A Publication for the Farwest Region of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.
Convention Edition, Summer 2008
In This Issue:
Collegiate Corner Page 7
Social Action Page 8
Sorors held Financial Fortitude events across the region. See pages 4-6 for related stories.
Soror Spotlight Page 10
Delta Choraliers Celebrate 50 Years of Joyful Noise
On May 24, 2008, the Los Angeles Delta Choraliers celebrated 50 stellar years of making music locally, regionally and nationally, by presenting a "free to the public" concert, consisting of traditional, spiritual and popular music. The Delta Choraliers began as a 15 member choral group in 1958, and were named by then Los Angeles Alumnae Chapter president, Thelma Johnson Mitchell. Now a 45 member
group, they continue to make beautiful music under the talented direction of their beloved director, Soror Danellen M. Joseph and assistant director, Soror Miriam W. White. In 1961, after hearing them sing at the regional conference in Portland, Oregon, the visionary 12th National President Dr. Jeanne L. Noble commissioned Soror Joseph to serve as co -chair of the National Arts and Letters Commission, and to produce a Delta
song book and record an album containing songs to be used nationally by all Delta chapters. Under the direction of Soror Joseph, the Delta Choraliers fulfilled such a mandate. In 1965, they formed the nucleus of the National Convention Choir, held in Los Angeles. They have participated as a group in most national conventions and regional conferences throughout the past five decades. Lauded for their melodic four-part
harmony, they have been invited to sing at a plethora of sorority events such as Foundersâ€˜ Day celebrations, as well as community events such as university songfests and Pan Hellenic Greek Reunion singing competitions. Adding to their rich history, the Delta Choraliers recently released a new CD of Delta Songs and of the 50th Anniversary Concert. Submitted by Sybil Thomas Coker, Los Angeles Alumnae Chapter
From the Regional Director Sorors, I am SO PROUD of you! The Farwest Region never ceases to amaze me. We asked for “Healthy, Wealthy and Wise,” and you produced the healthiest, wealthiest and wisest programs I have seen. Your work has truly exemplified the national theme of “One Mission, One Sisterhood: Empowering Communities through Committed Service.” As I look through the article submissions, my heart swells with pride to be part of an organization that is making such a visible impact on its community. When I went through the regional award submissions, I was blown away by the out of the box thinking and presentations by my creative sorors. My faithful, fearless and fabulous sorors of the Farwest – WELL DONE. It has been a pleasure serving you again this sorority year. As we gather in Orlando, I know we will inspire each other to take it to the next level. Let’s keep the momentum going for the 2008-2009 sorority year. Let’s make history together. Sisterly Love & Blessings,
Soror Tressa L. Williams Farwest Regional Director
Tressa L. Williams Tressa L. Williams Farwest Regional Director
From the Regional Representative Greetings Sorors, It gives me great pleasure as your Farwest Regional Representative to congratulate the sorors who graduated this sorority year. Thank you for making this a very exciting year. It is now time to transition to bigger and hopefully better things as alumnae members. I wish you the best of luck and a blessed future. This past year in this position has definitely been a learning experience. I have had many firsts as the Farwest Regional Representative. I attended my first Founders’ Day celebration, Collegiate Retreat, Collegiate Forum at Delta Days in the Nations Capitol and Delta Days in Sacramento. I have learned how important it is to attend events like these within the region and nationally. I can see the impact it has on the collegiates and what they bring back to their college campuses. I extend my deepest gratitude to the Collegiate Retreat host chapter sorors of Pi Psi chapter who did a FABULOUS job with only four sorors on campus at that time. I also want to thank my “50,000 coaches” who have prayed for me, been there through the good and bad, and supported me financially. I will need you more than ever this upcoming sorority year. I am confident that you will love what I have in store for the collegiates for 2008-2009. Look forward to more information on the next collegiate retreat, new collegiate chapters, and a fund-raiser to defray the cost for collegiates going to events such as Delta Days in the Nations Capitol and the Collegiate Retreat. Soror Monica M. Burns Farwest Regional Representative
I hope to see you all in Orlando! Yours in Delta,
Monica M. Burns Monica M. Burns Farwest Regional Representative
The Farwest Focus is a publication for the Farwest Region of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. Tressa L. Williams, Farwest Regional Director
Farwest Coffee Table Book
The Farwest Region is undertaking a tremendous and unique project of producing a new history document, in the form of a coffee table book, covering the years 1921-2008. Pre-order forms will be available during the Farwest Region luncheon at the 49th National Convention in Orlando, and will also be posted on regional website.
Monica M. Burns, Farwest Regional Representative
To be included, all chapters must submit the following information by October 30, 2008 to: Farwest.History@gmail.com
Libra White, Farwest Regional Journalist/Farwest Focus Editor
Nadirah Stills, Constant Contact Editor Joyce Williams, Regional Web Mistress Kea Hagan, National Information & Communications Committee Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. is a private, non-profit organization whose purpose is to provide assistance and support through established programs in local communities throughout the world. Founded in 1913, Delta Sigma Theta is a sisterhood of more than 200,000 predominately African American college educated women. The sorority currently has more than 900 chapters located in the United States, England, Japan, Germany, the Virgin Islands, Bermuda, the Bahamas and the Republic of Korea. The first chapter in the Farwest region was charted on the UC Berkeley campus in 1921. Today, the Farwest Region consists 90 chapters in the nine states of Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, and Washington. Japan (Okinawa and Tokyo) and the Republic of Korea (Seoul) are the international chapters that are a part of the Farwest Region.
www.dstfarwestregion.com PAGE 2
Chapter Name, Charter Date, Charter Location and Chapter Service Area Name(s) of who the chartering was performed by Number of Charter Members, and their full names Chapter's Annual Program(s) Chapter Website Address Awards and Recognition Chapter History, including the chartering story. Please send between 500 - 1500 words. Additional words will be considered for older chapters with more historical information. Chapter Photos, including charter members and historical photos. Please send high resolution photos (300 dpi) to ensure print quality.
Farwest Focus News and Ad Submissions The deadline for the Winter 2009 issue of the Farwest Focus — for both news and ad submissions — is December 12, 2008. Please visit the regional calendar on the Farwest website for the latest deadlines and information (including ad forms to download and news submission guidelines). Feel free to contact Farwest Regional Journalist Libra White with any additional questions at email@example.com.
Farwest Chapters Put National Sorority Theme Into Action The Fabulous Farwest Region has shown true commitment to advancing the overall mission of the sorority; the biennium theme of ―One Mission, One Sisterhood Empowering Communities Through Committed Service‖; and the charge of the Farwest Regional Director and Representative to continue to ―Reclaim Our Purpose Through Knowledge, Networking and Leadership.‖ During the 2007-2008 sorority year, the faithful and focused leadership team successfully brought the entire region together through three cluster meetings held in Phoenix, AZ, Los Angeles, CA and Seattle, WA; a collegiate retreat at UC Santa Cruz; and the 5th Annual Sisterhood Retreat in Tokyo, Japan. All of these events had record-breaking numbers in
attendance. They gave the regional director and representative an opportunity to share and reinforce their vision for the region, and gave sorors an opportunity to work on Delta Internal Development, share ideas, and fellowship. To promote the region‘s commitment to community service, one of the highlights of the 46th Farwest Regional Conference was the Farwest Regional Book Drive. More than 1,000 women brought over 1,000 children‘s books, which were distributed to four agencies in the surrounding communities of Santa Clara, CA, where the conference was held. Following the successful launch of the region-wide community service project, chapters made a commitment to continue to have collaborative service projects during the Founders‘ Day season. In Tokyo, Japan, the collaborative service projects were kicked off with Project DST (Delta Support Troops), where care packages were prepared Members of the Farwest Leadership Team during its Fall retreat.
and presented to each branch of service for deployed troops. In the Tri-State area, sorors planted trees for the environment in the backyard of a non-profit mental health facility near Tucson, Arizona. The Pacific Northwest area sorors brought clothing donations to the Portland, Oregon area for the Dress for Success Foundation. In both Northern and Southern California, the book drive collection continued and donations were made to local agencies in the Atwater Merced and Los Angeles South Bay areas. Participation and attendance by Farwest sorors at Delta Days in the Nations Capital continued to be high. Farwest chapters collaborated around the region to hold Delta Days at their state capitals and city halls. During the California and Washington state Delta Days, the inclusion of the Delta Academy and Delta GEMS young ladies continued to grow. This year alone sorors have taken more than 300 young ladies to the state capitols in the Farwest. The Farwest Region was honored to receive several grants from the SEE project, including the third place prize for the essay contest by Miss Natalie Young, a Delta Academy student from the High Desert Alumnae Chapter. With chapters overseas and throughout
the western states, electronic communication is the key to keeping the region connected. This is done through the region‘s email updates, ―Constant Contact,‖ which helps to drive readers to the highlights of the regional website. The well-visited regional website is designed to keep visitors informed, in-touch and inspired. The site is at www.dstfarwestregion.org. During the 2007-2008 sorority year, three editions of the Farwest Focus were published and distributed. The Fall edition highlighted the 46th Farwest Regional Conference. In conjunction with the National Healthy Lifestyle initiative, and the 50 Million Pound Challenge, the Winter edition featured chapter events focused on being ―Physically Fit in the Farwest.‖ The Convention edition features Financial Fortitude chapter events, showcasing that sorors are ―Financially Fit in the Farwest.‖ We put it all together to be a region that is ―Healthy, Wealthy and Wise.‖ From the Delta Dears to Delta Divas to the Dynamic Collegiate sorors, the Farwest Region remains focused on its purpose, faithful to the cause and forever fabulous! Submitted by Tressa L. Williams, Farwest Regional Director and Monica M. Burns, Farwest Regional Representative
Where are they Now? — Life After Serving In A Delta Office
Both on the slate for National First Vice President at the 49th National Convention, Past National Secretary Doris McEwen and Past Farwest Regional Director Thelma Day were asked, “What have you been up to since serving in your Delta office?”
Soror Doris McEwen Someone asked me recently, “So, Soror McEwen, what have you been up to since you left office as National Secretary two years ago?” I thought maybe she was asking because I looked tired or something. I didn‟t have to pause long before saying, “Wow, I guess I have been so busy, I have not had time to think about it.” Okay, here goes… It was truly an honor to serve Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., as National Secretary. It was a wonderful opportunity to gain knowledge of Delta at the executive level of Delta‟s leadership. Since leaving my office as National Secretary after two successful two-year terms, I have continued to be active in my local chapter, Seattle Alumnae, as well as on the national level. During 2006-2007, I chaired the Seattle Alumnae‟s major fundraising event, “Trajectory to Excellence,” where we brought in Honorary Member, Soror Sheryl Lee Ralph, to present to our community, “Sometimes I Cry,” a one-woman show that is written, directed and performed by Soror Ralph. I accepted the position as chair of the Social Action Committee for Seattle Alumnae for 2007-2008. We were instrumental in spearheading an initiative to adopt legislation to develop a statewide plan to address the achievement of African American students (HB 2722). I also conducted a “Sisterhood” Delta Internal Development (DID) for Seattle Alumnae and presented a “Social Action” DID during the Regional Cluster meeting held in the fall of 2007.
Soror Thelma Day On the national level, I serve on the National Program Planning and Development Committee as chair of the education initiatives (2006-2008). We launched the “Empower a School Initiative,” orchestrated a proposal to change the name of the GEMS program to the Dr. Jeanne L. Noble GEMS Institute, updated Delta Academy materials, and held an extremely successful National Educational Symposium in New Orleans, LA in September 2007. I have also had the pleasure of speaking at various a sundry chapters‟ Founders‟ Day events and/or scholarship galas and luncheons: Lansing Alumnae, El Paso (TX), Oklahoma City, Kentucky Statewide, Germany, Williamsburg (VA), and South Bend (IN).
In August, 2005, after completing a successful four-year tenure as Farwest Regional Director, the next journey of my professional life would begin. In fact, it officially began the week of the 2005 Farwest Regional Conference when I assumed my new post as a community college administrator for the Los Angeles Community College District where I serve as Business Administration Division Chair, the first African American woman elected to this position. In this position, I am responsible for supervising 100 faculty and staff in nine academic disciplines (Accounting, Business, International Business, Computer Applications and Office Technologies, Finance, Marketing, Management, Real Estate and Supervision). My primary role is to coordinate the planning and implementation of certificate and degree programs. The most crucial aspect of my job is interpreting and enforcing one of the most complex employee contracts in the higher educational system. Since vacating the position of regional director, my work in Delta continues. Currently, I am a member of the Past Presidents‟ Council, parliamentarian and chairperson of my Chapter‟s Doctrines Committee. I also continue to conduct Delta Internal Development (DID) workshops for Inglewood Alumnae and other chapters in the region. In December 2007, after completing 27 years of leadership and service to Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. on the local, regional and national levels, and with
After seven years as superintendent of Clover Park School District (Lakewood, WA), where I was the first African American female superintendent in the state of Washington, I moved to the University of Washington as a Distinguished P-12 Educator with the College of Education in Seattle in the fall of 2007. Through this experience, I continue to speak throughout the community in churches and community events, and also had the opportunity to teach for two weeks in Dubai (United Arab Emirates). Oh, by the way, did I tell you I also got married? On August 26, 2006, I married my soul mate, Jerry Harris. He is a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, so he understands my commitment to Delta. Yes, my sorors, I continue to be busy but I also believe that the old adage, “If you want something done, ask a busy person to do it,” rings true for me. I am honored to continue my service in Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. and look forward to continuing my service.
CONVENTION EDITION, SUMMER 2008
thoughtful prayer and deliberation, I made the decision to submit my application for the position of National First Vice President. In seeking this position, it is my desire to progressively secure the forward movement of the sorority‟s mission, ideals, goals and principles. My professional and Delta experiences have afforded me numerous opportunities to hone the essential skills needed to fulfill the duties and responsibilities of this position. Therefore, as a candidate for the position of National First Vice President, I propose to continue the mission and legacy of our illustrious sisterhood and to ensure that quality and consistent membership intake training is conducted throughout Grand Chapter. It is also my desire to develop effective and efficient Reclamation, Retention and Transition programs which will bring back to the organization those sorors who are currently inactive; stabilize the current membership; and provide a comprehensive blueprint that will help collegiate sorors seamlessly transition into alumnae chapters. Furthermore, I will institute an Alumnae Collegiate Academy that would improve the relationship between alumnae and collegiate sorors. By working closely with the regional directors, I will work to ensure that the individual and unique needs of each region are addressed and appropriately blended into the overarching mission of the sorority. The road to Orlando proves to be a very exciting one! Just as the Founders did in 1913, Grand Chapter delegates are looking for leaders who have unwavering leadership skills, untiring service and an unyielding commitment to the position they are seeking. I am that candidate! PAGE 3
The Farwest Focus is proud to showcase Financial Fortitude events from around the region.
