DELTA Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.
JOURNAL Spring 2009
DELTA SIGMA THETA
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PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT EDUCATIONAL DEVELOPMENT INTERNATIONAL AWARENESS PHYSICAL & MENTAL HEALTH POLITICAL AWARENESS CHAPTER NEWS DELTA WOMEN ON THE YARD OMEGA OMEGA
ON THE COVER PHOTO 1: National President Cynthia M. A. Butler-McIntyre addresses sorors during the 20th Annual Delta Days in the Nation’s Capital. PHOTO BY MARVIN T. JONES SEE STORY ON PAGE 14.
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DELTA SIGMA THETA COMMEMORATES CHANGE
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STATUE OF REPRESENTATIVE BARBARA JORDAN UNVEILED
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DELTA CONTINUES TO MAKE ITS MARK
FROM THE DELTA ARCHIVES
PHOTO 2: Rep. Marcia L. Fudge (D-Ohio) during a mock swearing-
in ceremony for the 110th Congress. College friend and soror, Jan Davis White (LEFT) and U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (RIGHT) join her. PHOTO COURTESY OF U.S. HOUSE SPEAKER NANCY PELOSI’S OFFICE SEE STORY ON PAGE 8. PHOTO 3: A crowd of sorors and guests gather outside of Delta Sigma Theta’s National Headquarters building. PHOTO BY SHARON FARMER SEE STORY ON PAGE 4. PHOTO 4: Greensboro Alumnae Chapter members hold a Get
Out the Vote Campaign at Claremont Housing Development in Greensboro, N.C. PHOTO COURTESY OF GREENSBORO ALUMNAE CHAPTER SEE PHOTO ON PAGE 32.
President Barack H. Obama PHOTO COURTESY OF WHITE HOUSE PHOTOGRAPHY OFFICE SEE STORY ON PAGE 6.
SOROR MARCIA L. FUDGE ELECTED TO CONGRESS THE HONORABLE SHIRLEY CHISHOLM “A Portrait to Remember”
DR. LOUISE A. RICE: Committed to Community Service GWENDOLYN E. BOYD: A Lifetime of Service 20TH ANNUAL DELTA DAYS IN THE NATION’S CAPITAL 5TH ANNUAL COLLEGIATE DAY FORUM DELTA DAY AT THE UNITED NATIONS COLLEGIATE TRANSITION TASK FORCE The Retention of Transition
PROJECT ART: Actively Redeﬁning Together LEADERSHIP DELTA CLASS OF 2008 BOOK WORLD: IDA: A Sword Among Lions NATIONAL PRESIDENT CELEBRATES 96TH FOUNDERS DAY NATIONAL COMMITTEES, COMMISSIONS AND TASK FORCES INFORMATION: “How May I Direct Your Call?”
DELTA JOURNAL Spring 2009 PUBLISHER
Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. NATIONAL PRESIDENT
Cynthia M. A. Butler-McIntyre NATIONAL FIRST VICE PRESIDENT
Dr. Paulette C. Walker NATIONAL SECOND VICE PRESIDENT
Mia S. Smith NATIONAL SECRETARY
Beverly E. Smith NATIONAL TREASURER
Carolyn E. Lewis CO-CHAIR, INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATIONS
Ashley R. Allison CO-CHAIR, INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATIONS
Erica Danielle Donerson EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
Roseline McKinney DIRECTOR, PROGRAMS AND PUBLIC RELATIONS
Ella M. McNair EDITOR
Ashley Chaney PUBLICATIONS AND PUBLIC RELATIONS SPECIALIST
Five-Point Programmatic Thrust
ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT The Sorority continuously records and disseminates information to chapters in reference to supporting minority owned programs, seminars and workshops on procurement and entrepreneurship, Adopt-a-Black-Business in support of local black businesses and information on business financing and management. An important component is emphasis on personal financial planning and management of assets.
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EDUCATIONAL DEVELOPMENT Delta Chapters conduct programs/projects designed to address the need for excellence in education. On national and local levels, these programs range from tutorial services to the awarding of scholarships and grants. INTERNATIONAL AWARENESS AND INVOLVEMENT Through international projects, Delta women have been able to broaden their knowledge and understanding of nations other than their own, to increase interest in international affairs, and to aid in developing a greater appreciation for people of different backgrounds and cultures. PHYSICAL AND MENTAL HEALTH Delta’s work in prevention and wellness translates into health education programs, health fairs and provision of health care services for those in need. Delta also supports medical research that examines illnesses that victimize specific segments of the nation’s population, particularly AfricanAmericans.
POLITICAL AWARENESS AND INVOLVEMENT The Founders participation in the Suffrage March for Women to Vote in March 1913 signaled the first act of political awareness and involvement. public policy awareness in African-American communities continues to guide activities of the Social Action Commission. The Sorority’s “need to know” and the accountability of elected officials has been the basis for public service programs in this area of political awareness and involvement. The focus has been on those issues that greatly impact the AfricanAmerican community. Through social action, the members of the Sorority, and their respective communities gain greater appreciation of their potential for influence in their communities.
NATIONAL HEADQUARTERS: 1707 New Hampshire Avenue, NW Washington, DC 20009 202.986.2400 www.deltasigmatheta.org
The DELTA Journal is the official publication of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. It is designed to foster ideas and disseminate information that focuses on black women universally. Published periodically, the Journal communicates the programmatic thrust of the Sorority, as well as states the Sorority’s position on public policies. Articles by guest authors do not necessarily represent the views of Delta and Delta reserves the right to edit or reject any articles submitted. All articles become the property of Delta Sigma Theta. The DELTA Journal is published semi-annually and The DELTA Newsletter is published quarterly by Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. Send all materials for publication to the editor. No portion of this Journal’s contents may be reproduced without the permission of the publisher. A $20 processing fee will be charged for each photograph submitted for Delta Women and Chapter News. Internet photographs are not acceptable. Mail a cashier’s check or money order payable to Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., 1707 New Hampshire Ave. N.W., Washington, D.C. 20009, c/o DELTA Journal.
Message from the National President My Dear Sorors,
n January 20, 2009, Barack Obama, an African-American, stood on the steps of the nation’s Capitol and took the oath of ofﬁce as the 44th President of the United States. This deﬁning moment was characterized with an underlying theme of hope and change. We, as Deltas, can be especially proud because we stand ready to answer the call. For 96 years, our Sorority has dedicated itself to transforming Cynthia M. A. Butler-McIntyre lives across the globe and positively impacting communities. This DELTA Journal provides an overview of some of the programs for this biennium that enable us to continue that mission. During your regional conference, you’ll learn even more about the programs you can participate in while carrying Delta’s torch high. Also in this Journal, we focus on the historic election of President Barack Obama. I must say it was a pleasure fellowshipping with so many of you during the meet and greet at our National Headquarters on Martin Luther King Jr. Day in the midst of the inaugural festivities. I am honored, humbled and blessed to be serving as your 24th National President during this auspicious time in American history. However, we cannot ignore the many hardships that some of us, our loved ones and friends are experiencing. By continuing to work together in the name of Delta, we can make a difference because we are “Delta Sigma Theta—A Sisterhood Called to Serve: Transforming Lives, Impacting Communities.” With a Servant’s Heart,
Cynthia M. A. Butler-McIntyre NATIONAL PRESIDENT
JOURNAL Spring 2009
(PHOTO LEFT): Sorors, family and friends of Delta gather in the lobby of the Sorority’s National Headquarters in Washington, D.C. during the meet and greet held on Jan. 19, 2009. (PHOTO ABOVE): Sorors and friends pose for a photo with Dr. Paulette C. Walker, national ﬁrst vice president, and Beverly E. Smith, national secretary (CENTER). (PHOTO RIGHT): Soror Sheryl Lee Ralph, honorary member, poses for a photo with a cardboard cut-out of President Obama. PHOTOS BY SHARON FARMER
D E LTA
S I G M A
T H E TA
THOUSANDS OF SORORS, FAMILIES AND FRIENDS OF DELTA CELEBRATE
A crowd of sorors and guests gather outside of Delta Sigma Theta’s National Headquarters building. PHOTO BY SHARON FARMER
he doors of the Delta House were open for sorors and friends coming together in Washington, D.C. for the historic inauguration of President Barack Obama, the nation’s ﬁrst African-American president. Thousands, many decked out in their ﬁnest red and white Delta ensembles, stood in line along New Hampshire Avenue patiently waiting to enter the National Headquarters of
Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. Soror Cynthia M. A. Butler-McIntyre, 24th National President, hosted a meet and greet on Jan. 19, Martin Luther King Jr. Day—one day before the historic swearing-in of President Obama. Close to 3,000 members, family and friends of the Sorority stopped by to fellowship with one another; tour the building; and bring greetings to Soror Butler-McIntyre, several Past National Presidents, honorary mem-
DELTA SIGMA THETA SORORITY, INC.
BY ASHLEY CHANEY bers, national executive board and national committee members. Many of the heads of other National PanHellenic Council organizations also attended. The National Headquarters staff spent weeks planning for the event and many worked on their day off to ensure that members were comfortable and had a pleasant experience during their visit to the building. Special attention was paid to every detail
(PHOTO LEFT): Members pose with Soror Carolyn E. Lewis, national treasurer, at her desk at Delta’s National Headquarters. PHOTO BY SHARON FARMER
National President Cynthia M. A. Butler-McIntyre with fellow New Orleans Alumnae Chapter members. PHOTO BY TAMARA CLARK (PHOTO ABOVE RIGHT): Sorors pose with a cardboard cut-out of President Obama on the front porch of Delta Sigma Theta’s National Headquarters. PHOTO BY SHARON FARMER (PHOTO LEFT): Sorors pose with national second vice president, Mia S. Smith, at her desk at National Headquarters. PHOTO BY SHARON FARMER
MLK Day and the Inauguration of President Barack Obama at the SORORITY’S NATIONAL HEADQUARTERS from refreshments to commemorative gifts to handicap accessibility to making sure that the husbands, children and friends of Deltas felt welcome. “We were extremely excited about the overwhelming response to this event,” said Soror Roseline McKinney, executive director of Delta Sigma Theta. “Despite the unexpected volume of sorors and guests that came out for the event, things went very smoothly. Everyone was in good
spirits. The incredible energy and excitement that was exuded throughout the city during this historic weekend leading up to the inauguration was certainly captured here at National Headquarters.” Refreshments were provided throughout the day and guests had the opportunity to shop for Obama memorabilia from a small group of vendors that were onsite for the event. Visitors took pictures with
a cardboard cut-out of President Obama and were able to share their thoughts and feelings about what this historic time meant to them as citizens of the United States, as African-Americans and as members of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. on a video documentary commissioned by the National President. Many sorors said it felt good to come “home” to celebrate this momentous occasion. ▲ JOURNAL Spring 2009
D E LTA S S P E A K O N T H E E L E C T I O N
I am one of those people who is Many of those who believed that “ “ asked, ‘Did you believe that this would President Obama was destined to become the ﬁrst African-American president were probably not surprised at his seemingly swift and eminent victory. The wide margin of votes between him and Sen. McCain clearly reﬂected this country and the entire world's desire to bring change. The signiﬁcance of his election has been radiated throughout the entire world and that is that we are one people, one world and that we all share one destiny.
KAPPA PHI CHAPTER, UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND COLLEGE PARK EASTERN REGION
“ I go back to being that little girl from New Orleans whose momma worked very hard in the struggle for African-Americans and told me how important it was to understand that the color of my skin did not dictate any limitations to anything I wanted to be in life. And now, from the union of a Kenyan and Kansan, God in His inﬁnite wisdom created the most proliﬁc, charismatic and prepared leader that this country has ever seen. President Barack Obama’s election is much like the unprecedented participation of the Founders of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority in the historic Women’s Suffrage March held in 1913. It demonstrated to the world that all Americans, despite their race, gender, or economic status, have a vested interest in the promise of this great nation and the power to bring about change.
★★★ It was an awesome experience “ for me to actually witness history being made. My father had earlier predicted Mr. Obama's success. However, he died four months before the election and was not there to see his dream come true. So, for me to see my father's prediction come to fruition was truly a life altering moment. The world will forever be changed because of President Obama's presence. His intellect, charisma, humor and candor have made all the difference. Yes, he is truly a change agent. Thank you, President Obama, for putting a smile on my personal angel's face.
Dr. Paulette C. Walker
NATIONAL FIRST VICE PRESIDENT
Cynthia M. A. Butler-McIntyre
24TH NATIONAL PRESIDENT
The 2008 Presidential Election was very historic. Not only was the ﬁrst African-American elected as president, but the dreams and struggles of our ancestors were realized. In one day, the glass ceiling was broken, stereotypes were shattered and people were forced to put aside their differences for the common good of our country.
The election of Barack Obama “ represents that we really elected the best man for the job. He epitomizes the hopes and dreams of this country; a true African-American whose roots have traversed the triumph and tragedy of the American experience. It made me realize what a wonderful country this is.
Ashley Lewis CENTRAL REGIONAL REPRESENTATIVE
DELTA SIGMA THETA SORORITY, INC.
Jeri R. Durham
MEMBER, NATIONAL DOCUMENTS REVIEW TASK FORCE FARWEST REGION
ever happen, that we would have an African-American president?’ And I’ve always had to say, ‘If you didn’t believe it, you couldn’t have worked for it.’ But what I am grateful for is that I lived to see this day…His success will be the success of the United States of America and of the whole world.
Dr. Dorothy Irene Height 10TH NATIONAL PRESIDENT
★★★ I have never been this interested in “ the U.S. Presidential Election until this year and the reason for my interest was Barack Obama. The election was not merely a local affair, but an international one—as the world awaited its outcome with great intensity. It made me feel like I could tell my children, ‘You can be anything you want when you grow up!’ and truly mean it.
La Tasha Ellis PONTIAC ALUMNAE CHAPTER MIDWEST REGION
★★★ As African-Americans, it means “ so much to us. This is a race that has helped build this country, that has fought, that has endured all kinds of negative things and struggled in order to just live. And now that we have a president that is African-American, we can really feel a sense of pride that people are now recognizing us for what we are able to do, rather than looking at us as not competent enough to hold a position as high as the president of these United States. We are very proud as Americans, as AfricanAmericans and as members of Delta Sigma Theta.
Dr. Louise A. Rice 23RD NATIONAL PRESIDENT
OF PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA
My husband, John, and I watched the inauguration together. We were not among the thousands who physically braved the cold, frigid weather of that day in the nation’s capital, but as we sat in our home and listened to the president’s acceptance speech, we were captivated by the presence of the man who was being installed as the leader of the free world. We knew that we were in a moment of transformation for not only our county, but the world.
When I look at the Obama fam“ ily, I see the reﬂection of my own. My
Daphne Monix Higgins
own father—the epitome of a strong, responsible, dedicated leader and protector. My own mother—the portrait of a successful working mom; balancing a career, family, and life with effortless style and grace. My own two younger sisters—brilliant, beautiful, and promising young women destined for even greater heights. When I look at the Obama family, I see the truth about Black America, and I smile, because I know the rest of the world does too.
MADISON COUNTY (MS) ALUMNAE CHAPTER SOUTHERN REGION
SOUTH ATLANTIC REGIONAL REPRESENTATIVE
When I think of the fact that 96 years ago, 22 women of Delta Sigma Theta…joined the suffrage march to march in support of the right to vote, and as I have been involved with the whole struggle for the elimination of discrimination on the basis of the vote, and here we ﬁnd ourselves, in this day and time with Obama, the ﬁrst AfricanAmerican as the national president, reﬂecting all of the dreams and hopes and struggle. This is powerful, and I just say, ‘Hallelujah!’
Frankie M. Freeman, Esq. 14TH NATIONAL PRESIDENT
Tarryn Lael Simmons
★★★ The election of President Barack We made history by attending the “ “ Obama brings credence to the Ameriinauguration on the Mall. My 26-yearcan dream. It has allowed me to embrace and believe that our country has moved beyond racial stereotypes of the past, into an era where ability precedes race. His accomplishment has created a legacy of inspiration for the future of all African-American children.
Dr. Lillie Duhon Jackson LAKE CHARLES ALUMNAE CHAPTER SOUTHWEST REGION
★★★ The racism that has been such a “ deep part of the fabric of our nation is about to loosen up just a bit. This nation is truly going to be ‘America the Beautiful,’ ready to accept all people, especially people of color, as full human beings…There were so many people that felt, ‘I will never see the day when America will not be able to accept me as a complete human being’—So many of them got to see that day. It was not too long ago that black folks swung from trees for just thinking about trying to have the right to vote. It was just the other day that you risked life and limb to be able to say, ‘A. B. C.’ Now, look at the product of the hope and the dream of the slave.
old son has just returned from deployment in both Iraq and Afghanistan as he is active duty Marine Corp., 2nd Battalion, 3rd Marine Division, deployed from Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii. My 20-year-old son is currently in the Air Force ROTC, attending the University of Maryland, and my nephew from New York also attended the inauguration. Our family was blessed to be among the millions to witness our president, Barack Obama's swearing in as the 44th President of the U.S. It bought tears to my eyes to see this historic event. Now my children can tell their children that they helped make history!
Debra A. Trott, C.P.M PRINCE GEORGE'S COUNTY ALUMNAE CHAPTER EASTERN REGION
Compiled by Ashley Allison, Ashley Chaney and Erica Donerson ▲
Sheryl Lee Ralph HONORARY MEMBER
JOURNAL Spring 2009
A Promise to Keep T H E E L E C T I O N O F U . S . R E P R E S E N TAT I V E M A R C I A L . F U D G E BY KIMBERLY OFFORD
My job is to serve the people who put me here. And I know that my job is to do the most for those who have the least. And so, I will work hard because I have promises to keep. I have made promises, not only to myself and the people of the 11th District but to my departed friend. So count on me because I do indeed have a promise to keep.
—U.S. REPRESENTATIVE MARCIA L. FUDGE (D-Ohio)
n Nov. 19, 2008, Rep. the nation’s capital. Marcia L. Fudge (D-Ohio) In her remarks, Dr. Kenstood before U.S. House nedy indicated that the Speaker Nancy Pelosi and memlegacy of Soror Tubbs Jones bers of the 110th Congress and must be continued and that added member, U.S. House of only one person could do Representatives, 11th Congresthe job. “Marcia, you are the sional District of Ohio to her one,” she said. Dr. Kennedy’s many distinguished titles. declaration commanded a For Soror Fudge, who served standing ovation. as 21st National President of “I was truly grateful and Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, the touched by the outpour of three-month road to Congress support from the past Nawas grueling. Shadowed by the tional Presidents who enloss of friend, soror and predecouraged me to consider Rep. Marcia L. Fudge (D-Ohio) during a mock swearing-in cerecessor, Rep. Stephanie Tubbs the race,” Soror Fudge said. mony for the 110th Congress. College friend and soror, Jan Davis Jones, Soror Fudge found inspi- White (LEFT) and U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (RIGHT) join her. In addition to Dr. Kennedy, ration in what would become PHOTO COURTESY OF U.S. HOUSE SPEAKER NANCY PELOSI’S OFFICE 23rd National President Dr. her campaign slogan, “A PromLouise A. Rice, 22nd Naise to Keep.” tional President Gwendohad to live on,” she said. “She had On Aug. 20, 2008, Soror Tubbs lyn E. Boyd, 20th National President worked so hard for so many people Jones, a member of Delta’s National Dr. Bertha M. Roddey, 17th National throughout this country and whoevSocial Action Commission and the President Dr. Mona H. Bailey and er stepped in had to be ready to ﬁnGreater Cleveland Alumnae Chapter, 16th National President Dr. Thelma ish her work.” succumbed to a brain aneurysm leavT. Daley were all in attendance and Encouragement to carry on that ing a vacancy in the Ohio 11th Conequally persuasive. legacy came from district residents, gressional District seat. It was in this “I later heard that as the past local leadership, friends and family. same district that Soror Fudge resided Presidents were returning home from Early on, the local media penned Soand served as mayor of Warrensville the services, they were in the airport ror Fudge as the front runner to ﬁll Heights, a suburb of Cleveland. telling other elected ofﬁcials that the vacant congressional seat. HowThe untimely death of Soror Tubbs Delta already had a candidate,” she ever, it was the pivotal remarks of Jones left a noticeable void in the dissaid thinking back to the weekend. Dr. Yvonne Kennedy, 19th National trict and many speculating about her “Sorors were contributing and I had President of Delta Sigma Theta, at replacement. Soror Fudge admits that yet to make a ﬁ nal decision. For anythe Greater Cleveland Alumnae-sponshe took the opportunity to run into one to have that type of conﬁ dence sored repast for Soror Tubbs Jones very careful consideration. and unconditional support for me is that marked one of many dramatic “I knew that Stephanie’s legacy indescribable.” moments in Soror Fudge’s journey to
DELTA SIGMA THETA SORORITY, INC.
On Sept. 1, 2008, Soror Fudge declared her candidacy. In less than two weeks, her campaign was up and running with much of her support coming from those who logged on to her campaign website, www.marciafudgeforcongress.com (now www.MarciaLFudge.com), to donate, volunteer and offer encouraging words. The ensuing three months included a series of three elections and a vote of local Democratic ward leaders. On Sept. 10, 2008, Soror Fudge’s ﬁrst victory came by receiving an overwhelming majority vote from party leaders to replace Soror Tubbs Jones on the ballot on Election Day. Next was a victory in both the primary election on Oct. 14, 2008 and the general election on Nov. 18, 2008 to ﬁll the unexpired term in the 110th Congress. On Election Day 2008, Soror Fudge secured a ﬁnal victory in the general election for a seat in the 111th Congress against her Republican opponent by receiving over 85 percent of the district vote. On Jan. 6, Soror Fudge was joined by generations of her family, numerous friends and a group of sorors from her chapter, Greater Cleveland Alumnae, as she was sworn-in as a member of the Congressional Black Caucus. After the ofﬁcial CBC ceremony, which featured Martin Luther King III as the keynote speaker, CBC Chair-
Rep. Marcia L. Fudge (D-Ohio) and Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones attend a rally at Howard University held during Delta Days in the Nation’s Capital to end violence and discrimination against girls and women. PHOTO BY SHARON FARMER
Rep. Marcia L. Fudge (D-Ohio) is among close family, friends and sorors during a mock swearing-in to the Congressional Black Caucus by CBC chair, Barbara Lee. Soror Cynthia M. A. Butler-McIntyre, 24th National President of Delta Sigma Theta, holds the Bible. PHOTO BY SHARON FARMER
woman Barbara Lee performed a private mock swearing-in ceremony for Soror Fudge and her guests. Surrounded by her mother, stepfather and Delta’s National President, Cynthia M. A. Butler-McIntyre, who held the Bible, Soror Fudge was sworn-in once again. During the ceremony, Lee and Soror Fudge shared warm words and memories as well as their commitment to future work together. Unquestionably, “A Promise to Keep” was not just her campaign theme, but a personal testament to what has become a career deﬁning moment. “With the work I do in ofﬁce, I pay tribute to Stephanie’s work,” she said. “But, I also made a promise to myself to be the best that I can be in this job and to the residents of my district.” Since her election, Soror Fudge has adjusted to her new role well. She is a member of the House Education and Labor Committee as well as the Science and Technology Committee. Every Monday, she is the host of the CBC Special Orders Hour that can be seen on C-SPAN (7:30 p.m. EST). Her most noteworthy accomplishment in Congress to date was the highly publicized CBC trip to Cuba where she met with the Cuban president, Raul Castro, to discuss diplomatic relations and economic and trade embargos. Soror Fudge has identiﬁed education and healthcare as issues where
she would like to have the most impact. “I want to be sure that our young people are not dropping through the cracks as it relates to science and technology,” she said. “That is where this country is going and our children should have the best opportunities to prepare them to compete.” Soror Fudge believes that as an organization of leaders, members of Delta Sigma Theta should view leadership as “our responsibility and ob-
Rep. Marcia L. Fudge (D-Ohio) is serenaded by sorors with the “Sweetheart Song” during a reception held in her honor. PHOTO BY SHARON FARMER
ligation.” Her advice to those thinking of running for public ofﬁce is to get involved by working in the community on every level. “Start working on other campaigns,” she said. “You must network. When you get involved, good things happen." Soror Fudge has already begun preparation for her 2010 re-election campaign. “I am so thankful and appreciative of the support now and in the past from my sorors,” she said. “Delta has always been a part of every important moment of my life. I am just blessed to be a member. Delta has been good to me and I hope I have been good to Delta.” ▲
JOURNAL Spring 2009
The Honorable Shirley Chisholm
“A PORTRAIT TO REMEMBER” BY KWAMME ANDERSON AND IRENE SCHWOEFFERMANN
or the past two decades, the presence of the ladies of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. has been felt and well-represented in the halls of Congress. The 20th Annual Delta Days in the Nation’s Capital came to a close on March 3 with the unveiling of “A Portrait to Remember,” honoring the life & legacy of Shirley A. Chisholm, the late congresswoman and soror. The unveiling, hosted by The Congressional Black Caucus, featured U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Majority Leader Steny Hoyer as well as Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.), chairwoman of the CBC. Former colleagues from Soror Chisholm’s New York delegation, House Ways & Means Chairman Charles Rangel and House Over- Sorors join U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, CBC Chairwoman Barbara Lee, Rep. Maxine Waters (Dsight & Government Reform Calif.), Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.), members of the CBC and former colleagues of Soror Chairman Edolphus “Ed” Shirley Chisholm at the unveiling of her portrait, “A Portrait to Remember” created by Kadir Nelson. Towns, were also there to PHOTO COURTESY OF U.S. HOUSE PHOTOGRAPHY share personal stories of their time spent working unveiling were more than 200 Delco-chairs, 22nd National President with her in the Congress. tas from across the nation dressed Gwendolyn E. Boyd and Soror PatriRep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) ofin various hues of the Sorority’s sigcia Lattimore were also there to bear fered sweet reﬂections of her collegial nature, radiant red. Remarks by Dr. witness to this monumental time relationship as well as the personal Paulette C. Walker, national ﬁrst vice stamp in the life of a distinguished one she once shared with Soror Chpresident, were rendered on behalf Delta. isholm. Rep. Yvette Clarke (D-N.Y.), of 24th National President Cynthia M. The portrait’s creator, Kadir Nelwho now represents New York’s 11th A. Butler-McIntyre. son, was proud to showcase his latCongressional District, drew numerOther distinguished Deltas in est artistry. To the naked eye, Soror ous correlations between her and her attendance included 10th National Chisholm’s larger than life image predecessor and the myriad of ways President, Dr. Dorothy I. Height and came through in a bold, convincing their life paths have crossed. Soror Alexis Herman, honorary costance that captured her power. It The spirit of Delta ﬁlled the Canchair of the National Social Action was without a doubt, “A Portrait to non Caucus room on that Tuesday Commission. National Social Action Remember.” ▲ afternoon. In full participation of the
DELTA SIGMA THETA SORORITY, INC.
