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Issue 1 Volume 1窶認all/Winter 2011-2012



Elected Officers Position Regional Director Regional Representative Member, National Nominating Committee

Name Sandra Phillips Johnson Parris Love' Moore Mary C. Jones, Ed.D.

Chapter Las Vegas Alumnae Epsilon Nu Citywide Atwater Merced Alumnae

Member, National Scholarship & Standards

Tracy Aikens

Phoenix Metropolitan Alumnae

Chair, Regional Nominating Committee

Tami V. Bass

Las Vegas Alumnae

Collegiate Member, Regional Nominating Committee Member, Regional Nominating Committee

Brittany Allen

Upsilon Chapter

Jadrien Allen

Long Beach Alumnae

Member, Regional Nominating Committee

Cynthia G. Hunter

Los Angeles South Bay Alumnae

Member, Regional Nominating Committee

Kimberly M. Usher

Rolling Hills Palos Verdes

Appointed Officers Position Regional Secretary Assistant Secretary Assistant Secretary (Collegiate) Regional Journalist Regional Collegiate Journalist Regional Program Coordinator Regional Program Co-Coordinator Ex-Officio Regional Chaplains Council Chair Chaplains Council Co-Chair Regional Membership Intake Coordinator

Name Mary Alyce Smith Aisha K. Childs (SCCC) Barika (Yuki) Burton (NCCC) Shante' Morgan-Durriseau Tara Ignont Donna L. Smith Rosalyn D. Earl Thelma James Day, Ed.D. Rev. Denise Elbert Rev. Pamela Elise Davis Eva Goins Simmons

Chapter Las Vegas Alumnae Los Angeles South Bay Alumnae Kappa Chapter Ventura County Alumnae Lambda Tau Los Angeles Alumnae Elk Grove Alumnae Inglewood Alumnae Greater Salt Lake Alumnae Los Angeles Alumnae Las Vegas Alumnae

Regional Membership Intake Co-Coordinator

Willie B. Smith

Las Vegas Alumnae

Regional Parliamentarian Regional Legal Advisor Assistant to the Regional Director Assistant to the Regional Director

C. Lynn Carrier Lydia Cincore Templeton, Esq. Constance T. Ewing Altarine Vernon

Sacramento Alumnae Los Angeles Alumnae Las Vegas Alumnae San Francisco Peninsula Alumnae

Assistant to the Regional Director

Margaret Turner Evans

Inglewood Alumnae 2

Message from the Regional Director and Regional Representative


















Farwest Region History Since inception, the Farwest Region has meaningfully contributed to the growth, leadership and vitality of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. The first Farwest chapter was chartered at the University of California at Berkeley in 1921. Affectionately known as the Fabulous Farwest, the region is now comprised of nearly 90 chapters located in Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, Utah and Washington, as well as international chapters in Japan (Okinawa and Tokyo) and the Republic of Korea (Seoul). The Farwest Region is extremely proud to have had Founders Bertha Pitts Campbell, Zephyr Chisom Carter and Wertie Blackwell Weaver as members of our region. Three National Presidents: sorors Vivian Osborne Marsh, 7th National President; Geraldine P. Woods, 13th National President; and Mona Humphries Bailey, 17th National President called the Farwest home.

Farwest Focus Staff Editor ShantĂŠ Morgan-Durisseau (Farwest Regional Journalist) Assistant Editor LaConnie Taylor-Jones (Northern CA Journalist) Graphic Designer Libra Forde (Hawaii Journalist) Contributing Photographer Trina Phinizy Mays (Las Vegas Alumnae) Regional Director Sandra Phillips Johnson Regional Representative Parris Moore

The Farwest Focus is the publication of the Farwest Region of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. For submission guidelines please email 3

Regional Dire Re

Dear Sorors of the Farwest Region,

Welcome to this inaugural edition of the Farwest Focus for the 2011-2014 triennium! We are pleased to release it during Sisterhood Month—a time for refreshing and reflecting upon the ties that bind us together in Delta Sigma Theta. The Farwest Focus provides another channel of communications for us to keep in touch with one another, to stay up-to-date on events, accomplishments, celebrations, joys and sorrows of our sisters across the region. It reminds us that we are a part of a larger Delta family than our individual chapters or states—that we each belong to the Fabulous, Fierce Farwest Region of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.! As the 2011-2012 fiscal year has progressed, we have demonstrated our commitment to being Strategic in Service and Sisterhood. In service, we have been: 

Strategic in Educational Development: implementing Risk Management plans and youth program strategies to provide effective mentorship in our Dr. Betty Shabazz Delta Academy, Delta GEMS and EMBODI programs. Strategic in Economic Development: employing the Financial Fortitude initiatives of Money Smart Adult Education and computer-based instruction, and collaborating with Arts & Letters to support red carpet events that contribute to the financial success of films like “Red Tails.” Strategic on Physical and Mental Health initiatives: educating our communities and raising funds to improve lives with participation in the St. Jude Give Thanks Walk; World AIDS Day observations; and IMPACT Day seminars on domestic violence. Strategic in International Awareness and Involvement: sponsoring children with school tuition; empowering women with micro-business training and development; underwriting water tanks and water wells; and comprising the largest regional delegation on the Mission Trip II to Ghana and Kenya. Strategic in Political Awareness and Involvement: representing the Farwest Region at Delta Days in the Nation’s Capital and Delta Days at the U.N. to become informed and advocate on legislation that impacts our communities; conducting Civil Rights film festivals; advocating at our state and local government offices and celebrating election victories for our sisters in Delta; and preparing to recognize our Legends of Social Action at Delta Days in Sacramento. 4


ector egional Representative We’ve also developed and are executing strategies to strengthen and grow our sisterhood by: Supporting the National Membership Services “Campaign Come Home” with a regional goal of increasing reclamation and retention by 13 percent per chapter per year.  Supporting Project ACE and Transition with initiatives to have each alumnae chapter host at least one Project ACE program per year; increase collaboration on community service programs between alumnae and collegiate chapters; encourage graduating seniors to participate in the Delta Connection program as they transition to alumnae status and increase alumnae transition rates by 13 percent per year; and providing opportunities for collegiate sorors to gain professional experience and mentorship through programs like Leadership DELTA.  Developing and distributing best practices and suggestions to assist chapters in reclamation, retention and transition.  Conducting membership intake to bring extraordinary new women of service into our sisterhood and improve sustainability for chapters on special dispensation. 

We salute you, our sorors of the Farwest Region, for the Strategic Service and Sisterhood you have exhibited thus far this year. You are Delta Women, Yes You Are!