Hawaii Alumnae Soror Teaches Financial Fitness
Financial Fortitude is the current Economic Development Program Initiative of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. Financial Fortitude is a process that will help program participants to set and define goals, develop a plan to achieve them, and put the plan into action. The process serves as a blueprint to address all aspects of personal finances.
Rolling Hills Palos Verdes Alumnae Introduces „ABCs of Credit‟ Seminar
The Rolling Hills Palos Verdes Alumnae Chapter held a seminar at the First American Title Company in Torrance, Calif., on May 31, 2008, entitled, ―The ABC‘s of Credit in a Changing Economic Environment.‖ Community members received bags from Genworth Financial and First American Title Company with information on credit,
title, taxes and home purchases. Corporate sponsors of the event were Chase Home Finance, Genworth and First American Title Company. Attendees were excited to hear first hand experience from community members who shared their stories on how they purchased a home and how their credit impacted buying one. Chapter sorors found it especially rewarding to know they were helping the single parents and college students who were among those in the audience. With the energy and excitement exemplified, sorors will continue to carry the torch in financial fortitude and help with the under representation of minorities in home purchases and financing. This is the first of many seminars the chapter will conduct in a continued effort to service the needs of its community. Submitted by Rena Nash, Rolling Hills Palos Verdes Alumnae Chapter
In the throes of a mortgage meltdown, a national credit crisis, the reality of a pending recession, and the rising costs of higher education, its easy to see tough times are ahead. Soror Monica Lasker of the Hawaii Alumnae Chapter is helping her community become financially savvy by providing monthly advice and seminars on how to survive the looming economic crisis by remaining fiscally viable in an unstable monetary environment. Utilizing the ―Money Smart‖ program, Soror Lasker is helping smart
women to finish rich by teaching the principles of financial fitness. Soror Lasker, also a licensed Real Estate Agent, is committed to helping firsttime homebuyers, achieve the American dream of home ownership. In addition, Soror Lasker offers financial counseling to active-duty military personnel and their families, and lends her knowledge and expertise to her fellow sorors as she continues to embrace the Financial Fortitude national initiative. Submitted by Tracy Price-Thompson, Hawaii Alumnae Chapter
San Jose Alumnae Teaches Budgeting and Money Management Skills to Teens The San Jose Alumnae Chapter held a workshop for its IMAGES teens entitled, ―Money in the Bank — Shawty What You Think?‖ Soror Yvonne Jordan spoke to the young ladies about ever ything they would need to learn about money management. Topics included savings, credit cards, loans, investing, life and health insurance, and retirement. They also played a finance game, ―An Income of Her Own,‖ which reinforced budgeting skills. This was one of ten workshops held this sorority year for IMAGES, a San Jose Alumnae Chapter program which started in 1993. The program encourages higher education and career aspirations in African American females between of 13-18. Other workshop topics this year included ―Charting your course to graduation,‖ ―Hire me: Let me show you Why,‖ ―Exercise and Healthy Living,‖ and ―Video Vixens/How to Present Yourself.‖ Submitted by Donna Simmons, San Jose Alumnae Chapter
Ogden Alumnae Discusses Financial Freedom in Salt Lake City, UT
The Ogden Alumnae Chapter, representing sorors from Ogden and Salt Lake City, Utah, conducted a ―Financial Freedom‖ workshop on January 26, 2008 at the Salt Lake City Library. The workshop was led by Soror Deidra Townsend. Representatives from three companies (UFirst, Century 21, and Financial Peace) provided attendees with information on best money managing strategies, how to own a home, and how to make your money work for you. Each presentation lasted from 10-12 minutes. The 40 people in attendance thought the information was great. Submitted by Michelle Love-Day, Ogden Alumnae Chapter PAGE 4
San Jose Alumnae Chapter Hosts Economic Empowerment Workshop The San Jose Alumnae Chapter held an Economic Empowerment and Financial Awareness Panel on April 5, 2008. Approximately 50 guests were welcomed by Soror Tamu Gramby, chapter president, and Farwest Regional Director (and San Jose Alumnae member) Tressa L. Williams. Soror Cynthia Cooper, the chapter‘s Social Action Committee chair, introduced the panelists: Gregory Meyer from Meriwest Credit Union, who dispelled the myths around credit accounts and credit reports; veteran Realtors Linda and Michael Colar from Keller and Williams, who provided insights into buying and selling a home in the current market; Jerry Nightingale of the Nightingale Financial Advisory, who discussed ―the rule of 72,‖ how a good investment will double in value every 72 months if you left it there
for 30 years; and Elza Minor from the Hartnell College Business Development Center of Salinas, who discussed how to start a business and the need for a business plan. The final presenter was Farwest Regional Director Tressa L. Williams, who was representing State Farm Insurance, and gave information on how to protect wealth and the different types of insurance available. Attendees were able to follow along with presentations using the event program and handouts provided by the presenters. In closing the presenters thanked the audience and the chapter gave them each a certificate of appreciation. Submitted by Cynthia Cooper, San Jose Alumnae Chapter
ABOVE: Farwest Regional Director Tressa L. Williams with fellow panelists. BELOW: Scenes from the workshop.
Sacramento Alumnae Town Hall Focuses on Black Women and Finance The Sacramento Alumnae Chapter held its second annual Town Hall Meeting, as part of Delta Days in Sacramento, on April 20, 2008. Entitled ―African American Women: Where We Stand,‖ the meeting focused on the housing market, empowering Black women financially, wills and trusts, and health care issues. The panel was comprised of seven distinguished women in the Sacramento community: Soror Artavia Taylor, owner, Taylor Estate Brokerage; Shirley Thomas, realtor/broker; Dr. Terri Speed, private practice dentist/ business owner; Angela Gilliard, attorney/registered lobbyist for The Western Center on Law and Poverty; Gail D. Palmer, financial consultant/VP of Operations for Metro 1 Credit Union; Delonda K. Coleman, attorney, estate planning, taxes, and real estate transactions; and Soror Donna Wood, owner, Alpha International and di-
rector, fund development for the Child Abuse Prevention Council of Placer County. The success of this second Town Hall Meeting was not just the standing-room only attendance or the informative topics, but the engagement and enjoyment of the audience. After the discussion, there were long lines of attendees eagerly waiting to acquire business cards and/ or meet the panelists. Sacramento Alumnae Social Action Chair Dr. Melanie A. Lewis said, ―Our first annual town hall was wonderful, but this year‘s town hall was outstanding! The incredibly well-informed and accomplished panelists acquired many new contacts and all attendees were duly informed to become much more „Healthy, Wealthy, and Wise‟!‖ Submitted by Dr. Melanie Lewis, Sacramento Alumnae Chapter LEFT: Soror Melanie Lewis introduced the panel. TOP RIGHT: Soror Lewis and Soror Lynn Carrier (chapter president) standing on the left; Farwest Regional Director Tressa L. Williams standing on the right; with the town hall panelists. BOTTOM RIGHT: Audience listens to panel.
Sacramento Alumnae Shows Delta GEMS „How to Save For Bling Bling--Bling‟
On May 10, 2008, the Sacramento Alumnae Chapter‘s Financial Fortitude Committee, led by its chair Soror Temeca Richardson, held a workshop for Delta GEMS entitled, ―How to save for the Bling Bling!‖
The workshop introduced money management skills and the various pitfalls related to establishing and maintaining good credit. Attendees learned about a money management plan called the ―70/20/10 Savings and Spending Plan.‖ The formula is easy to remember, all income is divided as follows: 70% to bills and personal spending, 20% to savings (NONTOUCHABLE) and 10% to tithes/donations. Lively discussion and questions ensued regarding how to avoid debt, credit cards versus debit cards and how to open a check-
CONVENTION EDITION, SUMMER 2008
ing and savings account. At the end of the workshop, the GEMS — as well as sorors in attendance — set goals and developed a plan of action to achieve a prosperous financial future. Everyone in attendance gained a sensible way to save money, and a sound way to live within their financial means, all thanks to the Financial Fortitude committee. Submitted by Lynnise Davis, Sacramento Alumnae Chapter
70/20/10 Savings and Spending Plan 70% to bills and personal spending 20% to savings 10% to tithes/donations PAGE 5
Pi Chi Chapter Helps Improve Credit for Calif. State Dominguez Hills Students
The Pi Chi Chapter, located at the California State University at Dominguez Hills, held a "Finance 220: Credit Im-
provement" program on March 3, 2008. Attendees were taught tips on eliminating debt, improving credit scores, and keep-
ing credit scores as high as possible. In response to the increased number of students with more debt owed to creditors than to the university, the Pi Chi chapter hosted the financial fortitude program in efforts of educating young women on how to maximize their financial potential through reduced spending, eliminating debt, and the best methods for checking credit scores. Attendees participated in various activities, and as a result, left the workshop with financial piece of mind. In other chapter news, Pi Chi Chapter was granted the Greek Recognition & Achievement award for the 2007-2008
school year based on their contribution towards improving campus life for students. The chapter has devoted time to putting on an array of events which impacted local and African American communities, such as their annual Help the Needy Drive in which canned goods are collected and donated to homeless shelters; a Resume Writing & Interview Etiquette workshop; their Lose Weight with DST Challenge program; and participation in the community‘s AIDS Walk. Submitted by Ashley Lawson, Pi Chi Chapter
Hayward Tri Tri--City Alumnae‟s Financial Planning and Retirement Workshop
San Diego Alumnae‟s Delta GEMS Learn Hands On About Finance The San Diego Alumnae Chapter sponsored a Financial Fortitude workshop for their Delta GEMS entitled, ―Hands On Banking.‖ Wells Fargo presented the workshop exclusively for the Delta GEMS. The program introduced the basics of smart money management in an easy-to-use format. Topics included: Budgeting, Savings, Bank Accounts, Borrowing Money, Establishing and Maintaining Credit and Investing. GEMS and Mentors were placed in pairs (roommates) and given a monthly budget spreadsheet, the Sunday newspaper and calculators. Groups were required to use the newspaper to find and furnish an apartment while maintaining their monthly budget requirements. Submitted by Emma Bennett-Williams, San Diego Alumnae Chapter
In January 2008, The Hayward Tri-City Alumnae Chapter invited Soror Lazena Andrada, State Farm insurance agent, to provide a Financial Planning and Retirement workshop. In addition, throughout the sorority year, financial tips were presented at each chapter meeting as part of the Social Action Committee reports. Submitted by Shirley Sexton, Hayward Tri-City Alumnae Chapter
Inglewood Alumnae On Credit Principles, Estate Planning and Social Security
The Inglewood Alumnae Chapter presented three Financial Fortitude workshops throughout the sorority year for the Ingle-
wood community. The workshops topics were Credit Principles, Estate Planning and Social Security. Each workshop was held at the Inglewood City Hall Library and was facilitated by experts in the field who provided attendees with knowledge and information that would serve as a tool when making financial decisions. The Credit Principles workshop was facilitated by a member of Omega Psi Phi who is a licensed real estate broker and financial advisor. The Estate Planning workshop was facilitated by a member of New York Life Insurance. The
Social Security workshop was facilitated by a representative of the Social Security Administration's office. Recognizing the need to address current economic trends and gaps in information, the chapter established a Financial Fortitude Committee that will continue to focus its efforts on providing the community with free quarterly workshops on personal finances, homeownership, predatory lending, long-term planning, savings and investments. Submitted by Helen Arbogast, Inglewood Alumnae Chapter
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Farwest Collegiate Retreat The Farwest Collegiate Retreat was held February 8-10, 2008 at the University of California, Santa Cruz, where Pi Psi served as the host chapter. There were 45 collegiate sorors from 12 collegiate chapters present. The retreat was packed with activities surrounding the theme of ―Health, Wealthy and Wise.‖ The ―Game of Life‖ activity taught the
Farwest Regional Representative Monica Burns with Past Farwest Regional Representative Danielle Moore (2003-2005) during the Farwest Collegiate Retreat.
collegiate sorors about making decisions which would effect their bank accounts. Soror Sierra Jewell of Kappa Chapter was given the prize for having the most money at the end of the game. Soror Carolyn Scott (Farwest Regional Coordinator for the Financial Fortitude/ Delta Challenge Home Ownership Initiative) presented the collegiate sorors the Financial Fortitude/Delta Challenge workshop. All collegiate sorors present became Financial Fortitude trainers. In the spirit of Black History Month, the sorors played a game called ―Who‘s that Black Person?‖ The collegiate sorors had to figure out who the 22 dynamic women in the pictures were. Soror Dominique Miller from Lambda Xi Chapter, who knew all 22, won the prize. Keynote speaker Soror Danielle Moore (Farwest Regional Representative 20032005) presented the sorors with words of wisdom and what it means to be a Black woman. Soror Ja‘Nia Cannon (Southern California State Facilitator) facilitated the Commu-
nity Service workshop, where collegiate sorors were given criteria and examples on how to have a successful community service event. Farwest Regional Representative Monica Burns provided a presentation on being Black and Proud. Attendees learned some hair tips, discussed healthy relationships and learned how to cope with stress
through laughter and yoga. The day ended with collegiate sorors strolling and each chapter getting to meet with the regional director and the regional representative. On the last day, sorors were invited to attend the regional director‘s church (located in Santa Cruz). Submitted by Monica Burns, Farwest Regional Representative
A Transition From Collegiate to Alumnae
Soror Rashina Young encourages all collegiates to make the transition to an Alumnae chapter.
One thing that I would never forget when I made the commitment to Delta was that membership is a Lifetime Commitment. After my quick stay in my collegiate chapter, I knew that it was important to quickly make that transition into an alumnae chapter. Making my transition into the Los Angeles South Bay Alumnae Chapter has enhanced my Delta experience. Being the youngest member in the chapter, I took it upon myself to seek the knowledge and the wisdom of the sorors who have come before me. Some who even remember meeting and hearing the words of our illustrious founders. Not
only do I learn about the many ways of Delta, but lessons of life from successful Black women. Going into an alumnae chapter has been a great experience. No matter what age you are, we are all sisters sharing a common bond. Working together, we can continue to build on the legacy that our founders have bestowed upon us. You will only get out of Delta, what you put into it. I would like to encourage every soror who is a recent college graduate to: Go GRAD and Get ACTIVE!!!! Submitted by Rashina Young, Los Angeles South Bay Alumnae Chapter
Transition Tips Congrats to the Class of 2008 Farwest Collegiates Tips for a Successful Transition into an Alumnae Chapter
Contact the chapter presidents of local alumnae chapters and ask for meeting dates Visit the chapter meeting. Ask yourself: Does the time and meeting location fit well in my schedule? At the meeting, ask questions like: How much are the chapter dues?; Are there any recent graduate discounts?; What are the most successful programs?; When and where do committees meet? Exchange contact information with the chapter president or Project ACE liaison. Call or email her with any follow up questions. Make a decision — then join an alumnae chapter!