Statue Dedicated to Representative Barbara Jordan Unveiled at the University of Texas at Austin BY ASHLEY ALLISON
ep. Barbara Jordan, the ﬁrst the Texas Senate and the U.S. House entire UT family and for the people African-American woman from of Representatives, Soror Jordan of Texas." the South elected to the U.S. spent the last 17 years of her life Soror Jordan’s impact on Texas Congress, is also the ﬁrst woman to working as a teacher and mentor on and the country will not be forgothave a statue dedicated in her honor the campus. ten. Victoria Sadler, Esq., founding at the University of Texas at Austin. “Throughout her lifetime, Barmember of the Barbara Jordan Statue The statute was unveiled on April bara Jordan broke down the barriers Project, said the statue will be a vis24 and members of Delta Sigma Theta of race and gender in a distinguished ible reminder of Soror Jordan’s comSorority were present to witness this list of American 'ﬁrsts,' most notamitment to academic excellence and historic event honoring the life of the bly in the Texas Senate and the U.S. her life of service. late soror and congresswoman. “As one of the students who House of Representatives,” said WilFemale student leaders, including advocated bringing the ﬁrst female liam Powers, president of the Univermembers of the Epsilon Beta Chapter statue to campus,” said Sadler, “I sity of Texas at Austin. “We are elatat the University of Texas at Austin, know she will always challenge and ed that she will be the ﬁrst woman led efforts to erect the statue. inspire me.” ▲ memorialized in bronze on our cam“As a member of Delta Sigma Thepus. This is a great moment for the ta, I am honored to have the ﬁrst woman statue on our campus be an illustrious member of our prestigious Sorority,” said Soror Ashley Hickson, co-chair of the Barbara Jordan Statue Committee and a member of the Epsilon Beta Chapter. “As a black woman, it inspires me that it's not just African-Americans that appreciate her greatness and strength. She represents a lot for so many people! Everyone can relate to Barbara Jordan in some way.” As a native Texan and former congresswoman, the University of Texas selected Soror Jordan because of her University of Texas at Austin students participate in the unveiling ceremony for the Barbara Jordan statue. connection to the camPHOTO BY MARSHA MILLER pus. After serving in
JOURNAL Spring 2009
Community Service BY D. DENISE PETERSON
ome may believe that Dr. Louise A. Rice, 23rd National President of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, is no longer one of the hardest working women in the Sorority now that she is the immediate past National President. She is surely entitled to rest, relax, and put her feet up after the four years through which she just led the organization. Well, that’s not quite the case. Just like most Delta women, Dr. Rice maintains an extremely active schedule. In fact, many of her local activities never stopped during the time she served as National President.
for Paine College, a histori- Dr. Louise A. Rice, 23rd National President of Delta cally black college located in Sigma Theta, with her granddaughter during the her hometown of Augusta, Ga., 49th National Convention in Orlando, Fla. PHOTO Paine College is a small liberal BY W. LASHEA MORRIS arts college established in 1882 ing to the next level of educational serving approximately 800 stuexcellence. dents. Dr. Rice has a long history of Bell added that Dr. Rice “serves involvement with Paine College, havas an outstanding role model for ing served as a faculty member for young women in the 21st century, over ten years as a professor of Engand is an excellent individual after lish and reading. She also served as whom young women could pattern chapter advisor to Eta Theta, the colthemselves.” legiate chapter of Delta Sigma Theta In April 2008, Dr. Rice was apat Paine College for several years, pointed to the board of directors for and has maintained active involvethe First Bank of Georgia, a full serment with the Paine community over vice community bank in Augusta. the years. First Bank is a hometown bank with “Dr. Rice brings assets of over $450 million dollars, a wealth of experiwhich offers a hands-on personal ence to the board and banking approach to the Augusta serves as a positive community. role model in both the CONTINUED ON PAGE 76 education ﬁeld and in her service to humanity,” said Robert Bell, chair of Paine College’s board of trustees. “She is a consummate professional, with the ability to deal with people in all walks of life. Her leadership, energy and knowledge of economic development are all very valuable to Paine College, the Augusta community, the State of Georgia and our country.” In her role with the Paine College board of trustees, Dr. Rice will chair the Development Committee, as the college is undertaking a capital campaign to build a new health complex on campus. Her experience in community and economic development will be extremely valuable in assisting Paine College in mov-
“Dr. Rice serves as an outstanding role model for young women in the 21st century, and is an excellent individual after whom young women could pattern themselves.” Dr. Rice maintained her participation on the board of directors of the Richmond County Department of Family & Children Services; the board of directors of Central Savannah River Area Economic Opportunity Authority, Inc.; the Augusta Chapter of The Links, Inc.; the advisory committee to the Richmond County Board of Education; Leadership Augusta and of course with the Augusta Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta. Dr. Rice also continued her involvement with her church and continued to participate in family events with her sons, their wives and her four grandchildren. Continuing her commitment to the community, Dr. Rice was recently appointed to the board of trustees
Dr. Louise A. Rice, 23rd National President. PHOTO BY W. LASHEA MORRIS
DELTA SIGMA THETA SORORITY, INC.
A LIFETIME OF SERVICE
Past National President Gwendolyn E. Boyd is Ordained in the A.M.E. Church BY JOI-MARIE MURPHY MCKENZIE
wendolyn E. Boyd, 22nd National President of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority and executive minister at Ebenezer African Methodist Episcopal (A.M.E.) Church in Fort Washington, Md., was recently ordained as an itinerant elder, the highest ordination that the church gives. Now, Soror Boyd can serve the church in a pastoral capacity throughout the A.M.E. connection. Soror Boyd was ordained during the 59th session of the Washington Annual Conference of the A.M.E. Church held on April 17. The ceremony was held at Ebenezer A.M.E. Church where Dr. Granger Browning and Dr. Joanne Browning, an honorary member of the Sorority, were the host pastors. The annual conference was held under the leadership of Bishop Adam J. Richardson and his wife, Connie Richardson, who also serves as Supervisor of Missions for the 2nd Episcopal District that comprises Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina and the District of Columbia. Along with Soror Boyd, 14 men and women were ordained as elders; seven others became ordained deacons. The sanctuary was ﬁlled with excitement, family and friends. The congregation was ready for this sacred service that sets aside people for God's ministry. During the service, seven elders of the church laid hands on each person being ordained, to bestow the authority from God and afﬁrm their ordination in mind and soul. Bishop Vashti McKenzie, presiding prelate of the 13th Episcopal Dis-
trict of the A.M.E. Church and the sorority's national chaplain, was one of the seven elders to lay hands on Soror Boyd. “It was a wonderful moment,” said Bishop McKenzie. “This was years of preparation and it had ﬁnally culminated to this moment. Soror Boyd has gifts and talents that will deﬁnitely enhance the Gospel.” Along with Soror McKenzie, Dr. Browning laid hands on Soror Dr. Joanne Browning, honorary member; Soror Gwendolyn E. Boyd, ﬁnally com- Boyd, 22nd National President; and Bishop Vashti Murphy Mcpleting her quest to Kenzie, national chaplain, at the 59th session of the Washington Annual Conference at Ebenezer A.M.E. Church where Soror Boyd serve. Following the was ordained as an itinerant elder. ceremony, Soror Boyd was vested 10th National President of Delta Sigfor the ﬁrst time as an itinerant elma Theta, addressed the congregader. During this part of the ceremony tion and greeted the conference. She a person who is special in the life of delivered a message to sorors, friends the ordained comes forward to robe and those being ordained with grace, them. Soror Boyd was helped into wit and wisdom. her white robe, decorated with white Other sorors who were present and silver brocade accents, by Bishincluded National Secretary Beverly op McKenzie and Dr. Browning. E. Smith, Executive Director Roseline With glistening eyes, Soror Boyd McKinney, former Central Regional was dressed and then helped to her Director Marcia Williams and a host feet by Bishop Richardson, signaling of sorors who traveled from near and that she had completed the necesfar to witness this touching and powsary steps to becoming ordained. erful moment. ▲ Many sorors came to support Soror Boyd. Dr. Dorothy Irene Height,
JOURNAL Spring 2009
20 Years of
Coming Together in the
Nation’s Capital With Record Breaking Attendance at
Annual Legislative Conference BY ASHLEY CHANEY
elta Sigma Theta Sorority celSecretary of Labor and honorary coovernight,” said Soror Herman. “He ebrated its 20th Annual Delta chair of the National Social Action needs our help. We didn’t get into Days in the Nation’s Capital Commission, gave her perspective this mess overnight and…it’s going Feb. 28 through March 3 with recordon the 2008 Presidential Election. to take some time to get out of it. So breaking attendance of nearly 1,100 “Let us not jump to conclusions we have got to be patient as we go members. A major focus of the Soand think because we have Barack about the work of reclaiming and rerority’s annual legislative conference Obama in the White House that all building America.” was the state of the economy and its our problems are going to be solved Soror Herman shared a few personimplications on the African-American community. “The current state of our nation is bitter-sweet,” said Soror Cynthia M. A. Butler-McIntyre, 24th National President of Delta Sigma Theta. “We’ve witnessed history with the recent election of the ﬁrst African-American president. However, the current effects of the ﬁnancial crisis are hitting our communities the hardest.” Under the theme, “Advocacy in Action: Strengthening Our Legacy,” the Sorority unveiled its national social action agenda for the 2008-2010 biennium which focuses on: voting rights and registration; the 2010 Census; economic survival; quality education; eco-friendly environmental initiatives and keeping the Chairs of Delta’s National Social Action Commission and National President attend a reception celebratSorority’s connection to ing the life and legacy of Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones and the election of Rep. Marcia L. Fudge. (LEFT TO RIGHT) Soror Marcia L. Fudge, honorary co-chair and 21st National President; Soror Julianne Malveaux, Africa. During the opening of honorary co-chair; Soror Cynthia M. A. Butler-McIntyre, 24th National President; Soror Gwendolyn Boyd, the conference, The Hon. co-chair and 22nd National President; Soror Alexis Herman, honorary co-chair; Soror Patricia LattiAlexis Herman, former U.S. more, co-chair. PHOTO BY MARVIN T. JONES
DELTA SIGMA THETA SORORITY, INC.
al stories and reﬂections and present day gospel about what the election songs and hymns. Wormeant to her. One parship leaders were Soticular story involved her rors Shavon Arline and father, the late Alex HerAnitra Durrand-Allen, man, a politician in Moaccompanied by Soror bile, Ala., who brought Judith Allen on piano. the ﬁrst lawsuit against Bishop Vashti Murthe Democratic Party in phy McKenzie, national the early 1940s for voter chaplain of Delta Sigma discrimination. Theta Sorority, deliv“On that night,” said ered a sermon titled, Soror Herman, “I gave a “No Matter What.” In high-ﬁve to my daddy.” the sermon she talkAfter being denied ed about having faith an absentee ballot, during these difﬁcult Herman’s father ﬁled a times. lawsuit that challenged “When we are voter discrimination tempted to stray, temptfor the ﬁrst time in the ed to leave, tempted to Deep South. He won a turn back, tempted to small victory that led to National President Cynthia M. A. Butler McIntyre addresses sorors during the try another religion, the ﬁrst polling place in 20th Annual Delta Days in the Nation’s Capital. PHOTO BY MARVIN T. JONES tempted to try another the Deep South where God, tempted to dethe way that we view and think about blacks could vote, howvelop another chapter, the role of government. She said the ever there were still poll taxes and littempted to try another spirit, temptdebate between whether we want big erary tests that had to be passed. ed to do your own thing, tempted to government versus little government In addition to the victory of the throw in the towel, tempted to curse is now irrelevant. nation’s ﬁrst African-American presisomebody out, tempted to give up, Herman used the unemployment dent, Herman said the many legacies give out, to give away or just give rate as an example. In response to of the 2008 election will include the them hell,” said Bishop McKenzie, media forecasts that the country will involvement of young people in the “that’s when you stand ﬂat footed in be in double digit unemployment by political process and the unprecyour African-American womanhood the end of the year, Herman said, “We edented voter turnout, especially and say, ‘No matter what, I’m gonna are already in double digit unemployamong African-Americans. trust in the Lord! I know a God who is ment in our community, and we have Herman said that members of faithful in good times and bad times. been there since last year!” Delta Sigma Theta must ask themNo matter what, I’m gonna trust, beShe said the government, and the selves how they will take this transcause God’s power is faithful.’” American people, have no option but forming and historical moment and Dr. Freeman Hrabowski, presito get involved to help make a differproclaim that the American people dent of the University of Maryland, ence this time. did not simply make history, but that Baltimore County, was the keynote “I want you to realize the power the American people are determined speaker for the Sunday morning sesthat is in your hands and I want us to now to make a difference. sion, “Making Education Relevant keep reclaiming that ole Delta spirit “If you believe that we are ﬁnally Again.” and I want you to light up—not just headed in the right direction,” she Adding on to President Obama’s the halls of Congress—but when you said, “then you have got to do your message that the responsibility of go back home you’ve got to light up part to be involved, to be vocal, and children’s education must begin at the statehouses and the court housto make our issues and our values home, Hrabowski said the children es,” she said. “We have to keep it goknown. You have the opportunity to with no support system at home, ing. We cannot take this moment for help write the rules of the road for must not be forgotten. granted. We have to stay awake and our people. To me, that’s what [Delta “We must believe that those chilrealize the power my sorors that is in Days in the Nation’s Capital] is all dren are our children,” he said. our hands.” about.” Hrabowski said the challenge is Sunday morning began with an Herman also explored the fundathat there are large numbers of chilEcumenical Service. The service mental, philosophical paradigm shift dren not learning to read well or who started with a praise and worship that she believes has resulted from have the desire to be smart. The task, session including several historical the election and how it has changed he said, is to change the way these
JOURNAL Spring 2009
children think about themselves, their ability to think critically and the way they view education. “The way we think about ourselves, as a society, as a race, or as a sorority, the language that we use, the way we interact with each other, the things that we hold most important,” said Hrabowski, “will determine who we are today and who we will be in the future.” Soror Jacque Reid, news personality and founder of Jacque Reid Media, was the moderator for the session. Panelists included: Dr. Peggy Carr, associate commissioner for the National Center for Education Statistics; Dr. William R. Hite Jr., superintendent for Prince George’s County Schools in Maryland; and Dr. Ronald Walters, director of the African American Leadership Center at the University of Maryland. Dr. Dorothy I. Height, president emeritus of the National Council of Negro Women and 10th National President of Delta Sigma Theta, was a panelist at the Sunday afternoon session, “African-American Women in Partnership with the Administration.” Joining her, were Bishop McKenzie, who serves on President
Obama’s Council on Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships, and Dr. Elsie Scott, president and CEO of the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, Inc. During the session the women discussed why it is important for Delta Sigma Theta to leverage its collective strength on the issues of this administration. “I learned years ago from Mary McLeod Bethune,” said Dr. Height, “that it was one thing to be glad when you win and when you are ahead, but it’s another to ask yourself, ‘What are you going to do about it now?’.” Dr. Height said that all Americans have to want President Obama to succeed because, as he has stated, he is not the president of some of the people, he is the president of all of the people. She said advocacy means not just talking about it, but doing what you know how to do best and that is using your collective power. “We have to look at the issues and be ready to take our actions,” she said. “Let us not just say, ‘Well that’s good that he is doing that.’ Whatever he is doing, or Congress is doing, or whoever is doing, our voices must be heard and our presence has to be felt.”
Dr. Freeman Hrabowski, president of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, delivers his keynote address during the Sunday morning session, “Making Education Relevant Again.” Also on the dais (SEATED LEFT TO RIGHT): Dr. Paulette C. Walker, national ﬁrst vice president; 24th National Cynthia M. A. Butler-McIntyre. PHOTO BY SHARON FARMER
DELTA SIGMA THETA SORORITY, INC.
Beverly S. Smith, national secretary, listens attentively.
Dr. Height also discussed how women often shy away from women’s issues and can be very sensitive to racial issues. “We have to bear in mind,” she said, “that we are the victims of both racism and sexism. It’s very important for us to speak up because…we are women with some very special needs and if we don’t speak to them, no one else will.” The Sunday evening session, “Economic Viability in the AfricanAmerican Community,” was moderated by Soror Carla Harris, managing director in global capital markets at Morgan Stanley and a member of Delta’s National Social Action Commission. Panelists for the session included: Margot Copeland, executive vice president at KeyBank and national vice president of The Links, Inc.; Wade Henderson, president and CEO of the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights; Benjamin Jealous, president and CEO of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People; Marc Morial, president and CEO of the National Urban League; and Dr. E. Faye Williams, chair of the National Congress of Black Women. Soror Harris began the discussion and explained that economic viability in the African-American community equals education, economic opportunity and social action. She
said it is important to understand that economic opportunity includes: access to certain jobs, access to equal earnings, access to capital, access to investors, ﬁxed income capital, equity capital and opportunities to build wealth. She said that social action in relation to economic viability in the African-American community means having a seat at the power table where policies are created that will ensure economic opportunity and all that it entails. Harris said there needs to be programs and policies that help people to rebuild and recover when they have experienced national adversity, like Hurricane Katrina, or personal adversity like bankruptcy, foreclosure or disenfranchisement. On Monday morning, the Delta Research and Educational Foundation presented, “Coffee and Conversations with Our Congresswomen.” The event featured Rep. Yvette Clark (D-Texas); Rep. Donna Edwards (D-Md.); and Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-Ohio), honorary co-chair of the National Social Action Commission and 21st National President of Delta Sigma Theta. Soror Nicole Williams, director of communications from the ofﬁce of Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.), also participated in the program. April Ryan, White House Correspondent for the American Urban Radio Network presided. Soror Fudge was the keynote speaker for the legislative luncheon Monday afternoon. She began her address by thanking members of Delta Sigma Theta who have supported her over the last six months in what she calls a “tough journey.” On Nov. 19, 2008, Soror Fudge took the oath of ofﬁce for the 110th Congress to ﬁll the seat for Ohio’s 11th District left vacant by the sudden death of Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones, also a member of Delta Sigma Theta and a dear friend of Soror Fudge. On Jan. 6, 2009, Soror Fudge took the oath of ofﬁce for the 111th Congress. “I just want you to keep me in your prayers,” she said. “Help me do the things that I know I need to do,
not just for you and for the people I represent, but for Stephanie too. I want her legacy to be what it ought to be and I want people to not forget the work she did for us.” During her address, Soror Fudge dispelled the common myth that the recently passed Recovery and Reinvestment Act is reminiscent of the New Deal. “This is not the New Deal,” she said. “This is a new direction by a new president.” Soror Fudge also said that it is important that the act is referred to by its proper name, the Recovery and
Dr. Dorothy I. Height, 10th National President of Delta Sigma Theta, discusses the importance of African-American women partnering with President Obama’s administration. PHOTO BY SHARON FARMER
Reinvestment Act, and not a stimulus bill. She said that referring to it as a stimulus bill instantly raises questions about how many jobs it will create. Although the act will create an estimated 3 million jobs, Soror Fudge said that its primary focus is helping people who need help the most. “I am unapologetic about helping people who need help,” said Soror Fudge. She went on to outline and explain what the Recovery and Reinvestment Act means for the AfricanAmerican community. She talked about increased Pell grants, tax credits for parents putting their children
through college and the government picking up 65 percent of the tab for COBRA beneﬁts for people who have lost their jobs. She also discussed an earned income tax credit increase for single women with three or more children and the government paying for bonding insurance for minority and women owned small businesses. “We are trying to make sure that we take care of the people who need the most,” she said, “but also to get the economy moving by creating jobs. It is going to be ‘Far in the distance.’ We know that this is not going to be an overnight turnaround.” Following the luncheon, sorors participated in concurrent workshops to strategize and mobilize the membership’s efforts surrounding issues such as: effective social action, economic survival, health care issues in the African-American community, domestic violence, Census 2010 and running for political ofﬁce. Monday’s activities wrapped up with a reception celebrating the life and legacy of Soror Stephanie Tubbs Jones and the election of Soror Marcia L. Fudge. The Delta Research and Educational Foundation was a contributing sponsor for the event. Just days before the start of Delta Days in the Nation’s Capital, the conference was featured in Politico, a Washington, D. C. based political newspaper. “If a woman in red demands to be noticed, a thousand women in red are impossible to ignore,” was the lead to the article written by Politico staff writer, Andie Coller. So, Capitol Hill staffers and elected ofﬁcials were ready for the Delta’s as they boarded buses bright and early Tuesday morning. As anticipated, sorors were clad in their red and white as they headed to the Hill to meet with their congresspersons and to take a group photo. At the close of the day, sorors attended a wrap-up session to share experiences during their meetings on the Hill and to provide feedback on structure and focus for next year’s conference. ▲
JOURNAL Spring 2009
Fifth Annual Collegiate Day Forum Yields Highest Attendance to Date BY EUNIQUE JONES GIBSON
he 5th Annual Collegiate Day Forum commenced on Feb. 28 under the theme, “Collegiate Pioneers: Engaging Our Democracy, Evoking Effective Change.” Two hundred and sixty collegiate sorors answered the call to action, making this year’s event the largest collegiate day forum to date. The opening session began with keynote speaker, Rev. Matthew Watley, who utilized the biblical pioneer Ester to remind collegiates of the
Collegiate sorors break attendance records at the 5th Annual Collegiate Day Forum, “Collegiate Pioneers: Engaging Our Democracy, Evoking Effective Change.” PHOTO BY SHARON FARMER
change they are able to affect when they execute their faith and dare to do that which has never been done. Watley also reminded participants that it is not enough to carry
the title of Delta, but that in being Deltas, they have a responsibility to reach back and help others achieve the success and opportunities that they have been fortunate to attain. Following the opening session was a domestic violence panel, “Shattered Love, Broken Lives.” The panel included three individuals who each gave their personal account and perspective on domestic violence. Domestic violence survivor William Kellibrew, of the William Kellibrew Foundation, penetrated the hearts of those in attendance when he recalled the day he pleaded for his life after witnessing his mother’s boyfriend shoot and kill both her and his older brother. Although he was only 10 years old when the tragic events occurred, he was able to identify and share warning signs that he realized in retrospect. Soror Gloria Reno, a circuit judge, talked about the legal precedence with those involved in domestic violence. She offered a sense of empowerment in providing sorors with a resource to seek help in the justice system. She made sorors aware that there was and is protection available. Lastly, Sabrina Garba, a collegiate representative for V-DAY, talked about the international aspect of domestic violence. She offered speciﬁc
DELTA SIGMA THETA SORORITY, INC.
Soror Mia S. Smith, national second vice president, shows attendees at the 5th Annual Collegiate Day Forum the commemorative t-shirts they will receive for attending. PHOTO BY SHARON FARMER
ways that college students could get involved in the ﬁght against domestic violence. The panel provided collegiate sorors with information and ideas that will enable them to be proactive in addressing and combating domestic violence on their campuses and within their respective communities. There were four workshops derived from the Collegiate Social Action Agenda that followed the opening session and panel. Workshops addressed topics such as: the Black Wall Street; the mis-education of the young black scholar; combating bias and hate crimes; and awareness and prevention. After receiving a motivational message from the keynote speaker and participating in workshops that provided information and resources to utilize on college campuses, the Collegiate Day Forum ended with mock congressional visits. Soror Irene Schwoefferman, a Capitol Hill staffer for the Congressional Black Caucus, led participants in the mock visits. Equipped with knowledge and a desire to affect change, collegiate sorors left the forum prepared to engage our democracy and evoke effective change as pioneers on their respective campuses and communities. ▲
Michael G. Dowd, an attorney specializing in domestic violence, shares stories of his experience defending women who have been abused during the morning session. Also on the panel: (LEFT TO RIGHT) Gillian Sorenson, a senior advisor and national advocate at the U.N. Foundation; Lisa Jackson, director and producer of the ﬁlm, “The Greatest Silence”; Soror Glenda Smiley, organizer for Truth AIDS and student at Barnard College; Adriana Quinones, manager for the U.N. Trust Fund, UNIFEM. PHOTO BY MARGOT JORDAN
Sorors Gather in New York for Delta Day at the United Nations to Advocate for the Rights of Women and Girls BY ASHLEY ALLISON, ASHLEY CHANEY AND ELLA MCNAIR
uman rights advocates, United Nations ofﬁcials and sorors gathered for the 6th Delta Day at the United Nations on March 27 in New York, N.Y. The theme for the day-long conference was, “Global Protection of the Rights of Women and Girls.” More than 125 sorors were in attendance. On the eve of the ofﬁcial opening of the conference, a welcome and networking reception was hosted by the prestigious law ﬁrm of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher and Flom LLP at their ofﬁces overlooking New York city. Sorors Jillian Joseph, Esq. and Rita Sinkﬁeld Belini, Esq., co-hosted the event and extended a warm and gracious welcome to sorors and guests. On Friday morning, Soror Cynthia M. A. Butler-McIntyre, National President, welcomed sorors and guests to the conference. “Today, Delta Sigma Theta continues her longstanding history of advocating—through programs, initiatives and political involvement— for the rights of women and girls everywhere,” she said.
