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The only two African Americans on the 2021 Olympic Swim Team add to Sigma Gamma Rho’s legacy

NASHVILLE, TN, UNITED STATES, August 14, 2021 / -- Sigma Gamma Rho was created on November 12, 1922 in Indianapolis, Indiana. This elite sorority was started by seven young educators. Since its inception, this group of women seek to strengthen the community through sisterhood, leadership and service. Sigma Gamma Rho’s devotion to serving others is highlighted in its slogan, “Greater Service, Greater Progress.” The goal of this sisterhood is to obtain greater progress in education, health awareness, and leadership development. Upon the sororities initiation, a “Swim 1922,” initiative was organized. “Swim 1922” was the first partnership between USA Swimming and Sigma Gamma Rho to increase swim participation to lessen the amount of African Americans that drown. This year, their legacy has been carried to the Olympics, as the only two black swimmers on the Olympic team, Simone Manuel and Natalie Hinds, are from Sigma Gamma Rho.

Sigma Gamma Rho has made history by continuously cultivating a positive and proactive community outreach nationally and internationally. The partnership from “Swim 1922” has developed, taught people how to swim and brought together a group of people who all have the common goal; creating awareness around drowning in the African American community. This partnership believes that knowing how to swim is a fundamental part of life that may one day save a life.

Many look at the fusion of USA Swimming and Sigma Gamma Rho solely for their safety efforts. However, these partners are using their platform to increase diversity, inclusion and swim participation. The lives of black women and girls are being changed through greater progress and greater service.


Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc. was organized on November 12, 1922, in Indianapolis, Indiana, by seven young educators: Mary Lou Allison Gardner Little, Dorothy Hanley Whiteside, Vivian Irene White Marbury, Nannie Mae Gahn Johnson, Hattie Mae Annette Dulin Redford, Bessie Mae Downey Rhoades Martin, and Cubena McClure. The group became an incorporated national collegiate sorority on December 30, 1929, when a charter was granted to the Alpha chapter at Butler University. Sigma Gamma Rho has welcomed more than 100,000 collegiate and professional women from every profession. The sorority has more than 500 chapters in the United States, Bahamas, Bermuda, Canada, Germany, South Korea, U.S. Virgin Islands, and the United Arab Emirates. Additional information on this sorority can be found at

Monchiere Holmes-Jones
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