Sandra Phillips Johnson

Parris Moore

Farwest Regional Director

Farwest Regional Representative


Farwest Farwest News

Farwest News

Farwest News

Farwest News

Farwest News

Strategic in Service and Sisterhood


Farwest R e gional Director Sandra Phillips Johnson set the tone for the region from the beginning. In a message that has inspired members of the region to “rise above the ordinary,” Soror Johnson called on all to reflect on the theme, “One Sisterhood, One Body, Many Parts … Bridging the Gap.” “We have crossed our own bridges in Delta Sigma Theta!,” Soror Johnson said. “Our 22 Founders built the first bridge and in the Farwest, Vivian Osborne Marsh was a bridge. Bertha Pitts Campbell was a bridge. Geraldine Pittman Woods was a bridge. Mona Humphries Bailey is a bridge and each of us in this room can be a bridge.” Soror Johnson offered this message at the Farwest Region Leadership and Sisterhood Retreat. She welcomed the more than 250 Deltas to the retreat in Las Vegas, Nev. with

an uplifting greeting “to all my sharp, sagacious, shrewd, shining and sharing sorors of the formidable and fabulous Farwest Region of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.” She delivered the rousing message during a luncheon at the three-day retreat in October. The retreat’s theme was “Rising Above the Ordinary” and the first day was dedicated to members of the Farwest Leadership Team who participated in a Leadership Development Institute seminar based on the book “Take the Lead” by Betsy Myers. The second day included presentations from national committees and commissions, Farwest committees and a special panel of Farwest leaders who addressed “What It Takes to Innovate, Motivate, Create.” During an evening reception, sorors relaxed and bonded in sisterhood and practiced a new Farwest stroll. The third day closed with an inspirational ecumenical service. “My sorors, my sisters, I stand before you today uplifted and excited because you have shown up and shown out for our first regional retreat of this triennium!,” Soror Johnson said. She explained that the dictionary defines gap as “a break between two objects” and bridge as



p retreat “something that is intended to reconcile or form a connection between two things.” There are several issues that can cause “gaps” that lead to “dysfunction and disharmony” in our sisterhood. In her analogy, Soror Johnson said a “slat” may drop or a “rope starts to fray” when the majority votes one way and a few others disagree or when a soror runs for office and loses or when the winner treats the losers as if they are “the enemy.” She said “gaps” occur when some want to do fundraising one way, different from others and when younger members of the chapter have no regard for Delta Dears and the Delta Dears think even less of the younger members. Soror Johnson said the way the sorority begins to “repair the bridge” and “close gaps” is by reconnecting and recommitting to the bridges built by our Founders and other giants in Delta Sigma Theta. She reminded those assembled of their Delta

Oath and that in Delta Sigma Theta, we are “one body comprised of many parts, one body in spirit and faith. She likened this to 1 Corinthians 12:15-20 that discusses the fact that God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. If they were all one part, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, but one body. “We’ve dedicated ourselves to building and maintaining bridges in the family of Delta, whatever may come. So let us rejoice in the part we contribute to the whole body and be the best eye or ear or foot or hand, we can be in our sisterhood,” she said. “My sorors give your precious smiles; give your dedication, your fidelity, your patience, your compassion, and your pure intentions to your sisters in Delta.” “Your actions will help to replace those fallen slats, mend those fraying ropes, cement those rocking posts and keep the bridge standing over the gap, connecting us to the bridge tomorrow!” Submitted by Soror Shanté Morgan-Durisseau, Farwest Regional Journalist


Joins Nationwide Effort to Raise Awareness and Funds for St. Jude’s Sickle Cell Research Program Sorors in the Farwest Region joined members of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. from across the country on Nov. 19, 2011 participating in a national fundraising campaign for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital’s sickle cell disease research and treatment efforts. The Farwest Physical and Mental Health Committee under the auspices of the Regional Program, Planning and Development Committee and the National Charitable Partnerships Task Force participated in the 2011 St. Jude Thanks 5K Walk. Hundreds of sorors from chapters in Southern and Northern Northern California Chapters California to Hawaii walked, ran and in some cases danced in the name of sickle cell research and treatment. Sorors in Southern California filled the interior of the Westfield mall in Culver City. San Diego Alumnae Chapter sorors showed up at a mall in Oceanside. Northern California sorors gathered in San Jose; and Deltas in Hawaii worked out in the Waikele Shopping Center. Deltas in the Farwest raised nearly $3,000 for the Memphis, Tenn.-based hospital that has been at the forefront of research and treatment of the disease that mainly impacts the African-American community. The Farwest Region ranked among the top 10 fundraising teams in the Los Angeles area.

Hawaii Alumnae

St. Jude’s works to prevent, treat and find cures for childhood cancers like sickle cell. Their mission is to treat every patient regardless of race, religion or the family’s ability to pay. The hospital’s Southern California Chapters pioneering advances have pushed the childhood leukemia survival rates of its patients from 4 to 94 percent in its 50 years of existence. San Diego Alumnae Chapter

Submitted by Sorors Libra Forde, Hawaii Journalist ; Monica Groves, Southern California Journalist,; and Patricia Watts, San Diego Alumnae Chapter


Southern California Deltas Spotlight Women’s Contributions to the Civil Rights Movement and Launch Get Out the Vote Drive Women are almost invisible in history books about the civil rights movement despite playing a critical role. However, Southern California Deltas put the spotlight on the courageous African-American women who participated in the movement as part of the region’s commitment to social and political action at their Delta Day event held at the Museum of Tolerance on Nov. 6, 2011. The screening of the award-winning documentary “Standing On My Sisters’ Shoulders” was featured and alumnae chapters in attendance included: Century City, Cerritos, Compton, Inglewood, Lancaster, Los Angeles, Los Angeles South Bay, Pasadena and Ventura County as well as Upsilon, the collegiate chapter at USC. The film documents the lives of the women who stood up and fought for the right to vote and the right to an equal education in the 1950s and 60s in Mississippi. One of the film’s highlights is the story of how three women including Soror Fannie Lou Hamer stepped up and challenged the Democratic Party and President Johnson at the 1964 Democratic National Convention. “We honor these women and our right to vote as African Americans,” said Soror Madell Williams, Southern California Social Action Coordinator. “This allowed us to celebrate and remind individuals about the importance of getting out the vote.” The event included a book signing with the authors of “Ben and the Emancipation Proclamation” and “Yummy: The Last Days of a Southside Shorty”; a panel discussion moderated by Soror Jennie Green, a member of Pasadena Alumnae Chapter and professor of education at Loyola Marymount University; and a tour of the museum’s Freedom Sister’s exhibit that features 20 African-American women who fought for equality. The exhibit features 10 members of Delta Sigma Theta: Ida B. Wells Barnett, Mary McLeod Bethune, Shirley Chisholm, Charlayne Hunter-Gault, Fannie Lou Hamer, Dorothy I. Height, Barbara Jordan, Betty Shabazz, Mary Church Terrell and Myrlie Evers-Williams.