“The protection of human rights, especially those of women and girls, has been a vital component of Delta Sigma Theta’s identity as a public service sorority since our establishment over nine decades ago.” Soror Gwendolyn Boyd, co-chair of Delta’s National Social Action Commission and 22nd National President, gave the call to action. Gillian Sorensen, a senior advisor and national advocate at the U.N. Foundation, was the moderator for the morning panel discussion, “Overview on the Global Aspects of Violence Against Women in a Human Rights Crisis.” Panelists included: Lisa Jackson, director and producer of the ﬁlm, “The Greatest Silence,” which explores rape in the Congo; Soror Glenda Smiley, organizer for Truth AIDS and student at Barnard College; Adriana Quinones, manager for the U.N. Trust Fund, UNIFEM; and Michael G. Dowd, an attorney specializing in domestic violence cases. Before the close of the morning session, the documentary by
Soror Cyrille G. Phipps , “Seen But Not Heard: AIDS and the Untold War Against Black Women,” was shown. After the morning session, sorors, speakers and invited guests attended a luncheon. The keynote address was delivered by Rachel Mayanja, the U.N. assistant secretary general and special advisor on gender issues and advancement of women. Mayanja began with a story about a 13-year-old girl being accused of adultery after she reported being raped by three men in Somalia. “This highlighted for me the sadness, gravity and urgency of addressing violence against women and girls,” she said. “Everyday many, many women and girls suffer violence of various forms and degrading treatment at the hands of their families.” Mayanja shared statistics that one in three women are beaten, coerced into sex or otherwise abused in their lifetime. She explained how the world was responding to the dire statistics. There is a global concern regarding this issue which has led to U.N. reso-
JOURNAL Spring 2009
Gillian Sorenson, a senior advisor and national advocate at the U.N. Foundation, is presented with a gift on behalf of the Sorority by National President Cynthia M. A. Butler-McIntyre. Sorenson, a longtime supporter and ally of Delta, helped guide the Sorority through the process of obtaining NGO status. PHOTO BY MARGOT JORDAN
lutions, more governments adopting national laws addressing violence and an increase in male organizations helping to eradicate violence against women. Mayanja introduced the “UNite to End Violence Against Women” campaign which was launched by the secretary general. The campaign is being used to supplement the current initiatives already taking place. During the luncheon Sorenson was honored for her continued support of the Sorority and for her commitment to human rights. “She has been a long time ally of Delta and supports all of our activities,” said Soror Butler-McIntyre. “She was a guiding force in the Sorority receiving our NGO status.” Soror Butler-McIntyre presented Sorenson with a gift on behalf of the Sorority. “I am always your friend,” said Sorenson, “and I have seen many NGO’s come into being, but Delta stands out.” Another highlight from the luncheon was centered around woven baskets that served as both centerpieces and gifts. The person at the table with the closest birthday took home the basket placed in the center of their table. Faith Mbazi, director of business planning and administration for Fair Winds Trading, Inc., shared the story behind the baskets, which are a part of the micro-lending project known as the “Rwanda Path to Peace.”
The initiative was launched in 2005 to create change by providing income generating opportunities for women artisans in Rwanda. The women have partnered with Macy’s and now produce baskets, bowls, mats, jewelry and textiles that are sold in Macy’s stores across the U.S. via the Web site, www.macys.com/rwanda. The project provides sustainable income to rural women, many of whom have never previously earned money, while it keeps alive the history and culture of weaving in Rwanda. “The women weave the baskets for beauty,” said Mbazi, “but they have been able to change it into economic development through microlending.” The day continued with the afternoon session, “Advancing Opportunities for Women and Girls Globally.” The ﬁrst panel focused Delta’s micro-lending efforts and the potential for future opportunities.
Faith Mbazi, director of business planning and administration for Fair Winds Trading, Inc., shares the story of the woven baskets made by women of Rwanda through the “Rwanda Path to Peace” micro-lending project. The baskets served as centerpieces during the luncheon and were gifts for the attendee at each table with the closest birthday. PHOTO BY MARGOT JORDAN
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“The effort makes a tremendous difference for women around the world and Delta has already involved itself in micro-lending,” said Soror Juanita Bobbitt, former member of the Sorority’s National Social Action Commission and international development consultant. “Our efforts are already reaping beneﬁts in Accra [Ghana], serving 5,000 people in the region.” The panelists stressed that micro-lending efforts are effective because of the people who are receiving the funds. “Poor people pay their debts,” said Bobbitt. “Ninety-seven percent of the loans are repaid. There are people willing to help themselves but they do not have the collateral for traditional banking institutions.” The micro-lending efforts have three arms: micro-credit, which is the basic loan with lending and return; micro- ﬁnance, which provides ﬁnancial services such as insurance and banking; and micro-enterprise development, which is leadership development and teaching business skills. Audrey Choi, managing director of Morgan Stanley, said that microlending is potentially a $275 billion industry and that by professionalizing the business methods, other ﬁnancial institutions will become more involved. The second panel focused on education and internships available to women and girls around the world. Panelists included: Yvonne Acosta, chief of education outreach division for the U.N.; Boris Zinsou Lissassi, internship programme coordinator for the U.N.; Michael Emery, chief of recruitment for U.N. development programme; and Gay McDougall, independent expert on minority issues of the U.N. The day concluded with an ofﬁcial charge by Soror Patricia Lattimore, co-chair of the National Social Action Commission. “We heard a lot of information,” she said. “We know what we have to do, so let’s go do it.” ▲
icture this: you are a collegiate member of the Sorority, you’re putting on excellent programs implementing the Five-Point Programmatic Thrust on your campus and enjoying every aspect of being a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority. But this is your senior year, and when you graduate, you will no longer be a member of your collegiate chapter. Before graduating, you have to decide which alumnae chapter you will join. Do you know what steps to take? Do you know who to talk to? Do
them before they graduate. The goal is to increase collegiate transition by 20 percent each year. “We lose most of our members after college,” said Soror Sherina Maye, co-chair of the NCTT. “Collegiate sorors who don’t transfer may not know who to talk to [or may be] uncomfortable asking questions.” The process is easier than many sorors think. Acknowledging that one of the reasons sorors who have recently graduated are not joining alumnae chapters right away is be-
nae] chapter president. The chapter president called me, and we set up a meeting.” Soror Geneva Dowdy, co-chair of the NCTT, is a member of Mu Chi Chapter at the University of California at Riverside. As a legacy, she grew up with the opportunity to see both sides of being a collegiate soror and an alumnae soror from her friends and family. “This task force makes it a lot easier to help those who may or may not want to join a big alumnae chap-
NEW NATIONAL COLLEGIATE TRANSITION TASK FORCE Bridges Gap Between COLLEGIATE and ALUMNAE Membership BY RACHAEL GRAY
you know the importance of joining cause of the cost, many chapters ofter,” said Soror Dowdy, who is in her an alumnae chapter? fer an incentive by waiving chapter junior year at the university. “There Out of all the collegiate members fees for these sorors during the ﬁrst are members who don’t know that graduating from colleges and univeryear. there is a Delta beyond…the ‘yard’ sities, there are not enough making Soror Maye, a graduate of on campus. It’s hard to see the bigthe transition into alumnae chapters. Spelman University, was initiated ger picture of Delta if that’s all you There are a number of reasons why into the Sorority through Eta Kappa know.” this happens and there have been Chapter. She is now a member of the One of the ﬁrst projects of the programs and acNCTT is to create a tivities implementregistry for collegiate “THIS TASK FORCE MAKES IT A LOT EASIER TO sorors to input infored between collegiate and alumnae HELP THOSE WHO MAY OR MAY NOT WANT TO mation on their anchapters, such as ticipated graduation JOIN A BIG ALUMNAE CHAPTER” Project ACE, to date and the location help bridge this and size of the alumgap. Northern Virginia Alumnae Chapter. nae chapter they would like to join. In order to implement existing When asked how she found an alumBased on the information gathered, and new strategies throughout the nae chapter, she gives credit to a sothe registry will provide the soror Sorority, 24th National President ror she affectionately calls her “Delta with a choice of alumnae chapters. Cynthia M. A. Butler-McIntyre creatMom.” The registry is now available on Deled the National Collegiate Transition “She took me under her wing ta Sigma Theta’s national web site, Task Force. This new task force was and gave me advice on what to do,” www.deltasigmatheta.org, under the created to help collegiate sorors ﬁnd said Soror Maye. “She made a phone collegiate link. ▲ an alumnae chapter that best suits call to the [Northern Virginia Alum-
JOURNAL Spring 2009
D E LT A
CONTINUES TO MAKE ITS
velopment, economic development and physical and mental health programs,” said Soror Day. “We also recommended that the Sorority improve its global service efforts by sponsoring mission trips to Africa.” Here is a glimpse of a few changes and new initiatives that will be unveiled at the 2009 Regional Conferences:
Mark ♥ BY ERICA DONERSON
nder the biennial theme, “Delta Sigma Theta—A Sisterhood Called to Serve: Transforming Lives, Impacting Communities,” members of Delta Sigma Theta are being urged to embrace existing programs and new initiatives. National President Cynthia M. A. Butler-McIntyre charged the National Program Planning and Development Committee to survey the status of the Sorority’s current programs and to create new initiatives that address the immediate needs of the individuals Delta serves. Under the leadership of cochairs Dr. Deborah C. Thomas and Dr. Thelma James Day, members of the National Program Planning and Development Committee conducted extensive research to ensure the Sorority’s new and existing programs are relevant and effective. The committee reviewed “The Covenant” and “The Covenant in Action” by Tavis Smiley, as well as several articles related to the black male crisis, educational needs in the 21st century, health care, global issues, and economic requirements for a vibrant society. “The committee recommended to the national executive board enhancements in the educational de-
ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT For the biennium, the Sorority’s Financial Fortitude program will now have three components: Empowering Communities Economically, The Delta Challenge: Delta Homeownership Initiative and Entrepreneurship. Through Empowering Communities Economically, Generations X, Y and Z will gain ﬁnancial literacy skills. The Delta Challenge: Delta Homeownership Initiative was created in 2003. Sorors will continue to educate their communities about paths to successful homeownership. The Entrepreneurship component is designed to help people start and operate businesses.
EDUCATIONAL DEVELOPMENT The Dr. Betty Shabazz Delta Academy and Dr. Jeanne L. Noble GEMS remain key parts of the Sorority’s programs. However, additions to the curriculum will include components focusing on African-American history, character development, healthy choices, literacy and even disaster preparedness. Parents Empowered Active Children Education (PEACE) is a new initiative designed to increase parental involvement in the lives of young people in Delta’s youth programs and the entire community. A major concern of the 24th National President is the state of African-American males. In response, the committee has created EMBODI: Empowering Males to Build Opportunities for Developing Independence. “The programmatic initiative on young men seeks to provide action plans that will help chapters support young men in their development, embodiment of values, skills for success
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and [their] transition to manhood and the world of work and service,” said Soror Thomas. Soror Day said to accomplish this goal, EMBODI “will speciﬁcally focus on academic failure, absence of the father, gang violence and peer pressure.”
INTERNATIONAL AWARENESS AND INVOLVEMENT Delta Sigma Theta is expanding the scope of its international programs during the biennium. Chapters will receive detailed information about the Adopt-a-Child/Sponsora-Child initiative that will aid young people across the globe. The International Day of Service will remain an annual event and chapters will continue their HIV/AIDS education efforts as well as their participation in World AIDS Day activities. The Sorority will not give up on its mission to help provide clean water to children in Africa. As part of the Water Wells program, the Sorority will provide one underground well in Ghana in 2010. Also, each of Delta’s seven regions will sponsor one above ground water tank at Kenyan elementary schools. There will even be mission trips to Ghana, Kenya and Southern Africa in 2009 and 2010. The delegations will include Deltas, other professionals as well as young men and women. Mission trip participants will “provide mentoring, professional development and will donate needed goods and supplies,” said Soror Day.
PHYSICAL AND MENTAL HEALTH Throughout 2008-2010, chapters are encouraged to participate in the Healthy Lifestyles for the Family: Preserving the Mind, Body, and Spirit program. This includes continued involvement in the State Farm 50 Million Pound Challenge and the American Heart Association's Go Red for Women campaign. The Lose to Win Initiative of 20042008 is now the Lose to Win! Family Healthy Lifestyle Weight and Nutrition Challenge. Sorors are asked to include family members in the chalCONTINUED ON PAGE 76
fffff ART NATIONAL ARTS INITIATIVE HOLDS
Delta Sigma Theta Launches Project
ENTERTAINMENT & MEDIA INDUSTRIES TO HIGHER STANDARDS BY ASHLEY CHANEY
elta Sigma Theta Sorority’s National Commission on Arts & Letters has set out to redeﬁne the perception of the black experience, one production at a time. With Project ART: Actively Redeﬁning Together, the commission’s new initiative, CAL is encouraging members of the Sorority to play an active role in challenging the entertainment and media industries to reevaluate their standards by supporting projects that positively and accurately depict the black experience. Through this initiative, the commission is determined to “make a statement so strong, so bold across this nation that there is power in numbers,” said Soror Marcia ButlerHolt, CAL co-chair. “If we as AfricanAmerican consumers stand together in support of positive artistic expresBill Duke, 24th National President Cynthia M. A. Butler-McIntyre, Bishop J.D. Jakes and sions, we can shape the kinds of projDr. Phil in Los Angeles on the set of “The Dr. Phil Show.” PHOTO COURTESY OF “THE DR. PHIL ects that are coming from the enterSHOW” tainment industry while supporting the works of Africanto ensure that the legacy of the American artists.” black experience is not ﬂawed. While Project ART “In a time where negative is a collective effort to images are found in every assupport, nurture and pect of the media, positive imuplift positive programages of African-Americans are a ming, the initiative also breath of fresh air,” said Soror focuses on rejecting deYolanda Rodgers-Howise, CAL meaning and harmful co-chair. “Many believe there images in all forms of enis no audience for positivity tertainment and media, within our communities, but including: music, ﬁlm, our broad support of positive radio, television and projects signal otherwise.” print. Project ART uses The ﬁrst program rolled out a grassroots approach under Project ART was Delta to take charge of the im- Pittsburgh Alumnae Chapter members with actor Kevin Hart, who Red Carpet. Under this program ages that mold public appears in the ﬁlm “Not Easily Broken,” at the chapter’s Delta Red chapters were asked to mobiperception in an effort Carpet event. lize their members and com-
JOURNAL Spring 2009
ff munities in support of Bishop T.D. Jakes’ latest ﬁlm, “Not Easily Broken” which was released on Jan. 9. Chapters throughout the country hosted private screenings and coordinated chapter outings to see the ﬁlm. After conducting their Delta Red Carpet events, nearly 6,000 ticket stubs were submitted to National Headquarters and will be returned to Sony Pictures as objective evidence of Delta Sigma Theta’s support of the ﬁlm. CAL, with the support of the National President and the national executive board chose the ﬁlm “Not Easily Broken” because, while speaking true to the every day trials and tribulations of families in the black community, the ﬁlm also teaches many timeless lessons. “Bishop Jakes demonstrates the importance of incorporating God and prayer into our daily lives, especially as a family,” said Soror Cynthia M. A. Butler-McIntyre, 24th National President. “The ﬁlm is extremely relevant today considering the current
Sorors Yolanda Rodgers-Howsie, CAL co-chair, Dr. Thelma T. Day, Program Planning and Development co-chair, Leslie Uggams and Essie Jeffries, CAL commissioner, at the Pasadena Alumnae Chapter’s “Stormy Weather” Delta Red Carpet event in Pasadena, Calif.
bittersweet state of our nation. The effects of the ﬁnancial crisis are hitting our communities the hardest,
“IN A TIME WHERE NEGATIVE IMAGES ARE FOUND IN EVERY ASPECT OF THE MEDIA, POSITIVE IMAGES OF AFRICANAMERICANS ARE A BREATH OF FRESH AIR”
Montgomery County Alumnae Chapter members at their “Not Easily Broken” Delta Red Carpet event.
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while the recent election of the ﬁrst African-American president reminds us that with faith, commitment and the audacity to dream, all things are possible.” The second Delta Red Carpet feature production was the musical “Stormy Weather,” starring Soror Leslie Uggams. The musical, which chronicles the life of Soror Lena Horne, opened at the Pasadena Playhouse in Pasadena, Calif. on Jan. 21 and ran through March 8. The Pasadena Alumnae Chapter held their Delta Red Carpet event on Feb. 7. More information on other Project ART programs—Delta Bookmark, Delta Authors on Tour and Delta Studio—will be forthcoming. Through these programs, CAL will recommend to the membership books, musical selections and visual art projects that shed positive light on the black community. “As we use Project ART we allow not only our communities, but also our nation, to see our beauty as it is expressed through our art,” said Soror Suzzanne Douglas Cobb, CAL honorary co-chair. “We now have the opportunity to share honest, true and diverse images of who we are as a people.” ▲
ffffff CHAPTERS ROLL OUT THE
Delta Red Carpet FOR
uring the month of January, thousands of Deltas, with their family and friends in tow, ﬁlled movie theaters across the country to support the ﬁlm “Not Easily Broken,” based on the novel by Bishop T.D. Jakes. Sorors were urged to see the movie as part of the Delta Red Carpet program, a component of the Sorority’s Project ART: Actively Redeﬁning Together initiative. Chapters organized special events and group outings. Here are just some of the highlights: The Akron Alumnae Chapter supported the movie on opening night, by hosting a private screening to a sold out crowd at the Regal Cinemas, a 251 person auditorium, in Akron, Ohio.
Southern California chapter presidents with Bill Duke, director of “Not Easily Broken,” at the Inglewood Alumnae Chapter’s Delta Red Carpet event. (LEFT TO RIGHT) Helen Arbogast, Inglewood Alumnae Chapter; Mary Christmas Martin Rolling Hills/Palos Verdes Alumnae Chapter; Bill Duke; and Essie Jeffries, Los Angeles Alumnae Chapter and CAL commissioner.
More than 50 sorors from the Baltimore County Alumnae Chapter in Maryland invited family members and friends to watch “Not Easily Broken.” Shortly after the viewing, the chapter hosted a potluck dinner to discuss the key messages and themes in the movie. Charleston Alumnae Chapter organized a premiere weekend outing with sorors from North Charleston Alumnae and Summerville Alumnae chapters in South Carolina. Spouses, other family members and friends joined them to walk the Delta Red Carpet and support the ﬁlm. A total of 143 stubs were collected between two showings, totaling more than $1,200 in ticket sales. To view the ﬁlm, 33 members of the Chesapeake-Virginia Beach Alumnae Chapter and 17 guests gathered at a theater in Norfolk, Va., on Jan. 11. Every month, the Chesterﬁeld Alumnae Chapter’s Arts and Letters Committee hosts Movie, Munch and Mingle. Sorors view an entertaining ﬁlm while supporting African-American artists. So, the Red Carpet event perfectly aligned with the chapter’s plans to see “Not Easily Broken” in Midlothian, Va. The Cincinnati Alumnae Chapter invited family, friends and colleagues to join them for Dinner and a Movie. Nearly 100 guests participated and there was a discussion on how displaying positive images of African-Americans through the me-
PHOTO COURTESY OF SONY PICTURES
dia is vital. They all posed for group photos, and one lucky person was the recipient of an original “Not Easily Broken” movie poster. The Duplin County Alumnae Chapter in Kenansville, N.C., had a fun-ﬁlled day on Jan. 10. Sorors enjoyed the movie, dinner and shopping. Sorors from the Fort Worth Alumnae Chapter sold 947 tickets and ﬁlled the theaters at the Arlington Studio Movie Grill in Texas. Outside, the marquee read “Delta Sigma Theta Presents Not Easily Broken.” Inside, a soror greeted guests over the PA system. As they waited for the ﬁlm to begin, moviegoers were treated to an infomercial about Project ART and upcoming Fort Worth Alumnae (FWA) events. After seeing “Not Easily Broken,” guests were asked by FWA “roving reporters” to share their thoughts on the movie. The microphone read “K-DST” and a video crew was on hand to capture all of the responses. The chapter has received countless e-mails asking about the next Delta Red Carpet event. The Greenville (NC) Alumnae Chapter braved the frigid tempera-
JOURNAL Spring 2009
fffff Chesapeake-Virginia Beach Alumnae Chapter members at their “Not Easily Broken” Delta Red Carpet event.
tures on Jan. 16 to see the ﬁlm. The chapter prides itself on being devoted to African-American culture and exposing the public to the achievements of those in the black community. On Jan. 10, ﬁve Houston area alumnae chapters—Bay Area Houston Alumnae, Houston Alumnae, Houston Metropolitan Alumnae, Prairie View Alumnae and Suburban Houston-Fort Bend Alumnae—collaborated to host their ﬁrst Delta Red Carpet event in concert with the new national initiative. They spread the word by sending Evites and making announcements at chapter meetings. A total of 516 tickets were sold. The Inglewood Alumnae Chapter took action and rolled out the Delta Red Carpet to promote “Not Easily Broken” on Jan. 10. More than 220 people attended the private showing at the Bridge: Cinema de Lux in Los Angeles, including sorors from Los Angeles Alumnae Chapter and Rolling Hills/Palos Verdes Alumnae Chapter. The ﬁlm’s director Bill Duke was a special guest. In Illinois, the members of the Joliet Area South Suburban Alumnae Chapter found it an easy ﬁt to support this Red Carpet event on the opening weekend. Immediately after their chapter meeting on Jan. 10, sorors gathered for a luncheon to celebrate the chapter’s 35th anniversary and ended the day by watching the ﬁlm “Not Easily Broken” at a local theater with family and friends.
In Louisiana, Lake Charles Alumnae Chapter hosted a Delta Red Carpet event. 254 people were in attendance. More than 100 Little Rock Alumnae Chapter sorors and guests attended a showing of “Not Easily Broken” at the RAVE Motion Pictures Theatre in Little Rock, Ark. Approximately 60 members of the Mobile Alumnae Chapter gathered for the Jan. 9 premiere of the movie “Not Easily Broken.” Sorors wearing red and white ﬁlled the entire middle section of the Hollywood Theatre in Mobile, Ala. Northern California chapters came together to rent out a theater in Oakland for a viewing of "Not Easily Broken." On Jan. 10, the 250 sorors in attendance laughed and cried together as they enjoyed the ﬁlm based on Bishop T.D. Jakes’ bestselling novel. Chapters that participated include: Berkeley Bay Area Alumnae, Contra Costa Alumnae, Oakland East Bay Alumnae, Omicron Chi, Pi Psi, Sacramento Alumnae, San Francisco Alumnae, San Francisco-Peninsula Alumnae, San Jose Alumnae and Tracy Area Alumnae. Theta Eta, a Cleveland city-wide chapter, and guests enjoyed the ﬁlm on opening night. Afterward, the chapter hosted a discussion session on the issues that African-American couples face.
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The Tulsa Alumnae Chapter in Tulsa, Okla., hosted its own Delta Red Carpet affair, “Calling All Deltas—It's Showtime!” Members of the chapter and the community went to see "Not Easily Broken" at Cinemark IMAX during the weekend premiere with approximately 100 people in attendance. The Waukegan Alumnae Chapter in Illinois supported the opening night showing of T.D. Jake's ﬁlm by reserving a theater at Marcus Theaters in Gurnee Mills. Promoted as a family night, the chapter sent out emails, advertised on MySpace and Facebook, put up ﬂyers in the community and presold tickets. In addition to chapter members, this sold out event attracted 100 community residents as well as members of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority and Omega Psi Phi Fraternity. Sorors of the Charlotte Alumnae Chapter watched “Not Easily Broken.” The ﬁlm inspired Soror Mona H. Boykin to write this poem:
To love one for life, faithful and true With life’s trials and distractions isn't easy to do We work all day long taking little time to play Our schedules so full at times we fail to pray We struggle to ﬁnd time for our children and spouse Often living as strangers in the same house... Take time to bring God back to the center of our lives Watch as we grow in Him and as mothers and wives He'll bring to our remembrance the love felt as our vows were spoken And with God as the third strand —we stand, NOT EASILY BROKEN! Compiled by Charlene D. Ayers, Barbara Cager, Demetrics Davis, Erica Donerson, Selicia S. Hughes Judge, Ashley Lewis, Catherine O’Neal, Libra White and Rose Williams. ▲
Leadership DELTA Class of 2008
2008 Leadership DELTA Conference participants.
ollegiate sorors from various colleges and universities gathered in Cincinnati, Ohio last fall for the 2008 Leadership DELTA Conference. Leadership DELTA participants, high achieving collegiate sorors in their junior or senior year, met with their mentors and learned key career building skills through the program sponsored by General Electric Company. Workshops were hosted on resume writing, networking and interview skills. Upon graduation from the Leadership DELTA program, sorors have the opportunity to apply for positions within GE. The application deadline for this year is August 30. Compiled by Ashley Allison â–˛
Chantel Adams Chelsie Antelope Brenay Boaz Meghan Borne Whitnee Boyd Zerita Buchanan Brittani Chavious Shacorrah Crosby Erica Crutch Shavonne Cullers Friyana Dadabhoy Denell Davis Candice Dixon Tiffany Dockery LaVontria Dyson Elindera Ferguson Naomi Gebrelul
Destiny Hall Alexis Henry Brittany Hill Erika James Dionna Johnson April Jones Luella Jones Lauren Lee Brittany Lewis Byrhonda Lyons Ashley Marshall Diahann Marshall Emily Martin Alena McCord-Estes Alexandria McCuien Sheyna Mikeal Ogorchukwu Olele
Kiesha Robinson Catrina Shaw Tarryn Simmons Brittany Smith Nikita Taylor Gerve' Tillman Chelsea Townes Nkechi Udogwu Allison Veasley Tamara Vivens Adrianne Walls JaNee White Aria Williams Val Williams Bethlehem Workeneh Lonisa Young
JOURNAL Spring 2009
10 Tips to Financial Fortitude BY JOI-MARIE MCKENZIE
ith the recession in full gear, it’s time to take a second look at your ﬁnances and spending habits. Although gas prices have lowered, your paychecks still do not stretch like they used to. There are some ways to protect yourself from potential ﬁnancial problems. While this ﬁnancial slump may last until 2010, here are some ways to ﬁnancially fortify your life until then:
Check your credit score. When you have a good credit score, qualifying for loans and credit cards becomes easier. With services like FreeCreditReport.com and AnnualCreditReport.com, you can check your credit score on the Internet and estimate how changes can impact your score. Aim for a credit score above a 750.
Cut down on your expenses. It may be time to give up your weekly manicure, forgo your morning run to the coffee shop and say goodbye to lunches out at fancy restaurants. If you cut down on your expenses, you could end up with more money in your pocket at the end of the month. Try painting your own nails, brewing your own cup of coffee and taking last night’s leftovers for lunch to save some extra dollars.
Be smart about credit cards With credit card companies raising interest rates, make sure you are knowledgeable about the best deals. Use the Internet as a resource to look
for competive rates. Think about consolidating your credit cards into one with the lowest interest rate. When using credit cards make sure you are able to repay the balance in a timely manner and make all of your payments on time. Late payments can increase your interest rate and lower your credit score.
Make your house energy efﬁcient. By cutting the amount of energy you use in your home, you can cut down your gas and electric bill by 7-10%. Keep your thermostat low and invest in energy efﬁcient space heaters. Unplug appliances and chargers when they’re not in use. Wash your laundry with cold water when possible and choose your light bulbs wisely.
