City Treasurer Melissa Conyears-Ervin joined Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot, members of the Black Caucus, and representatives from the March of Dimes to honor one of the nation’s most historic Black Greek letter organizations, Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, and to thank its 100,000 members for the contributions to Chicago’s – and the nation’s – African American communities for the past 100 years.
The International President of Sigma Gamma Rho, Rasheeda S. Liberty, received a city resolution from Mayor Lightfoot and Treasurer Conyears-Ervin during Wednesday’s City Council meeting. The resolution lauded the sorority members for their roles in community and public service in Chicago and across the country, including their volunteering efforts in and 40-year partnership with the March of Dimes. It also recognized the sorority’s ongoing commitment to continuing the mission of its seven founders whose shared commitment to empowering Black communities through education was the motivation for founding the sorority at Butler University on Nov. 12, 1922.
“The celebrations provided sorority members an opportunity to reflect on courage and contributions of the women of Sigma Gamma Rho over the last 100 years,” said Gamma Sigma’s International President Liberty. “And experiencing the leadership and commitment of many of our members, I’m confident that the sorority will continue to have an impact in many ways in the years to come.”
The March of Dimes, the nation’s leader in mom and baby health, recognized the sorority for its decades of being a valuable partner and most recently for its support of its major campaign aimed at reducing the preterm birthrate. Sigma Gamma Rho’s contributions include the following:
- Raised $2 million to support Prematurity Awareness
- Created approximately 5,000 personal care kits for Project Cradle Care benefitting hospital neonatal intensive care units and expectant moms
- Supported military families by providing nearly 1,500 onesies and 1,000 bibs
- Recruited hundreds of community supporters to participate in public events
“I want to join Mayor Lightfoot and Madam Treasurer in congratulating the ladies of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority for their commitment to these communities,” said Stacy Stewart, President of March of Dimes. “I’m incredibly proud of the sorority’s support of Project Cradle Care and for raising awareness in underserved communities of the high risk for preterm birth and maternal and infant death. What an amazing legacy!”
Among its active sorority members in public service are U.S. Representative Robin Kelly and City Treasurer Conyears-Ervin. In a note sent to its members convening in Chicago, Congresswoman Kelly, member of the Epsilon Nu Sigma chapter shared:
“While we celebrate Sigma Gamma Rho’s historic centennial, I’d also like to recognize all the Black Greek letter organizations who contributed so much to the African American community and to our entire nation. Sigma Gamma Rho has given Black women valuable opportunities to make an impact in our community which has been critical to our effort to build stronger, healthier communities.”
Following the presentation, more than 75 sorority members attended a luncheon in their honor hosted by Treasurer Conyears-Ervin, a member of the sorority’s Theta Chi Sigma chapter for 26 years. She praised the sorority for inspiring her in her role as City Treasurer:
“By prioritizing education in our underserved communities, we can help people climb the economic ladder which starts by enhancing financial knowledge and putting them on the path to a more prosperous future. That’s why I made “building wealth today for tomorrow” the mission of the Treasurer’s office. I’m proud that we’re helping Chicagoans learn how to find affordable housing, invest in the stock market, and grow small businesses. Thanks to a solid financial education, we’re building a better life today, and a better future for more people.”