Farwest Regional Director Invited to Commemorate Omega Psi Phi Fraternity’s Centennial Farwest Regional Director Sandra Phillips Johnson joined the members of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc., 12th District chapters in Los Angeles on Oct. 22, 2011 at the Millennium Biltmore Hotel in celebration of the fraternity's Centennial. The theme of the event was, “Celebrating Achievements: Mentoring African-American Male Youth for 100 Years and Beyond.” The 12th District includes communities in the states of California, Oregon, Washington, Alaska, Idaho, Wyoming, Utah, Nevada, Arizona and Montana and is the largest territorial span of the Fraternity in the United States. Soror Johnson was among a distinguished list to address the fraternity that included: Dr. Andrew Ray, grand basileus of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. and Steve Harvey, comedian, author, radio personality and member of Omega Psi Phi. Submitted by Soror Krystle Evans, Century City Alumnae Chapter 9

Lest We The Farwest Region has been actively involved in the work of Delta this fiscal year. As we continue to strive, let us support and prepare for our Centennial Celebration in 2013! Why is giving so important? Lest we forget the 22 undaunted souls who stood strong, ignoring the two uncontrollable strikes against them—gender and race, and forged towards the horizon of reform. Never once did our Founders seek honor or prestige. Instead, they unselfishly gave their time, talent and money to transform women in the 20th century and beyond towards the platform of social activism and public service. Therefore, let us resolve to remember and honor the courage and unyielding faith of our Founders as we embark on the centennial anniversary of our illustrious sisterhood. Lest we forget: commitment. Regional Director Sandra Phillips Johnson said it best when she issued this charge to each soror from the Fabulous Farwest Region. “Let us remember our commitment to engage in financial fortitude and shepherd our finances to support our attendance at the numerous festivities of 2013,” said Soror Johnson. “Let us get on board with the Centennial Giving Plan found in the Sisters Only Portal on the national website, by placing ourselves on the Centennial Record of Delta’s history as individuals and chapters from the Farwest Region.” Lest we forget: memories. Have you heard about the 2013 Regional Directory from the Fabulous, Formidable and Fierce Farwest Region? Sorors Florozeen Gray and Essie Jeffries, co-chairs of the 2013 Farwest Region Directory along with their committee have rolled out the details for a fantastic, coffee-table volume, which will feature special memories for sorors to treasure for years to come. Soror Johnson said: “We are looking forward to a wonderful celebration as we commemorate our centennial next summer in Washington, D.C., where the directory will be unveiled for the first time. This is a chance to shine and show other regions what we're all about.” This permanent keepsake is our signature 2013 project, so don’t miss out on this once in a lifetime opportunity. For additional questions on how you can be a part of this exciting endeavor, contact your chapter president. Osceola, Marguerite, Winona, Ethel, Bertha, Zephyr, Edna, Jessie, Frederica, Myra, Olive, Jimmie, Pauline, Vashti, Naomi, Mamie, Eliza, Florence, Ethel, Wertie, Madree and Edith not only accepted the struggles they faced. They went a little further. They gave. Sorors, lest we forget and give! Submitted by Soror LaConnie Taylor-Jones, Northern California Journalist 10

e Forget Delta Sigma Theta Centennial Giving Opportunities Individual Visionary - $2,013

Chapter Centennial Chapter - $5,000

Name on the “Centennial Wall of Honor” at National Headquarters; 20%

Chapter Name on Centennial Wall of Honor; Commemorative

Discount on Centennial Convention Registration Only and more. . .

Plaque and more. . .

Pearls - $1,300

Delta Centennial Chapter - $2,200

10% discount on Centennial Convention Registration Only; Recognition at

Commemorative Certificate; Recognition at the January 2013

the January 2013 Founders Day Weekend and 2013 Convention and

Founders Day Weekend and 2013 Convention and more. . .

more. . .

Jewels - $900

Sigma Centennial Chapter – $1,300

5% Discount on Centennial Convention Registration Only; Recognition at

Commemorative Certificate; Recognition at the January 2013

the January 2013 Founders Day Weekend and 2013 Convention and

Founders Day Weekend and 2013 Convention and Chapter name in

more. . .

Official Program

Violets - $220

Theta Centennial Chapter - $900

Special designation on convention badge as a Centennial Violet; Name in Official Program and more. . .

Chapter Name on Centennial Wall of Honor; Commemorative Plaque; Recognition at the January 2013 Founders Day Weekend and 2013 Convention. Chapter name in Official Program

Centennial Listing - $100

2013 Regional Directory

Name listed on the BOOK OF CENTENNIAL RECORD to be filed at National Headquarters and prominently displayed


News around the News around the Region News around the Region News around the Region

“I Am My Sister’s Keeper was the theme of The Sister's Circle Brunch hosted by the Social Action Committee of the Alaska Alumnae Chapter on Oct. 22, 2011. The guest speaker was Shelly Romar from the Alaska Cancer Care Alliance, a nonprofit resource organization, which focuses on the needs of breast cancer survivors. As a five-year survivor of stage four breast cancer, Ms. Romar shared her experience with the disease. Today, she is healthy and working to educate and encourage women about the breast cancer journey. She provided sorors with an uplifting message of hope and stressed the need for early detection. In addition, she informed sorors of other non-profit groups they could partner with in promoting breast health. The chapter will look into sponsoring the Mobile Mammography Unit in high-risk neighborhoods at a later date. Following the brunch, each soror made a commemorative beaded bracelet, containing a single charm the international symbol of the pink ribbon. Submitted by: Sorors Mary L. Boxx and Yvonne Charles, Alaska Alumnae Chapter

Arizona Sorors Make Delta’s Presence Known: Resolution Presented at State Redistricting Hearings The sorors from Arizonas’ Alumnae Chapters came together on Nov. 5, 2011 to present a resolution declaring the chapters’ support of the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission’s process, goals and members. Soror Cheryl Sims, president of the Tucson Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., presented the resolution on behalf of the Phoenix Metropolitan, Tempe and Tucson Alumnae chapters. Soror Sims reminded the commissioners of their mandate to create fair and competitive districts that offer all citizens the equal right to vote for a candidate that best reflects the needs of their community. This presentation was the culmination of Deltas attending many AIRC public sessions. Delta's presence and input is now known and asked for in the state of Arizona. The chapters Social Action committees have focused on redistricting because the census results required the addition of one more voting district in Arizona and its attendant legislators. Submitted by Soror Tonya Norwood, Tempe Alumnae Chapter


NEWSaroundTHEregion On Nov. 5, 2011, the Bakersfield Alumnae Chapter, along with their Delta GEMS participated in the annual Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation Walk to Cure Diabetes at Yokuts Park in Bakersfield, Calif. The day consisted of a 5K walk, balloon ceremony in remembrance of loved ones, an outdoor Zumba class, live entertainment, food, festivities for children, and most importantly, camaraderie and awareness for all. The chapter raised a total of $610, which was more than double their goal. The chapter realizes that their fundraising efforts make a difference in the lives of millions affected by Type 1 diabetes. Submitted by Sorors Rosalyn Horn and Karla Young, Bakersfield Alumnae Chapter