Carpool. Although gas prices have come down, they’re not what they used to be. Not only is carpooling good for the environment, it could turn into big savings. If public transportation isn’t available in your community, try commuting with neighbors to lower overall gas costs.
Say goodbye to cable. Is cable television really a necessity? You can still get high deﬁnition television stations through an antenna. By cutting this cost, you could end up saving $30-$140 per month.
Establish an emergency cash fund. With companies layingoff thousands of employees each
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week, there is no time better than the present to prepare for a rainy day. To protect yourself from a major setback, make it your goal to set aside at least three to six months of living expenses.
Shop smarter. Before even stepping foot inside your local grocery store, check your paper for store coupons and other discounts. Also, when buying household staples don’t get caught up in brand names. Try store brand products, which are often similar in quality and much cheaper.
Make sure you’re not over insured. Now is a good time to review your health, auto and home insurance policies to make sure you are not paying more than you have to. Contact your insurance provider to help you make smart decisions to cut back while still getting the level of coverage you need. Think about increasing your deductible or bundle your policies with one company. You may be able to reduce your premiums by 15-20%.
Be honest with yourself. Don’t let your pride get in the way of making tough ﬁnancial decisions. If you are facing foreclosure, bankruptcy, or another major ﬁnancial issue, don’t be afraid to face it. Delta women do not shy away from tough matters, we see them through. Therefore, the earlier you deal with the issue, the better you will be in the long run. ▲
EDUCATIONAL Development Black History and Education BY DAPHNE MONIX HIGGINS
elta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. has been an advocate of academic excellence and equal rights since its inception in 1913. The Sorority has served as a torchbearer for education during some of the most turbulent times in U.S. history. This commitment continues today through programs that fall under Delta Sigma Theta’s Educational Development point of the Five-Point Programmatic Thrust. At the request of National President Cynthia M.A. Butler-McIntyre, the National Program Planning and Development Committee has added an AfricanAmerican history feature to the Dr. Betty Shabazz Delta Academy and Dr. Jeanne L. Noble GEMS initiatives. Through the Take a Page Out of AfricanAmerican History component, Delta Academy and GEMS participants will discover the signiﬁcant contributions of African-Americans. Some have even made it possible for children of all races to have equal access to quality education and ultimately an equal opportunity to succeed. Long before the birth of Delta Sigma Theta, education in the United States for African-Americans was a forbidden fruit. Many human bodies were mangled and lives lost because of the cruelty executed upon those who wanted to increase their knowledge by learning to read, write and count.
In today’s society, wanting to learn the basics in education sounds like a simple request, but before, during and even years after the Civil War, it was denied by many government ofﬁcials and frowned upon by a large segment of society. The denial of formal education was considered a tool to restrict slaves from rebelling against their masters or any persons of a higher echelon. With the
assistance of abolitionists across the country, many slaves were secretly taught to read and write. Although not the priority of the country, a new era of education was born—black education! In 1857, Ashmun Institute, located in Chester County, Pa., received ofﬁcial recognition as the ﬁrst chartered black college. It was founded to offer African-American students training in the arts and sciences. In 1866, the name was changed to Lincoln University. The school now of-
fers undergraduate and graduate courses to students of all races. A decade earlier, the American Missionary Association was established by white and black Americans who believed and fought for the equality of the races as well as promoted education for all. The organization was instrumental in helping to establish more than 500 institutions of learning for slaves freed before, during and following the Civil War. The schools were formed to teach African-Americans a trade, but the areas of study were more extensive for white students. Years following the war, more AfricanAmerican schools were established in the South, but ﬁnancial hardships among the black community prevented many young people from attending. Some of the schools established across the country following the Civil War with assistance from the AMA and other organizations, such as the Freedman’s Bureau, include: LeMoyneOwen College (1862), Atlanta University (1865), Fisk University (1866), Howard University (1866), Talladega College (1867), Hampton University (1868), Tougaloo College (1869) and Dillard University (1869). More than 100 years after the ﬁrst African-American students began attending college at Lincoln University, James Meredith applied for CONTINUED ON PAGE 76
JOURNAL Spring 2009
INTERNATIONAL Awareness & Involvement INTERNATIONAL SPOTLIGHT: Germany Alumnae Chapter BY ERICA DONERSON
magine traveling across country or to another country to attend chapter meeting. The nearly 60 sorors of Germany Alumnae Chapter are familiar with this scenario. They live in Germany, Belgium and Italy. Some drive ﬁve hours roundtrip to participate in monthly Members of the Germany Alumnae Chapter. meetings. Most chapter members are in the that are housed for medical issues,” U.S. military, work for the U.S. govsaid Dr. Cynthia Jackson, president ernment, or for American companies of the Germany Alumnae Chapter. with ofﬁces abroad. “Additionally, we donate clothes and Sorors dedicate their time to sevfunds to wounded military members eral service projects including the from the war, because they too have Fisher House, a home on the grounds access to the Fisher House.” of the Landstuhl Regional Medical The chapter also works closely Center where injured or ill service with the Department of Defense members receive treatment. Their schools, attended by the children of loved ones can stay at the Fisher service members and Department of House while they recover. Defense civilian employees. “We have “Each quarter we provide a established a close relationship with cooked breakfast…to the families the leaders and counselors of the schools and provide resourceful information for scholarships as well as Delta GEMS for the young ladies,” said Dr. Jackson.
As part of another program sponsored by the chapter called Real World, sorors conduct monthly workshops for students in grades seven to 12 and their parents. The Real World prepares participants for life after high school graduation and includes lessons on: creating résumés; essay writing; establishing a portfolio; ﬁnancing college; self defense; test taking tips for the ACT, SAT, ASVAB and more. The workshops are meant to assist young people who plan to attend college or vocational school, join the military or enter the workforce. Dr. Jackson believes Germany Alumnae is special because of the way the chapter has reached out to military service members while fulﬁlling its commitment to international awareness and involvement. She wants sorors around the world to know, “if we can commute for several hours and miles to come together for the community and implement the Five-Point Thrust programs and fundraisers, you can too. Remember your pledge to Delta and live it!” ▲
Terri Guy; La Shawn Moore-Bostic; Janice Maxwell, treasurer; (SECOND ROW) Sorors Lavita Alston-Emerson; Dr. Cynthia Jackson, president; Ingrid Williams; Sharon Ford-Bell, vice president; Juanita Johnson-Archie, Minerva Circle leader; Phyllis Westmoreland Allen; Marsha Starks; Jennifer Harris, recording secretary; Bianca McCray, area coordinator and Vanessa Brown, chaplain. (FIRST ROW LEFT TO RIGHT)
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Physical & Mental HEALTH HI V / It’s Personal for AIDS: Soror Candice Wiggins BY DEBRA G. LAZARE
hen asked why she is an Soror Wiggins. “I wasn’t sures and challenges to keep me outspoken advocate for angry that I didn’t have from reaching my goals. I will not HIV/AIDS awareness and my dad anymore. I was be a victim of circumstance.” eradication, WNBA player Soror Canmostly confused. I know There are obvious paraldice Wiggins said, “I didn’t go after he did good things lels between father and AIDS. AIDS came to me. It came to me for our family but daughter: talented athin a personal way with my father’s drugs and AIDS lete, public ﬁgure, redeath.” took him away cord-holder and team Alan Wiggins is believed to be from us.” player. Realizing these the ﬁrst Major League Baseball playTheir mothsimilarities, Soror Wiger (San Diego Padres, Baltimore Orier did not hide gins’ mother gave her a oles) to die from AIDS-related comtheir father’s charge to tell her father’s plications. It was January 1991 when weaknesses from story. She told her to Soror Wiggins was almost four years Cassandra, Alan use her own pubold. It was the year before Magic Jr. and Candice. lic stature to remedy Johnson brought a kind of “celebrity She told her chilHIV/AIDS ignorance reality” to HIV/AIDS. Alan Wiggins dren that their and insensitivity. was a star athlete and played a key father was human To that end, role in getting the Padres to the 1984 and he made misSoror Wiggins World Series. However, unlike Magic takes but that his misleverages her Johnson, his battle with AIDS did not takes should not be father’s competigarner an outpour of public empathy used as a crutch to limit tive spirit to exSoror Candice Wiggins and support. Back then, AIDS was the their success. Soror Wigcel on the basket“gay man’s disease” and gins credits ball court but she something that was not her mother for her inner draws on his failures to fuel her drive talked about. strength and positive to educate others about this “equal Soror Wiggins says outlook on life. It was her opportunity epidemic.” that she is just really mother who told her “you Soror Wiggins wants to play basbeginning to realize how have all of these gifts but ketball for a long time, perhaps until strong her mother had here is what God put you 2020. After that, she plans to get into to be to protect her chilon this earth to do.” commentating, writing and upliftdren from the harshness “I know that I have ing women in sports. Soror Wiggins of life. Angela Wiggins a responsibility,” said knows “we’ve come a long way since was determined to not Soror Wiggins. “So, I talk Title IX but we need more.” She will, let her husband’s drug to my teammates and try of course, continue her HIV/AIDS aduse and subsequent to uplift others to make vocacy. She is currently honing her death have a negative them feel better about ability to bring her message to young impact on her children. their situation, whatever children so they can learn from her “AIDS was taboo at the it is. I try to pass along experiences. time but my mom ex- Soror Candice Wiggins is a what I’ve learned. I will Soror Wiggins was initiated into plained it to me”, shared guard for the Minnesota Lynx. not allow human presDelta Sigma Theta in the Spring of CONTINUED ON PAGE 76 JOURNAL Spring 2009
POLITICAL Awareness & Involvement Sorors Mobilize Voters during 2008 Election Season
From registering voters in key battleground states to encouraging absentee voting, Delta Sigma Theta continues its long-standing tradition of social action
BY LIBRA WHITE
ith the launch of a countdown clock on Delta Sigma Theta’s national Web site in September 2008, sorors across the world hit the ground running for the ﬁnal stretch of the 2008 election season. Since 1913, the public service organization has been on the forefront of political awareness and involvement. “Delta chapters across the United States have been on the frontlines, registering people to vote, educating Americans about key issues and getting voters to the polls” said 24th National President Cynthia M. A. Butler-McIntyre during her online video address. “This election marks a critical point in the history of the United States. For the ﬁrst time in our nation’s history either an African-American Michigan Gov. Jennifer M. Granholm man will become signs an I Promise to Vote pledge president or a form while wearing the program woman will hold button.
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DELTA SIGMA THETA SORORITY, INC.
Ventura County Alumnae Chapter in California participate in a local Adopt-A-Poll program.
the ofﬁce of vice president. Delta Sigma Theta is a non partisan organization so whatever party you support, we urge you to get out the vote.” Throughout 2008, members of Delta Sigma Theta were actively involved in the election cycle. They worked the polls as election ofﬁcials, held public forums, educated the
community about election procedures, worked with agencies to get people to the polls and registered citizens to vote—many for the ﬁrst time. In the Central region, more than 500 sorors wore “Delta Drives the Vote” t-shirts for a region-wide campaign. In the key battleground state of Colorado, the Denver Alumnae Chapter hosted a step show at the Colorado Convention Center featuring a powerful Get Out the Vote video message to approximately 2,000 attendees. Both the Barack Obama and
John McCain campaigns were invited to set up a booth before the event and each campaign spoke to the audience during the show. The Wichita Alumnae Chapter in Kansas joined other local organizations and churches to form the Voter Empowerment Committee. The committee held voter registration drives at churches, festivals, public high schools, grocery stores and other high trafﬁc sites. Two political forums were held with more than 200 attendees at each forum. In addition, Omicron Chapter hosts an election watch party on Nov. 4, 2008 at the University of Nethe Wichita Alumnae Chapter and braska at Lincoln. area churches offered transportation to the polls on Election The pledge cards helped chapters Day. Wichita Alumnae to connect with ﬁrst-time voters and Chapter members regvoters who were unfamiliar with the istered 3,124 voters. voting process to give them imporThe Farwest region tant Election Day information. held a voter registra“Young people realized we had tion contest. Soror a special duty to make our voices Pearl Madison of Contra heard in this election,” said Soror Costa Alumnae Chapter Leah E. Endalkatchew, Midwest rein California won the gional representative. “Collegiate sochallenge with 283 regrors really took the I Promise to Vote istered voters during campaign seriously. In Illinois, for exthe contest period. She ample, two of the three chapters that set up a table at the Bay collected the most pledge cards were Area Rapid Transit sta- Hawaii Alumnae Chapter members register voters. collegiate chapters.” tion on Tuesdays and Chapters in the Midwest also disThursdays to register tributed 12,000 buttons bearing the motivated thousands of citizens to people to vote. campaign’s “I Promise to Vote” logo go to the polls through the region’s The Ventura County Alumnae to pledge signers. Among those spotI Promise to Vote voter mobilization Chapter in California participated in ted wearing the buttons were Soror campaign. Through the campaign, a local Adopt-A-Poll program, where Butler-McIntyre, who wore the butMidwest region chapters distributed the chapter completely staffed a loton for a taping of her online Get Out nearly 20,000 pledge cards that pocal polling place for both the primary the Vote video message, and Michitential voters signed as an expresand general elections. gan Gov. Jennifer M. Granholm, who sion of their commitment to vote. Sorors in the Midwest region signed an I Promise to Vote pledge. Delta chapters from other regions also participated in the campaign. Chapters from California and Louisiana distributed and wore the buttons in the weeks leading up to Election Day. Chapters throughout the South Atlantic region were asked to conduct a three-part voter mobilization campaign consisting of voter registration drives; voter education and informational forums; and Get Out the Vote drives throughout the months of August, September, October and Greensboro Alumnae Chapter members hold a Get Out the Vote Campaign at Claremont on Election Day. Participating chapHousing Development in Greensboro, N.C. ters included: Chesapeake-Virginia
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JOURNAL Spring 2009
A countdown clock and video messages from National President Cynthia M. A. Butler-McIntyre and National Second Vice President Mia S. Smith, reminding members to vote, are featured on the homepage of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority’s national Web site during the weeks leading up to the election.
Beach Alumnae, Chesterﬁeld Alumnae, Denbigh Alumnae, Durham Alumnae, Eta Tau, Franklin-TriCounty Alumnae, Gamma Phi, Greensboro Alumnae, Knightdale-Wake Forest Alumnae, Norfolk Alumnae, Petersburg Alumnae, Portsmouth Alumnae, Virginia Beach Alumnae, Winston-Salem Alumnae and several members-at-large. The Southwest region registered thousands of voters during the weeks leading up to Election Day. The New Orleans Alumnae Chapter, along with sorors from Epsilon Chi Chapter, distributed 2,500 door knockers to encourage the community to get out and vote. The Albuquerque Alumnae Chapter held voter education workshops at the Univeristy of New Mexico and community centers to educate voters on voting rights, ﬁlling out ballots and what to expect at the polls. They also held several voter registration drives to increase the number of voters in New Mexico. Members of the Republic of Korea Alumnae Chapter assisted service members, American civilians and their families living overseas with requesting federal absentee ballots.
“Living in a foreign country is not an excuse not to vote,” said Soror Gloria Baker of the Republic of Korea Alumnae Chapter. “Your vote by absentee ballot is just as critical to the election as if you were to vote in person.” Since the founding of Delta Sigma Theta, sorors have made social action a priority, and the 2008 election season demonstrated the Sorority’s active involvement in educating, registering and mobilizing their local communities to vote. All chapters in all regions played their part, united together to make a major impact on the 2008 election. ▲
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Leavenworth Alumnae Chapter member Soror Andrea Flowers and Chapter President Laura Coaxum hit the streets of Leavensworth, Kan., soliciting unregistered voters to exercise their right to vote. (TOP RIGHT) Alpha Omega Chapter sorors wearing “Delta Drives the Vote” t-shirts. (BOTTOM RIGHT) Republic of Korea Alumnae Chapter pushes for absentee ballots. (BOTTOM LEFT) Seattle Alumnae Chapter educates Delta GEMS participants on the candidates. (TOP LEFT)
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Deltas Make their Mark in the Literary World BY TONYA HARRIS
any people dream of writing a book and becoming the next great novelist, but through hard work and perseverance Delta sorors have turned their dreams into reality.
In 1892, a successful African-American owner of a grocery store in Memphis was lynched, along with two of his employees, by a white mob. This tragic event propelled Ida B. Wells to begin her lifelong campaign against lynching. Wells’ remarkable achievement in creating an inﬂuential antilynching movement in the United States and abroad is painstakingly documented in Soror Paula Giddings’ new book “IDA: A Sword Among Lions.” Giddings, a professor in Afro-American studies at Smith College and the author of “In Search of Sisterhood,” tells the life story of Wells and how she faced racism, sexism and threats to her own life to lead the nation’s ﬁrst campaign to eradicate lynching. Wells was born in 1862 in Mississippi to slave parents, who successfully made the transition as freed persons. Her father was a skilled carpenter who established his own business and her mother became a wellknown cook. Wells, the ﬁrst of eight children, became an orphan at the age of 16 when both of her parents died from yellow fever. She became a teacher to support her family and later moved to Memphis to work in the city’s segregated public school system. The city was where Wells would ﬁnd her calling as a civil rights activist. One of her ﬁrst acts of civil disobedience was when she refused to leave the ﬁrst-
class ladies car of a train and had to be forcibly removed. She later sued the railroad. In Memphis, Wells also began a distinguished career as a journalist and made history by becoming the only black woman to be editor and part owner of a major city newspaper. It was during this time that her close friend and grocery store owner Tommie Moss, whose daughter she was godmother to, had been lynched in Memphis along with two other men who worked with him. Wells wrote an editorial in her newspaper encouraging black people to leave the city for the newly opened Oklahoma Territory and the nation’s ﬁrst antilynching movement began. Her editorial was inﬂuential for another reason. She refuted the commonly held belief that recent lynchings in the South were triggered by the increasing occurrences of the rape of white women by black men. She wrote that accusations of rape by white women were often followed by the discovery of consensual relationships between black men and white women. After writing the editorial, Wells left Memphis for business, but her editorial was so inﬂammatory that she received threats of being lynched
if she returned and her paper was destroyed. She was unable to move back to Memphis, but continued her crusade, conducting her own investigations when lynchings occurred and writing the ﬁrst study of lynching. Wells traveled across the country as well as to England mobilizing public support against lynching and calling for the federal government to adopt antilynching legislation. In two short years, she made lynching an international issue. Wells’ activism on the subject also encouraged the NAACP to support an antilynching bill at its ﬁrst conference in 1910 and spurred the organization to focus greater attention on the issue. After marriage and motherhood, Wells moved to Chicago where she continued to be active in civil rights causes. She became an active suffragist, founding the ﬁrst black women’s suffrage club in Chicago and was a catalyst for the creation of the ﬁrst national black women’s organization, the National Association of Colored Women. She also ran as an independent for an Illinois State Senate seat, a year before her death in 1931 at the age of 67. “IDA: A Sword Among Lions” is a must read of a truly remarkable woman’s struggle against lynching as it “migrated from the rural backwoods to cities, from lone midnight murders to communal daylight spectacles in which bodies were dismembered and organs kept or sold as souvenirs; from southern cities to northern ones where lynchings took the form of legal executions by racist justice systems and mob-led riots that took multiple lives, burned down entire communities, and deprived blacks of their property and livelihoods.” ▲
JOURNAL Spring 2009
A Sisterhood Called to Ahoskie Alumnae Chapter’s Delta GEMS party with a purpose at their Keep a Child Alive fundraiser.
In response to startling HIV/AIDS statistics, young women of the Ahoskie Alumnae Chapter Delta GEMS program, began a fundraiser in May 2008 aimed at raising HIV/AIDS awareness in their own community. The Delta GEMS also sought to serve members of the international community through donations to Keep a Child Alive, a registered 501(c) 3 charity. The organization serves children and their families with HIV/AIDS in Africa and the developing world by directly engaging the global public in the ﬁght against the epidemic. These young women, with the help of members of the Sorority, school administrators and parents, planned a party with a purpose. The Ahoskie Alumnae Chapter and the GEMS planned a fundraising dance at an area high school and raised more than $1,000 to pay for the medications and support services necessary for the immediate treatment of children and families infected with HIV/AIDS. It was a large undertaking, but one that the young women entered into sincerely and with great enthusiasm and passion. School administrators, parents and local
law enforcement readily supported the venture and allowed three local high schools to come together under one roof for this worthy cause. These young women from northeastern North Carolina made a difference in the lives of children and families they may never see, but they recognized the problems in their own community and have set out to tackle them one day at a time. ▲
pact of the media and the images of family in television and movies for young adults. He shared his story of rising from a welfare father and encouraged the youth to reach and attain their goals. Dr. Dyson started the momentum that continued throughout the day with workshops that focused on personal and community empowerment, ﬁnancial responsibility, conﬂict resolution and higher education. It is the chapter’s intent to work with its co-sponsors in the creation of a DVD and related curriculum which will be distributed to summit participants and other community organizations. Albany (NY) Alumnae Chapter anticipates that this youth summit will begin a dialog around issues affecting our community as well as begin to reconstruct the breakdown of Albany’s proverbial “village.” ▲
In May 2008 the Albany (NY) Alumnae Chapter presented the Walk It, Talk It, Live It: Leadership Summit, a youth empowerment summit. The day-long event was co-sponsored by the New York State Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA), the New York State and Family Services (OCFS) and was hosted by the New York State United Teachers (NYSUT). Chapter president, Soror Dona S. Bulluck, introduced the keynote speaker, Dr. Michael Eric Dyson, a proliﬁc author and media personal- Dr. Michael Eric Dyson attends the Albany (NY) ity. Dyson commenced the Alumnae Chapter’s “Walk It, Talk It, Live It: Leaderday’s exploration of the im- ship Summit.”
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Serve: Transforming Lives, Impacting Communities Birmingham Alumnae Chapter has become a partner with One Birmingham, a new organization that has taken on the task of bringing together community, social, and professional organizations to speak as one voice to Birmingham leaders. The chapter joins Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, 100 Black Men of Birmingham as well as The Links and the National Council of Negro Women in this partnership. Core issues or pillars of the group are education, community improvement, public safety and economic development. One Birmingham is not a political organization and does not endorse candidates. One Birmingham hosted mayoral debates in fall 2007. ▲ Sorors from Bronx, Brooklyn, North Manhattan and New York Alumnae chapters participated in the Young Women’s Empowerment Summit Celebration during Black History Month. Long Island University sponsored the event. Sorors and other professional panelists spoke to more than 300 young ladies in the sixth and seventh grade from the Urban Assembly Institute of Math and Science for Young Women. The school opened two years ago and is designed to encourage and foster the achievement of young women in math, science and technology. Panelists shared their experiences in their chosen ﬁelds. The sorors featured were Virginia R. Toomer of Bronx Alumnae Chapter; Pat Hurlock of North Manhattan Alumnae Chapter; Bernie Callender of New York Alumnae Chapter and Sheila Beverly Skinner of Brooklyn Alumnae Chap-
Several members of the Chapel Hill-Carrboro Area Alumnae Chapter participate in Community Empowerment Day. Chapter President Soror LaQuinta Parker Perry (FOURTH FROM LEFT) presents a donation to an employee of the family care home.
ter. Also present were sorors Traci Strahan, a WNBC news correspondent; Linara Davidson, community liaison for the Manhattan Borough President; and Evelyn Mallett, a retired assistant principal. ▲ The Southern Region Leadership Team and the Program Planning and Development Committee presented the Broward County Alumnae Chapter with the 2007 Legacy of Excellence Award, which was developed to recognize collegiate and alumnae chapters for outstanding programs in the southern region. The award was presented to Broward County Alumnae Chapter during the sisterhood luncheon, at the 41st Southern Regional Conference in Chattanooga, Tenn. The chapter was recognized for two exemplary social action programs—Delta Days at the School Board and Delta Days at Broward County. The events serve as an opportunity to inform the county and school board about the Sorority’s social action priorities and to hold community members accountable for any actions that may adversely impact the community. Soror Alfreda Coward chairs the chapter’s Social Action Committee. Soror Shirley Baker is chapter president and Soror Jasmin Shirley is Immediate Past President. ▲
In March 2008, members of the Chapel Hill-Carrboro Area Alumnae Chapter participated in Community Empowerment Day at a family care home located in Orange County, N.C. operated by the Alliance of AIDS Services. Sorors stocked the pantry with approximately 35 bags of non-perishable food items and donated $200 to assist in the purchase of essential household items. In past years, the chapter has participated in other activities at the home such as: painting and cleaning common areas of the house; helping with yard work and assisting with Bingo Night. The residents always seem to enjoy the time chapter members spend at the home and chapter members are always happy to help their neighbors whenever they need assistance. ▲ The Charlotte Alumnae Chapter awarded $10,500 in college scholarships to seven local students in 2008 at its annual May Week program held at Garinger High School. During the weeklong celebration, the chapter recognized the academic achievements of students attending Charlotte-Mecklenburg middle schools. Throughout the week the chapter facilitated bonding activities that encouraged students to excel academically as they prepare for high school. The week concluded with an awards ceremony where 25 middle school students received trophies for their academic excellence.
JOURNAL Spring 2009
Charlotte Alumnae Chapter May Week Scholarship recipients with chapter members and South Atlantic Regional Director Linda Wilson.
