Sigma Gamma Rho was established by seven school teachers at Butler University in Indianapolis, IN on November 12, 1922. The group’s Alpha (first) chapter on December 30, 1929 received a charter to become a national collegiate sorority. This meant that Sigma Gamma Rho became a full-fledged sorority, free to run its activities independently on a nationwide scale. The organization dedicates its efforts towards uplifting the quality of life in various communities.

Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority and Its Objectives

Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority advocates for better living conditions for women and pushes for social and civil actions to support them. It has been providing women and their families with support through community service that helps them lead more comfortable lives. The organization also promotes proper leadership and education for youth. Sigma Gamma Rho eliminates inequalities and barriers like racism and gender bias to help people develop reach their full potential.


The sorority has in the past given support to several human rights legislations and supported the empowerment of grassroots citizens. The sorority has also dedicated its efforts and resources to sponsoring various national and international programs to support  underserved communities.


AIDS prevalence has been an issue of great concern and the organization has been helping curb its spread. To assist the hardest hit populations, it developed the Act against AIDS Leadership Initiative (AAALI). The initiative involves bringing together several organizations to push toward the eradication of AIDS. The initiative brings together civic, social, civil rights, media, government, education and other professional organizations.

Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority Formation

Sigma Gamma Rho was formed at a time when segregation was at its peak. The seven founders included: Bessie Mae Downey Rhoades Martin, Hattie Mae Annette Dulin Redford, Cubena McClure, Dorothy Hanley Whiteside, Mary Lou Allison Gardner Little, Nannie Mae Gahn Johnson and Vivian White Marbury. To date the organization has approximately 100,000 members.

The organization has undergraduate and alumnae chapters in the United States, Korea, Canada, The Bahamas, and Bermuda.

It operates under strict policies requiring interested women to pursue registration through its undergraduate chapters or the alumnae chapters.

Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority Notable Members

Hettie Vyrine Barnhill – A choreographer-dancer who started her dancing career at the age of 3. The celebrity started her dancing classes at the Pelagie Green Wren Dance Studio. The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) – an American Civil rights organization- honored her dancing and acting skills.

Vanessa Bell Armstrong – A gospel singer widely known for her 1983 Peace Be Still album. She was one of the artists that participated in the 1st Annual Soul Train Awards ceremony.

Leighann Lord – An accomplished American actress, writer, and comedian. She also does stand-up comedy.

Marie Corinne Morrison Claiborne Boggs – Also commonly referred to as Lindy Boggs. Boggs became the first woman to be elected to Congress from Louisiana.


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