Garcia publishes a book on culturally-based sororities and fraternities
23 Sep 2021
Dr. Crystal E. Garcia continues to examine the mechanisms by which racially minoritized college students experience campus environments. Recently she released her new co-edited book Moving Culturally-Based Sororities and Fraternities Forward, which dives into culturally-based sororities and fraternities including historically Asian Pacific Islander Desi American, Black, Latinx/a/o, LGBTQ, Multicultural, and Native American organizations.
Culturally based sororities and fraternities (CBSFs) are organizations that were founded to support minoritized people and provide a sense of community. These organizations can be particularly critical at predominantly white institutions where Students of Color can feel most isolated. Yet, it is at these institutions where support for culturally-based sororities and fraternities are often lacking the most. Although many CBSFs share characteristics of historically white sororities and fraternities such as using Greek letters in their names, adopting organizational colors and mascots, and embracing the bonds of siblinghood, the experience and goals of these organizations are different. Culturally based organizations pride themselves on having a lifelong membership. The chapters strive to stay active and support each other throughout their lives well past graduation. The historical roots and foundations of CBSFs are also a significant part of the organization. Many members have a sense of purpose and meaning that connects them to their racial/ethnic group or sexuality and gender identity. However, these groups also face equity issues such as receiving less support and funding from universities than historically white organizations.
Dr. Garcia sought to minimize the equity gap between the organizations and to help to inform people about them when she took up a Latinx/a/o based sorority and fraternity dissertation focus. She then continued her research and connected with Dr. Antonio Duran at an Association for the Study of Higher Education (ASHE) conference in 2017. Through years of their collaborative research on CBSFs, Drs. Garcia and Duran discovered that there was no contemporary book focused on CBSFs holistically, so they decided to collaborate to create one.
There is still work to do to provide a positive experience for everyone within the sorority and fraternity life community. This book serves to interrupt the dominant focus on historically white sororities and fraternities and to raise awareness of the strength and potential of CBSFs. The book is a resource for administrators, higher education professionals/scholars, and individuals interested in CBSFs. The book is available now can be ordered here.