During the May Week ceremony, winners of the Shadd Scoggins College Scholarships were announced. Named in honor of Sorors Virginia Shadd, the ﬁrst female high school principal at Myers Park High School, and Dorothy Counts Scoggins, the ﬁrst African-American student to integrate Harding High School, the scholarship commemorates their academic achievements. “Delta Sigma Theta Sorority is pleased to recognize academic achievements of students in middle and high school,” said Soror Michelle Green who co-chaired the scholarship committee with Soror Michel Vaughan. “The scholarship recipients are students with a GPA of 3.0 on 4.0 scale and rank in the top 25 percent of their senior class.” The scholarship winners were: Tesema Barkot ($2,500); Jacquia Randson ($2,000); Brigitte Lohadie ($2,000); Emily Dillard ($1,500); Stephanie Howard ($1,000); Ashli Cumberbatch ($750) and Jasmine Brooks ($750). ▲ Charlotte (N.C.) Alumnae Chapter awarded $24,350 to 27 local nonproﬁt organizations and presented 26 college scholarships at its debutante cotillion in April 2008. The debutante cotillion is the chapter’s longest running event. The participants are high school seniors who compete for the title of Ms. Debutante by raising funds for the Soror-
ity. The debutantes who raise the most money receive college scholarships. Remaining funds are donated to non-proﬁt organizations impacting the Charlotte community. Antoinette Cody is chapter president. ▲
ployers and on-site career counseling; free health screenings which included dental check-ups for children; and blood pressure, diabetes and HIV/AIDS testing. Residents also received information about volunteer opportunities with other Chicago Alumnae initiatives, including the Delta Literacy Project. Programming for Delta Academy participants was also held throughout the day. All attendees were treated to free healthy lunches. The Empowerment Fair culminated with a town hall meeting, led by Chicago Alumnae’s Social Action Committee chairs. Chicago-area political leaders also participated in the event and discussed topics including criminal record expungement and healthcare for the poor and indigent in Cook County. Chicago Alumnae is committed to making a difference in the community. ▲
Soror Sheryl Lee Ralph is honored at a reception and luncheon by the Cincinnati Queen City Alumnae Chapter during her Greater Cincinnati premier of “Sometimes I Cry”
The Chicago Alumnae Chapter hosted its second Delta Empowerment Fair at Malcolm X College, serving residents on Chicago’s West Side. With the theme “Empowering Families to Help Themselves,” the fair combined the efforts of the chapter’s Five-Point Programmatic Thrust committees to meet the needs of the community. The daylong event included a job fair with more than a dozen em-
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The Cincinnati Queen City Alumnae Chapter partnered with four other Cincinnati-based organizations to speak out and bring attention to the plight of HIV/AIDS among minority women and its impact in the Greater Cincinnati area. The chapter joined forces with the Urban Minority Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Outreach Program (UMADAOP); IV-CHARIS (Compassionate Hearts Assisting, Rebuilding, Instructing and Serv-
ing); The Central Community Health Board of County Early Prevention & Intervention Project (EPIP) and the Cincinnati Drug & Poison Information Center of Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center to form the Cincinnati Sometimes I Cry Coalition. “HIV/AIDS is impacting women of color at an alarming rate,” said Soror Chandra Mathews-Smith, a member of Cincinnati Queen City Alumnae Chapter and the Cincinnati Sometimes I Cry Coalition. “As a sisterhood committed to public service, we must be visible in tackling weighty issues and being a part of the solution.” The coalition brought acclaimed ﬁlm, television, and Broadway stage veteran, AIDS activist, and honorary member of Delta Sigma Theta, Soror Sheryl Lee Ralph to Greater Cincinnati to perform her one woman show “Sometimes I Cry.” In the powerful performance, Soror Ralph tells about the loves, lives, and losses of women infected and affected by HIV/AIDS. The performance heightened awareness of the impacts of HIV/AIDS on the lives of women, especially women of color and what needs to be done to quell this epidemic. “These women’s voices have been silent for too long in the struggle against HIV/ AIDS and must be heard,” said Soror Ralph. “Their health and well-being matters too.” ▲ The Columbus (GA) Alumnae Chapter celebrated its 60th anniversary in February 2008. To commemorate the founding of the Sorority and to celebrate its own anniversary, the chapter hosted a series of events. To honor the chapter’s signiﬁcant contributions to the community, Mayor Wetherington issued a proclamation recognizing the chapter’s 60 years of memorable service and declared February 14 as Delta Day in Columbus. The week-long celebration began with a GospelFest where approximately $900 and two barrels of nonperishable foods were collected and donated to the Salvation Army. Seven
choral groups, including the Delta Choraliers, gave powerful performances. The chapter also held a Sisterhood Fish Fry at the Delta House where sorors danced, stepped and played games. Later in the week, the chapter led a “Walk for the Heart” and donated $600 to the American Heart Association. Following the walk, a HIV/AIDS awareness and prevention seminar was held for the public. The chapter also hosted a Signature Gala featuring the talented jazz and R&B ensemble, 5 Men on a Stool. The 60th Anniversary celebration culminated with worship service at St. John A.M.E. Church, where Southern region chaplain, Rev. Corliss Heath, preached. Immediately following worship, Dr. Louise A. Rice, 23rd National President, delivered the keynote Founders Day address. The historical signiﬁcance of the Columbus (GA) Alumnae Chapter is deeply rooted in the vision of twelve dynamic women who saw the need to bring Delta’s rich legacy to the tricity. From this core of dedicated and visionary women, the chapter has continued to grow and break new ground. ▲ Columbus Lowndes County Alumnae Chapter and Delta GEMS celebrated Dream 365, the Martin Luther King Jr. commemora-
tive weekend celebration, with Myrlie Evers Williams in January 2008. The event was sponsored by the Joshua Project and the Columbus branch of the NAACP. Soror Evers was the keynote speaker for the celebration. The chapter and the Delta GEMS hosted a reception. ▲ In October 2008 the Decatur Alumnae Chapter Dr. Betty Shabazz Delta Academy participants and sorors took a walking tour of Emory University, Omicron Xi sorors, including North Georgia state facilitator, Soror Brittani Barrett, served as hostesses. Each academy participant was paired with sorors from Omicron Xi whose majors ranged from psychology, sociology and neuroscience and behavioral biology to Japanese/Chinese language minors. “Even though the participants in Delta Academy are in middle school, I believe they should also have the same opportunity afforded to the GEMS through their college tour,” said Soror Kanika McKerson, co-chair of Delta Academy. “It’s never too early to expose these young ladies, our future leaders, to higher education. That’s why it was proposed that our Delta Academy conduct a college campus tour; on a local level.” The tour ended with lunch in the school’s Dobbs University Center. Soror KaeAnne Parris of Omicron Xi organized the insightful tour of the university. ▲
Columbus Lowndes County Alumnae Chapter and Delta GEMS at the Dream 365 celebration.
JOURNAL Spring 2009
Decatur Alumnae Chapter sorors and Delta Academy participants during a tour of Emory University.
Sorors of the Detroit Alumnae Chapter boarded buses at Hartford Memorial Baptist Church in Detroit with members of the local NAACP branch to travel to Jena, La., to stand up for the civil rights of a group of black teens widely known as the Jena Six. The teens had been charged with the December 2006 beating of a white schoolmate following a slew of racial incidents in the town. Detroit sorors took their friends, children and grandchildren on the trip to Jena. Soror Nadonya Muslim cried as she entered the small town, knowing she was a part of history. The Detroit Deltas did not stop there. In November 2007 they boarded busses to Washington, to protest at the U.S. Department of Justice building, demanding that federal ofﬁcials intervene in the Jena Six case and step up the government's enforcement of laws against hate crimes. The way the sorors marched was symbolic, as they circled the Department of Justice seven times, just as Christians made seven rounds to knock down the walls of Jericho. Soror Anitta Orr, president of the Detroit Alumnae Chapter, has declared it the mission of the chapter to "take it to the streets," and the Detroit Deltas are doing just that as they turn their focus to the injustice in their own community and throughout the country. ▲
The Duplin County Alumnae Chapter was presented with the North Carolina Award for Outstanding Volunteer Service by the Duplin County Commissioners, on behalf of the ofﬁce of the governor of North Carolina. The Duplin County Alumnae Chapter, since its inception, has made a tremendous impact on the community. Its mission, which involves “Making a Difference,” has been realized through many ongoing projects and programs such as partnering with the school system to conduct leadership programs for 8th grade students; adopting and assisting needy families; sponsoring a seminar concerning women’s health issues; providing scholarships to local high school graduates; producing a book on the historical black church; hosting a joint political forum with high school students and working with the Duplin County Historic Foundation to preserve African-American history. With more than 20,000 hours of volunteer service, the chapter is truly making a difference. The North Carolina Award for Outstanding Volunteer Service is an important part of the proud history and tradition of volunteerism and community service in the state. This award honors the true spirit of volunteerism in North Carolina by recognizing individuals, groups and businesses that make signiﬁcant contributions in their communities through volunteer service. ▲ The Durham Alumnae Chapter, along with Genworth Financial, Inc., North Carolina Mutual Life Insurance, North Carolina Institute of Minority Economic Development and Wachovia combined efforts in May
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2008 to educate nearly 100 local African-Americans on creating personal wealth and building ﬁnancial security with the Financial Fortitude/Delta Homeownership Wealth Matters Series. The keynote speaker was Soror Lynn Richardson, author of “Living Check to Monday.” Soror Linda R. Wilson, South Atlantic regional director and Tarryn Lael Simmons, South Atlantic regional representative, attended the event. Attendees participated in workshops on savings and building wealth, buying real estate in today’s market and insurance as a wealth creation and protection tool. “It’s exciting to be expanding Genworth’s educational outreach efforts with Delta Sigma Theta,” said Soror Lori Jones-Gibbs, vice president, Affordable Housing and Emerging Markets for Genworth Financial and South Atlantic coordinator for Financial Fortitude. “We’ve had great success educating our sorority sisters and others about ways to become homeowners sooner.” Soror Deloris Baker Hargrow is chapter president and Soror Katrina Miller served as chairperson of the event. The Durham Alumnae Chapter received recognition for the Financial Fortitude event at the 49th National Convention in Orlando, Fla. The chapter was presented with the award for exceptional chapter programs at the South Atlantic Regional Sisterhood Luncheon. ▲ In May 2008, the Federal City Alumnae Chapter arranged for a group of sixth grade students from Harriet Tubman Elementary School to visit the Council of the District of Columbia. The visit gave students an opportunity to meet and engage in an open discussion with Ward One Councilmember Jim Graham. Soror Roberta Berry, co-chair of the chapter’s Social Action Committee, and Sorors Martha Forston and Claudia McKoin accompanied the students along with faculty and staff members of Harriet Tubman Elementary School. The group’s visit was the culmination of an educational curric-
ulum on the three branches of government designed and presented by Sorors McKoin and Betty Penn. They met with the students earlier in the month to prepare them for the visit. The students spoke enthusiastically about conditions in and around their community that they wanted to see improved. Graham talked with the students and gave away three tickets to a Washington National's baseball game. Graham was very impressed with his discussions with the students and mentioned the visit on his Web site. “The talented group of 6th graders had lots of questions for me about how I represent Ward One,” he wrote. “I was asked about everything from transportation issues, to the importance of diversity in our ward. I really enjoyed speaking with young people who were excited to know more about government.” In addition to the Harriet Tubman initiative, this year FCAC’s Social Action Committee successfully completed its city-wide outreach effort aimed at providing opportunities for a cross section of elementary and secondary school students to meet and interact with their legislative representatives. ▲ In the summer of 2008, the members of the Greenville (MS) Alumnae Chapter donated over 483 pounds of supplies in 21 packages to Mary
Help of the Sick Mission Hospital in Thika, Kenya. Periodically, Delta Regional Medical Center in Greenville discards expired medical supplies. Soror Florence Jones, a hospital administrator, intervened on behalf of Delta. The center graciously donated the supplies with the caution that medicines should not be sent, only tangible supplies. Sorors worked tirelessly for weeks sorting, packing and wrapping boxes of supplies. The supplies included but were not limited to respiratory tubing, I.V. lines, diabetes monitoring equipment and nutrition literature. It took the chapter four trips in four SUV's to transport all of the supplies to the post ofﬁce in order to be shipped to the hospital. The Greenville (MS) Alumnae Chapter will continue to embrace the Sorority’s global community of Thika, Kenya. The chapter also recently donated more than $4,000 to aid families whose homes were ﬂooded as a result of Hurricane Gustav. Families from Freedom Village and the Greenville area received assistance. ▲ The National Scholarship and Standards Committee of Delta Sigma Theta awarded Hayward Tri-City Alumnae Chapter a $300 seed grant for its Healthy Living Program. Healthy Living is a comprehensive program designed to increase
Greenville (MS) Alumnae Chapter members donate more than $4,000 to aid families impacted by Hurricane Gustav.
health awareness and physical activity in girls ages 11 to 18 in underserved communities. The program features speakers, workshops, physical activity and involvement in chapter health fairs and programs. The goal of the program is to demonstrate how making lifestyle changes can help girls live longer, healthier, happier lives. ▲ Hinesville Alumnae Chapter celebrated its 20th anniversary in December 2007. National President Louise A. Rice served as the guest speaker for the event. Dr. Rice challenged the audience to never confuse movement with action. She asked the audience what they had done in the areas of the Sorority’s Five-Point Programmatic Thrust. Dr. Rice conducted the chartering of the Hinesville Alumnae Chapter in May 1987 when she was Southern regional director. Seven of the 12 charter members attended the anniversary and were recognized. Soror Annie B. Givens, a charter member, was recognized for 67 years of membership in Delta. She was initiated through the Norfolk Alumnae Chapter in 1940. The Hinesville Alumnae Chapter has named a scholarship in Soror Givens’ honor. Soror Sallie W. Richardson served as the chapter’s ﬁrst president. ▲ The Lexington (KY) Alumnae Chapter celebrated its 75th anniversary in November 2007. First organized as Chi Sigma, the chapter was chartered in 1932 by eight members and is the oldest alumnae chapter in the state, and the 23rd oldest in the U.S. To commemorate the 75th Anniversary Celebration, the chapter held a gospel concert to raise funds for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and a Diamond Jubilee Banquet. The concert, held at Historic Pleasant Green Baptist Church, featured Charles Johnson, the Historic Pleasant Green Combined Choirs and the Black Church Coalition Choir. Following the concert, the chapter pre-
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▲ A R L I N G T O N A L U M N A E ▲ B A LT I M O R E C O U N T Y A L U M N A E ▲ B AT O N R O U G E S I G M A A L U M N A E ▲ B I R M I N G H A M A L U M N A E ▲ I L L I N O I S S TAT E W I D E ▲
A R L I N G T O N A L U M N A E ▲ B A LT I M O R E C O U N T Y A L U M N A E ▲ B AT O N R O U G E S I G M A A L U M N A E ▲ B I R M I N G H A M A L U M N
NATIONAL PRESIDENT CYNTHIA M. A. BUTLER-MC
A R L I N G T O N A L U M N A E ▲ B A LT I M O R E C O U N T Y A L U M N A E ▲ B AT O N R O U G E S I G M A A L U M N A E ▲ B I R M I N G H A M A L U M N
PHOTOS BY DEMETRICS DAVIS, JONATHAN GRAMLING, RUTH ELMORE MITCHELL, ADRIENNE ROBERTS, SHOTS BY SHIRLEY, BATON ROUGE SIGMA ALUMNAE CHAPTER, BIRMINGHAM ALUMNAE CHAPTER, SCHAUMBERGHOFFMAN ESTATES ALUMNAE CHAPTER AND NEW ORLEANS ALUMNAE CHAPTER
A R L I N G T O N A L U M N A E ▲ B A LT I M O R E C O U N T Y A L U M N A E ▲ B AT O N R O U G E S I G M A A L U M N A E ▲ B I R M I N G H A M A L U M N A E ▲ I L L I N O I S S TAT E W I D E
A E ▲ I L L I N O I S S TAT E W I D E ▲ N E W O R L E A N S A L U M N A E ▲ N O R T H C A R O L I N A S TAT E W I D E ▲ W I S C O N S I N S TAT E W I D E ▲
A E ▲ I L L I N O I S S TAT E W I D E ▲ N E W O R L E A N S A L U M N A E ▲ N O R T H C A R O L I N A S TAT E W I D E ▲ W I S C O N S I N S TAT E W I D E ▲
Sorors and guests at the Lexington Alumnae Chapter’s 75th Anniversary Celebration.
sented a $500 donation to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. The Diamond Jubilee Banquet featured keynote speaker Soror Regina Harper and guest of honor Soror Carol Ware, past Midwest regional director. Sorors Dorothy Bibbs and Ann B. Black, both proud Delta Dears, shared Chi Sigma memories of fabulous Jabberwocks, the beginnings of the chapter’s biennial Debutante Ball and wonderful sisterhood fellowships. The banquet, which was open to the public, honored leaders in the community. All African-American councilpersons for the city of Lexington since 1963, as well as the current state legislators, were recognized for their service to the community and the state. The Lexington Alumnae Chapter offers a myriad of programming to the greater Lexington area and surrounding counties based on the Sorority’s Five-Point Programmatic Thrust. In 2006, the chapter was named Kentucky Outstanding Alumnae Chapter of the Midwest Region. ▲
When more than 100 African-American women, dressed in red, converged on the headquarters of county and city government in Los Angeles someone asked, “Who are those ladies?” All members of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., the women represented the 13 alumnae chapters based in Los Angeles County: Century City Alumnae, Cerritos Area Alumnae, Compton Alumnae, Foothill Alumnae, Inglewood Alumnae, Lancaster Alumnae, Long Beach Alumnae, Los Angeles Alumnae, Los Angeles South Bay Alumnae, Pasadena Alumnae, Pomona Valley Alum-
Delta Day in L.A.—Century City Chapter Social Action Co-Chairs Lia Martin and Jackie Dupont-Walker with President Gwen Coley as she presented a red orchid to Los Angeles County Supervisor Yvonne Brathwaite Burke.
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nae, Rolling Hills – Palos Verdes Alumnae and San Fernando Valley Alumnae. Appearing before the County Board of Supervisors and the Los Angeles City Council, the sorors were participating in Delta Day in Los Angeles. The various chapters united to inﬂuence public policy on issues such as housing, homelessness, economic development, health, public safety, education, transportation and human welfare. The group’s ﬁrst stop of the day was the meeting room of the board of supervisors. Soror Gwen Coley, president of Century City Alumnae Chapter, explained to the ﬁve district supervisors why the women were there. The supervisors acknowledged the Deltas in attendance and each presented a proclamation to the chapter president or representative. “As an organization committed to public service,” Soror Coley said, “it is our goal to partner with each of the supervisors in serving the community and making a difference in the communities in which we live, work and serve.” The group’s next stop was City Hall. After the sorors crowded into Council Chambers, their host Los Angeles City Council member Jan Perry introduced them. Council President Eric Garcetti greeted them and the council interrupted its session to welcome the Deltas. Los Angeles
Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa sent representatives to meet with the group during a catered lunch. After lunch, sorors met with council members and supervisors representing their chapter’s respective service areas. Sorors left the civic center area with strong impressions. “We came together as a sisterhood with one purpose and one mission,” said Soror Florann Elkins, Foothill Alumnae Social Action chair, “I love seeing that sea of red.” ▲ The Memphis Alumnae Chapter’s Scholarship Committee held its annual ACT Workshop at Hillcrest High School. Thirty-four schools registered for the workshop with more than 200 attendees for the English, reading, math and science sessions. Students received tips on ACT preparation. The chapter provided a continental breakfast for the attendees. Additionally, Memphis Alumnae Chapter collaborated with the Beta Epsilon Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha and the Manassas High School Fitness Club to present a community health fair in April. Approximately 350 adults and children received free health screenings for cholesterol, glucose levels, blood pressure, vision, hearing, body mass index and HIV testing. Several vendors offered tips on healthy living and distributed literature. The organizers for the event were Dr. Barbara Duncan-Cody, Dr. Angela Watson and Soror Mia E. Clemons, all of Memphis Alumnae Chapter; Dr. Gloria Wilson, principal of Manassas High School; Betty Herron, sponsor for the Manassas High School Fitness Club; and Freda Martin, basileus of Alpha Kappa Alpha’s Beta Epsilon Omega Chapter. In May, Memphis Alumnae held its annual Breakfast for M’Lady event and awarded 46 scholarships in the amount of $1,000 each to local students. The Maggie McDowell Scholarship Fund was established in 1975 to honor the late soror who was an educator and member of several community organizations.
Sorors Cheryl Richmond, Alma Anderson and Marjean Smith chair the Scholarship Committee. Soror Patricia Jones Murphy is Memphis Alumnae chapter president. ▲ The Michigan State Council held Delta Day in the State's Capital in Lansing, Mich. in March 2008. Despite six to eight inches of snow that fell on parts of the state, nearly 100 sorors braved the elements to travel to Lansing Community College for workshops and meetings with state legislators. Reporters from WLNS--Channel 6 and the Lansing State Journal shadowed sorors as they participated in Delta Day activities. A special ceremony was held during the Michigan Delta Day to present the American Heart Association with $1,000 to support its Power to End Stroke initiative. Power to End Stroke is a national campaign which targets African-Americans and is sponsored by the American Stroke Association, an organization within the American Heart Association. As part of the Power to End Stroke initiative, Michigan chapters partnered with the American Stroke Association and American Heart Association to deliver "Delta Power Sundays," a series of ﬁve-minute educational sessions on stroke prevention that were presented to church congregations throughout the state during the month of March. Soror Jenita M. Moore, Lansing Alumnae Chapter, and Soror Lauren Davis, Delta Psi, chaired Michigan's Delta Day in the State's Capital. ▲ The Mississippi Gulf Coast Alumnae and the Moss Point Area Alumnae chapters, helped organize the ﬁrst Saving Our Sisters (S.O.S.) Teen Summit in Biloxi, Miss. The summit was held on May 17, 2008 at the Mississippi Coast Convention Center.
As teen pregnancy continues to increase by epidemic proportions in the state of Mississippi, these Delta chapters along with WJZD 94.5, a local black-owned radio station, and area chapters of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. and Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc., organized and held the summit. Their goal was to reverse the trend and discourage teen pregnancies, while encouraging girls to be young ladies and make good decisions. The day-long event was free to the public. Targeting young ladies, ages 10 to 18, as well as mothers, grandmothers and other women in the community, the summit brought
Participants of the Mississippi Gulf Coast & Moss Point Area Alumnae Chapter’s Teen Summit discuss teen pregnancy and healthy decision making.
nearly 2,000 women together for a day of inspiration, teaching, motivation, and uninhibited conversations to empower these young ladies and their families. The event was designed to create a sense of community and sisterhood among the women and girls of the Gulf Coast area, with local sororities and community leaders paving the way. The day's activities included information-packed workshops for both young ladies and parents presented by Deltas, AKAs and Zetas; a performance by gospel rapper Like Paul and a step show showcasing the sororities and their respective youth enrichment programs such as the Delta GEMS. The participating sororities also highlighted their respective youth programs, such as the Delta
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GEMS, as support systems for young ladies. The organizers have already begun the preparations for next year's summit, which is tentatively planned for May 18, 2009. ▲ In celebration of its anniversary, each April Nassau Alumnae Chapter distributes baskets ﬁlled with art supplies to local elementary schools. For the program, entitled Arts in April, principals and/or art teachers identify one well-deserving student per school that is of good moral character, demonstrates academic excel-
ing “read-ins” at local elementary schools. Chapter members visit kindergarten thru 2nd grade classrooms during May Week to discuss the importance of reading, read books to and/or with the children and to demonstrate the elements of an interactive read aloud with follow-up comprehensive questions. The May Week Read-In program is a huge success and each year additional schools are enrolled. ▲
The North Arundel County Alumnae Chapter was honored for its professional accomplishments and civic contributions at Anne Arundel County’s 20th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Dinner in January 2008. The annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Dinner is the largest and one of the oldest celebrations of its kind in the BaltimoreWashington area. The dinner included an awards ceremony honoring individuals and organizations who have kept King’s vision of racial equality alive through social activism. The YWCA Coretta Scott King award is a ﬁrst, and was presented to Nassau Alumnae’s Jean Bligen reads to students at the the chapter by the YWCA of AnEarly Childhood Center in Hempstead, N.Y. napolis and Anne Arundel County. This award is presented to a community organization or person lence and displays a love for the arts. working for education, civil rights, The nominee will receive a basket racial and economic justice. It is dewhich includes art kits, paint brushsigned to highlight the importance es, drawing pads and much more. of community organizations (or perThe baskets are presented along sons) whose work uplifts the values with certiﬁcates to the students durof the late Coretta Scott King and ing class which allows the chapter to explain the program and praise the recipient in front of his or her peers. As a result, the students are motivated to continue to excel and become role models to many. The program is well received by the schools and they look forward to Arts in April every year. Recognizing that literacy is a critical component to the success of our youth, Nassau Alumnae Chapter also celebrates May Week by hostSorors of the North Arundel County Alumnae Chapter.