Kappa Danielle Benjamin-Arrington Arlena Ford Whitney Jones Shannon Lewis Rashida Mickens Chidinma Ume Pia Winston Porscha Winston Upsilon Janet Beyan Shari Brewster Helsa Irizarry Bethlehem Mengesha Taja Kennon Brianne Sanford Lauren Tuck Miyanna Williams Alpha Omicron Enuwa Chloe Ameh Bezawit Getahun Ebonee Jackson Jennifer Nash Semret "Puca" Nicodimos Arlecier West
Submitted by Monica Burns, Farwest Regional Representative CONVENTION EDITION, SUMMER 2008
Epsilon Zeta Brittany Jones Britni McClay Trenea Moore Ashley Robinson Diamond Thompson Epsilon Nu Naeemah Campbell Ayana Thompson Eta Chi Shina Hall Tamara Hudson Angella Jones Krystal Latimer Brooke Reid
Mu Eta Tahlia Bragg Candice Tremble
Pi Xi Amber Harris Chantae Still
Nu Upsilon Brittany Abrams Tam‘ra Cannon Alicia Gomez Dominque Redmond
Pi Chi Whitney West
Xi Xi Marlindy Bratton Alisha Jones
Sigma Omicron Alicia Zenner
Xi Chi Triana Hunter Ayana Oldwine
Eta Omega Remy Allums Kisura Hendrix Krystalyn Sylvester Nicole Sonkur Crystal Webber
Omicron Lambda Vanessa Jenkins Bernadette Nicholas Jen Prudhome Holly Stasher Deandrea Washington
Lambda Xi Jessica Anunwah Mercedes Fields Shayla Mattox Dominique Miller Olubukunola Oseni-Olalemi
Omicron Chi Portia Brown Reyna Camps Brittany D. Clark Franci Girard Candice Wiggins
Pi Psi Shantay Jackson
Tau Delta Doneisha Barre Paris Bellinger Jazmyn Childress Jamila Fisher Ra'Kenna Joseph Capitola Marshall Sierrah Moore Jaime Suttles Tau Mu Monica Burns
Submitted by Monica Burns, Farwest Regional Representative
Ventura County Alumnae Brings Social Action To Election Polls
Sorors of Ventura County Alumnae Chapter adopted a polling place and served as election officers during the February and June primaries.
The Ventura County Alumnae Chapter (VCAC) was in the forefront of social and political activism in Ventura County during the 2007-2008 sorority year. Concerned about the historic presidential election, VCAC hosted several events to provide information about the candidates. The chapter took their efforts a step further in serving as gatekeepers to the political process by becoming the only African American organization in Ventura County to ―Adopt-A-Poll‖ and serve as election officers during the February Primary Election. The ―Adopt-A-Poll‖ program allows an organization to operate a polling place. The chapter also adopted a poll in the June 3 election and plan to operate a poll in November. The chapter has also made headway in affecting social
change in the mainstream through appointments on local commissions and boards. The chair of VCAC‘s Social Action Committee was appointed to the Ventura County Commission for Women; sorors of VCAC served as panelists and facilitators during the Second Ventura County Women‘s Forum; and sorors are also actively involved with local chapters of the NAACP, Black American Political Association of California, National Women‘s Political Caucus, and American Red Cross. The chapter‘s approach was particularly important in the chapter‘s effort to effect social change and public policy since African Americans are less than two percent of the population in Ventura County. Submitted by Shanté Morgan Durisseau, Ventura County Alumnae Chapter
Delta Days In Washington State Solano Valley Alumnae‟s GEMS At Senator and President Pro Tempore Rosa Franklin (Democrat, 23rd District, Tacoma) discussed Senate Bill 6205, a bill she sponsors, which supports a Joint Select Committee on Sickle Cell Disease. While the workshops were being held on the capitol campus, a youth rally was in progress several miles away at Saint Martin‘s University. Tacoma Alumnae Chapter‘s Dr. Jeanne L. Noble Delta GEMS Institute participated in this portion of the day‘s activities. The GEMS were able to experience the caucus process and actually ―vote‖ on their choice of Presidential candidate. This exercise enabled the young ladies to better understand the electoral process while having a mock Presidential Caucus experience. The day culminated with a rally on the capitol steps where Governor Christine Gregoire was the guest speaker. Governor Gregoire stated, ―The key to a better life for Washingtonians is an education Sorors and Delta GEMS on the steps of State Capi- system that prepares our children to thrive tal Building in Olympia, Washington. in a global economy. In the past three years, we‘ve made significant investments The Tacoma Alumnae Chapter co-hosted to create a world-class, seamless education Delta Days in the Washington State Capital system for all of us.‖ of Olympia, Washington, in conjunction with the Washington State Commission on Sorors not only participated in the day‘s African American Affairs‘ African Ameri- workshops and other Delta Days activities, can Legislative Day. but also turned out in numbers to volunteer Monday, February 4, 2008 was a day for wherever needed. By all accounts, Delta sorors to increase involvement in the state Days at the Washington State Capital 2008 public policy making process. It was also was a huge success. an opportunity for African Americans in Submitted by Athena Lock, Tacoma AlumWashington State to influence legislation by nae Chapter showing support of Senate and House bills that impact local communities. Approximately 228,080 African Americans live in Washington State. This is only 3.6% of the state‘s population, indicating the necessity of raising awareness on certain issues affecting this population. Attendance for this event exceeded 1,200. Leg Day, as it‘s also known, consisted of ―Issues Workshops,‖ with themes such as ―It Is Time to Take Control of Our Health,‖ moderated by Commissioner – and Soror - Sorors Cheryl Simms-Jone, Charlene Howard, Winona Hollins Hauge and ―Education: Alyce McNiel and Kecia Stringfield. The New Civil Rights Arena,‖ presented by Soror Doris McEwen. Other workshops focused on ―Challenging the Child Welfare System Serving African American Children‖ and participation in a Legislative Priorities Work session. During the Legislative Work Session, Representative Eric Pettigrew (Democrat, 37th District, Seattle) discussed his legislative priorities, highlighting House Bill 2722, an education bill he co-sponsors, creating an advisory committee to address the achievement gap for African-American students. PAGE 8
Sorors Athena Lock, Darlin Johnson, Charlene Howard and Yolanda Geolingo.
Delta Days in Sacramento, Calif.
The Solano Valley Alumnae Chapter sorors feel they have recently experienced one of the best overall Delta Days in Sacramento to date. Their Delta Academy/ GEMS were among the hundreds of young ladies throughout the region who participated in Delta Days. They had the opportunity to greet a parade of assembly persons and senators over breakfast, hosted by Senator Mark RidlyThomas. They also attended workshops on topics such as Green Living, and were able to meet with their local legislator. The young ladies were also acknowledged on the assembly floor. Submitted by Darla Davenport-Powell, Solano Valley Alumnae Chapter
Hayward Tri Tri--City Alumnae Leads Delta Days at Hayward City Hall Hayward-Tri-City Alumnae Chapter sponsored Delta Days at Hayward City Hall, a local government and issues forum, on May 16, 2008. This forum was the first of its kind in Northern California and was designed to foster expanded awareness about current issues and create a forum to facilitate open dialogue. The event was open to the public and began with an informal networking session. Immediately following was a panel discussion and lively question and answer session, moderated by Diana Bell, president of Hayward-Tri -City Alumnae Chapter. Hayward city officials on the panel included the Honorable Mayor Michael Sweeney, City Manager Greg Jones, City Clerk Angelina Reyes and City Councilman Kevin Dowling.
Farwest Regional Director Tressa L. Williams was also present and spoke to the audience about how active participation and partnership are key to affecting change. The outcome of Delta Days was a better understanding of the internal structure and operation of the Hayward City government, the plans in place for the city‘s current and future programs, as well as insight into opportunities where Hayward-Tri-City Alumnae Chapter can become more involved. The chapter sorors received a commitment from city officials to continue the partnership and participate in future Delta Days at Hayward City Hall. Submitted by Shirley Sexton, Hayward Tri-City Alumnae Chapter FARWEST FOCUS
Southern California Collaborates for Delta Day Los Angeles When more than 100 African ner with each of the supervisors in American women, dressed in serving the community, and making red, converged on the heada difference in the communities in quarters of county and city govwhich we live, work, and serve.‖ ernment in Los Angeles someNext stop: City Hall. one asked: Who are those laAfter the sorors crowded into Coundies? cil Chambers, their host Los Angeles All members of Delta Sigma City Council Member Jan Perry inTheta Sorority, Inc., they repretroduced them. Council President sented the 13 alumnae chapters Eric Garcetti greeted them, and the based in Los Angeles County. full council interrupted its daylong, Appearing before the County single topic session to welcome the Board of Supervisors and the Deltas. Los Angeles City Council, the A Working Lunch sorors were participating in Los Angeles Mayor Antonio VilDelta Day in LA, which was laraigosa sent representatives to meet inspired by Delta Days in the with the Deltas during a lunch caNation‘s Capitol and Delta tered by Century City Soror Catarah Days in Sacramento, the state Hampshire in the Mayor Tom Bradcapital of California. ley Tower at City Hall. During the ―The fact that all 13 chapters luncheon forum, Council-members were represented is something Bill Rosendahl, Jan Perry and Berthat all Deltas can be proud of,‖ nard Parks met with their constituLos Angeles County Supervisor Yvonne B. Burke spoke to sorors from the 13 participating chapters, who were said Soror Pat Reid Cunningents. ham one of the Farwest Region‘s assembled at County Hall of Administration for a briefing. ―Finally meeting Mr. Parks and seeCommissioners on the Social Acing how he responded to the questions,‖ tion Commission—and president of the was the day‘s highlight for Soror Valerie Compton Alumnae Chapter. ―The sorors Hardy, a member of the Pomona Valley responded to the call for action. They Alumnae Chapter Social Action Commitwere very serious and dedicated to the tee. issues put forth from the commission.‖ Final stop: Deltas met with either councilLed by Century City Alumnae Chapter, members or supervisors based on which the chapters included: Cerritos Area elected official represented the area in Alumnae; Compton Alumnae; Foothill which their chapters provided services. Alumnae; Inglewood Alumnae; Lancaster Alumnae; Long Beach Alumnae; Los An―Supervisor Michael Antonovich and his geles Alumnae; Los Angeles South Bay staff met with us for nearly an hour. We Alumnae; Pasadena Alumnae; Pomona discussed health issues, annexation issues Valley Alumnae; Rolling Hills-Palos and foster children,‖ Soror Dawnyell Verdes Alumnae and San Fernando ValGoolsby, president of the San Fernando ley Alumnae. Valley Alumnae Chapter, said. Her group also connected with the supervisor‘s LA County Alumnae Chapters Unite health deputy who assisted them in getting ―It was spiritually uplifting to see all 13 representation from the county public chapters from Los Angeles County comhealth and mental health departments for ing together,‖ said Soror T. Jean Adenika, the chapter‘s community health fair. Social Action chair of the Los Angeles Soror Mary C. Martin, president of the Alumnae Chapter. Los Angeles Alumnae Rolling Hills-Palos Verdes Alumnae Chapter President Dr. Roberta Jones3rd District LA County Supervisor Zev Yaraslovsky presented a commendation to Century Chapter, explained that her group collaboBooker, observed: ―When Delta women City Alumnae. All 13 chapters were presented commendations by their respective supervisors. rated with Cerritos and Long Beach chapcome together, we are a powerful force.‖ ters in a meeting with Supervisor Don Deltas united to influence public policy on Action co-chair of the Pomona Valley lene Smith of the Century City Alumnae Knabe. They discussed, she said, ―how chapter. Her line sister Soror Doris Laissues such as housing, homelessness, Alumnae Chapter. Cour, who is also a member of Century the chapters and the supervisor‘s office economic development, health, public Soror Cherise Moore, first vice president can work together for the improvement of of the San Fernando Valley Alumnae City Alumnae, met the bus at the Kenneth the community in the area of arts, educasafety and transportation. J. Hahn Hall of Administration. ―As Deltas, we thought it was important Chapter said, ―We participated because tion and human welfare.‖ we felt it was a great opportunity for soSoror LaCour works for Supervisor to advocate on behalf of issues of imporShe said, they ―opened a channel of comtance to African American women, and rors to meet with their elected officials Yvonne Brathwaite Burke, the first and munication between the LA office and the and share local concerns. What was speonly Black member of the county‘s govour community,‖ explained Soror Jackie sorority,‖ adding they have continued to Dupont-Walker, who co-chairs along with cial about our visit was we just crossed a erning board, and played a key role in the follow up with the supervisor‘s staff on Soror Lia Martin, Century City Alumnae line, so we had a ‗neo‘ with us. Soror arrangements of Delta Day LA. Soror issues of concern. Claudia Hawkins was only four-days old Lacour also escorted the Deltas to a contiChapter‘s Social Action Committee, and nental breakfast, hosted by Supervisor Los Angeles City Councilman Herb Weschoreographed the united Los Angeles as a Delta.‖ Burke. son also made time for a meeting to disBy Car, Bus and Train area initiative. cuss economic development partnerships After a review of the agenda and schedule Soror Gloria Riddick Williams, Southern and how to improve the lives of young and a briefing on legislative do‘s and California State Coordinator and a mempeople in his district. don‘ts by Sorors Jackie Dupont-Walker ber of the Lancaster Alumnae Chapter, and Lia Martin, there were sign-up sheets “A Sea of Red” left her suburban home before dawn to “When Delta women come for chapter meetings with elected offidrive nearly 75 miles to the downtown Sorors left the civic center area with civic center area, a trip that can take more cials. strong impressions. together, we are a powerful than two hours during the congested rush The first public stop: the meeting room of ―To see this important social action initiaforce.” hour. the Board of Supervisors. tive grow from our 25 sorors from Cen―I left at 5:30 in the morning because of Soror Gwen Coley, President of Century tury City‘s inaugural Delta Day in LA two the traffic. I wanted to be there early to City Alumnae Chapter, explained why so years ago to 105 sorors representing all 13 many Deltas were in attendance to the Delta alumnae chapters in Los Angeles fellowship with sorors.,‖ she said. Sorors agreed. Most sorors drove, some took the train five supervisors; each represents a district County was very fulfilling,‖ Soror Gwen ―In order for social change to occur, citi- and a group from several chapters avoided that has two million residents. Coley, Century City‘s president, said. zens must be active participants in the the expense and difficulty of finding park- ―Delta Day is a day of advocacy and out- ―We came together as a sisterhood with decision-making process. Delta Day in ing by sharing a bus sponsored by Los reach to our elected officials,‖ she said, one purpose and one mission,‖ said Soror LA demonstrated our continued commit- Angeles City Councilman Bernard Parks ―and manifests our sorority‘s biennial Florann Elkins, Foothill Alumnae Social ment and understanding that our engage- that left from Ward AME Church, located theme, ‗One Mission, One Sisterhood: Action chair, as she summed up the ment of elected officials is essential to about five miles from the civic center. Empowering Communities through Com- day. She added, ―I loved seeing that sea ensuring problems within the respective mitted Service.‘ of red.‖ communities we serve are addressed,‖ ―On the bus, we gave our names and chapters and talked about different pro―As an organization committed to public Submitted by Gayle Pollard-Terry, Century said Soror Cushondra McNeal, Social jects,‖ said the bus monitor, Soror Char- service,‖ she added, ―it is our goal to part- City Alumnae Chapter CONVENTION EDITION, SUMMER 2008
Omicron Chi‟s Candice Wiggins Breaks Records In Women‟s Basketball Soror Candice Dana Wiggins was born to Angela Wiggins and the late Alan Wiggins (Major League Baseball player) in Baltimore, Maryland. As a child, it became apparent early on that Soror Wiggins was destined for success and would grow to be someone of extraordinary talents. Now, considered to be one of Stanford University‘s best players in its 21-year history of women‘s basketball, she has certainly lived up to this destined success both on and off the basketball court.
