Annual Greek Groove experiences changes in response to COVID-19

Mackenzie Bookamer, Contributing Reporter

Courtesy of Tulane Panhellenic Council

Greek Groove is an annual fundraising event organized by the Tulane Panhellenic Council to raise money for Circle of Sisterhood, a philanthropic organization that helps to foster education equality for women in developing countries. The week-long event usually occurs in person, but it has adapted to fit the COVID-19 protocols. 

Organizers have altered the event to focus more on the local community and foster greater inclusivity with on-campus groups.  

“Typically, it is a week-long fundraiser, ended off with a huge dance competition where different chapters perform and everyone is able to see it,” Carly Grand, vice president of philanthropy for the Panhellenic Council, said. 

Greek Groove this year will consist of virtual events, with the dance competition composed of video submissions from the chapters, culminating in a livestream, Grand said. 

Greek Groove will also focus the efforts more on giving back to the local New Orleans community this year rather than on communities farther away. 

“A big critique that I have had of Greek Groove in the past, and other people have had too, is that if we want to see poverty, we can literally go into our community,” Grand said. 

The Panhellenic Council has partnered with the Greater New Orleans Foundation on their Better Together campaign which aims to give financial support to Black-owned nonprofits in New Orleans. The proceeds from Greek Groove will benefit Ashe Cultural Arts Center, Operation Restoration, Training Grounds, the Collaborative for African American Girls and Women, Launch NOLA and Grow Dat Youth Farm, Grand said.

“This year, the council has shifted its focus to local philanthropies that will include small businesses, Black-owned businesses, women-centric charities, and communities hit hard by COVID-19 and the hurricanes in our region,” Julia Hankins, assistant director of fraternity and sorority programs, said. 

Inclusivity is another area in which Greek Groove 2020 is looking to change. In previous years, the Panhellenic Council has been the sole contributor to the event. This year, the event is a joint effort by the Panhellenic Council, Interfraternity Council, National Panhellenic Council, and Multicultural Greek Council. 

Although this year’s Greek Groove will certainly look different, the core value of giving back to disadvantaged communities still remains.  

“We know it’s tough times for everyone, so it’s kind of hard to raise as much money and for people to donate money when everyone’s struggling, but we know that the New Orleans community really needs it and I think it’s time for Tulane students to give back as much as we can,” Grand said. 

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