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fulﬁlls the vision of the much-loved community to which the Kings dedicated their lives. North Arundel County Alumnae Chapter was recognized for the many public service programs it has provided in Anne Arundel County in the last 18 years, but was honored speciﬁcally for the March 2007 Town Meeting on Education. More than 150 people attended the meeting which was held at St. Mark United Methodist Church in Hanover, Md. The chapter’s Social Action Committee realized an urgent need to mobilize the community to action, to help identify ways to eliminate the achievement gap between minority and non-minority students and to work with the schools to carry out the goals outlined in the Ofﬁce of Civil Rights agreement. The Social Action Committee, working in collaboration with the Education Committee, convened the meeting to address the concerns of the No Child Left Behind Act and its impact on African-American students. In addition to a beautifully inscribed plaque, the chapter was presented with numerous citations and proclamations from state and county ofﬁcials. ▲ Sorors from the Northern Virginia Alumnae Chapter (NOVAC) joined to march in unity with the ladies of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. on Capitol Hill on July 17, 2008. The Ladies of AKA were in the nation’s capital to celebrate their Centennial Boule and invited the organizations of the
gional director. “Let us proﬁt from those rights.” The event, which celebrated the Midwest region’s ability to help register more than 10,000 new voters during the past two years, was hosted by the Columbus Alumnae Chapter (CAC-OH) in conjunction with the Ohio Social Action DelegaSorors of NOVAC on Capitol Hill alongside members of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. and Omega Psi Phi Fra- tion and the NAACP. Over 100 guests were ternity, Inc. at the AKA Unity March in Washington, D.C. welcomed by Soror Lisa Dalton Robinson, CAC-OH National Pan Hellenic Council to join chapter president. The event was them in a Unity March beginning at co-chaired by CAC-OH social action the National Council of Negro Women chair, Dr. Judy Alston, and CAC-OH Headquarters and concluding on the event convener, Soror Joi Travis. Sofront steps of the Capitol. Thousands ror Joyce Beatty, Ohio House of Repof AKAs and their guests braved resentatives minority leader, served the scorching temperatures to listen to the speakers, hear the choirs and celebrate the historic legacy of the sorority. NOVAC sorors were treated with warm, sisterly affection by the AKAs. Decked out in beautiful red and white, sorors were stopped nearly every few feet to share a photo-op with AKAs, many who called the Deltas their “sisters” and “cousins” and thanked them for sharing this special occasion with them. NOVAC sorors reminded the AKAs to come back to D.C. in 2013 for Delta Sigma Theta’s centennial celebration. ▲ On Nov. 1, 2008 Delta chapters throughout the state of Ohio held the Get Out the Vote—I Promise to Vote Rally at the Ohio Statehouse. Under the direction of the Ohio state coordinator, Soror Nancy L. Tucker, and Ohio social action coordinator, Soror Maxine Peatross White, the chapters motivated citizens to vote through phone banks, door to door canvassing and other impactful programming through out the state. Their efforts culminated with a rally at the Ohio Statehouse. “Our Founders marched for the voting rights of women,” said Soror Octavia G. Matthews, Midwest re-
to sisterhood, scholarship and service and brought the 2008 election season to a ﬁtting close. ▲ The Omaha Alumnae Chapter celebrated the 60th year anniversary of its chartering and public service in the Omaha community. The theme of the occasion was "Diamonds & Pearls: A Renaissance of Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow.” The celebration, which was free and open to the public, took place in December 2007 at the Metropolitan Community College in Omaha. The event highlighted the organization’s service initiatives in the city of Omaha and honored living charter members Sorors Thelma Costen, Katherine Fletcher and Dr. Kathryn Taylor Favors. More than 150 guests attended the celebration
Ohio Deltas at the I Promise to Vote Rally.
as the keynote speaker and led a tribute to the late Congresswoman Stephanie Tubbs Jones. Other speakers included Columbus City Council President Pro-Tem Kevin Boyce, City Councilwoman Charleta Tavares and State Representative Tracey Heard, who is a soror. The I Promise to Vote rally exempliﬁed the Ohio Deltas’ commitment
Highlights of the occasion included a slide show presentation which took participants on a walk down memory lane. The presentation, titled "Delta Through The Decades," was a retrospective view of the chapter’s contributions locally and nationally. The presentation also featured sorors fashioned in period
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couture and reﬂections from Sorors Costen and Fletcher. Articles from the event, proclamations, a souvenir booklet, photographs and other keepsakes will be placed in a time capsule to be opened at the chapter’s 75th anniversary celebration in 2022. ▲
Southern regional director, spoke to the audience on the powerful vision of Delta women as they embody the commitment to progressive social development through the organization's Five-Point Programmatic Thrust. The late Congresswoman Stephanie Tubbs Jones, the featured guest speaker, spoke to the youth and the public regarding the commitment to social justice established by the great Founders of the sisterhood that has long since withstood the test of time. Soror Tubbs Jones encouraged the youth to make positive choices to ensure yielding positive consequences in their lives. The event marked record attendance for the chapter and promoted community outreach through providing scholarship awards. ▲
Omaha Alumnae Chapter charter members Thelma Costen and Katherine Fletcher; (SECOND ROW) Cynthia K. Gooch, Charter Day Committee chair, Juantisha Christian, Kathy Trotter, Chapter President Lakeisha Dunham, Ruby Davis, Arlett Brooks and Amelia Dorsey. (FRONT ROW)
The Orange County Alumnae Chapter celebrated 25 years of public service to the Orlando, Fla. Metropolitan community. In celebration of this historical moment the chapter dedicated its resources toward improving the educational development of youth during their annual signature event the Eminence Scholarship Gala. The gala evoked sisterly celebrations as Deltas from throughout the country joined the community in an event that is still the "talk of the town." Dr. Louise A. Rice, 23rd National President, offered words of encouragement and advice to the youth scholastic honorees in a congratulatory letter. “Dream lofty dreams,” she wrote. “Hold fast to your dreams and as you move steadily up the staircase of life, remember that it is your responsibility to lift others up as you climb." Joining in the silver anniversary occasion, Soror Christine Nixon,
The Oxford (MS) Alumnae Chapter and the Lambda Sigma Chapter at the University of Mississippi have worked together to develop several projects to help empower the Oxford-Lafayette community. The annual Thanksgiving Dinner has been one of the most successful and rewarding experiences. Through this project the chapters provide those who are less fortunate with a free, hot holiday dinner. This event is held the weekend before the Thanksgiving holiday, so as they prepare for the dinner, all
of the students at the University of Mississippi are already at home for the holiday. The Lambda Sigma sorors give up two extra days of their holiday break to serve the people of the Oxford-Lafayette and university communities. Each year several international students attending the university partake in the Thanksgiving dinner since many of them stay on campus during the holidays. This dinner gives them an opportunity to engage themselves in our culture and meet new friends. Those who come to the dinner have the option of taking a carry-out box with their dinner, but most of them ﬁnd joy in dining in, socializing and listening to soothing holiday music. The chapters offer door prizes at the event, which typically include gift cards and food baskets. The chapters solicit local businesses and organizations to sponsor the event by providing monetary gifts to fund the meal. They serve over 300 smiling faces each year. The menu includes: turkey, dressing, ham, vegetables, desserts and other mouthwatering foods that make people in the community feel right at home. ▲
The Pasadena Alumnae Chapter hosted the 6th Annual Young African American Women’s Conference in March 2008 at Pasadena City College. Soror Gwendolyn McMullins, chapter president, and Soror Deborah Blanton Williams were the conference chairpersons. The day-long conference was speciﬁcally designed to inspire and motivate AfricanAmerican females, ages 12 to 18, to make responsible choices to ensure their future success and well-being. More than 500 girls and parents were in attendance. The keynote speaker was Dena Cali, model, entrepreneur and philanthropist. Cali called on the girls to increase their awareness of the changes and challenges Sorors of Oxford Alumnae and Lambda Sigma Chapters that they will encounter on prepare to serve meals at their annual Thanksgiving their journey through life. A Dinner. variety of personal wellness
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Approximately 350 resiwere given to the Delta husbands dents attended the event. Marvin Brown and Cleveland JohnMany local residents reson, spouses of Sorors Cheryl Brooksceived information about Brown and Cecelia Johnson respecemployment opportunities, tively. The chapter’s Delta GEMS and homeownership and sumFinancial Fortitude programs were mer youth programs. The also highlighted. ▲ event also included on-site The Potomac Valley Alumnae voter registration. Chapter’s (PVAC) Arts and LetSorors Thomila Wilson ters Committee hosted an afternoon and Eucila Kimber served brunch with Tina McElroy Ansa in as chairperson and co-chair Attendees of the Pasadena Alumnae Chapter’s 6th Annual Young African American Women’s Conference October 2008. The brunch was held respectively. take a break from speakers and workshops to enjoy at the home of Soror Lia-Beth Moore. Additionally, Petersburg their souvenir bags. Ansa treated PVAC sorors to a readAlumnae Chapter honored ing and discussion of her latest novstudent and adult leaders at el, “Taking After Mudear,” the sequel a May Week banquet held on workshops were offered. Other workto her best selling “Ugly Ways.” Her the campus of Virginia State Univershop topics ranged from starting a ﬁrst novel, “Baby of the Family,” was sity. South Atlantic Regional Director business and dressing for success, published in 1989 and was named a Linda Wilson delivered the keynote to graduating from high school and Notable Book of the Year by The New address. Immediate Past South Atgetting into college. Information was York Times. Ansa and her husband, lantic Regional Director Yvette Robprovided on career paths including: biomedical research, space engineering, physical therapy, nursing, event planning, movie production and crime scene investigating. The closing session was lead by ﬁlm producer Chimene Davis and writer Bonnie Rutherford. Davis and Rutherford shared their ﬁlm “Origin of Rainbows: Colorism Exposed” and participants engaged in a discussion on the perceptions of beauty and skin color in the African-American community and throughout the world. The conference was funded through corporate and individual donations. Partners included: Kaiser Permanente, Pasadena City College, the City of Pasadena Commission on the Status of Women, Pasadena Uniﬁed School District, Women at Work, Members of the Potomac Valley Alumnae Chapter host a brunch with author Tina McElMetropolitan Community Action Serroy Ansa (FOURTH FROM THE RIGHT). vices Corporation, HBCU Campus Tours, Pasadena Branch NAACP and Joneé Ansa, American Film Institute inson, was also in attendance. Soror Wescom Credit Union. ▲ ﬁlmmaker, are currently adapting Rickeysha Jones a member of Alpha “Baby of the Family” for the screen Eta Chapter at Virginia State UniPetersburg Alumnae Chapter in a feature ﬁlm starring Alfre Woodversity was among several student hosted a Community Empowerard, Loretta Devine, Soror Sheryl Lee scholarship winners. ment Day at a local middle school in Ralph, Vanessa Williams, Todd BridgSorors Debera Bonner and BerMarch. At the event, providers from es, Pam Grier and Tonea Stewart. Her nadette Burton served as chair and the community shared information other novels include “The Hand I Fan co-chair of the May Week event. about their services. RepresentaWith” and “You Know Better.” Chapter President Lynn Cook tives shared information about youth The Potomac Valley Alumnae gave President’s Awards to the Hon. services, ﬁnancial planning, safety, Chapter Arts & Letters Committee is Dorothea Moody and Adam N. Harhealth and ﬁtness and senior citizens very active in the community and colrell, Jr. Esq. Delta Sweetheart Awards services.
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laborates with the Strathmore Arts Center in Rockville, Md. to co-sponsor the Common Bond Art Exhibit/ Juneteenth program. This biannual event showcases local African-American artists and youth in the arts. In addition to the purchase of a chair in the chapter’s name for the music hall, PVAC also donated $1000 toward the development of the Strathmore's Music Arts Center. ▲ In September 2007 the Providence Alumnae Chapter hosted the 50th Annual Ebony Fashion Fair at the Venus De Milo Restaurant in Swansea, Mass. The theme for the show was “Glam Odyssey.” With more than 600 attendees, the Ebony Fashion Fair was an extravaganza to remember! Bright lights, vibrant colors, and rhythmic tones ﬁlled the room as models walked the runway sporting ensembles from world famous designers such as Oscar de la Renta, Jean-Louis Scherrer, Christian Dior and Balizza.
primary vehicle for raising money for Rhode Island students pursuing higher education. The co-chairs for the event, Sorors Natasha Huff and Kizzy Grier, worked diligently to ensure that the Ebony Fashion Fair was a success. Since its involvement with Ebony Fashion Fair, the chapter has raised more than $150,000 toward scholarship funding. In keeping with Delta’s tradition of giving back, the Providence Alumnae Chapter was intentional in its selection of vendors. The chapter utilized the services of the Copy Center at Crossroads, which provides job training for homeless individuals, to print the patron ad booklet for the Ebony Fashion Fair. The copy center is an in-house micro-business of Crossroads Rhode Island, the largest homeless services organization in the state. ▲
The Prince George’s County Alumnae Chapter (PGCAC) recently launched its Feed the Hungry initiative which assists churches and non-proﬁt organizations in maintaining inventory for their food pantries. Under the leadership of Chapter President Diane Venable, PGCAC launched an aggressive social activist agenda with a fundamental initiative to ﬁght hunger in Maryland’s Prince George’s County. Soror Venable tapped Soror Joyce Shambley, PGCAC member and Sorors and guests enjoying the Providence Alumrecently retired military ofﬁcer, nae Chapter’s 50th Annual Ebony Fashion Fair. to manage the logistics involved with strengthening local nonThe Ebony Fashion Fair tour, proﬁt organizations in their efforts to sponsored by Johnson Publications feed county residents. The Feed the and Fashion Fair Cosmetics, highHungry initiative evolved with Soror lights models of color and travels to Shambley galvanizing more than 70 chapter members. nearly 180 cities in the U.S. and in CaDesigned to be an operational nada. The show illustrated a powerforce throughout the entire year, the ful message that, regardless of shape subcommittee began to host monthor size, black is indeed beautiful and ly food drives, collecting can goods can be amazingly displayed in a vaand boxed food items to restock riety of dazzling styles and bold coshelves at food pantries and soup lors. kitchens. As Soror Shambley advancThe chapter has been sponsoes the chapter’s plans, she envisions ring the Ebony Fashion Fair annually serving meals at family shelters; desince 1974 and over the last 30 years, livering meals for partnering social the chapter has used this event as the
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service agencies; collecting and donating grocery store gift cards; participating in walkathons to support the homeless; and providing special gifts, clothing, and spiritual uplift programs and entertainment for residents at shelters. The recipient of the ﬁrst pantry delivery, First Baptist Church of Highland Park in Landover, Md. received 20 boxes and 12 bags of food. Chapter members expressed collective appreciation to the pastor, Dr. Henry P. Davis, for opening the church to the various chapter committees that enjoy this gratis meeting place. Moving forward, Sorors Venable and Shambley plan to tap other local organizations, requesting them to embrace the Feed the Hungry initiative and to “Help PGCAC to Help Others Eat.” ▲ The Richmond (VA) Alumnae Chapter celebrated 70 years of service in December 2007 with “Fire & Ice,” a sorors-only after-ﬁve affair. In attendance were 22nd National President Gwendolyn E. Boyd, South Atlantic Regional Director Linda Wilson, immediate Past Regional Director Yvette Robinson and Past Regional Director Thelma Pettis. Eight past chapter presidents were in attendance including Sorors Estella Randolph, Thelma Pettis, Margaret Dungee, Phyllis Booth, LaVerne Spurlock, Jacquelyn Thomas, Annette Ward and Francine Young, as well as chapter charter member Soror Hilda Yates Warden. Sorors Boyd and Wilson delivered greetings. Richmond City Council President William Pantele honored the chapter for 70 years of service. A historical perspective showcased period attire. The event also included musical selections, awards, recognitions and interpretive dance. Richmond Alumnae was chartered as Beta Epsilon and held its ﬁrst meeting Dec. 4, 1937. On Feb. 7, 1942, the chapter was divided into two chapters. Beta Epsilon was on the campus of Virginia Union University and the graduate chapter became Beta Theta Sigma. In 1945, when the chapter was not yet 10 years old,
then part of the Eastern Region, Beta Theta Sigma hosted the 18th National Convention in Richmond. In 1958, the graduate chapter name was changed to Richmond Alumnae to comply with a Grand Chapter ruling and later became part of the South Atlantic Region when the Eastern Region was divided. ▲
Through hands-on exhibits, children learned how their heart works, how taking care of their teeth affects the rest of their body and much more. Young participants also discovered that some of their favorite activities are actually considered exercise. An 11-year-old spokesperson for the Alliance for a Healthier Generation shared his story of how he safely lost more The sorors of the Rome (GA) Alumthan 45 pounds by making good food nae Chapter gathered around the choices and getting active. During the Christmas tree at their chapter ofﬁce event, the chapter also incorporated building, each holding a doll for Anthe Power to End Stroke campaign. gel Express. Angel Express is an orThe American Heart Association disganization founded by Janet Baltzer tributed information on stroke preto provide dolls and other items to vention, the signs of stroke and childchildren during Christmas. hood obesity, as well as cookbooks with heart-healthy recipes. The museum reduced its admission price for the event and the local Black Nurses Association conducted free health screenings for adults. Local media provided extensive coverage before and after PPS. The event was made possible through a grant Sorors of the Rome (GA) Alumnae Chapter with dolls the chapter from the Michigan donated to Angel Express CardioVascular Institute Foundation. Soror Alti Leah Aker, who was a The chapter also partnered with lomember of the Rome Alumnae Chapcal agencies including the Alliance ter, made dolls, doll clothes, doll for a Healthier Generation and the beds and blankets to donate to AnMichigan CardioVascular Institute. gel Express before she passed away. The Saginaw Alumnae Chapter Each year, the chapter donates dolls continued its efforts to educate the to Angel Express in her memory. community by taking part in the MidIn 2007, the chapter’s third year west Region’s Power to End Stroke of participation, sorors collected Sunday. At various local churches, more than 50 dolls. ▲ congregations were decked out in red, pastors spoke about the lifeMore than 400 people packed the changing illness and sorors passed Mid-Michigan Children’s Museum in out AHA pledge cards asking people Saginaw, Mich. for the ﬁrst ever Power to commit to preventing and overPlay Saturday. The Saginaw Alumcoming strokes. ▲ nae Chapter sponsored the event in November 2008. “We want kids to The Salisbury Alumnae Chapter know that being healthy can be easy Social Action Committee provided and fun,” said Saginaw Alumnae Chapa Foster Care Day of Grooming for ter President Rhonda Farrell-Butler. African-American children living in
the foster care system. Twenty-ﬁve children in the custody of the Rowan County Department of Social Services participated in the free day of grooming by local hair care establishments. Many of the participating businesses were scheduled to be closed during the event but gladly opened their doors to provide hair styles for the children. The Foster Care Day of Grooming took place March 17-19, 2008—just in time for the children to have well deﬁned and perfect hair styles for the Easter holiday. The following businesses participated in the event: Above and Beyond Salon, Addison Barbering Styles, B & B Barber Shop, Big “V” Barber Shop, Deﬁne Design Boutique Beauty Salon, Designing “U” Salon, Destiny’s Beauty Salon, Elite Cuts Barber and Beauty Salon, Hair Designs by Shirley, Monica’s Beauty Salon, Tillman’s Barber Shop and U-Can-Get-It Beauty Salon as well as Cynthia Robertson. ▲ In March 2008, the Solano County Collaboration for HIV/AIDS Awareness Group, of which the sorors of Solano Valley Alumnae and Vallejo Alumnae chapters are members, brought together more than 100 students from Solano County for its 5th Annual Teen Expo, A Passport for Health. The event is a youth centered conference providing information about prevention of HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted infections, health education and positive life choices. At the expo, students had the opportunity to participate in roundtable discussions on why young people are at persistent risk for HIV/ AIDS. Participants also discussed why this risk is especially prevalent among minority youth, HIV/AIDS prevention, education about conﬁdential health services and choices including abstinence and delaying the initiation of sex. The expo also offered a health and career fair, a free healthy lunch and a variety of workshops on topics ranging from self-esteem to nutrition. Keedar Whittle from BET’s “Hell Date” was the host for the event. Case
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Woodard, R&B artist and spokesperson for Hope for our Youth: National Awareness Campaign, along with local entertainers participated in the expo. 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 infections. The event was a collaborative effort also supported by other Greek sororities and fraternities, faithbased groups, community agencies and community volunteers. ▲ The 48 chapters within the Central Region collected thousands of coats during the fall of 2007 through winter 2008. The St. Louis Alumnae Chapter’s Program Planning and Development Committee coordinated the coat drive. Central Region Director Sandra Lucado oversaw the effort. The coats were donated to social service agencies, which provide assistance to low-income individuals and families, such as the YWCA Head Start Program and Places for People, an agency that serves the mentally challenged. The Central Region includes Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota and Wyoming. Soror DeJeanette Williams is vice president of programs. Sorors Robinette Lance and Erika Whitehead are chair and co-chair respectively of the Community Awareness and Involvement Committee. Soror Janet Bonner is president of St. Louis Alumnae Chapter. ▲ Sorors from 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 sorors, family members and friends planted ten 15-gallon trees in the backyard of a mental health facility in Sahuarita, Ariz., located 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 publicservice 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. Participants dug holes to accommodate the assortment of trees delivered by the TREES for Tucson program. “Ten sorors volunteered to purchase the trees for planting, $25 each,” said Soror Yvonne M. Height, Tucson Alumnae chapter president. “The sorors really did some backbreaking work.” Tucson Alumnae, along with the other four Delta chapters in Arizona, celebrated a statewide Founders Day in Tucson in February. Soror Gwendolyn E. Boyd, the 22nd National President of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., spoke at the Founders Day luncheon. In addition to Tucson Alumnae, host chapters were Iota Kappa (Arizona State University); Mu Eta (University of Arizona); Phoenix Metropolitan Alumnae Chapter and Tempe Alumnae Chapter. ▲ Under the theme “Committed to Making our Community an Even Better Place,” the Virginia Northern Neck Alumnae Chapter recently celebrated its one year anniversary. The chapter commemorated the occasion by awarding scholarships to two deserving high school seniors and presented a Hero Award to a local young man in recognition of his community service activities for mentally and physically disabled individuals in the area. The Honorable Viola Baskerville, secretary of administration for Virginia and a member of the Richmond Alumnae Chapter, was the keynote speaker. In her address, she stressed the importance of members of Delta
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Sigma Theta Sorority and other community residents using their collective strength to highlight issues and provide solutions for problems in their communities. Sorors from surrounding chapters were among the nearly 200 participants. The celebration included a four course meal, fashion show hosted by Gad About of Springﬁeld, Va. and more than 40 door prizes donated by local establishments and individuals. Guests received live African violets as mementos of the special occasion. The chairperson for the event was Soror Lillian Waddy with Sorors B. Gail Haynie and Carolyn Hines serving as co-chairs. Soror Wanda Reynolds is chairperson of the Scholarship Committee and Soror Debra Parker serves as co-chair. Soror Carolyn Johnson is the chapter president. ▲ In November 2008, the Washington D.C. Alumnae Chapter (WDCAC) in association with the Washington D.C. Alumnae Foundation hosted the 5th Annual Distinguished Men Cookin’ with the Deltas at the Arbor Ballroom in the nation’s capital. This tasty annual fundraiser featured over 60 dishes prepared by D.C.’s ﬁnest amateur and professional chefs’ including sorors. The event featured the “home-grown” chefs, a dynamic performance by jazz musician Brian Lanier and a cooking demonstration from Executive Chef Matthew Raiford of the Gaylord Hotel and Resort. Music was provided by DJ Munch. With more than 450 community members in attendance, the district’s distinguished professionals and ofﬁcials made the event a great success with an expected $10,000 of proceeds going toward college scholarships for D.C. high school seniors and WDCAC’s community youth outreach programs. The People’s Choice Competition spiced things up for the chefs and encouraged rivalry. Chefs rallied for votes from patrons, and in the end 11-year-old Garrent Milam won.
Participants of the Washington, DC Alumnae Chapter’s 5th Annual Distinguished Men Cookin’ fundraiser event.
featured speaker at the Founders Day worship service at the Hurst Chapel A.M.E. Church in Riviera Beach. Chartered on February 17, 1948 as the Gamma Pi Sigma Chapter, the West Palm Beach Alumnae Chapter became an instant pillar in the South Florida city, offering programs and services for African-Americans that could not be found elsewhere. The Founders Day weekend celebration was chaired by Sorors Hazel Kinsey, Mary Brown and Sandra Hudnell. Soror Sylvia Gibson is chapter president. ▲
Donors included the BET Foundation, Washington’s WHUR 96.3, Home Depot, Verizon Wireless, Tropicana Restaurants, Carolina Kitchen, CakeLove, Applebees, Outback Steakhouse, Soul Day Spa and Salon, Langston Golf Course and many others. Congratulations to Soror Yinka Cynthia Adesioye, committee chair and her committee who were very successful in carrying out the chapter’s ﬁrst fundraiser of the sorority year and exceeding all past records in attendance and proceeds. ▲
dents as well as saluted the Sorority’s 22 Founders. Soror Lillie Drayton one of only two surviving charter members, is currently an active member in the chapter. Among those who came to help the chapter mark the occasion were Soror Christine Nixon, Southern regional director; Soror Mona Humphries Bailey, 17th National President; and Soror Nailah Tillman, past Southern regional representative. Soror Nixon delivered the keynote speech at the Founders Day Luncheon and Soror Bailey was the
The West Palm Beach Alumnae Chapter celebrated its 60th anniversary in February 2008, with a weekend of events and a look back at the chapter's legacy and journey through the decades. During the Founders Day celebration, themed "Reﬂecting on the Past, Envisioning the Future: 60 Years of Sensational Service and Sisterhood,” the chapter honored its six charter members and 32 past chapter presi-
Sorors of the West Palm Beach Alumnae Chapter.