Cerritos Area Alumnae Chapter Helping Women During the Holidays The Cerritos Area Alumnae Chapter on Nov. 19 collaborated with their Delta G.E.M.S. and Academy girls in providing food care packages to needy women and families for the Thanksgiving holiday. The Women Helping Women program was co-chaired by Sorors Kalia Batts and Shedonna Merrit. The chapter provided meals to five families. Each food box was packed with love by sorors from Cerritos the members of the girls programs. The boxes included a $25 Ralph's grocery store gift card, gravy packets, sugar, flour, aluminum foil, cranberry sauce, string beans, green peas, corn, rice, stuffing, cake mix, cake frosting, cornbread mix, fruit cocktail, baking pans, and many other items needed to prepare a wonderful Thanksgiving feast. Submitted by Soror Anita Jones, Cerritos Area Alumnae Chapter 13

Cerritos Alumnae

to the Future with Reception for Regional Director

Cerritos Area Alumnae Chapter began the sorority year by welcoming newly elected Regional Director Sandra Phillips Johnson and her leadership team to Southern California. The chapter started with a reception for Soror Johnson and her leadership team on Friday, Sept. 9, 2011 at the Cerritos Senior Center in Cerritos. The reception was an elegant and intimate evening which provided a very relaxed and enjoyable event. The leadership team was introduced and Soror Johnson provided a welcome address. On Saturday, Sept. 10, 2011, Soror Johnson was the keynote speaker at the chapter’s Founders Day Reclamation Breakfast at the Doubletree Hotel in Downey, Calif., which was themed “Bridging the Gap in ∆∑Ѳ…A Link to Our Future.” Soror Johnson gave her first speech as the newly elected Farwest Regional Director, an excellent message centered on a rope-bridge metaphor to demonstrate the significance of bridging the relational and generational gaps in Delta Sigma Theta Sorority. Her message was well received, and the chapter was truly blessed to have her attend both events. Submitted by Soror Sheila Matthews, Cerritos Area Alumnae14Chapter

Contra Costa Alumnae Supports UNCF The Contra Costa Alumnae Chapter raised money and awareness to the importance of higher education by participating in the UNCF/Northern California Area Office 27th walk-a-thon on Sept. 17, 2011 at Lake Merritt in beautiful downtown Oakland. Sorors gladly accepted the challenge of ensuring that a college education was accessible to deserving students by eliminating financial barriers with college scholarships. The chapters raised more than $1,492, exceeding the chapter’s goal by 149 percent from last year. Hundreds participated in the festive 5K walkrun followed by an afternoon of food, entertainment and a special health and education fair. Submitted by Soror Darrylyn Swift, Contra Costa Alumnae Chapter

Hawaii Moves Closer to 2013 Mile Goal Hawaii Alumnae Chapter is moving and shaking towards the 2013 miles goal. On Oct. 16, 2011, sorors partnered with the Hawaii Chapter of the Links to raise awareness and funds for the Susan G. Komen Foundation. This walk added 3 additional miles to the chapters 521 total. This event was also supported by participants of the chapter’s Delta GEMS and EMBODI. Submitted by Soror Libra Forde, Hawaii Journalist


Hawaii Alumnae Sorors Committed to Enhancing Literacy With the illiteracy rate looming over 30 percent in some Oahu communities, the sorors of Hawaii Alumnae Chapter have been hard at work combating this epidemic through their Reading with the Keiki (Keiki means children) literacy program. For three years, sorors have partnered with Hawaii Literacy, an organization that provides tutoring to increase children’s exposure to literature. Every month, sorors and members of the chapter’s Delta GEMS and EMBODI programs, visit Kuhio Park Terrace and Mayor Wright low-income housing projects. The chapter reads and does arts and craft activities with children ages 5- to 12-years-old. Submitted by Soror Endora Crawford, Hawaii Alumnae Chapter

Hawaii Alumnae at Premier of “The Help” The Hawaii Alumnae Chapter was honored to attend the premier of “The Help” on Aug. 4, 2011 as the guest of the Hawaii Chapter of the NAACP. The chapter was one of dozens across the country to respond to the request by Delta’s National Commission on Arts and Letters Project ART: Actively Redefining Together initiative. Through Project ART, members support positive forms of entertainment—music, film, radio, television, visual and literary arts—while expressing concern for those art forms that promote harmful messages and negative stereotypes. The award-winning film features three members of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority—Cicely Tyson, Aunjanue Ellis and Flo Roach. Submitted by Soror Libra Forde, Hawaii Journalist


Los Angeles Alumnae Hosts Screening of “The Help” More than 150 members of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., family and friends attended a screening of the film “The Help” at the newly renovated Rave Theater at the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza on Aug. 13, 2011. The Los Angeles Alumnae Chapter’s Arts and Letters Committee arranged a viewing of the historical depiction of some of the struggles faced by African Americans. “You is kind. You is smart. You is important,” those were the words of the character of Aibileen in the movie. Aibileen offered those meaningful words to Mae Mobley in the movie “The Help” in an attempt to instill courage and positive self-esteem. Those words echo the work that the Los Angeles Alumnae Chapter is doing with its own Dr. Betty Shabazz Delta Academy, Dr. Jeanne L. Noble Delta GEMS and EMBODI programs. The chapter, through these programs works to instill courage, pride and self-esteem in African-American youth. The chapter was one of dozens across the country to respond to the request by Delta’s National Commission on Arts and Letters Project ART: Actively Redefining Together initiative. Through Project ART, members support positive forms of entertainment—music, film, radio, television, visual and literary arts— while expressing concern for those art forms that promote harmful messages and negative stereotypes. Submitted by Tenika Jackson, Los Angeles Alumnae Chapter 17

Los Angeles South Bay Brings Community Out to Pay Tribute to Freedom’s Sisters Exhibit

Los Angeles South Bay’s Social Action Committee with the support of the Cerritos Area Alumnae Chapter spearheaded a tour of the Freedom’s Sisters exhibit at the Museum of Tolerance on Jan. 8. More than 125 guests representing various Southern California Delta chapters, members of the National Pan-Hellenic Council, family and friends attended the event. The exhibition is introduced by a video and shows interactive images of 20 African-American women who fought for equality, including 10 members of Delta Sigma Theta: Ida B. Wells Barnett, Mary McLeod Bethune, Shirley Chisholm, Charlayne Hunter-Gault, Fannie Lou Hamer, Dorothy I. Height, Barbara Jordan, Betty Shabazz, Mary Church Terrell and Myrlie Evers-Williams. “The Freedom’s Sisters exhibit reminds us we cannot stop,” said Soror Loretta Allen of the San Diego Alumnae Chapter. “We have a job to continue!” The visitors left inspired to choose issues wisely, firmly stand up and make their voices heard. Submitted by Soror Aisha K. Childs, Los Angeles South Bay Alumnae Chapter