During the 2007-2008 season, Soror Wiggins became the all-time leading scorer and three-point shooter for Stanford and in the Pac-10 (with 2,590 career points and 290 three-pointers made through April 4, 2008). Soror Wiggins was named the State Farm Wade Trophy Player of the Year, an award considered as the ―The Heisman of Women‘s Basketball.‖ She was also selected to the State Farm Coaches‘ AllAmerica team for the fourth time in her career and named Pac-10 Player of the Year for a record-breaking third time. On April 8, 2008, after a win over the University of Connecticut in the semifinal match-up, Soror Wiggins led the Stanford women‘s basketball team against Tennessee in the Final Four for the National Championship, and she was more than just thrilled. Despite the enormous amount of attention
Retired Again, And Still Going Strong
Soror Olivia Y. Stringer, a member of the Solano Valley Alumnae Chapter, retired January 31, 2008 from Contra Costa Regional Medical Center after 22 years of service and 33 years as a Registered Nurse. This was Soror Stringer‘s second retirement. In October 2006, she retired from the United States Air Force Reserves with the rank of Colonel after
29 years of dedicated service. Soror Stringer held various increasingly responsible positions from staff nurse to eventually becoming the first African American female to be promoted to the rank of Colonel within the 349 Medical Squadron at Travis Air Force Base. In 2003 she became the first African American female to Command the 604 Reserve Medical Unit at Fairchild Air Force Base. Soror Stringer received her B.S. degree in Biology from University of Arkansas Pine Bluff Arkansas (formally Arkansas AMN), where she pledged Delta Eta Chapter in 1969. She earned her B.S. in Nursing from University of Kansas, a Masters of Public Administration in Health Services Management from Golden Gate University and Masters of Nursing Administration Community Health from San Jose State University. Soror Stringer plans to take a short rest and then continue her professional career by obtaining a Doctorate in Health Services Management. Submitted by Darla Davenport-Powell, Solano Valley Alumnae Chapter
County Commission for Women Appointment
Shanté Morgan-Durisseau, chair of Social Action for the Ventura County Alumnae Chapter, was appointed to the Ventura County Commission for Women by the Board of Supervisors. The commission advises the county on issues relating to women and families, and coordinates efforts with federal, state and local community groups to improve the quality of life for women and families. PAGE 10
Soror Morgan-Durisseau has worked in communications for nearly 20 years as a journalist, editor and college lecturer. She is owner of Morgan Communications, a full service communications firm specializing in print, broadcast and radio media campaigns. She is also a contributing writer to the Ventura County Star newspaper and the VC Reporter. She is the former editor of Turning Point magazine, and has worked as a correspondent for Copley News Service. In addition, she taught journalism at California State University, Northridge and California Lutheran University. Soror Morgan-Durisseau has a bachelor‘s from California State University, Northridge and a master‘s degree from the USC Annenberg School of Journalism. She is also on the board of directors of the Minority Photo Journalism Institute and has served on the Thousand Oaks Residence Roundtable and is a member of several additional organizations. She was initiated into Theta Psi Citywide Chapter in April 1989. Submitted by Shanté Morgan-Durisseau, Ventura County Alumnae Chapter
that Soror Wiggins has received, be it negative or positive, she refuses to be anything but humble, allowing her talent to speak for itself. Aside from her tenacious spirit and drive, those closest to her would say that it is really her humility that sets her apart from most others.
“Candice is, in short, just an amazing person,” says Soror Jessica Johnson, one of Soror Wiggins’ line sisters. ―She always exhibits this…poise in every situation. Even in her losses, she exhibits such a grace. She realizes that her team has accomplished so much and, at the end of the day, that is what‘s most important to her. It‘s such an admirable quality.‖ Soror Wiggins majored in Communications and graduated in June 2008. She hopes to pursue a career in journalism, broadcasting, or commentating, but also has dreams to play on the U.S. Olympic team in 2008 and 2012, and, one day, hopes to play in the WNBA. Regardless of what she chooses to do from this point forward, Soror Wiggins will definitely go down in Stanford history as a dynamic player, a team moraler, and alltime fan favorite. Candice, your sisters would like you to know that we are so proud of you for all that you have achieved and will continue
to achieve. We know that your future is bright and we cannot wait to see you play in the WNBA. We love you, and hope that God continues to bless you in all that you do. Submitted by Marlena Davis, Omicron Chi Chapter [Since this article was submitted, Soror Wiggins was selected 3rd overall in the WNBA draft and is already making headlines as a top scorer on the Minnesota Lynx. She also recently became a celebrity spokesperson for Until There’s A Cure, a national organization dedicated to eradicating HIV/ AIDS.]
Soror Wiggins was #6 of the Chi Line of the Omicron Chi Chapter in 2007.
New VP of Medical Affairs at Hospital
Soror Otashe Golden-Faison, MD, has recently been named vice president of Medical Affairs at Dameron Hospital in Stockton, California. As such, she is in charge of being the liaison between the medical
staff and the hospital. Her responsibilities also include spearheading hospital-wide quality initiatives, as well as overseeing core measurements, patient satisfaction, and community outreach. In addition, she is currently the director of the Hospitalist Programs at Dameron and the managing partner for California Hospitalist Physicians, a medical group whose members are primarily hospitalists, providing services in hospitals and skilled nursing facilities. Soror Golden-Faison received her undergraduate degree from University of California at Davis, where she was initiated through Lambda Xi Chapter in Spring 1993. She is currently an active, charter member of Elk Grove Alumnae Chapter in Elk Grove, California. Submitted by Jacqueline B. Webster, Elk Grove Alumnae Chapter
Arizona State Bar Association Appointment tee to be qualified on the basis of character and fitness. She was appointed to the Arizona State Personnel Board by Governor Janet Napolitano in March 2003, where she served four years until her appointment to the Character and Fitness Committee. An entrepreneur, she is president of Moore & Associates. She is also an advocate for voter education/rights and HIV/AIDS in the African American community.
Soror Wanda F. Moore, member of the Tucson Alumnae Chapter, was appointed to the State of Arizona Bar Commission on Character and Fitness for a seven-year term. The commission recommends the admission to the practice of law of individuals who have passed the examinations required by the Committee on Examinations and who are deemed by the commit-
The University of Arizona‘s Black Alumni honored Soror Moore as ―Phenomenal Woman 2006.‖ Actively involved on various boards, commissions and committees in the Tucson Community, she received recognition for Excellence in Social Action, Civic Responsibility, Advocacy, Coalition Building and Contribution to Public Policy & Service. Submitted by Wanda F. Moore, Tucson Alumnae Chapter FARWEST FOCUS
Well Well--Known Artist Turns 100 Years Young
Soror Frances Dunham Catlett (also known as Frances Adrion Taylor) has been a Delta for seventy years and turned 100 years young on July 3, 2008. She joined Delta during her junior year through Lambda Chapter at
the University of Chicago in 1928. She was the first African American to earn her Master of Arts degree from Mills College in 1947. She received her master‘s in social work from UC Berkeley in 1963. Soror Catlett served her community as a social worker in San Francisco from the mid-1940‘s until the 1960‘s when she retired. After serving as an assistant professor at Sacramento State University, Soror Catlett founded the Parent Infant Neighborhood Center. Her work as a visual artist fully developed after retirement in the late 1960‘s. Her paintings are in
collections from California to eastern Canada and have been shown in more than 60 exhibitions. In 2008, Soror Catlett‘s art was featured in a retrospective held by the African American Historical and Cultural Society in San Francisco. The Prescott Joseph Center in West Oakland, CA, has named its living room in her honor. There are two books which include her profile, ―Aging Artfully‖ by Amy Gorman, and ―Wise Talk, Wild Women‖ by Gwen Mazer. Submitted by Dianne Audrick Smith, San Francisco Alumnae Chapter
High Honors for School Administrator Atwater-Merced Alumnae Chapter President Dr. Mary C. Jones, assistant superintendent of Educational Services in the Ceres Unified School District, was honored by the Association of California School Administrators (ACSA). Soror Jones won the association's award for ―Curriculum and Instruction Administrator of the Year‖ for Region VII and went on to be selected as the awardee in that category for State of California. She was selected from a pool of nominees from ACSA‘s 19 regions which represents more than 16,000 members. The Regional award was presented on May 2, 2008 in Reno, Nevada. Soror Jones will receive her State award in November 2008 at the Association‘s Annual Leadership Summit to be held in San Diego, California.
Excellent Soror in Technology On April 20, 2008, Soror Bessie McDowell Stephens of the San Jose Alumnae Chapter was honored with the 2008, ―Woman of Excellence Award in Technology,‖ by the National Coalition of 100 Black Women, Silicon Valley Chapter. Soror Stephens was vice president and global director of Philanthropy & Education at Hewlett-Packard (HP), executive director of the HP Company Foundation, and on the executive team in HP‘s Corporate Social Responsibility Organization, until her retirement in 2007. A native of Mobile, Alabama, she was initiated through the Gamma Tau Chapter at Tuskegee University. She also has been awarded two honorary Doctorate Degrees. She is a partner at McDowell Stephens & Associates. Submitted by Petrina Ferguson, San Jose Alumnae Chapter
A Dedicated Phenom in Las Vegas
Submitted by Annette White, Atwater-Merced Alumnae Chapter
Outstanding Woman in Monterey County
The Monterey County Commission on the Status of Women selected Alice Davis-Jordan, member of the Monterey Peninsula Alumnae Chapter (MPAC), as one of ten outstanding women in Monterey County for 2008. Selection for this honor
was based on her various roles of serving the community. Soror Jordan has dedicated her life to being a positive influence to all she meets whether it is through her association with the local Kiwanis, her church, or various civic organizations. She currently serves as president of National Pan-Hellenic Council, where her vision and leadership is currently guiding and building a coalition that makes a difference in minority health care, education, economics, human and spiritual values. Soror Jordan also serves as the chair of the MPAC‘s Health Committee.
Soror Constance Geffinger-Clifton of the Las Vegas Alumnae Chapter was named ―Dedicated Phenom‖ by EVibe, a community -based electronic publication that works with several Las Vegas Valley partners to nominate women in several ―phenomenal‖ categories.
Five Steps for Finding YOU before HE does: 1. Compare where you are with where you want to be. 2. Figure out how your past has affected your present and grow from it. 3. Accept the things about yourself that you would like to change. 4. Create a plan to implement those changes in your life. 5. Create a personal inspiration statement.
Soror Named “Ambassador of the Year” by Ventura County American Red Cross
Soror Lee was initiated through Alpha Chapter at Howard University in 1948. Submitted by Shanté Morgan Durisseau, Ventura County Alumnae. Chapter CONVENTION EDITION, SUMMER 2008
EVibe also honored the Las Vegas Alumnae Chapter as a whole, as ―Purposeful Phenoms‖ for 2008. Submitted by Constance T. Ewing, Las Vegas Alumnae Chapter
Soror Tackles Relationships In New Book
Submitted by Cortha M. Pringle, Monterey Peninsula Alumnae Chapter
Soror Madeline Lee, member of the Ventura County Alumnae Chapter, has been named the ―2008 Clara Barton Diversity Ambassador of the Year‖ by the Ventura County Chapter of the American Red Cross. This award goes to a woman who represents an underserved population, and to a woman who has worked to bridge the gap between diverse communities and the vital network of resources and services that are available to meet humanitarian needs.
Raised by parents who did not graduate from high school, Soror Geffinger-Clifton is dedicated to assuring that all youth have access to a quality education. As an assistant principal at Kenny Guinn Middle School in the Clark County School District, she has her hands full overseeing the educational interests of middle school children. She is dedicated to making sure her students understand that a quality education is the one thing that can never be taken away. Within the Las Vegas Alumnae Chapter, she volunteers her time on the Delta Scholarship, Delta Academy and Delta Founders‘ Day Committees. Soror Geffinger-Clifton says, ―Sometimes when we think we're giving, we find out that we are instead -- getting.‖
Soror Na‘Kisha Crawford, member of the Pomona Valley Alumnae Chapter, is a best selling author, professional life coach, an inspirational speaker and an entrepreneur. In July 2008, Soror Crawford released her new book entitled, ―SO GOOD IT HURTS: The Pain, The Fight, The Love.‖ Her book will be available for sale at the 49th National Convention in Orlando. More information can be found at www.sogoodithurts.com.
Five Ways to Turn an Average Relationship into a Great One: 1. Learn or take classes together. 2. Start a business or organization together. This establishes the foundation for success and longevity in a relationship. It is a lot easier to walk ,away when you haven't built anything to lose. 3. Combine the majority of your money together. 4. Go to church and pray together.
5. Socialize and play together. Submitted by Na‟Kisha Crawford, Pomona Valley Alumnae Chapter PAGE 11
“Making Delta’s Future Bright”
Juontel White for Second National Vice President
A Publication for the Farwest Region of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.
Convention Edition, Summer 2008
International Chapters Lead “Delta Support for Troops” The Fabulous Farwest Region kicked off Founders Day 2008 with the 5th Annual Sisterhood Retreat in Tokyo, Japan. The Tokyo Alumnae Chapter, along with sister international chapters, Okinawa Alumnae and the Republic of Korea Alumnae, hosted the weekend events, which also served as the international chapters‘ Fall Cluster.
(1) Regional Director Tressa L. Williams (L) and National President Dr. Louise A. Rice (R) thanked the Armed Forces representatives. (2) Tokyo Alumnae sorors during the retreat. (3) Farwest Regional Director Tressa L. Williams, keynote speaker during the Praise Breakfast. (4) Festive décor throughout the weekend. (5) National President Dr. Louise A. Rice, lovely in her kimono.