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DELT▲ WOMEN honors 6 awards 6 reco DELTAS in the NEWS
Eight sorors received the Distinguished Woman Award from the New York Club of the National Association of Negro Business and Professional Women’s Clubs, Inc. The club hosted the 80th Annual Founder’s Day Sojourner Truth Awards Celebration and honored nearly two dozen outstanding men and women of the New York community at a luncheon in April 2008. The honored sorors were Carla Brown, executive director of the Charles A. Walburg Center and a member of Brooklyn Alumnae Chapter; Carla Harris, managing director at Morgan Stanley, and a member of Brooklyn Alumnae Chapter; Joyce Johnson, president and CEO of the Black Equity Alliance, and a member of North Manhattan Alumnae Chapter; Gail E. Mitchell, manager of the Air Service Development in the Aviation Department for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, and a member of Queens Alumnae Chapter; Monique S. Myles, senior marketing manager at Black Enterprise and a member of North Manhattan Alumnae Chapter; Dale Wallace-Thompson, faith based initiatives coordinator for the New York State Ofﬁce of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services and a member of Bronx Alumnae Chapter; Debra Wallace, senior account manager at Ebony magazine; Kim M. Williamson, director of prime time programming and development for the Food Network and a member of North Manhattan Alumnae Chapter. Soror Rosia Blackwell Lawrence, chair of the Metropolitan President Council of New York, presented each honored soror with a potted African 54 ▲
violet. The luncheon chairperson was Soror Virginia R. Toomer, second vice president of the New York Club and a member of Bronx Alumnae Chapter. ▲ Judge Nadine Allen was re-elected to a ﬁfth term on the Hamilton County Municipal Court in Cincinnati, Ohio. Judge Allen, a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority since 1998, brings a variety of experiences to her 20 years of service on the Hamilton County Municipal Court and has earned a reputation as a ﬁrm but fair member of the bench. Judge Allen currently serves as senior judge. Her initiatives, which include programs to increase alcohol and drug treatment; propose jail alternatives; expand diversion programs; simplify the expungement process and train new magistrates; have improved the quality of the administration of justice in Hamilton County. Judge Allen also performs weddings in the French, Spanish and Italian languages for the public beneﬁt. She is active in professional and community organizations including the National Bar Association, Ohio State Bar Association, Black Lawyers Association of Cincinnati, Coalition Against Domestic Violence and the NAACP. ▲ Soror Juanita C. Bobbitt was recently named to the board of directors of the Metropolitan Chapter UNIFEM/USA, the U.S. National Committee for the United Nations Development Fund for
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Women. UNIFEM focuses on reducing women's poverty, ending violence against women, halting the spread of HIV/AIDS and supporting women's leadership. The U.S. National Committee supports projects in over 100 countries around the globe by raising awareness and expanding support for its activities. Soror Bobbitt was also recently appointed to the board of governors of Opportunity International, a leading innovative organization in the microﬁnance industry. Opportunity International works through indigenous partner organizations to create employment opportunities, provide small business loans, training and counseling. The organization gives priority to programs that serve women. Soror Bobbit was instrumental in achieving accreditation on behalf of Delta Sigma Theta as a non-governmental organization in special consultative status to the United Nations Economic and Social Council and currently serves as a representative of Delta Sigma Theta to that body. She has previously served as a member of the National Social Action Commission and a past member of the National Projects Committee. She was initiated into the sorority through Rho Chapter and is currently a member of Brooklyn Alumnae Chapter where she is a past chapter president and has served in various other capacities. ▲
Soror Kira Lauren Bryant received the “Make a Difference Award” from the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. Sigma Beta Beta Chapter in New York. The award is given to individuals for their outstanding contributions to community service. Soror Bryant was recognized for
the devoted time she spends with young people and her involvement in women’s sports. Since 1998, she has been the assistant director of the Long Island Wave AAU Basketball Program. She has also been afﬁliated with the Abyssinian Church Basketball Program. As chaperone, mentor, tutor and coach she has helped guide her teams to six Metropolitan Championships, which entitled them to represent Long Island in the National AAU competitions in Tennessee and Louisiana. She also volunteers at the food pantry at her church and is a member of the NAACP, the National Council of Negro Women, and serves on the McKinney-Vento Advisory Board for Nassau County and the Youth Programs Advisory Board for the Town of Oyster Bay Consortium. Soror Bryant received her Bachelor of Arts degree in sociology of health and medicine from the University of Pennsylvania and her master’s in social work from the Shirley M. Ehrenkranz School of Social Work at New York University. She was initiated into Nassau Alumnae Chapter in 2006. ▲ Lt. Col. Shirley A. Burke–Mitchell retired from the United States Air Force Reserve on June 2008 with 28 years of honorable service to our nation. Lt. Col. Burke-Mitchell, entered the Air Force through the Air Force Reserve Ofﬁcer Training Corps at Detachment 019Alabama State University in 1980 as a distinguished graduate and was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant. Her duty assignments included Headquarters Tactical Air Command-
of Data Automation, Plans and Programs Division, Langley AFB, Va. as an ADP Plans and Programs Staff supporting the automated data processing requirements for the Airborne Warning and Control System Program Ofﬁce and the Tactical Fighter Weapons Center program ofﬁces; Tactical Fighter Weapons Center -Directorate of Data Automation ADP Staff Ofﬁcer and the 2069thCommunications Group, Chief, Plans Ofﬁcer and Communications-Electronics (CE) Maintenance Control Ofﬁcer, Nellis AFB, Nv.; 1982nd Communications Squadron (7th Tactical Fighter Wing) as Chief, Communications-Electronics Maintenance, Kunsan Air Base, Republic of Korea; Headquarters Air Force Communications Command -Deputy Chief of Staff, Directorate of Plans and Requirements, command/Strategic Requirements and War Plans and Readiness Ofﬁcer; and 932nd Communications Flight; Chief, Military Equal Opportunity and Inspector General, Scott AFB, Ill. Soror Burke-Mitchell earned a bachelor’s degree in computer information systems and master’s degree in guidance and counseling from Alabama State University as well as a master’s degree in computer information systems from Golden Gate University. She was initiated into Delta Sigma Theta through the Las Vegas Alumnae Chapter in 1988 and is an active member of the Huntsville Alumnae Chapter. ▲ Dr. Joyce Covington-King was conferred with a Doctorate of Education Degree from Nova Southeastern University. King, originally from South Carolina,
recognitions also holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in English Literature from Fayetteville State University and a Masters of Education Administration from the University of Missouri -Kansas City. Some of her honors are the Bravo Award (Central Piedmont Community College), Leadership in Education Award Nominee (GCABSE), Who's Who Among Education Leaders (Strathmore), Dr. William Irving Award (Shaw University) Outstanding Educator (Charlotte Hornets), Woman of Courage (Delta Sigma Theta Sorority) and Teacher of Distinction (Lincoln Middle School). King spent the ﬁrst 15 years of her career in Kansas City, Mo., where she worked as an English teacher, assistant principal and principal. King relocated back to the Carolinas and was employed as an administrator of the Charlotte Mecklenburg School System. Later, accepting the position of director of the Shaw University at Kannapolis, where she worked for four years. Currently, King is director of campus administration at Central Piedmont Community College and owner/operator of J's Tutoring Academy. In her spare time King provides consultant work as an online instructor for University of Phoenix and online SAT Readers for Education. King's educational philosophy is that all people can be successful learners, if we teach the whole person and modify instruction to accommodate their learning style. ▲ Soror Lenore Croudy of the Flint Alumnae Chapter in Flint, Mich., received the Governor George Romney Lifetime Achievement Award, the state's
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highest honor for volunteerism in 2007. This award is given to an individual who shows continual lifelong commitment to community service. Governor Jennifer Granholm presented the award to Soror Croudy who was selected from a ﬁeld of ﬁve semi-ﬁnalists. Soror Croudy, a retiree of the Flint Community Schools after 39 years of service, is the chairwoman of the Mott Community College Board of Trustees and the Michigan Community College Association. She was appointed by Governor Granholm to serve on the state's Retirement Committee. She has served as a board member of the YWCA of Greater Flint, Salvation Army, Center for the Visually Impaired, Voluntary Action Center and the National Board of Community Colleges Association. She was president of the Flint Alumnae Chapter from 1994-1998. Soror Croudy has organized block clubs and neighborhood associations, developed diversity workshops for teachers and got involved with political campaigns for area school board candidates. She is the founder of the Youth Leadership Institute, a program which teaches African-American students community leadership. Diagnosed with cancer in 2006, Soror Croudy underwent surgery, chemotherapy and radiation treatment. During her recovery she continued to make calls and advocate for the organizations she served. “When I had the chemo, it takes a lot of physical energy away,” said Soror Croudy, “but it doesn't take mental energy away.” Soror Croudy was initiated into Delta Sigma Theta Sorority at West Virginia State. ▲ Soror Aunjanue Ellis was cast to play the role of the wife of renowned pediatric neurosurgeon Dr. Benjamin Carson in the TNT Original movie, “Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story.” In her role
as Lacena“Candy” Carson, Soror Ellis plays opposite Cuba Gooding Jr. The movie chronicles Carson’s journey from his inner-city childhood to his position as director of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins University Hospital. Soror Ellis’ ﬁlm credits include “Cover,” directed by the critically acclaimed Bill Duke; the Oscar-winning ﬁlm “Ray” and the comedy “Undercover Brother” among others. Soror Ellis was initiated in 1988 through the Gamma Psi Chapter at Tougaloo College in Mississippi. She is a member-at-large. ▲ Dr. Deborah Skinner Foreman has been named Ms. Norfolk State University Alumni for 2007-2008. Soror Foreman is a 1976 graduate of Norfolk State. She earned a master’s degree from Virginia Commonwealth University and a doctorate from Nova Southern University. Soror Foreman is currently employed as a school administrator for special services. She was recognized by Fairfax County, Va. in 2006 for her commitment to promoting human rights. She is afﬁliated with the American Association of University Women Educational Foundation. Soror Foreman was initiated at Epsilon Theta. She is currently a member of Northern Virginia Alumnae Chapter. ▲ Dr. Otashe Golden-Faison has been named vice president of medical affairs at Dameron Hospital in Stockton, Calif. Her responsibilities include spearheading hospital-wide quality initiatives as well as overseeing core measurements, patient satisfaction and community outreach. In addition, she is director of the Hospitalist Program at Dameron, which involves overseeing scheduling, hiring and peer review. She is also managing partner for California Hospitalist Physicians, Inc., a medical group. Dr. Golden-Faison is a 1998 graduate of Albany Medical School in New York, where she was the recipient of the Frank C. Maxon, Jr., MD Memorial Scholarship. She complet-
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ed her family medicine residency at Sutter Health/University of California at Davis in Sacramento. Soror Golden-Faison received her undergraduate degree from UCD, with a double Bachelor of Science degree in English and biological science. She was initiated through Lambda Xi Chapter and is a charter member of Elk Grove Alumnae Chapter. ▲ Soror Tomeka Hart has been selected as the president and CEO of the Memphis Urban League. Soror Hart has served as a member of the Memphis City Schools Board of Commissioners since 2004 and currently serves as its president. She has worked to make the Memphis Urban League Young Professionals a strong outlet for networking and political change. She is the recipient of numerous professional and community awards. Soror Hart obtained her Juris Doctorate Degree from the Cecil C. Humphrey’s School of Law at the University of Memphis. Additionally, she obtained an M.B.A. in marketing from Kennesaw State University and a B.S. in marketing education from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Soror Hart holds positions on several other boards, including the Memphis Riverfront Development Corporation, New Pathways Community Development Corporation, the Leadership Academy and the University of Memphis Law School Alumni Association. Soror Hart is a member of the Memphis Rotary Club and the Memphis Alumnae Chapter. Soror Hart was initiated at Mu Zeta Chapter at the University of Tennessee in 1999. ▲ Soror Patrice A. Hinnant, a judge of the Guilford County District Court serving Greensboro and High Point, N. C., is serving as president of the Greensboro Bar Association. Soror Hinnant has served the organization as a member of the board of directors and as the judicia-
ry representative to the organization. She has been recognized by the association as the recipient of the North Carolina Bar Association Centennial Award for Outstanding Service. Soror Hinnant graduated from Spelman College and the North Carolina Central University School of Law. She has received numerous civic and judicial awards and has served in leadership in legal associations on the local, state and national levels. Soror Hinnant is also a member of the National Bar Association Judicial Council Executive Committee and is a past ofﬁcer of the North Carolina Association of Black Lawyers. She has held membership in the American Bar Association, American Judicature Society, North Carolina Bar Association, Guilford Inn of Court, Guilford County Black Lawyers Association and the Greensboro Criminal Defense Association. In 1996, she made history when she became the ﬁrst woman elected district court judge by the Democratic Party in the jurisdiction; in 2007, she became the ﬁrst African-American female and the ﬁrst judge elected as president of the Greensboro Bar Association. Soror Hinnant has been an active member in the Sorority since 1979. She has served in numerous capacities, including chapter president and on the national executive board. ▲ Soror Robin Rice Hodges was recently promoted to the rank of director of Warm Spirit, a home based business that sells healing and aromatherapy products. Soror Hodges is one of three directors in the entire company, which consists of about 33,000 business owners nation-wide. She started her Warm Spirit business in 2005 and quickly rose to the rank of director, leading a team of more than 260 business owners across the country and on military bases overseas. Soror Hodges is ranked among the top 10 consultants in the company and has been recognized for her consistent leadership in sales and recruiting. She named her team “Aloha Spirit” because her
business was started while her family was stationed in Hawaii. Soror Hodges earned both her Bachelor of Science and Master’s degrees from the University of Michigan and was initiated into Nu Chapter in 1989. She is a member of Northern Virginia Alumnae Chapter and serves on the chapter’s health and communications committees. She is a member of the National Technology Task Force and is a member of the South Atlantic Information and Technology Committee. She is also a member of Jack and Jill of America. ▲ Dr. Chavonda Jacobs-Young, a member of the Potomac Valley Alumnae Chapter, was awarded the 2008 North Carolina State University’s College of Natural Resources Alumnus of the Year Award. Dr. Jacobs-Young is leading the way toward ﬁnding alternative fuels. She’s the national program leader for bio-based products and bio-energy production in the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Research Initiative. She oversees annual competitive grant allocations totaling $7 million. Dr. Jacobs-Young also serves as a senior policy analyst in the Executive Ofﬁce of the President in the White House Ofﬁce of Science and Technology Policy. As the country’s ﬁrst African-American with a Ph.D. in paper science and engineering, she’s been a role model for young women and has taken a leadership role in encouraging the participation of students in science. In 2002, she was featured in a book titled “Black Stars: African American Women Scientists and Inventors,” and in 2006, she was honored with an award of recognition by the National Consortium for Minorities in Engineering for outstanding achievement in government. Dr. Jacobs-Young currently resides in Gaithersburg, Md. with her husband and two children. ▲
Soror Shai James has been hired as the director of Development for Presbyterian Villages of Michigan Foundation. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in public relations and marketing from Wayne State University and Masters of Public Administration from the University of Michigan, Dearborn. The Presbyterian Villages of Michigan Foundation is a 501(c) (3) organization with a mission to serve seniors. In her new position, she will be responsible for coordinating all aspects of the foundation’s annual giving program, corporate and foundation relations, special events and public relations activities. Soror James serves as a board member for the Association of Fundraising Professionals and Project 22 Foundation. She has served as a mentor with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metropolitan Detroit and is a Diamond Life member of the Sorority. Soror James was initiated through the Inkster Alumnae Chapter in 2001. ▲ Soror Chathia F. Johnson received the Heart of the Center Award from the Elgin Community Crisis Center in 2006. This award is presented to an outstanding individual to acknowledge their dedication and motivation to others through volunteerism and community service. The Crisis Center is a non-proﬁt organization that helps those in crisis due to domestic violence, sexual abuse or economic circumstances. Soror Johnson was honored for her continuous commitment to community education and outreach programs at the center and her relentless work with fundraising to beneﬁt such services as emergency shelter and assistance, counseling, medical, legal and welfare advocacy. Soror Johnson’s commitment to improving the quality of life for others has lead to her appointment to the board of directors for the Crisis Center. She is currently the only African-American board member.
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Chathia is a graduate of Clark Atlanta University and is a new store planner for Claire’s, North America and International. Soror Johnson was initiated into the SchaumburgHoffman Estates Alumnae Chapter in 2003. ▲ Soror Deshawn Johnson is an entrepreneur committed to leveraging economic power and creating generational wealth in Black America. As the president and CEO of Black e-Commerce, Soror Johnson’s devotion to empowering people has been nurtured by her 17-year career in the ﬁeld of human resources. In 2004, Soror Johnson launched ReQuest Properties, Inc., a real estate company, with her husband. She was inspired to combine her professional skill set with her entrepreneurial spirit for a greater good. She recognized that African-Americans were projected to spend more than $900 billion in 2008, but lacked a vehicle to regenerate that money within their own communities. With a passion to shift the buying habits of African-Americans and to encourage entrepreneurial behavior, Soror Johnson envisioned utilizing the World Wide Web to bridge the geographical divide that separates African-Americans. “I created Black e-Commerce.com to ﬁll the void of business ownership in the African-American community,” said Soror Johnson, “and to allow Website members to reinvest with afﬁliated foundations who give back to the communities they live in.” A Detroit native, Soror Johnson was initiated into Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. in 2001 through the Inkster Alumnae Chapter. She currently serves as chapter treasurer. For more information on Black e-Commerce, please visit www.blackecommerce.com. ▲
Soror Monique Johnson of Richmond (VA) Alumnae Chapter is a dealmaker. Affordable Housing Finance, a national magazine, has honored her as one of 15 outstanding leaders under 40. Soror Johnson left her job as a civil engineer when she discovered her passion for affordable housing real estate development. In order to make the switch, Soror Johnson earned an M.B.A. Soror Johnson puts together multi-family and commercial ﬁnancing at the Virginia Housing Development Authority. “Everybody deserves to live in a place they can afford,” said Soror Johnson. “Affordable housing plays a tremendous role in creating vibrant, healthy communities. We ensure workforce housing for the people we depend on, like ﬁreﬁghters, teachers and retail service professionals.” Soror Johnson also founded the Emerging Leaders Network (ELN), a statewide network with the mission of attracting the next generation of social justice change agents to the housing and community development industry. Since its inception, the network has launched a statewide college outreach plan, facilitated panel sessions on succession planning, partnered with the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond to host professional development seminars for emerging community development leaders and co-sponsored an affordable housing symposium with the Richmond Urban Land Institute Young Leaders. ▲ Soror Crystal Kendrick, president of The Voice of Your Customer, received a 2008 MBE of the Year Award from the South Central Ohio Minority Supplier Development Council. A marketing consulting ﬁrm that specializes in penetrating niche populations, The Voice
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of Your Customer demonstrated outstanding quality and service with a strong potential for expansion. The Voice of Your Customer also received a 2008 WBE of the Year Award from the Women’s Business Enterprise Council—Southeast for contributions to women owned businesses and deals done with WBENC corporations. Soror Kendrick earned her B.B.A. from Temple University, where she was initiated into the Epsilon Delta Chapter. She earned an M.B.A. from Northern Kentucky University. Soror Kendrick currently resides in Cincinnati, where she is a Diamond Life Member of the Cincinnati Alumnae Chapter and a charter member of the Queen City Chapter of The Links, Incorporated. ▲ Soror Madeline Lee, a member of the Ventura County Alumnae Chapter, has been named the 2008 Clara Barton Diversity Ambassador of the Year for the Ventura County Chapter of the American Red Cross. The award is presented to a woman who represents an underserved population and 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. Soror Lee has been a champion of the underserved as an employee for Ventura County and an advocate for minority adoptions. Married to Richard T. Lee, a retired United States Air Force veteran, she began working with the local branch American Legion Auxiliary, as a military wife. In 1969, she went to work for the Human Services Agency as an adoption social worker and was instrumental in placing over 200 minority and other special needs children in permanent homes throughout the county. As a volunteer, she spent countless hours supporting the adoptive parent group. In 1993, Soror Lee retired from the county and continued her passion to work with children, veterans and their families through her membership in the American Legion Auxiliary. She has also served 18 years as
a counselor for California Girls State, an American Legion Auxiliary citizenship program for high school junior girls from all ethnic and social backgrounds who join together from all over the state for a week of practical learning about government. Soror Lee was initiated through Alpha Chapter at Howard University in 1948. ▲ Dr. Yvonne McKoy, a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. for 36 years, and an associate professor of Nursing at Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio, was invited to attend the 2008 Oxford Round Table to be held at the Lincoln College at the University of Oxford in Oxford, England. Dr. McKoy, a two time presenter and alumnus of the Oxford Round Table, is among a select group of 40 persons invited to attend. The session entitled “Women in the Modern World: The Struggle for Equality” examined the prerequisites for enhancement of the power of women, including education, health and employment, and further, to assert the responsibilities of governments in neutralizing malevolent traditions, values and beliefs that militate against the improvement of the status of women. Dr. McKoy, who has also been selected to the Commission of Forensic Education and chair of the Nursing Forensic Examination Board, currently is a fellow and the only African-American female and minority member on the Forensic Nursing Advisory Board. ▲ One of Ebony magazine’s 2008 Young Leaders of the Future is Soror Dedra A. Mitchell, M.B.A. The annual list recognizes exceptional men and women age 30 and younger who are making a difference in their communities. Soror Mitchell is a top-performing pharmaceutical representative in the state of Florida for Eli Lilly and Company, where she
has been employed since 2003. Soror Mitchell, a 2002 graduate of Florida A&M University with a master’s degree in business administration, is also involved in many community based organizations and activities. She is a member of the Gaines Street Revitalization Committee, founder of the Coleman Memorial Library (FAMU) Fundraising Showcase, member of the Tallahassee Board of Realtors and a former member of the city of Tallahassee’s Minority Business Enterprise Advisory Committee. Also a professional realtor, Mitchell began foreclosure research as a hobby a few years ago and has purchased and rehabilitated several homes in the Tallahassee area since 2004. She is a Diamond Life Member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. Soror Mitchell was initiated into the Sorority through the Beta Alpha Chapter of Florida A&M University in 1998 and is a current member of the Tallahassee Alumnae Chapter. Soror Mitchell’s inspirational quote that sits on her desk at home reads: “Some people dream of great accomplishments, while others stay awake and do them.” ▲ Soror Karen Moore, a Memphis area realtor, has launched a unique new show, “This House is Cooking!” with her daughter Aryen MooreAlston. Moore-Alston, an actress and cook, serves up a new way to showcase and sell homes in the Mid-South area while cooking delicious, delectable, healthy dishes in their kitchens on TV. Soror Moore introduces the viewers to the rest of the house in hopes of increasing sales in today's declining real estate market. The pilot for this new innovative show was launched in July. The show will air in Tennessee, Mississippi, Arkansas and Missouri. As a licensed realtor with 11 years of experience, Soror Moore understands what buyers are searching for and what information they need to make a good decision on buying a home. “Today’s home buyers are looking for comfort, style and convenience,” she said. “The kitchen
has become the central heart of the home, which serves as a gathering place to not only share meals, but to entertain.” The show will allow potential home buyers to see exactly how well a kitchen ﬁts their needs during food preparation and Soror Moore will take them on a tour to highlight additional features of the house. Soror Moore is also the creator and executive producer of the show. Soror Moore is a broker with Dan Stewart Realtors and is a member of the National Association of Realtors, The Tennessee Association of Realtors and the Memphis Area Association of Realtors. ▲ Soror Shanté Morgan-Durisseau, chair of Social Action for the Ventura County Alumnae Chapter was appointed to the Ventura County Commission for Women. 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 their families. Soror MorganDurisseau 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. Soror Morgan-Durisseau is a member of the Ventura County branch of the NAACP. She is on the board of directors of the Minority Photo Journalism Institute and has served on the Thousand Oaks Residence Roundtable, the Ventura County coordinator for the Association for Child Support Enforcement Services (ACES), the board of the Black Journalists Association of Southern California, Minorities in Broadcasting and the Los Angeles Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority. She was initiated into Theta Psi Citywide Chapter in April 1989. ▲
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Soror Dorothy C. Offutt, president of the Lexington (KY) Alumnae Chapter, was honored at the 18th Annual Lyman T. Johnson Banquet held in October 2008. She was awarded the “Torch of Excellence Award” for her contributions in the ﬁeld of social work. The Lyman T. Johnson “Torch of Excellence” Award was established to recognize the faith, hard work and determination of a person who has positively affected the lives of individuals in the city of Lexington, the state of Kentucky and/or the nation. The award is given in honor of Lyman T. Johnson, who in 1948 challenged Kentucky's Day Law (a law which prohibited blacks and whites from attending the same school), by applying for admission to the University of Kentucky Graduate School. He was denied admission and won a federal lawsuit against the university which ultimately opened the University of Kentucky to African-American students. In addition to Soror Offutt’s involvement in community services, she was instrumental in reestablishing the social work student intern program at the Department of Veteran’s Affairs after its absence of 15 years. She has worked for the VA for 20 years where she is currently serving as a supervisor in the Department of Social Work. ▲ Soror Tiffany Pasker was recently commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Air National Guard. Soror Pasker has been in the military for nine years, four of those years were as an enlisted member of the Active Duty Air Force where she was stationed at Davis-Monthan Air Force base in Arizona. For the last ﬁve years, she has been assigned to the 180th FW Air National Guard in Toledo. Soror Pasker completed a six week military course in February that was academically and physically challenging. The coursework provided her with a foundation to build a
career in the Air Force reserve component. Soror Pasker also recently completed a tour of duty at Moron Air Base in Spain. She has also served on temporary duty at Rhein-Main Air Base in Germany where she assisted with the historical event of permanently closing Rhein-Main Air Base, which had been the primary airlift and passenger hub for U.S. forces in Europe. Soror Pasker earned her B.S. in psychology from the University of Toledo. She works as a personnel ofﬁcer for the Lucas County Jobs and Family Services Ofﬁce. She volunteers with the Boys and Girls Club of America in addition to her activities with Delta. She was initiated through Beta Lambda, a city-wide chapter, and is currently a member of Toledo Alumnae Chapter. ▲ Judge Andrea Phoenix, of the Nassau County District Court of Hempstead, N.Y. was appointed to preside over the court’s Mental Health section. The Mental Health Court is the county’s newest problem-solving court, designed to address the special needs of mentally disabled defendants who are alleged to have been involved in criminal activity. Soror Phoenix is a past president of both the Women’s Bar Association of the State of New York and the Nassau County Women’s Bar Association. She was the ﬁrst AfricanAmerican to hold both positions. The deputy administrative judge of New York recently appointed her to the New York State Uniﬁed Court System Family Violence Task Force. She is a member of the New York State Bar Association as well as other professional organizations. Soror Phoenix is also a member of The Links, Inc., the NAACP and the Antioch Baptist Church of Hempstead Board of Trustees. Among her numerous awards are Trailblazer and Rosa Parks awards from Operation Get Ahead, Inc. of Hempstead, NY. She also received the Distinguished Alumni Award from Hofstra University School of Law’s Black Law Students Association.