Los Angeles South Bay at Annual Sepia Fashion Revue Step inside the huge ballroom and you’ll be mesmerized with an awesome array of stunning crimson and cream garments worn by classy, dynamic members of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. Their garments are accessorized with diamond bracelets, furry hats and drop-dead-gorgeous shoes, creating an upscale atmosphere. The described scene is the audience at the 35th Annual Sepia Fashion Revue & Luncheon, hosted by the Los Angeles South Bay Alumnae Chapter on Dec. 11, 2011. Each year men, women, children and sorors all gather to gaze their eyes on the hottest, high-end trends. The traveling Sepia Fashion Revue features the Vogue-Esquire Models of Chicago under the direction of Carlton M. Hamilton. The monies raised from the show support the chapter’s programs. Some of the programs include scholarships for middle and high school students who win a writing contest. The chapter also supports a Debutante program, EMBODI, Delta Academy/Gems, His Sheltering Arms and the food distribution program. Guests also have an opportunity to visit vendors selling a range of items including fur coats, Greek-letter paraphernalia and painting. Submitted by Soror Debonee’ Ross-Rolland, Los Angeles South Bay Alumnae Chapter

On the Road to Meeting Reclamation Challenge The Pomona Valley Alumnae Chapter has committed to meeting the Farwest Region challenge of reclamation, retention and reward. The Membership Services Committee has been busy laying the foundation for a successful R³ year. The chapter started the year with a “Delta Roundup” held on Saturday, Sept. 17. Chapter members were given the challenge of inviting a line sister, Delta friend or Delta acquaintance for a day of food, fun and fellowship. The surprise theme was “old school” and the day started with a warm welcome followed by a morning stretch. “Get to know you” activities gave sorors an opportunity to meet and get to know new sisters as well as renew old friendships. Immediately following lunch, the sense of surprise was overwhelming as sorors enjoyed old school games like jacks, tic-tac-toe, Twister, pick-up-stix, Hula-Hoop, musical chairs and the dreaded doubledutch. The day culminated with an “old school” dance competition. At the end of the day, three sorors were reclaimed and another six sorors came back for the October chapter meeting and were reclaimed. Submitted by Soror Robin P. Fisher, Pomona Valley Alumnae Chapter


Portland Alumnae Chapter is Back Home! It was in June 2010, at the end of the sorority year, that the members of the Portland Alumnae Chapter had to leave their home. The 1960s style gas station had been the chapter’s meeting place since being acquired in 1992 by Beta Psi charter member June Runnels Key. The chapter was renamed Portland Alumnae Chapter in 1993. Soror Key had been instrumental in negotiating the purchase of the building since it had been her dream to have a “Delta House,” for sorors to effectively carry out Delta’s mission to serve the community. After years of repairing equipment and patching up the building, the chapter decided to renovate. With the support of Piedmont Rose Connection, Inc., the nonprofit arm of the Portland Alumnae Chapter, the chapter launched a fundraising campaign. Undeterred by the condition of the neighborhood “eyesore” sorors set out to transform their new home into a sustainable building that includes onsite energy production, water treatment, eco-friendly building materials as well as a community garden on the adjoining vacant lot. On Aug. 10, 2011, sorors celebrated their long awaited milestone with an Open House and moved back into the newly renovated June Key Delta Community Center. The community welcomed the change on the corner of north Albina avenue and Ainsworth street with open arms. Submitted by Soror Lesley Unthank, Oregon Journalist

San Francisco Alumnae Provides Meals to Homeless and Needy In the spirit of giving and public service, sorors of the San Francisco Alumnae Chapter shared some treats with needy families on Halloween at the Providence Baptist Church homeless shelter in October. Sorors prepared a meal for distribution to the dozens of families who receive services from the church’s shelter. The chapter dedicates time to the shelter every fifth Monday of the year – at least five times per year. For those sorors who participate, it is a “very humbling and fulfilling experience.” The Providence Foundation of San Francisco is the nonprofit philanthropic arm of the 65 year-old Providence Baptist Church, a 2,000-member cornerstone of the predominately African-American Bay View Hunters Point community. The shelter also provides housing to 125 homeless clients nightly. Submitted by Sorors Leslie Price Gittens and Candace Hill Lewis, San Francisco Alumnae Chapter


San Francisco Alumnae Participates in UNCF Walk-a-Thon

The San Francisco Alumnae Chapter participated in the United Negro College Fund Walk-a-thon along with other Bay Area organizations, business and groups on Sept. 17, 2011. The chapter raised more than their goal with a donation of $3,000. Soror Sonji Walker was the chapter team captain and led the group’s walk around Lake Merritt in Oakland, Calif. Submitted by Soror Leslie Price Gittens, San Francisco Alumnae Chapter

San Francisco Alumnae Hosts Voter Education Forum The Social Action Committee of the San Francisco Alumnae Chapter held a Voter Education Forum on Oct. 8, 2011, one month before the city of San Francisco’s election. The event was co-sponsored by the San Francisco-Peninsula Alumnae Chapter along with the NAACP, Black Women Organized for Political Action (BWOPA), Jones Memorial Church Outreach and the Charles Houston Bar Association. The event was packed with constituents who addressed the candidates on topics such as race relations, crime and job creations. In addition, a candidates’ forum provided an opportunity for the public to ask questions to those running for the office of mayor, sheriff and district attorney. Also, the new ranked choice voting system and an overview of the local ballot measures were discussed. Incumbent San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee was among the candidates who participated. Soror Elicia Phillips, chair of the Social Action Committee and Soror Murlene Randall, served as moderators for the event. Members of both chapters provided added services. Submitted by Soror Leslie Price Gittens, San Francisco Alumnae Chapter


San Jose Alumnae’s Community Luncheon with 21st National President Marcia Fudge U.S. Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-OH), 21st national president of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. served as keynote speaker at San Jose Alumnae Chapter’s Community Luncheon on Oct. 22, 2011. She delivered a passionate speech addressing the theme, “For Such a Time as This – Igniting the Social Consciousness of a Community,” while providing attendees with information about important congressional issues. San Jose Chapter President Tina Daniels welcomed attendees and the event chair, Traci Williams, introduced guests. Special guests included 17th National President Mona H. Bailey, Regional Representative Parris Moore, past Farwest Regional Directors Doris Britt and Tressa Williams, and national board member Regina Pridgeon. The event featured a premiere screening of selected scenes from the Kool World Media documentary, “The Joyce Ann Gaines Story.” The film’s producer, Dorothy Holford, introduced the film, which provides accounts of the Watts Riots and the untold story of Joyce Ann Gaines. The San Jose State Gospel Choir also performed under the direction of Soror Virginia Roberts. Proceeds from the event went towards the chapter’s community projects. San Jose Alumnae Chapter’s Community Luncheon. Left to Right: San Jose Alumnae Chapter Chaplain Cassandra Holland, 17th National President Mona H. Bailey, 21st National President and U.S. Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-OH), past Regional Direct and San Jose Alumnae Chapter member Tressa L. Williams, and Kool World Media producers Dorothy Holford and Kristine Lowe.

San Jose Alumnae sorors during the chapter’s Community Luncheon: Dr. Shenee’ Slade, Andrea Boutte, Nichelle Flentroy (chapter vice president) and Tina Daniels (chapter president).