Sorors came from across the Farwest, as well as the Eastern, Southwest, Midwest and Southern regions. On Friday evening during the welcome reception, sorors spent the night in fellowship and shared experiences of Thursday‘s tours and excursions. Saturday was a day of Knowledge, Networking, and Leadership as the Rising Sun found appr oxi5 mately 80 sorors gathered for the Rededication Ceremony led by National President Dr. Louise A. Rice. The day of sessions included an overview of the Educational Symposium by Soror Rice, and a financial workshop led by National Treasurer Carolyn E. Lewis. Tokyo Alumnae hosted guests of the military and local communities of the Kanto Plains as sorors celebrated Founders Day 2008 on Saturday evening,
which included an overview of Delta‘s current national programs and initiatives under the Five Point Program Thrust. Through Project D.S.T. (Deltas Support Troops), a Founders Day service project spearheaded by Tokyo Alumnae, the regional director and national president thanked leaders representing the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard service in Japan. On Sunday, sorors attended worship service at Tokyo Baptist Church and added a sea of red to the middle section of the sanctuary. The Monday morning Prayer Breakfast recharged sorors to return to their respective chapters recommitted to Delta‘s mission. Farwest Regi ona l Dir ector Tressa L. Williams challenged sorors to ―stay spiritually connected which will keep us connected in our sisterhood regardless of how far apart we are.‖ Soror Rice thanked the international chapters for such warm hospitality and encouraged them to continue ―to carry the large stick that their small chapters carry for Delta.‖ Submitted by Melinda Yvette LoweryAndrews, Tokyo Alumnae Chapter
Alpha Omicron Celebrates 75 Years in Pacific Northwest
Standing, L to R: 17th National President Mona H. Bailey and Robin S. Green. Seated L to R: Farwest Regional Director Tressa L. Williams, Tacoma Alumnae Chapter President Frances Davis and Past National Secretary Doris McEwen.
On April 17, 1933, the Alpha Omicron Chapter was chartered in Seattle, Washington, becoming the first African American Greek letter organization in the Pacific Northwest. Founder Bertha Pitts Campbell and Sorors Deloris Brooks, Madge Cayton, Jane Chandler, Virginia Gayton, Tessie Miller and Idell Vertner were the chartering group making history.
During the weekend of May 2-4, 2008, After viewing a video welcome from Conductor Linda Twine. sorors of Alpha Omicron and Seattle Gov. Christine Gregoire, sorors honored More than 60 sorors, wearing Delta red, Alumnae, and other chapters in the Pa- King County Executive Ron Sims, King attended church services the next morncific Northwest - Tacoma Alumnae, County Council Member Larry Gossett ing at First AME Church, where ReverBellevue Alumnae and Portland Alum- and State Representative Eric Pettigrew. end Carey Anderson compared the nae - along with their family and Farwest Regional Director Tressa L. women of Delta Sigma Theta to many friends, and sorors from Arizona, Cali- Williams greeted guests and Past Na- daring women in the Bible. fornia, Kentucky, Nevada, and Wiscon- tional Secretary Doris McEwen acsin, celebrated Alpha Omicron Chap- knowledged the 23 former presidents At the end of the weekend, sorors participated in a Rededication Ceremony ter‘s first 75 years of public service. of Alpha Omicron and Seattle Alumnae and enjoyed sisterly fellowship during a 17th National President Mona H. Bailey chapters. beautiful luncheon. chaired a committee which spanned Entertainment was provided by Broadgenerations, as collegiate sorors worked way artist, Soror Roslyn Burrough and Submitted by Victoria Romero of Seattle Alumnae Chapter with alumnae sorors and Delta Dears to plan a weekend long extravaganza. On Friday night, the younger sorors of Seattle Alumnae worked with Alpha Omicron sorors to host a welcome reception, ―SAM Re-mix‖ — a collaboration with the Seattle Art Museum (SAM). The 75th Anniversary Gala Celebration dinner and program was on Saturday night. In addition to celebrating the chapter‘s history, Alpha Omicron and Seattle Alumnae honored local politicians for their continued advocacy on behalf of issues that impact the Seattle community and Past and present sorors of Alpha Omicron Chapter, with sorors from Seattle, Bellevue, Tacoma African Americans in particular. and Portland Alumnae chapters.
Republic of Korea Alumnae Hosts First Annual College Fair
The Republic of Korea Alumnae Chapter held its first annual College Fair at Seoul American Elementary School on April 19,
2008. Students from Seoul, Daegu and Osan American High Schools attended, as well as students from Gyeonggi Suwon International School. During the job fair, students attended workshops where they were informed of the resources available to help ease the transition from high school to college life. The workshops offered were Writing, Financial Assistance, Guide to College Financing and Assistance, and Transition from DoDDS Pacific/DDESS Guam schools.
More than 43 community members participated including the representatives from Loyola University, United States Military Academy, U.S. Army, and Yongs Education Center. The chapter plans to host its second annual College Fair next year. Submitted by Toni Jackman, Republic of Korea Alumnae Chapter
Tokyo Alumnae’s Rice Drive Okinawa Alumnae’s Year of Service
The Tokyo Alumnae Chapter collected $220.00 and donated 27 bags of rice to Brother Luke's Homeless Ministry. The ministry is an extension of Yokota Air Base Christian Communities' outreach to the Japanese Homeless of Japan. This outreach consists of helping to feed the souls and the bodies of 2,500 people living in four parks on a weekly basis. At each prayer meeting the Word of God is brought forth, accompanied with hymns, and a prayer. A hot meal is immediately served thereafter. Submitted by Kira Cooper, Tokyo Alumnae Chapter
Tokyo Alumnae’s Delta GEMS
As the 2007-2008 sorority year came to a close, the ladies of the Okinawa Alumnae Chapter were proud to highlight another year of phenomenal service and sisterhood. Each week, the chapter volunteered hours of time at the AmeriAsian School, a school providing dual Japanese and English education to students of mixed heritage. Throughout the year, sorors used their talents to provide after-school homework help and recreation assistance in the AmeriAsian School‘s Latch-Key program. Sorors also donated school supplies, celebrated birthdays with cake and gifts, and supported school events such as the Halloween party and open house. An additional service project was the contribution of supplies and time to the Stork‘s Nest, a temporary housing facility for families with babies in the US Naval Hospital‘s neonatal intensive care unit. Sorors prepared meals, and provided donations of pillows, linens, towels, and bathroom rugs. In support of local education, the chapter volunteered at the Kubasaki High School ―College Night‖ and the Kadena Middle School "Say Boo to Drugs" event. The chapter also recruited members and held
Okinawa Alumnae at AmeriAsian School.
monthly meetings for its Delta GEMS program, serving 9th to 12th graders who aspire to achieve academic excellence. In April 2008, a ―lock-in‖ was held for the Delta GEMS. Attendees enjoyed food, games, and guest speakers who promoted health awareness and self-esteem. Finally, the chapter introduced the ―Crimson Book Club,‖ hosted by the chapter‘s Arts and Letter Committee. Sorors enjoyed thoughtprovoking discussions and bonded over three titles: ―Douglass‘ Women‖ by Jewell Parker Rhodes, the ―Seduction of Mr. Bradley‖ by Minnie E. Miller, and ―Honor‘s Destiny‖ by Yolanda Greggs. Submitted by Nana Perry, Okinawa Alumnae Chapter
Republic of Korea’s Jabberwock Ball
On May 17, 2008 on Yokota Air Base, the Tokyo Alumnae Chapter sorors and their Delta GEMS/ Academy members had the privilege of serving as volunteers in the Special Olympics effort. They cheered the athletes on and assisted them as they competed in the standing long jump and track relays. The Delta GEMS were able to personally congratulate each winner of the athletic events. They had the privilege of presenting each athlete with a reward ribbon and a Special Olympic medal during a custom Japanese award ceremony. Submitted by Shaundra Dinkins, Tokyo Alumnae Chapter PAGE CN2
The Republic of Korea Alumnae Chapter held its annual Jabberwock, at which they introduced 15 debutantes into society and helped turn some young dreams into reality by awarding $12,500 in scholarship monies to assist with college expenses. Throughout the sorority year, the Jabberwock participants engaged in a variety of educational, social, cultural, and service activities, which focused on building the mind, body, spirit, and social awareness, as well as fostering positive relationships. Their efforts
culminated in an evening of excitement and glamour on May 3, 2008, when the Jabberwock debutantes performed dances and readings, escorted by the young male participants and their father figures. Fifteen girls and seven boys competed for s ch ol a r sh i p prizes, which were awarded at the end of the evening. A few winners also walked away with the competition‘s coveted titles, such as ―Miss Congeniality,‖ ―Miss Junior Jabberwock‖ and ―Miss Jabberwock.‖ At the Jabberwock, the debutantes curtsied in their extravagant white ball gowns and waltzed in their white satin shoes. The incredible young women shined brightly in the light of their own successes. Submitted by Michelle Y. Outlaw, Republic of Korea Alumnae Chapter (also ROK Alumnae’s Miss Jabberwock 1993)
FARWEST FOCUS—SPECIAL SECTION: CHAPTER NEWS
Tucson Alumnae Chapter Plants Trees for Arizona Environment The Tucson Alumnae Chapter adopted a ―green‖ attitude for their public service project in March 2008, which was conducted as part of the chapter‘s Founders Day celebration. More than 20 Deltas, along with family members and friends, planted 10 15-gallon trees in the back yard of a mental health facility in Sahuarita, AZ, approximately 15 miles south of Tucson. ―Tucson Alumnae wanted to do something positive for the environment,‖ said Soror Pamela Busch, chair of the Founders Day public service project. ―So much attention is focused on the green movement, we thought we could impact our local environment by planting trees, as well as helping to enhance the beauty of a nonprofit mental health facility.‖ Desert trees were planted in the bare back yard of The Oasis Home, a transitional home for individuals with substance abuse problems or mental disorders that was established in 2007. The home serves between three and five clients at a time. Deltas and their friends dug holes – 3 feet wide by 2 feet deep – to accommodate the assortment of trees delivered to The Oasis Home by the TREES for
Tucson program. The tree types included Black Mission Fig; Blue Palo Verde; Velvet Mesquite; Texas Ebony; Willow Acacia; and Pomegranate. ―There was nothing in that back yard but caliche and dirt,‖ said Soror Busch. ―We used shovels, picks, hoes and any other tools available to dig the holes deep and wide enough. Sorors really did some back-breaking work on this public service project. We had to dig through hard rock to plant the trees. After we were through, we felt like we had accomplished something.‖ ―Ten sorors volunteered to purchase the 10 trees for planting at $25 each, so funds did not come out of our Founders Day budget,‖ added Soror Busch. TREES for Tucson began in 1989 to encourage residents to plant desert-adapted trees in the Tucson area to help beautify the community and to conserve energy by providing shade and habitats for wildlife. Submitted by Chyrl Hill Lander, Tucson Alumnae Chapter
Lambda Xi Chapter Hosts Sisterhood Tea With Local Alumnae Chapters In the spirit of Sisterhood Month, the Lambda Xi Chapter at the University of California at Davis hosted sisterhood teas with Solano Valley Alumnae and Elk Grove Alumnae chapters. During the tea, the three chapters fellowshipped and discussed current chapter projects, local chapter history, and personal stories and aspirations.
Lambda Xi Wins UC Davis’ Community Service Award
For the second year in a row, the Lambda Xi Chapter at the University of California at Davis was bestowed the coveted ―Group Community Service Award,‖ for outstanding Community Service by a group or organization. The ‗Recognizing a Hero Community Service Award‘ was given by the Community Service Office of UC Davis, during the May 2008 Human Corps Awards banquet. Lambda Xi sorors were recognized for their active involvement in the Davis community and surrounding counties. Community service events held by the chapter this year include: toiletry drives for women‘s shelters, Darfur workshops, canned food drives, college campus tours with high school and middle school students, collaboration with Sacramento Habitat for Humanity and participation in a breast cancer walk. Submitted by Mercedes Fields, Lambda Xi Chapter CONVENTION EDITION, SUMMER 2008
Spearheaded by Lambda Xi Soror Tiffany Wright, the tea was held for the collegiate chapter to fellowship with the local alumnae chapters so they can foster deeper relationships for future implementation of program initiatives and mentorship opportunities. One direct result of the tea, Lambda Xi sorors hosted Solano Val-
ley Alumnae‘s Delta GEMS and Delta Academy for a tour of UC Davis campus in May 2008. The visit included a workshop on financial management, budgeting, and college preparatory skills. Submitted by Mariana Dailey and Rosalyn Earl, Solano Valley Alumnae Chapter
Solano Valley and Vallejo Alumnae Chapters Collaborate for Teen Expo On March 8, 2008, the Solano County Collaboration for HIV/ AIDS Awareness Group, of which the sorors of Solano Valley and Vallejo Alumnae Chapters are members, brought together more than 100 students from Solano County for its fifth annual Teen Expo, ―A Passport for Health.‖ This youth centered conference provides information about the prevention of HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases, health education, and positive life choices. Sorors partnered with local community organizations for the event. Activities during the event gave students the opportunity to participate in youth roundtable dis-
cussions about why young people are at persistent risk for HIV infection, why this risk is especially prevalent among minority youth and HIV/AIDS prevention. This year‘s Teen Expo host was Keedar Whittle from BET‘s ―Hell Date,‖ who spoke to the students about choices for life, getting tested for the HIV infection and the statistics of young men and women infected with HIV/AIDS. Special guest R&B artist and celebrity spokesperson for ―Hope for our Youth‖ Case Woodard talked to the students about risky sexual behavior, abstinence, and the use of condoms. For entertainment, the students were treated to Kaiser Permanente‘s award winning play ―Secrets‖ which uses humor and
drama to present the facts about HIV, AIDS, and other sexually transmitted diseases. The Teen Expo also offered a health and career fair and a free healthy style lunch. Workshop topics included selfesteem, tattoos, nutrition, selfdefense, exercise with dance, skin and wellness, and educational games provided by Huckleberry Youth Programs. Incentives and rewards for the Teen Expo participants included iPod give-a-ways and door prizes. Submitted by Darla DavenportPowell, Solano Valley Alumnae Chapter PAGE CN3
Hawaii Alumnae Steps Up to Literacy For 25th Anniversary Event anniversary, sorors held their annual step show and awarded $5,000 in scholarships to deserving high school and first year college students. Literacy in Paradise During the chapter‘s ―Stomp the Island‖ step show, Hawaii Alumnae unveiled their partnership with the Hawaii Literacy Program to combat the devastating literacy problems on the Island of Oahu.
TOP: Hawaii Alumnae sorors performed for their “Stop the Island” event. LEFT: Sorors of Hawaii Alumnae Chapter.
