member Experience," Tianna’s presentation, “Living Between Worlds,” encouraged chapter officers and AAC members to explore their personal identities, celebrate the journey and feel confident in their unique strengths. Tianna is a Puerto Rican, Jamaican-Chinese storyteller who empowers students to care for their mental health and wellness and face the college journey with confidence. Her work is heart-centered, service-driven, culturally-informed and rooted in empathy. Additionally, College Weekend programming included specialized training for the newly-elected chapter Vice Presidents Inclusion as they began their new roles.

Building upon the past year’s curriculum, College Weekend 2023 ensured that all college weekend educational tracks included learning objectives that reinforce the value of inclusive practices in every specialty area. AAC members received a more in-depth training that explored social identity, Pi Beta Phi’s Commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and role AAC plays in supporting chapter officers 


Changes to Recruitment Practices 
Grand Council made the decision to revise Fraternity policy and eliminate all courtesy invitations afforded to legacies during the membership recruitment process, effective fall 2021. At the 2021 Convention, legislation passed revising the Constitution and Statutes to remove any reference to special consideration for legacies. Simply put, a legacy recruitment policy, by nature, is inequitable as it fosters bias in membership selection process. The requirement for sponsorship or necessity of an alumnae recommendation creates a barrier to joining Pi Beta Phi. Therefore, these practices are inconsistent with Pi Beta Phi’s Commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. Pi Phi continues to review and update procedures and to increase access to membership. 


Making an Impact Through Literacy Service
Pi Beta Phi has identified literacy programs to be closely related to our DEI work. Intentional steps to build connections between the two have already been taken in collaboration with our literacy partner, First Book®. Pi Beta Phi is proud of its more than 110-year-old commitment to literacy and recognizes that long-term strategy to evolve literacy programs will have clear alignment with Pi Phi’s commitment to DEI.

Highlighting Pi Phi’s Diversity of Social Media
The Fraternity has worked to evolve its social media presence to illustrate a more inclusive member experience. Campaigns have been created to highlight special holidays, weeks, and months, as an opportunity for educating the membership and to highlight diverse voices in Pi Phi’s membership.

Affinity Groups 
In July 2021, framework for designing member affinity groups to bring together members with similar lived experiences was developed. Pi Beta Phi announced Facebook affinity groups were created as inclusive spaces for support, learning and connections. These Facebook groups are dedicated spaces to provide support, unity and advocacy for collegiate and alumnae members of Pi Beta Phi Fraternity who identify as a member of color and/or a member of the LGBTIA+ community. Members who identify are encouraged to join Facebook and join the Affinity group if they are in search of a Pi Phi community of women with shared experiences.

Supporting National Panhellenic Conference Work
In August 2020, the National Panhellenic Conference (NPC) announced the creation of an Access and Equity Advisory Committee to help identify reforms to eliminate structural and systemic barriers to sorority membership. Pi Beta Phi has been encouraged by this committee’s work and will continue to partner with NPC to ensure sustainable change.

Last updated: June 2023


It’s understandable that you have questions about Pi Phi’s DEI efforts. We have prepared a list of Frequently Asked Questions.

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Pi Phi History

In 1867, 12 courageous young women at Monmouth College came together to form a sisterhood rooted in shared experiences, enduring values and Sincere Friendships. Today, more than 150 years and 300,000 members later, we continue to celebrate our founders' vision as sisters of Pi Beta Phi.

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