Submitted by Soror Traci Williams, San Jose Alumnae Chapter

Tokyo Alumnae Runs for the Cure/Walks for Life in Japan The Tokyo Alumnae Chapter had the privilege to support and participate in Run for the Cure/Walk for Life 2011 in Tokyo, Japan on Nov. 26, 2011. The chapter joined hundreds of participants in the event, which is dedicated to eradicating breast cancer. “It was a perfect fall day in Hibiya Park for hundreds of men and women to come together and support finding a cure for breast cancer,” said Soror Shekita Carter, chair of program, planning and development. “We felt honored to be among survivors and supporters. Sorors ran and walked the 5K keeping in mind those women who are no longer here and those still battling the disease.” The Tokyo Alumnae Chapter is dedicated to providing rigorous programs and community service

opportunities that align with the sorority’s FivePoint Program Thrust. The women of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. put aside themselves and took steps to improve mankind. The event raises money that funds breast cancer education, timely screenings and treatment for women in Japan. The event ended with a Japanese Taiko drum closing ceremony. Submitted by Soror Yvette Lowery-Andrews, Tokyo Alumnae Chapter22

Delta Prayer Breakfast Inspires Leaders in the Community Anybody passing by the ballroom might have thought it was a Sunday morning praise and worship service. Guests rose as one, hands clapping, arms raised, some jumping up and down in an ecstatic dance of the Holy Spirit. It was not a Sunday church service but the Ventura County Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc.’s 2nd annual Delta Prayer Breakfast held Saturday, Sept. 24 at the Courtyard Marriott Hotel in Oxnard. More than 200 guests attended, transforming the ballroom into a revival of sorts. The event’s theme, “Inspiring Our Community Servants to Build a Stronger Ventura County: The Fruits of the Spirit,” was inspired by Galatians 5:22. “But the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.” The Rev. Andrea Humphrey, pastor of H.O.P.E.’s House Christian Ministries in the San Fernando Valley, served as keynote speaker. Oxnard Police Chief the Rev. Jeri Williams, Soror Emma Waits, a pastor of Evangel Christian Fellowship, and Rev. Anna Lee Mulford of St. Paul United Methodist Church were among the participating ministers. Ventura County Supervisor John C. Zaragoza, who presented a special commendation to the chapter, also applauded the organization’s efforts. Guests also were treated to the music ministry of Pastor Michael McCurtis and DaLoria SmithMondesir, stars of the musical comedy and stage play “Celebrate Mama!” Psalmists Chanté Moore and Lisa Houston returned for a second year in a row. The chapter was blessed with support from across the Farwest Region with sorors from Century City, Compton, Los Angeles, Lancaster, Los Angeles South Bay and San Fernando Valley attending the event. “Great things happen when people who love God come together in the spirit of unity and love for each other,” said Shanté Morgan-Durisseau, president of VCAC. Submitted by Soror Kellie Duncan, Ventura County Alumnae Chapter 23

ColleCollegiate Corner Collegiate Corner Collegiate Corner Collegiate Corner

Mu Eta Chapter Promotes Message:

Farwest Region Salutes Leadership DELTA Class Four collegiate sorors from the Farwest Region successfully completed the 2011 Leadership DELTA, a yearlong national leadership program sponsored by Delta Sigma Theta and General Electric Company. Sorors Nimo Sheikh-Ali (Omicron Chi Chapter), Barika Burton (Kappa Chapter), Parris Moore (Epsilon Nu Citywide Chapter) and Letia Solomon (Mu Chi Chapter) are the newest graduates of Leadership DELTA. “Leadership Delta is truly a once in a lifetime opportunity. I have seen this program bless soror after soror with i nt ernshi ps and employment opportunities,” said National Second Vice President Chelsea C. Hayes. “The program is designed in such a way that caters to the direct needs of the collegiate soror.” The program is geared toward collegiate sorors majoring in mathematics, science, engineering or technology, computer science, business (finance, management and marketing). The next program is scheduled to begin July 2012 and will focus on cultivating and enhancing strong leadership skills through networking and designing career goals, as well as preparing sorors to enter the workplace using these skills in their future endeavors. Each collegiate soror in the program will be paired with a mentor in her field of study in an effort to provide knowledge and support throughout the entire program. Sorors are highly encouraged to apply to this prestigious program. Applications are being accepted through May 5, 2012. For more information, visit: Submitted by Soror Tara Ignont, Farwest Regional Collegiate Journalist 24


CollegiateNEWS Today, more and more African-American women are wearing natural hair styles from coils, to Sisterlocks to Afros. These women are choosing to “free” themselves from relaxers and “European” standards of beauty.

In an effort to educate women about healthy hair, whether natural or relaxed, the Mu Eta Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. hosted a forum called “I Am Not My Hair: Guide to a Healthy Hair Journey” at the University Of Arizona, in the Martin Luther King Building in 2011. A panel shared stories about how their “hair journeys.” Submitted by Soror Nadira Byles, Mu Eta Chapter

Collegiate Sorors Promote Human Trafficking Awareness During the month of November, sorors from Xi Lambda Chapter at California State University, Fullerton brought awareness to the local and international issues surrounding human trafficking. On Nov. 1, 2011, sorors collaborated with Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. and Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc. to view a documentary about how Californian children, women, and men are forced into the sex labor market each year. The film discussed how profitable the human trafficking market actually is and highlighted the physical as well as psychological abuse these victims experience. Also in attendance was a representative from the Orange County Salvation Army who shared testimonies and reports from former trafficking clients. Students were encouraged to become advocates to end the practice of human trafficking and received in-depth information on ways they can make a difference. Submitted by Soror Nailah Legohn, Xi Lambda Chapter


Soror Soror Spotlight

Soror Spotlight

Soror Spotlight

Soror Spotlight

Soror Spotlight

Angela Allen: Nurse of the Year Soror Angela Allen, a member of the Phoenix Metropolitan Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., received the Nurse of the Year Award for Community Service from the National Black Nurses Association (NBNA) on July 15, 2011. The award recognizes outstanding and exemplary community service within in the nursing profession. Soror Allen currently is a John A. Hartford Scholar doctoral student and clinical Instructor/coordinator at Arizona State University College of Nursing and Health Innovation and maintains a clinical/resource nurse position at Banner Boswell Health System. She has a bachelor’s degree in nursing and a master’s in teaching from Wayne State University. She also has an education specialist degree from Oakland University in Michigan and holds two certifications as a rehabilitation nurse and education specialist. Submitted by Soror Traci Williams, Phoenix Metropolitan Alumnae Chapter

Soror Nadira Byles: Helping Ease the Trauma of Court for Children and Teens Soror Nadira Byles, a senior majoring in sociology with a minor in pre-law, was named one of the founding educators for Kids’ Court School at the University Of Arizona. Soror Byles is the journalist for the Mu Eta Chapter and plans to go law school and practice law. The program helps to educate young people ages 4- to 17-years-old who are scheduled to appear in court about the process. Research suggests that the Kids Court School can decrease their courtrelated stress and increase their credibility as witnesses, thus helping youth be effective when they take the stand. Submitted by Soror Charmainge Jones, Mu Eta Chapter