The beautiful island of Oahu saw red during the month of April as the sorors of the Hawaii Alumnae Chapter celebrated their 25th anniversary with a focus on Sisterhood, Scholarship and Service. The Hawaii Alumnae chapter has faithfully provided service to both the Hawaiian and military communities. So-
rors also worked diligently to assist new sorors inbound to Oahu to ease the burden of transitioning to their new home in paradise. In keeping with the spirit of the Hawaiians, sorors warmly and willingly embraced new sorors and immediately gave them the feeling of O‘hana (family). This year, in celebration of their silver
Taking into account that as a nation more than 20% of adults read at or below a fifth grade level, does not escape those living amongst palm trees and blue water. As an organization of collegeeducated women, the sorors of the Hawaii Alumnae Chapter have pledged to share that academic knowledge to help others overcome some of the barriers that are keeping them at a disadvantage and in poverty. The events of the evening involved presenting the Hawaii Literacy Program with a $1000 donation, numerous books collected through the book drive, as well as continued commitment from the Hawaii Alumnae Chapter to volunteer time reading and tutoring the adult participants of the program. Submitted by Regina Williams and Vanessa Smallsbryant, Hawaii Alumnae Chapter
Berkeley Bay Area Alumnae’s 18th Annual Social Action Luncheon On May 3, 2008, more than 250 sorors and their guests joined the sorors of the Berkeley Bay Area Alumnae Chapter at the 18th Vivian 21st National President O s b o r n e Marcia L. Fudge Marsh Social Action Luncheon. The luncheon is one of the chapter‘s signature programs and highlights key social issues impacting the African American community while raising funds to support the chapter‘s scholarship program. Previous speakers have included Nikki Giovanni, Marian Wright Edelman, and Coach Carter. This year, guests were honored to hear from 21st National President Marcia L. Fudge. Soror Fudge reminded the audience of the power all have in making a difference in the lives of young people. Soror Fudge told the story of a young girl waiting at the bus stop who was approached by an elderly woman. When the woman learned that the young girl was on her way to college she reached in her ―purse‖ and gave the young girl her last dollar. The girl did not want to accept the dollar, but the woman insisted as she wanted to support the girl in her educational pursuits. The young girl went on to graduate from college with honors and become a lawyer; yet she still remembered the generosity of that elderly woman and the difference it made in her life. The young girl was Soror Fudge. Thanks to those in attendance the chapPAGE CN4
ter was able to raise over $8,500 for scholarships. During the luncheon, five students were presented scholarship awards for their academic and civic accomplishments. The scholarship recipients (listed with the college they will attend) were: Paula Brown, Hampton University; Ieshia Sheppard, UC Berkeley; Keosha Stephens, UC Santa Cruz; Alexia Thompson, UC Berkeley; and Torbertha Tobor, UC Berkeley. For 74 years the Berkeley Bay Area Alumnae Chapter has served the local community. From literacy programs for elementary school children and mentorship programs for at risk youth, to legislative advocacy workshops designed to educate sorors on effective lobbying techniques. As the 110 sorors of the chapter prepare to celebrate the chapter‘s 75th anniversary on March 28, 2009, social action and the legacy of Soror Vivian Osborne Marsh TOP —L to R: Joyce Crum (Social Action Luncheon chair), Past Farwest Regional Director Doris will continue to be in the forefront. Britt, 21st National President Marcia L. Fudge, Farwest Regional Director Tressa L. Williams, Andrea Submitted by Andrea H. Lowe, Berke- Lowe (chapter president), Sharon Hollie (member, Farwest Regional Chaplain’s Council) and Gwen Mosley (Northern California State Coordinator). ley Bay Area Alumnae Chapter BOTTOM — Past and present sorors of Kappa Chapter.
FARWEST FOCUS—SPECIAL SECTION: CHAPTER NEWS
Hawaii Alumnae Salutes The Troops Ogden’s 20th Anniversary Sorors of the Ogden Alumnae Chapter celebrated 20 years of Sisterhood, Scholarship, and Service during the weekend of May 16-17, 2008. The events included a welcome reception, a spirit-filled prayer breakfast and the chapt er ‘s annual scholarship ball, dinner and silent auction. Submitted by Michelle Love-Day, by Ogden Alumnae Chapter
The Hawaii Alumnae Chapter‘s May Week activities included a ‗Salute to the Troops‘ campaign where Hawaii Alumnae Chapter sorors donated food and snack items to send to sorors, family and friends serving overseas. Submitted by Soror Denise Rodgers, Hawaii Alumnae Chapter.
Portland Alumnae Presents 29th Women of Excellence Luncheon that recognizes the achievements and services of African American women and youth in the Portland community.
The Portland Alumnae Chapter and Piedmont Rose Connection, Inc., presented the 29th Annual Women of Excellence & Scholarship Luncheon, ―One Voice: Making a Difference in Our Community,‖ on May 10, 2008. The luncheon is an annual event
The keyn ot e speakers were Tonya Jenkins, executive director of Brothers & Sisters Keepers and the honorable Judge Adrienne Nelson, Multnomah County Judge. Five outstanding local women were honored: Taylor Allen, Youth recipient; Regina Brooks, Health Services recipient; Faye
Burch, Business/ Professional recipient; Joy Fowler, Community Service recipient; Earlean Wilson Huey, Social Justice recipient; and Sylvia Welch, Education recipient. The following high school students were recognized as youth scholarship recipients: Taylor Allen, Muluberhan Habtemariam, Julius Jones, Stephanie Machado, Duvar Retherford, Jeffrey Taylor, Zachary Taylor, and Adiana Wilmot. The Portland Alumnae Chapter has served Oregon since March 1945. Submitted by Aletha Chavis, Portland Alumnae Chapter
Soror Karis Stoudamire speaks at the podium while Soror Velma Johnson stands by. Seated on the left is Chapter President Patricia Dickerson, and seated on the right is Soror Charlotte Ned.
Portland Alumnae Brings Classic Photo Monterey Peninsula Alumnae Sorors To Life During Founders Day Celebration Celebrate Sisterhood Month & MLK
Donning their favorite hats, the Monterey Peninsula Alumnae Chapter sorors attended the chapter‘s first annual Sisterhood Brunch during Sisterhood Month at Tarpy‘s Roadhouse restaurant in Monterey, CA. Sorors spent the afternoon laughing, talking and celebrating the bond of sisterhood.
As part of their 2008 Founders Day event, Portland Alumnae, host chapter of the Pacific Northwest‘s celebration, performed a live re-enactment of the classic Founders photograph. Sorors stood still while attendees took pictures and enjoyed the visual representation. This effort was expertly facilitated by Soror Charlotte Ned. Soror Ned first saw a living representation at the 75th anniversary celebration of the Los Angeles Alumnae Chapter. ―When I saw it I was so impressed! When we talked about being responsible for the Founders Day event I knew that we could do this. It was great, how great!‖ The beautiful banner was contributed by a member of the chapter‘s Mothers and Patroness Club, Mrs. Frances Slay. Submitted by Jean Loomis, Portland Alumnae Chapter CONVENTION EDITION, SUMMER 2008
The Monterey Peninsula Alumnae Chapter, along with the chapter‘s Delta GEMS and Delta Academy members, participated in the annual Martin Luther King, Jr. March. During the event, they also staffed a table display highlighting items commemorating the MLK holiday, along with information about the sorority, and the chapter‘s community service activities. Submitted by Labrisha Mason, Monterey Peninsula Alumnae Chapter PAGE CN5
Pi Psi’s African Appreciation Day Vallejo Alumnae’s 20th Women’s Conference Features Honorary Soror Sheryl Lee Ralph
The Pi Psi Chapter held its African Appreciation Day on the University of California at Santa Cruz campus in April 2008. Past Regional Representative Danielle Moore served as the guest speaker. The event featured live entertainment from the African Diaspora, a spoken word open mic, vendors and free food. Sorors presented workshops on ―Credit Management: The Road to Financial Stability‖ and ―Breaking Down the Stereotypes of Hip Hop.‖ African Appreciation Day is a semi-annual event presented by Pi Psi Chapter since 1990. The all day event was created to celebrate African heritage outside of Black History Month for the Santa Cruz community. Submitted by Christine Sinclair, Pi Psi Chapter
Tau Tau’s Women & Politics Event
Honorary Member Sheryl Lee Ralph (front and center) with sorors during Vallejo Alumnae’s Women’s Empowerment conference.
The Vallejo Alumnae Chapter sponsored its 20th annual Women's Empowerment Conference in American Canyon, Calif. The conference featured Honorary Member Sheryl Lee Ralph. Approximately 350 women participated in workshops and discussions about improving physical health, mental well-being and personal business skills. "The goal of the conference is to provide women in our community with the tools and empowerment they need to make positive changes in their lives," said Susana Pilate, president of the Vallejo Alumnae Chapter. The evening before the conference, Soror Ralph provided a ―Delta Only‖ performance of ―Sometimes I Cry,‖ a one-woman show that is written, directed and performed by Soror Ralph. It illustrates the heartbreaking, yet inspiring real life stories of culturally diverse women whose lives unravel as they cope with their HIV/AIDS reality. Submitted Susana Pilate, Vallejo Alumnae Chapter
Tau Tau Chapter Hosts Women’s Brunch On March 29, 2008, the Tau Tau Chapter hosted their first annual Women‘s Brunch. The theme was, ―Celebrating Our Legacy.‖ The brunch featured reflections from the University of San Francisco‘s dean of students, Dr. Mary Wardell. Dr. Wardell spoke about the importance of having a dream. The keynote speaker was Soror Amarra Lee, Esq. Soror Lee shared a touching and interactive dialogue about realizing the legacy of women in history. Submitted by Christyl Wilson, Tau Tau Chapter
Tau Tau Chapter and Clementine Clark: From L to R: Christyl Wilson, Tiffany Gresham, Clementine Clark, Ashley Shaw, Aalishah Abdhallah-Richardson, and Nia Geigger.
On May 6, 2008, the Tau Tau Chapter hosted a program entitled, ―Women Moving Forward in Politics,‖ featuring Clementine Clark as keynote speaker. Ms. Clark is an entrepreneur who has played a large role in shaping San Francisco politics. She also ran to be a delegate for Barack Obama and was heavily involved in his campaign. She spoke about her experiences as a young African American woman in positions commonly held by White men. Submitted by Christyl Wilson, Tau Tau Chapter
Los Angeles South Bay Alumnae Sponsors Sephia Fashion Revue The Long Beach Westin Hotel was the elegant setting for the annual presentation of Sepia Fashion Revue, an event sponsored by the Los Angeles South Bay Alumnae Chapter for 31 consecutive years. Sepia Fashion Revue is a traveling show which assists worthy sponsoring organizations in major cities across the United States with their annual fundraising projects. The presentation showcases the latest in fashions from both American and European fashion houses, as well as noted African American designers. Chapter President Dr. Essie FrenchPreston stated, ―We received rave reviews from those in attendance.‖ She commended the chairperson, PAGE CN6
Soror Lula Morehouse; the cochairperson, Soror Melba GiddensRichie; the committee members and all chapter sorors for a job well done. Soror Preston added, ―The chapter extends appreciation to our loyal patrons for their continued support and we welcome new participants in the future.‖ During the event, the Partner In Public Service award was presented to California State University Dominguez Hills. The 2007-2008 Scholarship Recipients (listed with the colleges they will attend) were: Bianca Carrion, UC Berkeley; Jeffrey Dolliole, Loyola Marymount; Courtney Dyer, George Washington University;
Brea Ervin, CSU Long Beach; Tylyn Fields, CSU San Diego; Shanayna Harnage, UC Berkeley; Alan Holt, Stanford University; Krystal Huff, UC Riverside; Christina Johnson, MIT; Loretta Johnson, UCLA; Ashtin Larkin, West Virginia University; Lynisha Nash, UC Santa Cruz; Theresa Scales, Xavier University; Candace Washington, Biola University; and Johana Williams, UC Santa Barbara. Submitted by Georgene Taylor, Los Angeles South Bay Alumnae Chapter
Lula Morehouse, Sepia chair; Dr. Essie French-Preston, chapter president; Melba Gidden-Richie, Sephia co-chair.
FARWEST FOCUS—SPECIAL SECTION: CHAPTER NEWS
Seattle Alumnae Adopts KK--8 School At the first Seattle Alumnae Chapter meeting this year, Soror Ernestine Rutledge announced she had just accepted the K-5 administrator position at one of Seattle School District‘s most challenging schools, Madrona K-8. She asked only for prayers of support. Her humble request gave newly installed Chapter President Dr. Sonja G. Hamp-
ton the idea to adopt the school. Soror Hampton, a former principal and deputy superintendent of the Puget Sound Educational Service District, convened a committee with school superintendent Dr. Doris McEwen, former principal Victoria Romero, and school coach and resource facilitator Wanda Lofton. In the interim, Seattle Alumnae sorors supported families at Thanksgiving and Christmas. When committee member Soror McEwen went to Dubai (United Arab Emirates), she collected stories by Madrona students and presented them to students in that country. On March 10, after presenting the strategic plan, Seattle Alumnae President Hampton shook hands with Principal Karen Andrews finalizing the adoption of Madrona K-8. As part of the plan, the Seattle Alumnae Chapter will provide volunteers for after school tutoring programs, field trips and special school events, and will attend monthly PTA meetings. They also plan to host event topics in health, law and economics; facilitate some of the weekly family information nights; establish a Delta Academy; network with other community groups to find support for boys; and work with the Madrona staff to create end of the year rites of passage activities for each grade level. Submitted by Victoria Romero of Seattle Alumnae Chapter
L to R: Wanda Lofton, Victoria Romero, Ernestine Rutledge, Chapter President Sonja Hampton, Principal Karen Andrews, and Doris McEwen.
Xi Lambda Chapter Re Re--Activates
On March 22, 2008, five college women, with the help of Cerritos Area Alumnae Chapter, reactivated the Xi Lambda Chapter located at California State University at Fullerton. The new
sorors had the pleasure to have Farwest Regional Director Tressa L. Williams at their ceremony. Xi Lambda Chapter‘s first service project for the year was held at the Orange County Food Bank. Sorors packaged nutritional food boxes that were distributed to the elderly and economically disadvantaged families of Orange County, California. Fourteen college women from Cal State Fullerton and Chapman University chartered Xi Lambda Chapter on April 7, 1979. Xi Lambda Chapter is preparing for its 30th year anniversary celebration for 2009. Email dst_xilambda@ yahoo.com for more information. Submitted by Christee Lemons, Xi Lambda Chapter
Alaska Alumnae Paints The Town
The Alaska Alumnae Chapter recently participated in the city‘s "Paint The Town" project. For the project, homes — often with elderly or low-income owners — are nominated to be painted. Painting supplies are donated by local business owners and non-profit organizations are assigned a home to paint. Alaska Alumnae sorors spent eight hours painting a house for a needy home owner. This is the second year the chapter has participated in the project. The chapter was recognized at an appreciation luncheon and the chapter, as well as each participating soror, was given a certificate.
