Sisterhood is a concept that has been expressed through many types of media since seemingly the dawn of time. Whether it be from the Bible itself, or Disney’s record-shattering “Frozen,” it has proved itself to be a very relatable topic for women, young and old.
This is why UT’s very own Panhellenic community has welcomed sisterhood with open arms by working with the non-profit Circle of Sisterhood to raise money to support refugee women.
According to Ginny Carroll, the Executive Director of Circle of Sisterhood, the organization is based around Greek women supporting women and girls who may not have the chance to receive educations.
“The Circle of Sisterhood is all about helping girls and women achieve an education. This is a cause sorority women have really rallied around because we are one of the most educated communities of women in the world, so we understand the benefits of education and believe that every girl deserves to go to school,” Carroll said.
Carroll explained the importance of sharing education with women around the world.
“And when all girls are educated, the world will be a better place. The UTK Panhellenic community has been involved in our efforts since 2012 and has not only funded a grant, but also the construction of two school builds in Haiti and Senegal,” Carroll said.
UT’s Panhellenic community, as is stated above, is devoted to the cause.
According to Makenzie Stovall, the Vice President of Philanthropy of the Panhellenic Council, over the past year, UT sororities have put on countless fundraisers, some of which include selling stickers and buttons on Pedestrian Walkway, hosting percentage nights on the strip, having a “pie-a-president” event where presidents from all councils participated, painting the rock and selling tickets for Big Orange Beat, a dance competition where chapters are paired up to create a routine showcasing what the Circle of Sisterhood stands for.
UT Panhellenic also was able to decide where the proceeds of all of their hard work and effort went, and they ultimately decided on the Exodus Refugee Immigration. Agencies such as Exodus provide services to refugee newcomers from the point of arrival to self-sufficiency, which includes the ideals such as education for those who may not have had access to it beforehand.
“We know that the women we are supporting are coming to the U.S. to help better themselves and their families, in hopes to remove any injustices or persecution they were previously facing. We understand how difficult it is to flee to a new country with no idea what to do next, so we want to help in any way to provide the education to be self-sufficient,” Stovall said.
A sense of immediacy of results was also very important to the Panhellenic community, as it allowed the community to see how all of their efforts affected and impacted lives within the Exodus Refugee Immigration community.
Carroll elaborated on this sense, but on a much more broad scale.
“The work of the Circle of Sisterhood is the epitome of the power of one community of women to have a significant worldwide impact. Sorority communities on more than 260 U.S. college campuses and alumnae across the country are creating awareness and fundraising to remove barriers to education for girls and women. In less than 10 years, we’ve had an impact in 25 countries and funded the construction of 30 schools in six countries. That is success,” Carroll stated.