Seeing through colorblindness

Date
2014-07-01
Authors
Gillon, Kathleen
Beatty, Cameron
Salinas, Cristobal
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School of Education
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School of Education
Abstract

In our work with fraternities and sororities, how often do we reflect on the role race plays in recruitment practices or how it shapes the experiences of members, chapters, organizations, and the fraternity community as a whole? In our estimation, not often enough. However, if we explore the history of fraternities and sororities, we learn these organizations were typically created and organized specifically around race. From the founding of Phi Beta Kappa in 1776 to the beginnings of many other organizations through the late 1960s, historically White fraternities in the United States were legally racially exclusive (Kendall, 2008), most going so far as to include racial segregation policies in their constitutions (Hughey, 2010). During this time of racial exclusion, Black collegians banded together to form Greek-letter organizations collectively referred to today as “the Divine Nine” (Kimbrough, 2003). More recently, people from other racially minority groups, including Latinos, Native Americans, Asian Americans and others, formed Greek-letter organizations (Kimbrough, 2003).

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This article is from Perspectives (2014): 22–23.

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