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This Is How Sigma Gamma Rho Is Working to Reduce Drowning Rates

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Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc. and USA Swimming sponsored the 2017 Fédération Internationale de Natation (FINA) biennial World Junior Swimming Championships from August 23 – August 28, 2017 in Indianapolis, Indiana. The sorority was the presenting sponsor and did this as part of their mission to decrease drowning in the United States.

“This agreement expands the sorority’s five-year old partnership with USA Swimming and designates it as the only non-profit sorority involved in this world-class event. ‘It’s exciting to see the continued growth of our partnership with Sigma Gamma Rho as it elevates to the international stage with the sponsorship of the FINA World Junior Swimming Championships,” said Tim Hinchey, President & CEO of USA Swimming. “With the organization’s strong ties to Indianapolis, this event presents the perfect opportunity to showcase the unique relationship Sigma Gamma Rho has with USA Swimming.'” the sorority stated in a press release.

“The sponsorship between USA Swimming and Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority will increase awareness about our “Swim 1922” partnership, named for the year our sorority was founded, aims to increase swim participation and decrease drowning rates in our communities,” stated Deborah Catchings-Smith, the International President of Sigma Gamma Rho.

Sigma Gamma Rho Day at FINA World Junior Swimming Championships! #SGRho #SigmaGammaRho #FINAWorldJrsIndy #Swim1922

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“Last year alone, nearly 20,000 sorority members and affiliates participated in 117 swim clinics across the United States. These clinics yielded more than 2,500 swim lessons. “This partnership is a game changer for Sigma Gamma Rho as it aligns with our mission and strategic planning goals.” the press sororities release stated.

Alon with their swim clinics, the sorority hosted a class on how to protect Black hair while swimming and learning to swim.

Take a look at this interview that was done with International President Deborah Catchings-Smith as well as some of the people who helped with the event.

According to the press release, “A recent study by the USA Swimming Foundation revealed a 5-10 percent improvement amongst America’s youth in overall swimming ability from its previous findings in 2010. The study was conducted by the University of Memphis and University of Nevada-Las Vegas. USA Swimming attributes much of this decline to the sorority’s efforts.”

We are ready to make waves! The Swim 1922 Clinic will begin soon! #SGRho #SigmaGammaRho #FINAWorldJrsIndy #Swim1922

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Probates

Watch How the SGRhos Reveal New Members at the University of Pittsburgh

Have you seen how the SGRhos reveal new members at the University of Pittsburgh?!

The women of the Theta Nu Chapter of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc. revealed their newest line at the University of Pittsburgh and they held it down for their org and their state.

Check out the video below and show these ladies some LOVE!

Video by Jonathan Dickey

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AKAs

28 Rare Pictures Of What Pledging A Black Greek Org Looked Like Back In The Day

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We have compiled a list of 28 rare pictures of what pledging a Black Greek fraternity/sorority looked like back in the day. We feel that these pictures honor NPHC history and give you a good look into the past. Enjoy!

Psi E's Lamp Club pledging Omega Psi Phi, 1949.

Psi E’s Lamp Club pledging Omega Psi Phi, 1949.

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AKAs

Black Sorority Members Speak On The Rise Of The D9 Blerd(Black + Nerd) Movement

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The Blerd(Black + Nerd) community’s online presence has grown immensely over the last couple of years and has given a space for Black people across the globe to connect, form communities and showcase their passions and creativity to the world.

We knew that with the emergence of the Blerd movement, it was only a matter of time until members of Black fraternities and sororities would become visible. We were right, the time has come finally come where Black greekdom and the Black nerd lifestyle has intersected.

We at WatchTheYard.com recently came across the Instagram of @ccthegreekgeek a self-professed Blerd and proud 2008 initiate of Delta Sigma Theta’s Zeta Delta Chapter at Bowie State who had teamed up with other D9 sorority members to Blerd out and cosplay as characters from the Sailor Moon anime series.

“I LOVED Sailor Moon growing up. Its what got me into anime,” she told Watch The Yard.  “I really identified with Sailor Mars, although I admired Jupiter as well. Mars fiery passion and blunt honesty was often misunderstood.

I decided to create a cosplay page that also offer a lens to the NPHC experience. When brainstorming my own cosplay ideas, I KNEW Sailor Mars would be toward the top of my list. Luisa (the AKA) was already on my team (she’s one of my best friends), so I thought it would be cute for her to cosplay Jupiter and take photos with me. After giving it further thought, I realized that there was pretty much a sailor Senshi whose colors were almost identical to the D9 Sororities colors.”

She teamed up with an AKA, Zeta and SGRho and they made an amazing cosplay team, holding it down for their beloved organizations, black nerds everywhere and some of their favorite anime characters all at the same time. There is one thing that we have got to say about Black greeks, if something includes their org’s colors, there is no doubt that they will show extra love to it and Sailor Moon was the perfect opportunity to do just that.

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We were excited to find out that Black greeks are not only engaging and participating in Blerd community but they are also at the forefront of organizing it. It turns out that Blerdcon, the up-and-coming convention catering to the Black Nerd community is being run by a Delta(@ccthegreekgeek), and Alpha (@conmanhilton) and a Kappa(@cosplayhass).

As the center of the Black greek community online, we at WatchTheYard.com are excited to find ways to involve ourselves with this convention and we are announcing that we will be featuring Black greek cosplays both young and old on our website and Instagram pages every month. If you are a Blerd and a member of a D9 Org who cosplays or does something that you think our audience would find noteworthy within the Blerd community, please send us an email describing what you do with photos and you could get a chance to be featured on our site!

Check out the pictures below from the Sailor Moon cosplay photoshoot at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial in Washington D.C.!

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AKA (Sailor Jupiter): Luisa Spencer

Initiated FA08, Eta Chapter, Bowie State. Bachelors in Psychology from Bowie State. BSN from the George Washington University. Full time nurse, part time health coach and triathlete. Star Wars Fanatic.
Instagram: @fit_vows

Click here to see more pictures of her

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Delta (Sailor Mars): Chauna C. Lawson

From: Washington, DC (currently residing in Silver Spring, MD)

Initiated Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated, Zeta Delta Chapter, April 28, 2008. Bowie State University. BS in Sociology/Criminal Justice with a minor in Spanish, May 2009. Full-time, feminist/blacktivist for a private non-profit. Part-time wedding coordinator via MAPDJA, LLC. Founding member of @BlerDCon.

Instagram: @ccthegreekgeek

Click here to see more pictures of her

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ZPhiB (Sailor Mercury): Kayla Pankey

Proud member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Incorporated Upsilon Mu chapter at Towson University Spring 2015. Graduated May 2016.
Instagram: @asilverlining22

Click here to see more pictures of her

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SGRho (Sailor Uranus): Crystal C. Drakeford

Proud member of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc. via BSU . Masters of Science in Management, Concentration Project Management, University of Maryland University College. Currently a Program Analyst for the Federal Government.
Instagram: @rhockwilder

Click here to see more pictures of her

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Photographer/Editor: @gizmo3squire / Make-up: @prettystaceface

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