Continuing their dedication to improving th eir c om m un i t y, Alaska Alumnae is also involved in the city's ADOPT-A-HIGHWAY program. An official sign designating the chapter‘s assigned thoroughfare bears the chapter's name. The chapter schedules three clean-up days throughout the year and sorors don Delta sweatshirts, caps or t-shirts and commit elbow-grease to this project. These two projects are part of Alaska Alumnae‘s goal to promote their visibility in the community while performing community service. The chapter has been honored for both of these projects. Soror Toni Harlan serves as co-coordinator of the chapter's participation in ADOPT A HIGHWAY 2008. Nanette Gay served as chapter president during the 2007-2008 sorority year. Submitted by Lori Colbert, Alaska Alumnae Chapter
Tempe Alumnae Adopts AZ School The Tempe Alumnae Chapter adopted Irving Elementary School located in northeast Mesa, Arizona. As part of the adoption, Tempe Alumnae sorors tutored fifth graders in reading and math. The chapter also provided school supplies for teachers and students, donated to the playground fund, and collected new children's books to be distributed to each student. The chapter participated in the school's Family Literacy Night on March 13, 2008 which had a record number of families in attendance. At the event, the new books were on display and several raffles were held for books and stuffed animals. School principal Brenda Petties has said many times that the chapter's involvement has contributed greatly to the success of this school year.
Submitted by Brenda Queen, Tempe Alumnae Chapter
Pasadena Alumnae Hosts 6th Annual Young Women’s Conference The Pasadena Alumnae Chapter hosted its 6th annual Young African American Women‘s Conference on March 29, 2008 at Pasadena City College, in Pasadena, CA. Sorors Deborah Blanton Williams and Chapter President Gwendolyn McMullins served as conference chairper-
sons. The full-day innovative and interactive conference was specifically designed to inspire and motivate African American females ages 12 to 18 years old in the choices they will need to make to ensure their future success and well-being. The conference was a phenomenal success, with more than 500 girls and parents in attendance (exceeding the goal of 300). Dena Cali, model, entrepreneur and philanthropist, served as the keynote speaker and called on the girls to increase their awareness of the changes and challenges that they will encounter through life. Workshops discussion topics included personal wellness, making healthy food choices and recognizing healthy and unhealthy relationships. A variety of prizes such as exercise bands and pedometers were given to all participants. African American women served as presenters for
CONVENTION EDITION, SUMMER 2008
all workshops and as exhibitors. The closing session was led by a film producer Chimene Davis and film writer Bonnie Rutherford. They shared their film, ―Origin of Rainbows: Colorism Exposed” with the girls and engaged them in a lively but targeted discussion around perceptions of beauty and skin color, both in the African American community and throughout the world. The conference was funded through corporate and individual donations. Continental breakfast, lunch, t-shirts and bags were provided to all participants. The
chapter partnered with corporate sponsors and community organizations for the event. Submitted by Esther Watkins, Pasadena Alumnae Chapter PAGE CN7
Pomona Valley Alumnae Holds Black Business Expo and Scholarship Event The Pomona Valley Alumnae Chapter‘s third annual May Week featured a Black Business Expo. The chapter partnered with Project LINC (Leaders Interacting for the Nourishment of our Community) to combine a Black Business Expo with the chapter‘s Scholarship/Honors Recognition Reception to encourage community involvement and build alliances between today‘s and tomorrow‘s leaders. The reception was held on May 29, 2008 at the Mountain Meadows Country Club in Pomona, CA. The event showcased more than 150 high school juniors and seniors, representing six local high schools, who achieved over a 3.0 cumulative GPA. In addition, this year the chapter recognized freshmen and sophomores from Pomona High School with a 3.0 or higher cumulative GPA as ―Rising Stars.‖ Na‘Kisha Crawford, the event committee chair, said, ―The level of support from the parents and friends of these talented young people created an atmosphere of family and a hope so that our future African American leaders are being trained and supported, starting at home.‖
The night was full of inspirational messages around making the right choices. Life Coach Jeshana AventJohnson served as keynote speaker. The community involvement was astounding. Pomona Valley Alumnae Chapter sorors during their Black Business Expo and Scholarship/Honors Recognition Reception. Twenty-eight African American business owners parThe event concluded with the presentation ris, Juanita Hicks, Mechelle Monroe, Jasticipated, representing the entrepreneurof eight scholarships to high school stu- mine Samuels, Janoah Sallie, and Chinedu ship within the Pomona community. The dents. The scholarship recipients were Udeh. chapter presented the business of the year Kennisha Baker, Kear Faniel, Jacqueline Submitted by Shirell Edmonds, Pomona award to Splurge Kids, owned and operFrencher, Jazzmine Graham, Kristin Har- Valley Alumnae Chapter ated by Alimon & Joi Williams.
San Fernando Valley and Foothill Alumnae Partner for Health and Fitness
San Fernando Valley Alumnae and Foothill Alumnae chapters at the Health and Fitness Fair in Granada Hills, CA.
The San Fernando Valley Alumnae and Foothill Alumnae chapters hosted their inaugural Health and Fitness Fair in Granada Hills, CA on May 3, 2008. The brainchild of Soror Andrea Best of San Fernando Valley Alumnae Chapter, a call was put out to local chapters and Foothill Alumnae responded. Both chapters saw the need for a health fair in the valley to educate the community about the importance of maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Committee members from both chapters worked daily. They contacted community organizations, healthcare professionals, and medical corporation for donations, established media contacts, and addressed site issues. Despite the many challenges, the dream came to fruition on a beautiful day. Sponsored by Pfizer, Pepsi, and AstraZeneca, the health and fitness fair featured
booths from State Farm, Hamlin Dental Group, Save the Ta-Ta‘s, multiple offices from the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services. There were activities for the whole family, including a fitness walk, obstacle course challenge, mental health expert panel, give-a-ways, massages, and free digital I.D.‘s for kids. Sorors from Epsilon Zeta Chapter at the California State University, Los Angeles, as well as young ladies from Foothill Alumnae‘s Delta GEMS program, and other NPHC organizations were also on site to lend a hand. Feedback from among the 30 exhibitors and over 150 attendees indicated that the day was well worth the effort put forth by the hard-working sorors of the San Fernando Valley and Foothill Alumnae chapters. Submitted by Felicia Caldwell, San Fernando Alumnae Chapter
Las Vegas Alumnae’s DeltaGanza Raises $15K for Scholarship and Service DeltaGanza is the annual fundraising event for the Las Vegas Alumnae Chapter. Proceeds from the event benefit local youth and the needy through LVAC‘s service and scholarship programs. This year‘s event, ―Jazz in the Afternoon,‖ was held on April 20, 2008 at the beautiful Hartland Mansion in Las Vegas, owned by an equally beautiful African American woman, Dr. Toni Hart. The afternoon began with an introduction of Soror Pamelia Atkins-Girouard, chapter president; Soror Verna Stringer, DeltaGanza chair; and Soror Angela T. Clark, the event‘s mistress of Ceremony.
The event‘s honorary chairs — Merald and Soror Kathleen Knight, Thomas and Kimberly Moore and Clark County Commissioner Lawrence Weekly — were instrumental in encouraging monetary contributions towards the silent and live auctions. Grammy-winning Gospel Artist Larry Hart performed and brought guests to their feet in applause and praise. Additional entertainment included the smooth sounds of Las Vegas‘ local and top rated musical group, The Brothers Ali. The buffet dinner was underwritten by Outback Steakhouse and included grilled steak and chicken, potatoes, vegetables, salad and cheesecake. The 150+ guests shared their enthusiasm for, and appreciation of, this event and garnered approximately $15,000 for the chapter‘s service and community programs.
The chapter felt blessed that the funds raised will allow continued scholarships and opportunities for those less fortunate in the upcoming year. Submitted by Constance T. Ewing, Las Vegas Alumnae Chapter
TOP LEFT: Sorors Clark and Stringer (event emcee and event chair) TOP RIGHT: President Atkins-Girouard with Honorary Chairs Merald (Bubba) & Soror Kathleen Knight, County Commissioner Weekly & daughter, and Kimberly & Thomas Moore. FAR LEFT: Attendees enjoy the food, entertainment and ambience of the event.
FARWEST FOCUS—SPECIAL SECTION: CHAPTER NEWS
Upsilon Gamma Honored By Local NPHC Bakersfield Alumnae Relays
Upsilon Gamma Chapter President Shante Hearst
The California State University at San Bernardino Chapter of the National Pan-Hellenic Council presented the Upsilon Gamma Chapter with the
NPHC Presidents Trophy, the highest honor within the council and the first year that the council has given out this award. The chapter was also acknowledged as the NPHC organization with the highest overall grade point average amongst all the other chapters. Upsilon Gamma Chapter President Shante Hearst was announced as the NPHC Woman of the Year, the highest honor given to an individual member. The award qualified her for an additional award — which she also won — the 2007-2008 Greek Leader of the Year, which is the highest honor granted to an individual in the NPHC community all together. The Upsilon Gamma chapter was chartered at Cal State San Bernardino on April 22, 2007. Submitted by Shante Hearst, Upsilon Gamma Chapter
Atwater Atwater--Merced Alumnae’s Delta GEMS
The Atwater-Merced Alumnae Chapter‘s Delta Academy and Delta GEMS enjoyed some enriching and fun experiences this year. There are 11 GEMS and 3 Academy students, and chapter anticipates a new GEM enrollee in the Fall from South America. Soror Iris Jackson chaired the committee this year, with sorors Mary Ellis and Annette White assist-
ing as committee members. One very popular activity with the GEMS was the Book Club. The girls thoroughly enjoyed reading and sharing about ―To Kill a Mockingbird.” Other activities included designing and creating their own scrap books, reading and creating poems learning about African Americans in Science, and Etiquette and Manners along with Appropriate Dress. They also learned what it takes to meet college/university admissions, taking tests and preparing for careers in the 21st century. With a focus on Healthy, Wealthy, & Wise, a Savings Club was created for the GEMS and the Academy. Also, several GEMS attended the Youth State in Sacramento on April 19, 2008. Submitted by Annette White, Atwater-Merced Alumnae Chapter
Relay for Life The Bakersfield Alumnae Chapter participated in the American Cancer Society‘s Relay for Life event, which was held at California State University at Bakersfield campus on May 3-4 2008. The chapter, along with 350 other teams, helped to raise 1.7 million dollars. Next year a dance-athon is planned for the spring to help raise additional funds in support of the American Cancer Society. Shoes for Our Sisters At the March chapter meeting, the Bakersfield Alumnae Chapter sorors collected 100 pairs of women‘s shoes and donated them to the Bakersfield Homeless Shelter for the women in the shelter who are transitioning back into the work world. BMW Test Drive for Breast Cancer Bakersfield Alumnae Chapter participated in the 12th Annual BMW Ultimate Drive event on June 3, 2008. In October 2007, several chapter members test drove BMWs to help raise awareness and funds for the Susan G. Komen breast cancer foundation. By test driving 25 specially marked BMWs, BMW of Bakersfield will donate $1.00 to the Susan G. Komen for the Cure foundation for every mile driven. This annual event helps raise money to fund research, prevention, and treatment of Breast Cancer. Submitted by Alexis Frink, Bakersfield Alumnae Chapter
Long Beach Alumnae Celebrates 9th Annual Prayer Breakfast
Soror Bishop Vashti McKenzie (seated on a chair in the middle, in all red) surrounded by Long Beach Alumnae at the chapter’s 9th Annual Prayer Breakfast.
On March 22, 2008, the Long Beach Alumnae Chapter hosted its 9th Annual Prayer Breakfast and Silent Auction. It was an uplifting morning of enrichment and praise as keynote speaker Soror Bishop Vashti McKenzie encouraged all to ―let go of the past and move forward to achieving your next goal.‖ This year‘s event took place at the Westin Hotel in Long Beach and was the largest attended event in the past nine years. The Prayer Breakfast is the chapter‘s main annual fundraising event. Proceeds are allocated for scholarships and to support service activities within the greater Long Beach area. Submitted by Aletha R. Horne, Long Beach Alumnae Chapter CONVENTION EDITION, SUMMER 2008
Past Farwest Regional Director Mabel Lockett Martin 1961 leaving her to care for two sons. Soror Martin then became a social worker. She later returned to school for a teaching credential and served as a classroom teacher and a reading consultant for Los Angeles Unified School District. Her family‘s Christian heritage was Congregationalist, Baptist, and African Methodist Episcopal. After her marriage, she became a member of the Disciples of Christ serving the church in numerous ministries, especially children and youth. Second, only to family and church, was Soror Martin‘s devotion to Delta.
Soror Mabel Martin was born in Oakland, CA on May 28, 1913, fifty years after the Emancipation of Proclamation, and remembered how joyous her paternal grandmother was when freedom was announced to the slaves. Soror Martin graduated from University of California at Berkeley in 1939 with a Bachelor‘s degree in psychology. While at UC Berkeley, she was initiated into Kappa Chapter. After graduation, she worked for the Works Progress Administration (WPA) in Los Angeles, CA. Her husband Vance Martin, Sr. died in
Born in the same year that the sorority was founded, she was the youngest Farwest Regional Director in the early 1940’s. She served as Farwest Regional Director from 1939-1943. Pasadena Alumnae remembers her originating the chapter‘s annual Holiday Boutique and her devotion to the young women in the Cotillion. Following her retirement, Soror Martin joined the Docent Council of Pacific Asia Museum in Pasadena and became a regular guide. She also was an artist who enjoyed all of the arts, especially ceramics. Submitted by Esther S. Watkins, Pasadena Alumnae Chapter
Flora Elizabeth White Turner Soror Flora Elizabeth White Turner was born in Florence, AL on November 14, 1919. She was the first in her family to attend college and was a student at the University of Wisconsin, where she was initiated into Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. In the fall of 1941, she married William (Bill) Turner. They had three children, Dr. William Turner (who preceded Flora in death), Carl Turner, and Kathleen Turner Knight. Flora was a charter member of the Beta Tau/Milwaukee Alumnae Chapter and she remained in good financial standing the entire 66 years that she was a member. Flora was also active in the Parent Teacher's Association; Jack and Jill of America; the NAACP; Zembo Court No. 30 Daughters of Isis; Prince Hall Affiliate; and Oasis of Milwaukee Desert of Wisconsin. She also actively participated in Electa Chapter No. 7, Order of the Eastern Star, the Milwaukee Elections Commission, and the "24th Place Block Club." Soror Turner entered the Omega Omega Chapter on January 4, 2007.