Soror Valerie Churchwell: The Skies the Limit Soror Valerie Churchwell, a member of the Phoenix Metropolitan Alumnae Chapter, was recently named the community outreach manager for Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport. She is responsible for outreach efforts promoting the utilization of small, disadvantaged, minority, women-owned subcontractors and businesses for aviation-related projects. Prior to joining the city of Phoenix, she served as the director of community affairs for Turner Construction Co. in Arizona, responsible for managing corporate, community and educational programs. Soror Churchwell is the president and founder of the Arizona Dream Builder Foundation, a nonprofit organization created to celebrate students who are committed to social justice while making positive changes within their individual communities. This unique charity provides internships and scholarships to high school seniors to help them reach their educational and community goals. Submitted by Soror Traci Williams, Phoenix Metropolitan Alumnae Chapter


SororSPOTLIGHT Soror Jocelyn Freeman Garrick, M.D. Soror Jocelyn Freeman Garrick, a member of the Berkeley Bay Area Alumnae Chapter and the National Program Planning and Development Committee. Soror Garrick serves as the vice president of Mentoring in Medicine, an organization whose mission is to address health care disparities by increasing the diversity of the health care workforce. She has also implemented a summer internship to expose high school and college students to emergency medicine practice. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of California at Berkeley, where she was initiated into Kappa Chapter. She went on to attend medical school at the University of Southern California; attended the Albert Einstein College of Medicine-Jacobi/Montefiore Emergency Medicine Residency Program in the Bronx, NY and served as chief resident during her final year in 2001. She is currently the attending physician at Alameda County Medical Center-Highland Hospital in Oakland, Calif. and Medical Director of the Alameda County Family Justice Center. Submitted by Soror Gwendolyn Mosley, Berkeley Bay Area Alumnae Chapter

Soror Rashida Jeffery Inducted into Pima County Sports Hall of Fame Soror Rashida Jeffery, a member of Tucson Alumnae Chapter, was inducted into the Pima County Sports Hall of Fame on Oct. 23, 2011. Soror Jeffery attended Tucson Magnet School from 1988 to 1992, and lettered in volleyball, basketball, and track and field all four years. She also was captain of the girls’ basketball team her junior and senior seasons. She received a full basketball scholarship to the University of Southern California, where she was part of the Pac-10 championship team during the 1993-1994 season. Soror Jeffery plays volleyball with the Southwest Volleyball Adult Club Team that won Winter League championships in 2007, 2008 and 2009. She is currently head boys basketball coach at San Miguel Catholic High School in Tucson, and volunteers with the Pop Warner Football team and YMCA as part of her community service work with the sorority. Submitted by Dr. Rosanne Neal, Tucson Alumnae Chapter

Soror Jawana McFadden Awarded CalVet Woman of the Year Soror Jawana McFadden of the Los Angeles Alumnae Chapter was recently featured in LMU, Loyola Marymount University magazine, discussing her military service and work with the Inner City Law Center in the skid row area of Los Angeles. Soror McFadden is a 2004 graduate of LMU. She served in the U.S. Army National Guard from September 1997 to September 2010. She won multiple decorations, awards and certificates of appreciation. In October 2011, she was awarded the Southern California CalVet Woman of the Year award by the California Department of Veterans Affairs. Last summer, McFadden clerked at the Inner City Law Center in the skid row neighborhood of Los Angeles helping low-income and homeless veterans, especially women who are vets. In September, she reenlisted in the military to attend Officer Candidate School and took leave as a student at Loyola Law School. Submitted by Soror Sharee Sanders, Esq., Los Angeles Alumnae Chapter 27

Soror Wanda F. Moore Makes Heart Health Education a Matter of the Heart Soror Wanda F. Moore, member of the Tucson Alumnae Chapter and Arizona State Coordinator, received the 2011 University of Arizona Sarver Heart Center’s Mary Ann Fay Heart Health Advocate of the Year Award on Oct. 15, 2011. Soror Moore serves on the advisory board of the University of Arizona Sarver Heart Center, as chair of the Minority Outreach Program at University of Arizona Sarver Heart Center. She also is a member and chair of the Community Coalition for Heart Health Education for Women of Color, with the University Women Heart Health Education Committee and chair of Tucson Alumnae’s Physical and Mental Health Committee Under Soror Moore’s leadership, the chapter was able to increase the participation of women of color at the University of Arizona’s Sarver Heart Center luncheon by 40 percent. Submitted by Soror Cheryl Sims, Tucson Alumnae Chapter

Soror Barbara Parker Soror Barbara Parker of Berkeley Bay Area Alumnae has been engaged in transforming lives through her work in the community. Soror Parker has practiced law for more than 30 years, since graduating from Harvard Law School in 1975. She has served as counsel for the federal, state and local government. She is a native of Seattle, Wash. On July 19, 2011, Soror Parker was appointed to the post of city attorney for the city of Oakland. She is president of the Black Adoption Placement and Research Center, Inc. which has for more than 20 years endeavored to find permanent homes for waiting children. She is also a member of Charles Houston Bar Association. The State Bar Board of Governors appointed Soror Parker to serve a three-year term on the Judicial Council. The Judicial Council of California is the constitutional and statutory body charged with governance of the judicial branch and is chaired by the Chief Justice of the California Supreme Court. Submitted by Soror Gwendolyn Mosley, Berkeley Bay Area Alumnae Chapter

Soror Mijiza Sanchez: Director of the Multicultural Resource Center Soror Mijiza Sanchez, a member of San Francisco Alumnae Chapter, was named as the inaugural director of the Multicultural Resource Center at the University of California San Francisco. The center promotes campus culture of inclusion and equity, cultural competency and interprofessional collaboration, as well as supports the recruitment and retention of diverse faculty, staff, students and trainees. In her role as director, she will chair a task force with broad representation from across the university to determine its function and scope. Soror Sanchez envisions the center being a warm, welcoming space that will serve as a bridge to the entire campus community when it opens this fall. Submitted by Soror Leslie Price Gittens, San Francisco Alumnae Chapter


Soror Juanita Sanford Blazing Trails Soror Juanita Sanford of the Ventura County Alumnae Chapter was recently recognized by Farmers Insurance Group as the first agency in the Pacific Zone to implement the AMP Program, a pioneering new technology. The Pacific Zone includes the states of California, Oregon, Washington and Nevada. Soror Sanford has been blazing trails in Farmer’s for decades. When she opened her agency 27 years ago, she was one of only three female agents/owners in the Pacific Zone. Submitted by Soror Kellie Duncan, Ventura County Alumnae Chapter

Soror Kendra Stowe Inducted into International Honor Society Soror Kendra Stowe, a member of the Phoenix Metropolitan Alumnae Chapter, was inducted into Kappa Delta Pi, an international honor society in education on Nov. 12, 2011. Kappa Delta Pi was founded at the University of Illinois in 1911.

She earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology in 1997 and a master’s degree in social work in 1999 at the University of Alabama. She has worked as a licensed mental health therapist and program coordinator for a child development centers. Currently, she coordinates summer academy academic and enrichment programs and an after-school enrichment K-12 program for the local school district. She is also pursuing a second master’s degree in education with an emphasis on early childhood education through Arizona State University. Submitted by Soror Traci Williams, Phoenix Metropolitan Alumnae Chapter

Soror Verna Washington: Librarian of the Year Soror Verna Washington, a member of Phoenix Metropolitan Alumnae Chapter, was named the 2011Follett School Librarian of the Year Award. This award is sponsored by Follett School Library Resources and is given to an individual who serves as a model for implementing the American Association of School Librarians (AASL) National Standards. The award is given for demonstrating notable and outstanding performance in collaboration with classroom teachers, provide educational leadership, use technology to improve service, and advocate for school libraries. She serves on the Phoenix Metropolitan Alumnae chapter’s Scholarship Committee. Submitted by Soror Traci Williams, Phoenix Metropolitan Alumnae Chapter


Omega Omega Omega

Omega Omega

Omega Omega

Omega Omega

Omega Omega: Soror V’Esser McDonald A Life of Service Soror V’Esser McDonald, a charter member of the Phoenix Metropolitan Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. passed away on April 13, 2011. She was born in Bradley, Ark. on Nov. 8, 1915. She attended Lincoln University in Missouri, where she was initiated into Alpha Theta Chapter in 1935. In 1936, she graduated as valedictorian of her class with a bachelor’s degree in education. Through her career as an educator, she touched the lives of many children and families. She was a remedial reading teacher, a school social worker and an administrator within Phoenix Elementary School District. Soror McDonald received a master’s degree in special education. She later became the planning principal for Faith North School, one of several schools throughout the state of Arizona dedicated to the education of students with cognitive disabilities. In 1971, Soror McDonald was named the inaugural principal of the program. Her involvement with Faith North School attracted the attention of many university programs, school districts and researchers who sought to learn current practices in the education of children with special needs and lead to the establishment of many community partnerships.

V’Esser McDonald November 8, 1915 – April 13, 2011

Soror McDonald received numerous professional and community awards including the World’s Who’s Who of Women, the Arizona Education Association School Bell Award, the Administrator’s Award from Salt River Music Educators, and the Epsilon Sigma Alpha International Diana Award. Submitted by Soror V’Esser McDonald, Phoenix Metropolitan Alumnae Chapter


Omega Omega: Soror Teresa Hughes Staggers, Pioneer Legislator Former Democratic assemblywoman and state senator, Soror Teresa Hughes Staggers, passed away on Nov. 13, 2011. Soror Hughes Staggers served in the California State Legislature for 25 years, giving her the distinction of being the woman with the longest serving record of service and the first woman as well as the first African American to serve on the Senate Rules Committee. Raised in Harlem, she attended Hunter College in New York, graduating with a bachelor’s degree in physiology and public health. She was initiated into Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. at Rho Chapter at Hunter College. She received a master’s degree in education administration at New York University. She moved to Los Angeles in the late 1960s to work on her doctorate in education administration from the Claremont Graduate School, after which she became an assistant professor of education at the California State University, Los Angeles. Soror Hughes Staggers will long be remembered for her strong advocacy for educational opportunities for all Californians. Highlights of her legislative career include authoring the legislation that created the California Museum of AfroAmerican History and Culture. The Los Angeles Unified School District memorialized Soror Hughes Staggers by naming an elementary school in the city of Cudahy after her. Soror Hughes Staggers was a dedicated member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority. She was a Golden Life member and former president of the Queens Alumnae Chapter. After moving to California, she became a member of the Los Angeles Alumnae Chapter and served as the adviser to the collegiate chapter at Cal State L.A. She is survived by her husband, Dr. Frank E. Staggers, Sr.; her two children: attorney Vincent Hughes and Los Angeles Superior Court Judge, Soror Deirdre Hughes Hill; three stepchildren; four grandchildren; eight step-grandchildren; and two step-great-grandchildren. Submitted by Soror Shanté Morgan-Durisseau, Farwest Regional Journalist

Omega Omega: Soror Carolyn L. Jones, US Army Veteran Soror Carolyn L. Jones, an active member of Hawaii Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. passed away on Nov. 14, 2011. She was born in Columbia, SC on July 9, 1967. She was initiated into Columbia Alumnae Chapter in 1996. Soror Jones was a Army veteran with many meritorious awards. Soror Jones courageously fought a long battle with breast cancer. Her courage, love, and faith were amazing examples for each Hawaii Alumnae member. She will be missed by many. Submitted by Soror Libra Forde, Hawaii Journalist LTC Carolyn L. Jones July 9, 1967-Nov.14, 2011


Welcome to the inaugural edition of the Farwest Focus for the 2011-2014 triennium. We strive to ensure that the message of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. is clear and accurate and that our stories are shared internally and externally. Thanks to all the chapters who submitted articles to this issue, the Technology Task Force for their assistance, the journalists and photographers who contributed. We look forward to sharing the news about all the good work you’re doing in your communities. The Submission Guidelines are:        

Email articles to: Articles should be attached as a Microsoft Word Document, using Time Roman font, 12-point. Please include information such as the results/outcome of your event, impact on the community, as well as the “who, what, when, where, why and how.” Submit pictures as separate attachments with the chapter’s name and title of the article. Photos should be at least 300 dpi, jpeg or higher resolution. Photos should identify the name and title of individuals included (left to right). Group photos should identify the group. For example, Delta Alumnae Chapter members. Please include the name of the Soror who submitted the article inside the document. Articles should be no more than 300 words. All articles should be approved by your chapter president before submitting.

The journalists listed on the adjoining page are available to assist, should you have any questions about the guidelines.


Shanté Morgan Durisseau

Tara Ignont

Farwest Regional Journalist

Farwest Regional Collegiate Journalist


Farwest Region Journalists Appointed Officers ShantĂŠ Morgan-Durisseau, Farwest Regional Journalist (Ventura County Alumnae) Tara Ignont, Regional Collegiate Journalist (Lambda Tau Chapter)

State Journalists Alaska Journalist, Valerie Fletcher-Mitchell (Alaska Alumnae) Arizona Journalist, Jay Dianne Johnson (Tempe Alumnae) No. California Journalist, LaConnie Taylor-Jones (Contra Costa Alumnae) So. California Journalist, Monica Groves (San Fernando Valley Alumnae) Hawaii Journalist, Libra Forde (Hawaii Alumnae) Japan Journalist, Shatanda Johnson (Okinawa Alumnae) Nevada Journalist, Tya R. Mathis (Las Vegas Alumnae) Oregon Journalist, Lesley Unthank (Portland Alumnae) Republic of Korea Journalist, Katresha Bailey (ROK Alumnae) ex officio, Amber Celeste Wilton (Rolling Hills/Palos Verdes Alumnae) and Libra M. White (San Jose Alumnae)



Farwest Focus  

The Farwest Focus is the publication of the Farwest Region of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.

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