The World Needs Sorority Now More Than Ever

in Executive Board
Dr. Shokooh Miry, Sigma (U of California Berkeley), International Vice President
Dr. Shokooh Miry, Sigma (U of California Berkeley), International Vice President
By Dr. Shokooh Miry, Sigma (U of California Berkeley), International Vice President

As I sit down to write my first In the Loop article as a member of the Executive Board, my heart is filled with a deep sense of gratitude. Alpha Omicron Pi has brought me an abundance of blessings, the most vital of which is connection to a group of women who share my core values and serve as inspiration for the work we must do to create a better world. 

I come to my sorority experience from what many consider a non-traditional background. I am the daughter of muslim immigrants and the first woman in my family to attend university and graduate school. I have a strong commitment to equity and justice, and much of my life is engaged in the work of the empowerment of women and non-binary folk— whether individually or politically. 

I am often asked how and why the sorority experience is relevant to me and in our rapidly evolving world. My personal answer to this complicated question (recognizing that each of us will have our own, personal answer!) is grounded in our Ritual as a force for the empowerment of women. This is precisely why sorority is powerful, and this is why I feel so strongly that the world needs AOII more than ever. The world is calling out for values-based leadership. The world is starved for the leadership of women and individuals whose perspectives and experiences center justice and love.

One of the most powerful Ritual memories for me is entering a room with my sisters as a new member for Initiation and recognizing that AOII was offering me a community of intelligent leaders made up entirely of women. For me, AOII was the first leadership experience I had ever had with an organization of entirely female leaders. Social planning, financial management, membership education, recruitment, connection with campus leadership— every single facet of leadership was in the hands of strong, intelligent, educated women. 

So, how do our core values help inspire the empowerment of these vital voices in the world? If you reflect on our Ritual, you may find you agree with me that our core values encourage us to:

  • Seek out the opinion and ideas of women
  • Prioritize the education and advancement of women in all fields
  • Approach the ideas and opinion of women with curiosity and openness
  • Work to raise the status of women through education and leadership
  • Offer women leadership training, skills, and opportunities
  • Exchange promises of friendship, acceptance, and loving support
  • Invite women to community, service, leadership in the world

Our founders established an organization centered in love and service that offers women and the world we live in exactly what is needed now more than ever.  Four thoughtful, progressive, bold, intelligent, courageous women were our founders and remain my inspiration for a modern sisterhood, with our Ritual at its core, with members ready to embrace the challenges ahead.

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