Olga Moore Soror Olga Moore, a devoted soror for over fifty-seven years, was born in Chattanooga, Tennessee. She earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Business and Sociology from Tennessee State University. Inducted into Delta Sigma Theta while attending college in 1938, she was elected president of the Alpha Chi Chapter the next year. She furthered her education by completing a teaching credential at Pacific Oaks in Pasadena, CA. She married Dr. Wallace Moore, a dentist, in 1942 and the product of that union is a son, Michael Moore. Olga began her professional career as a bookkeeper, but eventually became an elementary teacher, where she found many years of rewarding experiences in developing the academic and social skills of young minds. As a founding member, Soror Moore has been active with the Pasadena Alumnae Chapter since its inception in 1963. She chaired the Cotillion Committee and made a major impact in the success of the chapter‘s Annual Holiday Boutique, which raises funds for programs offered by other community service organizations. The items sold at the boutique are hand-made by sorors, and Soror Moore personally crafted approximately half of them. The true spirit of Delta is manifested through the work of this truly missed soror. Soror Moore was an active member of Saint Therese Catholic Church where she participated in the church‘s programs and community projects. Submitted by Esther S. Watkins, Pasadena Alumnae Chapter
Lillian M. Ollie
Submitted by Constance T. Ewing, Las Vegas Alumnae Chapter PAGE CN10
Soror Christine Harris was truly a woman of Christian principles who dedicated her life to her church, to public service, and to the improvement of human welfare. In Pasadena, whenever there was a cause needing support or a group needing help, this ideal Delta consistently responded by creating programs, providing financial support, giving her time and talent, or doing whatever the issue required. Early in her career in Pasadena, Soror Harris served as the director of the senior center and put into place numerous programs and activities to serve that community. She became friends with many of the seniors there and retained their friendships throughout her life. When Soror Harris became supervisor at the Jackie Robinson Center, she made sure that a vibrant senior program was presented, and today, this program remains intact. Because of Soror Harris, this center is a picture of true community involvement. The premiere activity at the Jackie Robinson Center and Robinson Park, which would be synonymous with the name Christine Harris, is the Black History Parade and Festival which celebrated its 25th year in 2007. For all who knew her, many positive moments were encountered. She would always ask about the health or condition of those whom she had not seen for a while, and she always wore a beautiful smile upon her face. This beautiful, loyal, and dedicated Delta‘s presence will still be felt for she was a blessing in many lives. Submitted by Esther S. Watkins, Pasadena Alumnae Chapter
Gwendolyn Buckingham Sweeter Watley
Submitted by Constance T. Ewing, Las Vegas Alumnae Chapter
Soror Lillian M. Ollie was born on July 23, 1927 in Ypsilanti, MI. She was the first African American child in Romulus, MI. She earned her B.A. in Industrial Arts in 1949 from Eastern Michigan University and her Master‘s degree in Special Education from Wayne State University (Detroit) in 1963. Soror Ollie taught architectural drawing and special education, and was also a counselor. She retired in 1995. Soror Ollie moved to Henderson, NV in October 1997. While here, she enjoyed attending classes at her church, providing prayer in the homes of her parishioners, reading, writing poetry, and sewing. She collected prayers and worked with a prayer group in her church. Soror Ollie made her own clothes and those of her daughter. She was a great tailor having made the heavy coats needed for the severe winters in Michigan. Lillian Bell Ollie had a passion for learning anything new and was a charter member of the campus-based chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority at Eastern Michigan University. Soror Ollie‘s entered Omega Omega on February 1, 2007 and the Omega Omega service was held on Wednesday, February 7, 2007 at the Palm Mortuary Chapel in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Soror Gwendolyn Buckingham Sweeter Watley was born in Meridian, MS on April 28, 1936. Gwen was married to the late Arthur Watley. Gwen departed this life at Desert Springs Hospital in Las Vegas, NV on Sunday, March 5, 2006 at 12:55 p.m. Church and religion have always been a part of Gwen‘s life. Both of her grandfathers were ministers. She confessed Christ at an early age and grew up in St. James A.M.E. Church in Meridian, MS. Gwen was a member of Fountain of Hope A.M.E. Church where she was in regular attendance until her illness hampered her mobility. Prior to her illness, she was president of the adult choir, Voices of Hope.
Her college education included two years at Talladega College (AL) and two years at Central State University (OH) where she graduated with a B.A. degree in Sociology in 1959. She did some graduate work at Rutgers University (NJ) and later received her M.A. degree in Social Work from Wayne State University (MI). She worked as a social worker in Cleveland, OH, East Orange, NJ and Detroit, MI. She also worked as a medical social worker for the State of Michigan. She retired in June 1997 and relocated to Henderson, NV in November 2003. Like both of her grandmothers and her father, Gwen was an entrepreneur; acquiring property in three states. She was a very caring landlady and treated her renters like her family. After moving to Las Vegas, Gwen volunteered her services to Travelers‘ Aid at McCarran International Airport. Since childhood, Gwen loved adventure. Traveling was her true passion and hence she became a world traveler, having traveled to every continent except Antarctica. Submitted by Constance T. Ewing, Las Vegas Alumnae Chapter
FARWEST FOCUS—SPECIAL SECTION: CHAPTER NEWS
Gloria Keith Dugan
Carole Cooper Soror Carole Cooper was a multi-faceted former Santa Clara Parks and Recreation Commissioner who died on December 2, 2007 at the age of 60 after a brave battle with breast cancer. She served in many roles for the Silicon Valley area of California. She was a dedicated member of the City's Parks and Recreation Commission, a major force behind the wildly popular San Jose Jazz Festival and is also known as the mother of Santa Clara's Kwanzaa celebration. In addition, she worked three decades in high tech PR with companies like Intel, Apple and Cisco. She is also known as someone with an impressive high tech resume who returned to college in her mid-50s to become a teacher. Soror Cooper was born in Los Angeles, later moving with her family to Hawaii where she graduated from high school. She subsequently earned a BA in Public Relations from San Jose State University. In 1968 she met her longtime companion Clyde Rivers. The couple had their first date on her 21st birthday and were to-
gether from that day on, making their home in Santa Clara. In 1996, Soror Cooper was initiated into the Palo Alto/Bay Area Alumnae Chapter. She later moved her membership to the San Jose Alumnae Chapter. The NAACP has recognized Soror Cooper‘s achievements with its Freedom Fighter Award. She also received two California State Assembly Certificates of Recognition. Learning that her breast cancer had returned after a five-year remission, Soror Cooper nevertheless moved ahead with her plan for a mid-life career change. In 2005 she earned an MS in teaching from National University, specializing in crosscultural teaching. With illness taking its toll on Soror Cooper in 2006, she and Clyde moved to Georgia where they had family and where, as she told friends, the pace of life was more relaxed. The move also allowed the couple to buy their dream house – a spacious two-story home with an expansive tree-filled yard where she always enjoyed spending time. Despite illness, she never stopped living life to its fullest and remained upbeat. A memorial site for Soror Cooper is at www.carole-cooper.memory-of.com. Submitted by Tamu Gramby, San Jose Alumnae Chapter
the decades whom she loved, mentored and cherished. The two events in Delta that gave her the most pride were the pinning of her daughter, Stefanie Dugan Lowe, and the establishment of the Gloria Keith Dugan Leadership Scholarship at UC Berkeley, Kappa Chapter. As a Golden Life member, she worked over 56 years for Delta in various capacities, including being a charter member of Oakland East Bay Alumnae Chapter, more than 10 years as the chaplain of Berkeley Bay Area Alumnae Chapter, as well as various regional and national committees. Soror Dugan loved God with all of her strength and all of her being. Over the years, she would fellowship and partner with many churches who shared her fervor for worshipping the Lord. Ultimately, it would be McGee Avenue Baptist Church that she would call her church home. A strong and diligent community activist, Soror Dugan belonged to many organizations. One of which that was very close to her was the C‘est La Vie Civic and Social Club. For over twenty years she worked in this organization in capacities from President to Secretary. She also enjoyed belonging to a group named ―Just Us,‖ because that who the ladies were when they were together—just us. Submitted by Stefanie Dugan Lowe, Berkeley Bay Area Alumnae Chapter
Lilla June Kelker Cushon
Ruth Howard Starke
Soror Ruth Howard Starke, an active member of the Tacoma Alumnae Chapter for more than 34 years will be greatly missed. She passed away on May 2, 2007. She was born to the late William and Mattie Howard. She leaves to cherish her memory a devoted husband, Mr. Herbert L. Starke; two sons, David Howard and Karl Starke; and step-sons Michael and Daryl Starke. In addition, Soror Starke has six siblings, two of whom are also Deltas. Soror Starke received an undergraduate degree from Florida A&M University and her Master‘s Degree from the University of Washington, Seattle. She was a dedicated and loyal librarian at two junior high schools in both Seattle and Kent, Washington areas where she retired in 2000. Soror Starke was of the first group of women to be initiated into the Tacoma
Soror Gloria Keith Dugan was born on September 14, 1932 in Chicago, Illinois. Soror Dugan earned dual degrees from San Francisco State University, receiving both Bachelor‘s and Master‘s Degrees in Business Management. It was during this time that Soror Dugan would begin a life of love, loyalty, and dedication to Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. She was initiated on April 30, 1951 into Kappa Chapter (a city-wide chapter at the time). It would be some years later, while employed by the United States Navy Supply Center, when Soror Dugan would meet and fall in love with her soul mate: Lawrence Dugan, a member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. From this union were produced two beautiful daughters: Stefanie Gillian and Stacey Gabrielle. She cherished the distinguished honor of having personal relationships with Founder Bertha Pitts Campbell and 7th National President Vivian Osborne Marsh. Her heart was always with the women of Kappa Chapter—hundreds of women over
Alumnae Chapter in May of 1973. A faithful and committed Delta, she served as chapter president in 1988 and 1989. During following years, she held the role of official parliamentarian. In addition, she supported the work of 17th National President Mona Humphries Bailey by serving on the Heritage and Archives Task Force (now the National Standing Committee). Steadfast Soror Starke worked to make a difference for all mankind. She showed support and gave time to beloved Founder Bertha Pitts-Campbell, secured the Black College Fair for local African American students, chaired the 2007 Oral History and Exhibit Committee for the Black Heritage Society of Washington, Inc. and was a mentor for so many young Deltas. Devoted to community service, she was a faithful member to Tacoma Chapter of the Links, Inc. and the Jack and Jill Legacy. She was also on the board of directors for the Black Heritage Society of Washington State. Tacoma Alumnae sorors wish to thank Soror Starke for using her life in so many ways to make a difference for people. She left precious embossing marks that will last for all eternity. Submitted by Athena Lock, Tacoma Alumnae Chapter
Soror Lilla June Cushon, better known as June, possessed a peaceful, spiritual aura that radiated to all who knew and loved her. She went to be with God on September 6, 2007. She was born May 21, 1932 in Pensacola, FL. June was initiated into the Tacoma Alumnae Chapter in 1975. She often spoke of how much she loved her Delta sorors. She was active in the Tacoma Alumnae Chapter and through the chapter she served her community, especially focusing on programs that targeted young people. She was a faithful and dedicated Delta to the end. She demonstrated unconditional generosity, friendship and support. She was free spirited. June‘s professional career was that of an educator. She loved working with children and through her work with them she was inspired to fulfill one of her lifelong dreams of becoming an author. She told the story of how her second graders enjoyed rhymes and how she encouraged them to use their imagination. When she read her book to them, they wanted to hear it over and over again, so June decided to publish her book, ―A Penguin
Pal Dream.‖ Thirty-nine copies of her book were donated to children in need through the Tacoma Alumnae Chapter for the Farwest Region‘s public service project at the 46th Regional Conference held in Santa Clara, California in August 2007. All of the proceeds from her book go towards building water wells in Africa. She said that she could send money, but she wanted to send something that could be used forever. A well could provide a lifetime of aid to many. Soror Lilla June Cushon remained true to her sacred word of honor. She loved Delta and its ideals and faithfully attempted to realize them in her daily life. She sought to be compassionate, loving as a sister, tender-hearted and humble minded. She lived fully and laughed often. She appreciated earth‘s beauty. She looked for the best in others and gave the best she had. Her life was an inspiration and her memory will be a benediction. Submitted by Athena Lock, Tacoma Alumnae Chapter
Mary Elizabeth Reeves Little Soror Mary Elizabeth Reeves Little, a charter member of the Rolling Hills/ Palos Verdes Alumnae and Los Angeles South Bay Alumnae chapters, en-
tered the Omega Omega Chapter on October 31, 2007. A Floridian by birth she was born on February 7, 1923 and grew up in Los Angeles where she was educated in the Los Angeles Unified School System.
College — receiving a degree from each. Soror Little lived an extraordinary life of service to humanity as an educator, volunteer, community activist, and humanitarian. She received numerous honors, recognitions, and awards.
Soror Little attended the following colleges, Los Angeles City College, University of California at Los Angeles, Pepperdine University, Los Angeles State College, LaVerne University, and Occidental
Considered a foundation and a cornerstone of her community, Soror Little was an active member of numerous organizations. She was also a devout member of the First Lutheran Church of Carson.
CONVENTION EDITION, SUMMER 2008
Soror Little was initiated into Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. on May 5, 1957 through Pi Chapter. During her 50 years of service in Delta, let it be noted that since her initiation into our illustrious sorority Soror Little only missed one regional conference (46th Farwest Regional Conference) and two National Conventions (44th and 48th National Conventions). Submitted by Kimberly Usher, Rolling Hills/Palos Verdes Alumnae Chapter PAGE CN11
Welcomed Into Delta Land, Farwest Style
Long Beach/Kenya Connection
The Long Beach Alumnae Chapter in the home of Nyambura Kamao, Consul General of Kenya, where they were greeted with hugs, smiles and the aroma of authentic Kenyan food. The intimate setting provided the ideal place to fellowship and present various potential joint projects.
Solano Valley on Fire for Delta Dears New sorors of Long Beach Alumnae celebrated their initiation into the sorority on April 19, 2008.
Upsilon Sorors Bring Delta GEMS to USC Sorors gathered at the Solano Valley Alumnae Chapter’s “Fire and Ice Gala,” where they saluted Delta Dears.
San Jose Alumnae Shouts HARAMBEE!
The San Jose Alumnae sorors gathered in African attire during the chapter’s sold out HARAMBEE event, which included a fashion show and scholarship presentation.
What Happens During Farwest Leadership Team Meetings?
A few members of the Farwest Leadership team took a “dancing” break during three days of planning. PAGE CN12
The Upsilon Chapter sorors gave a tour of the University of Southern California campus for the Century City Alumnae Chapter’s Delta GEMS. During the visit, sorors facilitated a workshop on college requirements, the application process and budgeting. Upsilon sorors also stepped on the yard for the GEMS.
Farwest Communications Cluster
Farwest Regional Communications and Technology Team at the California/Hawaii Cluster meeting. L to R: Nadirah Stills, Constant Contact Editor; Libra White, Regional Journalist/Farwest Focus Editor; and Joyce Williams, Regional Web Mistress.
Soror Sheena Marie Poole, of the Upsilon Gamma Chapter was crowned the 2008 Miss Black San Bernardino Scholarship Pageant First Runner-up. Her pageant talent was praise dancing.
FARWEST FOCUS—SPECIAL SECTION: CHAPTER NEWS