Social Advocacy as a Brother of Kappa Kappa Psi
Advocacy is at the core of serving our mission as Brothers of Kappa Kappa Psi. It is about taking our thoughts and words and turning them into action. Here are some answers to common questions about advocacy that we know you might have. Please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org if you have questions or if you want an extra set of eyes on something. Continue striving for the highest.
What is a 501(c)3, and why are we different from other organizations?
A 501(c)3 corporation is considered a public charity and receives certain benefits from the Federal Government that are critical to our success and how we operate. We are considered a charitable organization because we support the art of Music which is a benefit to not only our members but to society as a whole. We received this status when the rules for who could have it were very different. We keep this tax status and recognize that it makes us different from peer organizations because it allows us to take tax-deductible donations and participate in special benefits. However, that also means that it bars our organizations from anything that looks like politically partisan or anti-government speech, and it ties our efforts to our mission as an educational organization. Other Greek and national organizations on your campus may have different tax classifications and would, therefore, have different rules that allow them to do political organizing or campaigning, to support or endorse a political candidate, to advocate for a political party, or to spend money for partisan causes. Please remember, as an individual citizen you have a right to do all of these things, but you should not do them as a representative, intentional or not, of our organization.
Can my chapter be involved in a protest or organized march/activity?
Yes, but make sure that you do not intimidate someone into participating, by having these conversations first on an individual basis. You can express your thoughts about participation in a chapter medium like a listserv, but the ultimate decision to participate should be made as individuals. When advocating, our organization has restrictions thanks to the tax code on promoting speech that is politically-biased and partisan, so remember that when wearing our letters and raising your voice.
How can my chapter be involved in donations to other organizations?
Individual donations are not an issue, but chapter donations should be voted on and approved by the Director of Bands, whether they are centered on our mission or not. If a chapter wishes to pool individual dollars and donate them together, then you can do this without a formal vote, but recognizing that you shouldn’t intimidate others into participating. The only restriction on WHERE your money can go is that we cannot donate chapter funds to what are called “527” organizations. These are political advocacy committees that expressly advocate for the election or defeat of a candidate or party. If you aren’t sure if a group is legitimate or proper, contact us to help you with vetting them. For more information on donations: https://nymag.com/strategist/article/where-to-donate-for-black-lives-matter.html
Where can we donate or use our financial resources?
Financial resources can help organizations make positive change and, in addition, consider volunteering, phone banking, canvassing, or donating your time in other ways as well. Your community, your campus, and the communities that have been affected by racial violence often have ways you can donate and support. Here are some other important organizations and causes that can use your financial resources:
- Black Lives Matter
- Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and their band programs
- Organizations that support diversity and inclusion in composition, performance, music education
- Campus or local organizations that promote diversity and inclusion
- Support Black-owned businesses in your community
What about public calls to action, online posts, and advocacy within the band and on campus?
The restrictions we have are around partisan or politically-biased speech. When a chapter makes a call to action or there is a post or message that is on behalf of the chapter, it should require a conversation to ensure everyone can stand behind it and to give time and a welcome space for questions and concerns. A message you all agree on is powerful and it allows everyone to repeat that message and amplify it from their own perspectives in a way that helps it grow. A great way to advocate is also to make sure you and your fellow brothers vote!
How to submit an absentee ballot:
How to look up upcoming elections in your state: https://ballotpedia.org/Elections_by_state_and_year
What are some books or resources so I can start or continue to educate myself?
Very special thanks to Siobhan Wilkes, Tau Beta Sigma Vice President for Special Projects, who helped us with this list and added a lot of great resources. Thanks Siobhan!
There are so many excellent books, here is a start:
- When They Call You a Terrorist: A Black Lives Matter Memoir
- White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism
- Tears We Cannot Stop: A Sermon to White America
- We Need New Names
- The Hate U Give
- How to be an Antiracist
- So You Want to Talk About Race
- Blind Spot
- It’s Time to Talk (and Listen): How to Have Constructive Conversations About Race, Class, Sexuality, Ability & Gender in a Polarized World
- How to Be Less Stupid About Race: On Racism, White Supremacy, and the Racial Divide
Another way to become more educated on diversity and bias is to take a free online course. Here are a few that our National Leadership Members have/are taking that we can recommend:
- Unconscious Bias, Microsoft
- Diversity and Inclusion in the Workplace, Coursera
- Inclusion of Minorities in Community Development, Allison
- Optimizing Diversity on Teams, Coursera
- Cultivate Equity at Work, Salesforce
For visual learners, Check out these Ted Talks and videos that you can watch to further educate yourself:
- Ted Talks on Diversity and Inclusion
- 10 Documentaries to Watch About Race Instead of Asking a Person of Color to Explain for You
- Leading Through Change: Injustice and Race
Educational Resources focused on college students and educators:
Podcasts to Listen to on The Go:
- 1619 (New York Times)
- About Race
- Code Switch (NPR)
- Intersectionality Matters! hosted by Kimberlé Crenshaw
These resources can help, but they are not an exhaustive list and we encourage you to share others that you found with your fellow brothers across the country.
Black Brothers Matter. Black Chapters Matter. Black Lives Matter.