Black History Month spotlight: The Seven Pearls of Sigma Gamma Rho

Sisterhood is always a special thing, but some sisters are more special than others. There’s the sister or sisters in your family whom you love because they’re your family. Then there are the women who seek out other sisters, because of something special, something they share.  In the case of the Sigma Gamma Rho sorority, that shared love was education.  The founders of Sigma Gamma Rho were all teachers, every one of them. You could say they were pearls of wisdom.

Sigma Gamma Rho was founded in 1922 at Butler University in Indianapolis. The seven founders, the “pearls” would eventually represent more than 150 years of teaching collectively. Education is still one of the sorority’s passions, along with health care and leadership development.  One of the seven, tragically, didn’t live long enough to see what the organization would become but the remaining six had the great opportunity to watch the sisterhood grow into something beautiful, through their leadership and determination.

Today the sorority has over 500 chapters. They are mostly in the U.S. but it’s hard to keep a good thing from crossing borders so sisters can be found in more than half a dozen countries. The current membership is more than 85,000. That’s a lot of sisters!  It’s a big family. Family reunions must require a lot of planning and logistics.

Sigma Gamma Rho has a lot of programs going on all year round. It’s hard to name an area they’re not involved in but the education of the young and support for young women in particular is a unifying thread throughout all their activities. Sometimes education means books and schools, sometimes it means learning about Africa. But it also means raising awareness about health issues, and avoiding bad choices. It’s pretty clear that one good choice a young lady can make is joining this dynamic organization and helping to make a difference.

So, who were these seven young ladies? We’re glad you asked. Check out our gallery to learn more about them.

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