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Soror Phoenix earned her undergraduate degree from Hampton University, where she was initiated through Gamma Iota in 1980. She earned her graduate degree from Ohio State University and a Juris Doctorate Degree from Hofstra University School of Law. She is a member of the Nassau Alumnae Chapter. ▲ Soror Janice Currin Pilot is the deputy director of the Memphis Police Department, providing guidance for more than 2,000 ofﬁcers and managing a general operating budget of more than $195 million. Beginning her career in 1979 as a patrol ofﬁcer, Soror Pilot is now the highest-ranking woman ofﬁcer with the Memphis Police Department and made history by becoming the ﬁrst woman deputy director. She is the president of the West Tennessee Chapter of the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives, a member of the International Association of Chiefs of Police and the Tennessee Association of Chiefs of Police. Soror Pilot graduated from Memphis State University with a degree in marketing. She is a member of the Memphis Alumnae Chapter. ▲ Soror Daisy Spears Stroud is unlike most 86-year-olds. More active than most half her age, she is vibrant, volunteers with several organizations and even models. “I am the same size that I was when I married 64 years ago,” she said. “I am not a fanatic but I am realistic and choose to take care of myself physically, mentally and morally.” Soror Stroud, a retired educator, is a winner of the 2008 AARP The Magazine Faces of 50+ Real People Model Search. From more than 14,000 applicants, 10 winners were selected by the editors from across the nation. The contest received entries from men and woman ages 50, 60 and 70+ to be real people models for a va-
riety of fashion and beauty editorial features. All of the winners appeared in national print ads for the magazine. Sharing the national spotlight is nothing new for this model. Soror Stroud and her late husband appeared on an episode of The Oprah Winfrey Show. Soror Stroud modeled her original bridal gown, a ritual she and her husband practiced annually to celebrate their anniversary. While family and wellness play a vital role in Soror Stroud’s life, they parallel a commitment to her Sorority. “In the spring of 1973, I crossed the burning sands of my beloved Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.,” she said. “I have never regretted it.” ▲ Soror Krista Terrell was named winner of the 2008 Dynamic Delta award by the Charlotte Alumnae Chapter. The award is given to chapter members who represent jewels by which the Sorority was founded to honor their work on Delta committees. “I was very surprised, honored and speechless when I heard the news,” Soror Terrell said. “I share this award with my fellow Charlotte Alumnae sorors who also work hard for Delta.” A native of Augusta, Ga., Soror Terrell was initiated into the Sorority through Gamma Lambda Chapter in 1995 while attending Johnson C. Smith University. Upon graduation she served as Gamma Lambda’s chapter advisor for six years. Currently, she co-chairs the Projects Committee and works simultaneously to assist the chapter’s efforts to reclaim inactive members via the Membership Services Committee. Her efforts propelled the Charlotte Alumnae Chapter to earn ﬁrst place in the South Atlantic Region in this category. Soror Terrell works professionally as a communications director. ▲ Oklahoma Sooner City Alumnae Chapter salutes Soror LaTasha Timberlake who has accepted a teaching position in Izumo-shi, Shimane-ken Japan, working for the AEON Com-
pany. Soror Timberlake will be teaching English to Japanese business men and women, and students in varying levels and age groups. Soror Timberlake was initiated into Oklahoma Sooner City Alumnae Chapter on April 14, 2007. Since that time she has proven herself to be a valuable asset to the chapter and community. Soror Timberlake is currently the assistant ﬁnancial secretary of the chapter. Soror Timberlake received her Bachelor of Arts in English education from Langston University and completed her Master of Science at Oklahoma State University in curriculum instruction. She is currently a professor at the University of Central Oklahoma. At the end of Soror Timberlake's assignment in Japan, she will return to UCO to continue her teaching career. Oklahoma Sooner City Alumnae Chapter is both saddened and excited for this international opportunity which Soror Timberlake has received. ▲ Soror Gail WarriorLawrence, member of the Dallas Alumnae Chapter and the President/CEO of The Warrior Group, Inc. continues to lead her company to new heights. The Warrior Group, the nation's largest minority, womanowned provider of permanent modular buildings, was listed as one of the B.E. 100’s in Black Enterprise’s 36th Annual Report on the Nation’s Largest Black-Owned Businesses. The Warrior Group is a company that manufactures modular and permanent buildings used for things like banks, classrooms and military facilities. The company was awarded a contract for Fort Sam Houston to construct two permanent modular residence buildings. The buildings will meet Antiterrorist Force Protection requirements including progressive collapse capability. Gail Warrior-Lawrence is also a frequent public speaker for business
and community organizations. Organizations she's spoken to include Sisters in Business, South Florida Women in Business, the Women's Business Council-Southwest, Women’s Chamber of Commerce of Texas and various other organizations. ▲ Soror Zettie B. Williams, an active member of the Duplin County Alumnae Chapter, was recently recognized when the newest building constructed on the campus of James Sprunt Community College was named in her honor by its board of directors. Community leaders, colleagues, family and friends were in attendance to witness this historical event. The Zettie B. Williams Building is the ﬁrst building on the James Sprunt Community College campus to be named after an AfricanAmerican. The beautiful portrait unveiled during the event hangs in the entrance of the building. Soror Williams is a native of Kenansville, N.C. She received her Bachelor of Arts Degree from North Carolina A&T State University; her Masters of Arts Degree from New York University; and her certiﬁcation for teaching academically gifted children from the University of North Carolina. She has furthered her education by being only one of two people chosen from North Carolina to participate in a European study tour of eleven countries sponsored by the National Education Association. She taught in the public schools for over 30 years and currently serves as a Duplin County Commissioner. Soror Williams was initiated into the Goldsboro Alumnae Chapter on April 17, 1993. ▲
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ON THE YARD:
COLLEGIATE NEWS Kappa Chapter sorors greet participants at their Woman to Woman program.
with a walk of empowerment, where In September 2008, the Kappa attendees went down a symbolic path Chapter hosted Woman to WomIn response to the tobacco into reiterate how their actions affect an, an annual program designed to dustry’s aggressive pursuit of colothers around them, made a vow to strengthen communication and solilege students ages 18-24, chapter speak positively about one another darity between the black women on members recruited focus group parand got rid of the insecurities that conthe University of California, Berkley ticipants and served as members of strict black women from being true to campus. This year, the event was the campaign street team. Statistics themselves and one another. ▲ titled "There's a Thin Line Between reveal that nearly a quarter of stuLove and Hate: Why We Love to Hate dent smokers began while Ourselves." Participants disin college or increased their cussed identity construcdaily tobacco intake while in tions and social factors that college. often compel individuals to The Ohio Department impress others rather than of Health’s Tobacco Risk Resatisfy themselves. duction Program contracted The evening led to a with The Voice of Your Custhought-provoking discustomer, a marketing consultsion about societal deﬁniing ﬁrm specializing in pentions of beauty as the paretrating niche populations, ticipants shared personal to execute a major research, stories and reﬂections. As strategic plan and anti-topart of the program, the bacco social marketing camchapter conducted a survey paign at the University of Toof the women participating ledo intended to encourage about their efforts to imsocializing among college press others. Participants students without the use of were also able to contribute tobacco. to the program by writing eiSoror Crystal L. Kenther a letter or poem about drick, president of The a personal experience. The Voice of Your Customer and letters and poems reﬂected issues that black women on Beta Lambda Chapter sorors participate in the 2008 University Anti- member of the Cincinnati Tobacco Social Marketing Campaign. Alumnae Chapter, solicited the campus face in terms of the support of the chapter. self-esteem, image, or iden“Working with the sorors of tity. The letters and poems the Beta Lambda Chapter was a fanSorors of the Beta Lambda Chapwere read anonymously at the event tastic experience,” she said. “They ter on the campus of the University to demonstrate the common strugare a wonderful group of young ladies of Toledo joined forces with The gles shared by the women. with a great deal of professional poVoice of Your Customer and the Ohio Soror Dereca Blackmon, owner tential, a strong passion for service Department of Health’s Tobacco Risk of a women's facility, was the keynote and most importantly, a devotion of Reduction Program to assist in the speaker for the event. She inspired and our illustrious sisterhood.” design and implementation of the empowered participants with words Based on the discussions in fo2008 University Anti-Tobacco Social of wisdom as she challenged the concus groups and the results of the Marketing Campaign. ceptions of beauty. The event closed
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survey questionnaire, a social marketing campaign was implemented to include: four social events, a hip hop concert, radio advertising, promotional give-aways, a Web site, a Facebook page and a MySpace page. ▲ In October 2008 on the campus of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, the sorors of the Iota Rho Chapter co-sponsored a program with the Kappa Kappa Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.
y vision for this biennium is to strengthen the steps that we take toward success in the sisterhood. We already have a solid foundation with dynamic programs in place to help guide us in becoming effective change agents on our college campuses and in our communities, but there is always room for growth. I would like for the collegiate membership to focus on centralizing our resources and strengthening our collegiate/advisor and collegiate/alumnae relationships. Our ﬁrst step toward success on a local, regional and national level begins with being aware and informed on national initiatives and the resources available to us. With the assistance of the regional representatives and the support of the collegiate chapters, we can tackle these areas head on. Having a clear understanding of current issues is a critical step toward future progress. Thus, I would like to develop an outlet for collegiate chapters and their advisors, or potential advisors, to review each others’ roles and responsibilities. I would also like to focus on relationship building. In doing this, collegiate chapters can learn, share, reﬂect and move toward sustaining better working relationships, as well as sisterly relationships, with alumnae sorors. In addition to aiding with collegiate/alumnae relationships, the regional representatives and I will
The event, Vote Now or Forever Hold Your Peace, was an innovative mock debate featuring campus groups College of Democrats and College of Republicans. Each group spoke about the platform of its party’s presidential candidate. A three-person panel from both groups answered questions asked by UNC-Charlotte’s Black Student Union Vice President Kion Sanders. Questions were geared toward the respective representatives regardcontinue to promote Project A.C.E. activities throughout the year in order to enhance the bond and smoothen the collegiate-alumnae transition. We will also promote the Annual Project A.C.E. Day, for which award opportunities will be provided at the National Conven-
Mia S. Smith, national second vice president
tion to highlight the efforts put forth to bridging the gap between alumnae and collegiate chapters. We hope this will result in more coprogramming, more sisterly activities and ultimately more transitioning collegiate sorors. I will also provide a Collegiate Resource Guide to centralize some of the resources available to us and to provide general tips and best practices to help with chapter pro-
ing foreign policy, economic distress, health care, insurance, the No Child Left Behind Act and a host of other issues affecting our nation. This was a collaborative event with over 160 participants, mostly young students, seeking answers. Vote Now or Forever Hold Your Peace was designed to provide knowledge to the campus community about the historic 2008 Election. Students were able to hear the views of the candidates from an informed peer’s perductivity. In addition, as the leader of the National Collegiate Leadership Team (NCLT), I will ensure that information on national programs and initiatives is provided and that collegiate participation in such events is encouraged. In a concerted effort to raise awareness and foster positive social change in our service projects, programs and actions, the NCLT has also created a Collegiate Social Action Agenda. The agenda is a compilation of issues currently facing our communities that we want the collegiate body to focus some of their programmatic endeavors on. The agenda consists of: violence against women, HPV and cervical cancer awareness, education, crime in the black community and Black Wall Street. Information on these topics were provided at the 5th Annual Collegiate Forum, “Collegiate Pioneers: Engaging Our Democracy, Evoking Effective Change.” The forum was held in conjunction with Delta Days in the Nation’s Capital. Sorors, as we prepare to answer the call to serve set forth by our 24th National President Cynthia M. A. Butler-McIntyre, we must be reminded that sound preparation, strong relationships and connection to adequate resources are essential to our success. Together, I am conﬁdent that we can continue to progress toward our goals by taking it one step, one relationship and one collegiate soror at a time. ▲
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insecurities. Most of the participants were surprised at their emotional growth during the program and have expressed their desire to participate again next year. Many of the pieces created during the program are currently on exhibit at the Women’s Center at Bryant University. ▲
Iota Rho Chapter sorors at their Vote Now or Forever Hold Your Peace program.
spective. With a wide variety of questions asked, issues discussed and plans explained, the event brought together a diverse group of young people seeking clarity on issues that affect them all. ▲ Sorors of the Kappa Alpha Chapter held a two-part forum called, Never Forget and Environmental Racism. The Never Forget portion of the forum served to remind and educate students of the issues occurring around the world, such as Hurricanes Ike and Gustav and the Darfur genocide. Chapter members passed out ribbons for participants to wear during the day in remembrance of these tragic events. The chapter also conducted a supply drive for the victims of these events. Items such as blankets, pillow and children’s books were collected. The Environmental Racism component focused on the racial and social injustices and inequalities faced in predominately minority communities. The chapter discussed issues such as community funding and involvement, redevelopment, and the property and home ownership crises. They concluded the evening by developing solutions and discovering ways they could address these issues and aid in such crises. ▲ In an effort to promote conversation about body image among col-
In September 2007 the Omicron Rho Chapter participated in the Fall for the Book Festival, an annual event promoting education and honoring various genres of literature. Presented by the Fairfax County Public Library and George Mason University, the festival included an event and reception, hosted by Soror Nikki Giovanni. Soror Giovanni spoke in detail about her book, “On My Journey Now: Looking at African American History Through the Spirituals.” Providing an introduction for Soror Giovanni and presenting her with a bouquet of ﬂowers, sorors of the Omicron Rho Chapter offered support as she dialogued about personal perseverance and the perseverance of others. Soror Giovanni also spoke on various controversial issues such as imprisonment, rehabilitation, children’s health care and the government. She stated that the reason she writes is to be a voice for and to others. Steadfast in supporting endeavors of education, the Omicron Rho Chapter was honored to be a part of this occasion. ▲
lege-aged women, the Lambda Iota Chapter, a statewide chapter in Rhode Island, sponsored The Body Project. The Body Project, organized under the International Awareness & Involvement and Physical & Mental Health thrusts, is innovative in its use of art as a neutral space in which to begin discussions about body image. Lambda Iota Chapter members worked to coordinate this state-wide effort, which involved students from three different colleges and universities, with local artists and the director of a Rhode Island women’s center. The Body Project was an intense ﬁve week program in which a small group of collegiate women came together, on an ongoing basis, to discuss their perceptions of female bodies, their perceptions of their own bodies and how their perceptions have been shaped by the media. During the program, participants created pieces of art that embodied the way in which they currently viewed their body and analyzed what they could do to change their negative perceptions. Many of the students used their time in the program as a way to work through a variety Omicron Rho Chapter members with Soror Nikki Giovanni of personal issues and at the Fall for the Book Festival.
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GAMMA CHAPTER CELEBRATES The Gamma Chapter celebrated its 90th Anniversary in September 2008 on the campus of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. Dr. Thelma T. Daley, 16th National President, gave the keynote address to more than 100 sorors and guests in attendance. Dr. Daley used the great pyramids of Egypt as an example of Delta Sigma Theta’s ability to stand the tests of time. “The pyramids have continued to stand despite sandstorms, rain, wind and heat,” she said. “This is what we need to remember as we carry out the business of our Sorority. If you stay focused, no matter what, you can make it.” Dr. Daley stressed to the audience that the past molds and strengthens the present as she recognized 99-year-old Lillian Davis O’Daniel, a 1943 Gamma Chapter initiate. Soror O’Daniel, a longtime member of Philadelphia Alumnae, mingled with current and past Gamma Chapter members, taking pictures with young women who now walk the campus of the University of Pennsylvania where she was a student nearly 70 years ago. The celebration included an art show and chapter memorabilia display. Among the historical archives were several pictures of the chapter’s ﬁve charter members: Sorors Sadie T. M. Alexander, Virginia Margaret Alexander, Esther Butler King, Julia Mae Polk and Pauline Alice Young. Just The Xi Beta Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., and the Resident Students’ Association hosted DUI: Will You Pass the Test? in October 2008 at the Winthrop University Student Activity Center. The program was interactive with the use of “drunk goggles” while driving a police-instructed golf cart. Students were given the opportunity to have an up-close and personal
Sorors from various Philadelphia-area alumnae and collegiate chapters joined current and past members of Gamma Chapter in celebrating the chapter’s 90th anniversary.
one year after Gamma Chapter was chartered, Soror Alexander went on to become the Sorority’s ﬁrst National President. Fellow Gamma Chapter member, Soror Anna Johnson Julian would eventually become the Sorority’s 4th National President. “The history that comes out of Gamma Chapter is amazing,” said Soror Danielle Branch, Gamma Chapter president. “As a chapter, we often say, ‘WWSD – What Would Sadie Do?’ when trying to ﬁgure out how to best handle our business.” As Delta’s third chapter, Gamma has the distinction of being the Sorority’s ﬁrst chapter chartered on a predominantly white college campus. In the 1960s, the chapter disbanded because there were not enough interested women on the campus to run a chapter.
Since a reactivation in 2003, the Gamma Chapter hasn’t skipped a beat. At the 49th National Convention in Orlando, the chapter was recognized for attaining the highest collective grade point average in the Eastern Region and honored by Project A.C.E. for its exemplary programming. The chapter has also received numerous awards and accolades from the University of Pennsylvania and the Philadelphia Chapter of the National Pan-Hellenic Council. “As we mark the 90th anniversary of the chapter’s founding, we are striving to continue the excellence of the women who came before us,” said Soror Branch. “We’re honored to have the chance to serve here and events like this give us a lot of fuel to reach out and continue doing great things.” ▲
experience with driving while under the inﬂuence. They were expected to drive the golf cart down a curbed “highway” made of brightly colored orange cones, taking directions from Winthrop Police Ofﬁcer Randy Sims. After the outside activity with the goggles and golf cart, Winthrop Police Ofﬁcer Jack Allen gave a lecture inside about college students and drunk driving.
Soror Tiara Moore, the chapter’s public service chair, said despite the rain, which stopped just before the start of the program, everything was a huge success.“About 45 students attended DUI even though the weather had been awful all day,” she said. “I’m glad we could put on such a program that allowed them to have fun while learning about the consequences of drinking and driving.” ▲
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NATIONAL COMMITTEES, COM COLLEGIATE TRANSITION TASK FORCE STANDING FRONT ROW (LEFT TO RIGHT): Lauren Hughes, Deidra Perry-Lloyd, Sherina Maye (Co-Chair), Barbara Bagneris, Kedada Bethel. STANDING BACK ROW (LEFT TO RIGHT): Shawan Hagan, Mae Frances Rowlett, Sarahjini Nunn and Nicole Lenon (staff). NOT PICTURED: Geneva Dowdy (Co-Chair), Jacqueline Cooper, Roniesha Copeland, Natasha Irby, Jessica Jeffries, Juanita Morrow, Talesha Triplett and Nkechi Udogwu.
COMMISSION ON ARTS & LETTERS STANDING (LEFT TO RIGHT): Lady Shivers Tucker, Denise E. Gilmore, Dayna Fleming, Stephanie Perry Moore, Charlene Ayers, C. Gloria Akers, Yolanda Rodgers-Howsie (Co-Chair), Marcia Butler-Holt (Co-Chair), Anitra Durrand-Allen, Evelynn Burton, Essie Jeffries, Yvonne Hitts, Virginia LeBlanc and Orbra Porter. NOT PICTURED: Suzzanne Douglas Cobb (Honorary Co-Chair), Sheryl Lee Ralph (Honorary Co-Chair), Evelynn Burton, Ashley Chaney (staff), Dayna Fleming, Monica Graham, Jacqueline Hairston, Felicia Hamilton, Kimberly Jordan, Ella McNair (staff), Joe Ann Oatis, Lakeisha Scott (staff) and Alice Gatewood Waddell.
CONSTITUTION & BYLAWS COMMITTEE STANDING (LEFT TO RIGHT): Rachel W. Mercadel, A. Rena Black, Shannon Jones (staff), Janet H. Bonner, Deborah L. Stapelton, Cynthia R. Boyd, Yvonne Kennedy (Co-Chair), Theljewa Garrett (Co-Chair), Gwendolyn Sherard-Bishop, Vandoline J. Ivey, Nettie D. Faulcon, Sandra K. Horton, Alicia P. Smith-Freshwater. NOT PICTURED: Belinda Marks Grifﬁn, Morlin McCoy, Amber Mills and Sandra Parker.
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DOCUMENT REVIEW/ REVISON TASK FORCE STANDING FRONT ROW (LEFT TO RIGHT):
Barbara H. Palmer, Carol E. Ware (CoChair), Cheryl A. Hickmon (Co-Chair), Debbie Brooks, Shontel D. Rogers (staff). STANDING BACK ROW (LEFT TO RIGHT): Mary L. Hudson, Ann D. Jones, Joni M. Hicks, Louise E. Alexander, Cheryl C. Boyd, Leslie A. Anderson and Eula S. Woodberry. NOT PICTURED: Jeri Durham, Candace Hill Lewis and Yvonne Whitley.
FINANCE COMMITTEE STANDING (LEFT TO RIGHT): Crystal Mitchell (staff), Myrna Phillips Oakley, Michelle RhodesBrown, Carolyn Lewis (National Treasurer), Deborah Jones-Buggs (Chair), Gwendolyn Dailey (staff), Kimberly Lloyd and Keisha Hilson.
HERITAGE & ARCHIVES COMMITTEE STANDING (LEFT TO RIGHT): Tamara Hood, Cassandra Conway, Barnelle Herring, Laura Coaxum, Wanda Sloan, Judy L. Wright (Co-Chair), Jacqueline Stemmons, Sandra Kennedy-Owes (Co-Chair), Nancy Tucker, Venida Young Hamilton, Rachael Murphy Humphrey, Lula Morehouse, Shatonya Brooks Marshall, Garlenda McNair (staff), and Betty Martin (staff). NOT PICTURED: Jennifer Evans, Frankie M. Freeman, Robin Jacobs, Lois Hopson Reeder and Floraline Stevens.
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NATIONAL COMMITTEES, COMMISSIONS HOUSING & PROPERTIES COMMITTEE STANDING FRONT ROW (LEFT TO RIGHT): Linda Dennison, Garlenda McNair (staff), Beverly Irvin Johnson, Mary Bennett Sutton (Co-Chair), Marva J. Davis (Co-Chair). STANDING SECOND ROW (LEFT TO RIGHT): Dannette Young Mitchell, Luvenia Butler. STANDING THIRD ROW (LEFT TO RIGHT): Faye Reese Clark, Pamela Robinson, Lauren Williams. STANDING FOURTH ROW (LEFT TO RIGHT): Mary Jones Phillips, Emma Stokes Walker, Angele’ Doyne, STANDING FIFTH ROW (LEFT TO RIGHT): Sinthea Kelly, Rosemary Smith Hickman, Erika McMillan and Robin Green. NOT PICTURED: Marsha D. Lawson.
INFORMATION & COMMUNICATIONS COMMITTEE STANDING (LEFT TO RIGHT): D. Denise Peterson, Ashley Chaney (staff), Eunique Jones Gibson, Erica Donerson (Co-Chair), Ashley Allison (Co-Chair), Libra White, Karla L. Solomon, Amber Wilton, Sylvia Turner and Sharon Farmer. NOT PICTURED: Glenise Cloudy, Rachael Gray, Daphne Monix Higgins, Debra Gloston Lazare, Halle Malcomb, Shelia McDaniel, Joi-Marie Murphy McKenzie, Ella McNair (staff), Collyne Partee and Nichole D. Taylor.
INTERNAL AUDIT COMMITTEE STANDING (LEFT TO RIGHT): Crystal Mitchell (staff), Pamela Hill, Terri Rivalte Prunty (Chair), Gwendolyn Dailey (staff) and Erika James. NOT PICTURED: Carrie Cowan and Karen Dourseau.
DELTA SIGMA THETA SORORITY, INC.
TASK FORCES CONTINUED
LEADERSHIP ACADEMY STANDING (LEFT TO RIGHT): Crystal Barker, Renee Harper, Jennifer Smith, Glenell Smoot, Gwendolyn Mosley, Mabel Murray, Soraya Williams Farver, Elsie Cooke-Holmes (Co-Chair), Juanita Massenburg, Stephanie Cooper, Charlotte Freeman, Deloris Drakes, Stephanie Flowers (staff) and Norma Sermon-Boyd. NOT PICTURED: Pamela E. Smith (Co-Chair), Schean M. Belton, Lisa Farmer Cole, Beverly Harris Schembri, Sandra Mack, Mandy Muller-Williams, Mildred Porter-Duncan, Hellenna Terrell and Barbara Woods.
MEMBERSHIP SERVICES COMMITTEE STANDING FRONT ROW (LEFT TO RIGHT): Sharon Barnett-Starks (CoChair), Lorraine Dabney (Co-Chair), Dominique Scott (CoChair). STANDING SECOND ROW (LEFT TO RIGHT): Jane K. Gates, Pota Coston, Laverne Harper Weatherly. STANDING THIRD ROW (LEFT TO RIGHT): Arielle Wiltz, Sabrina Polote. STANDING FOURTH ROW (LEFT TO RIGHT): Clarice Pettiford, Ruth Johnson, Katherine Brown (staff), Felicia Echols. STANDING BACK ROW (LEFT TO RIGHT): Maiya Bangurah, Linda Cumby and Vernelle Delegarde. NOT PICTURED: Cynthia Alston, Amber Alease Bowling, Marsha Brooks, Shirley Davis, Jessie Jones, Cynthia Muse and Leslie Nobles.
NEGOTIATING TASK FORCE STANDING (LEFT TO RIGHT): Patrea Logan (staff), Linda Watts Evans, Karen A. Willis, Antoinette Marie Ward, Doris Jackson Britt (CoChair), Synovia Youngblood (CoChair), Rashanda Lowery, Marcia Williams and Vida Smith (staff). NOT PICTURED: Delores Rice and Norma Singleton.
JOURNAL Spring 2009
NATIONAL COMMITTEES, COMMISSIONS
PERSONNEL COMMITTEE STANDING (LEFT TO RIGHT): Robin Steele, Melinda Poole, Patricia Tate Bivins, Gwendolyn Marizett Combs (Co-Chair), M. Renee Brunt (Co-Chair), Sheila Reid Tatum, Stephanie Minor-Harper, Darlene Pollard and Jean Moore Sims. NOT PICTURED: Petrina Ferguson, Cherry Hardman and Letitia A. Smith.
PROGRAM PLANNING & DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEE STANDING FRONT ROW (LEFT TO RIGHT): Carolyn McCrea (staff), Jennifer Stimpson, Lori Jones Gibbs, Sheila Ogilvie, Barbara Moseley-Davis, Thelma J. Day (Co-Chair), Deborah C. Thomas (Co-Chair), Brenda Haywood (deceased), Sybil Knight-Bunney, Sheila Martin Dobbins, Dione Christy, Mary Estes Henry, Deborah Hunter-Harvill, Brandi Jones, TaWanna French. STANDING SECOND ROW (LEFT TO RIGHT): Danita Wimbush, Shavon Arline, Patricia Ackerman, Ella McNair (staff), LaVerne Gray Davis, Natalie Tindall and Princess Bethea (staff). NOT PICTURED: Sabrina Bauggue, Shantell Cox-Hutchinson, S. Sherelle Dailey, VaShonda Short, Kimberly Smith and Nikki Tucker.
DELTA SIGMA THETA SORORITY, INC.
TASK FORCES CONTINUED
PROTOCOL & TRADITIONS COMMITTEE STANDING (LEFT TO RIGHT): Mary Q. Grant, M. Annette Goldring, Cynthia Jones, Jennifer L. Francis, Carolyn F. Jackson, Julia A. Price, Regina F. Pridgeon (Co-Chair), C. Jeanne Costley (Co-Chair), Lisa King, Gloria Williams, Vivian A. Brown, Cheryl M. Matthews, Elaina Simon, Ashley Singleton and Freda DeCoster. NOT PICTURED: Shontel D. Rogers (staff) and Fontella Smith.
RITUAL & CEREMONIES STANDING FRONT ROW (LEFT TO RIGHT):
Shirley Bullard Grillier, Exa Parker Hartman, Gloria Bryant-Banks (Co-Chair), Tracie Altrovise Todd (Co-Chair), Regina Harper, Mona Davenport. STANDING SECOND ROW (LEFT TO RIGHT): Hattie Gordon Davis, Janice Talley, Linora Carr (staff), Marion White. STANDING THIRD ROW (LEFT TO RIGHT): Charlene Gairey, Billie Coachman, Corliss Heath, Betty McGill, Porcha Smith and Shaundra Simmons. NOT PICTURED: Mona H. Bailey, Chinyere Ogazi Ekechi and Rashanda Lowery.
SCHOLARSHIP & STANDARDS COMMITTEE STANDING (LEFT TO RIGHT): Martha Lue Stewart, Genisha Wallace, Andria Jeffries, Deirdre Shoulars (staff), Mia S. Smith (National Second Vice President), Paulette Walker (Chair, National First Vice President), Jamyce Curtis Banks, Cynthia M. A. Butler-McIntyre (24th National President), Desdra Butler, Angela EwellMadison, Pamela Rogers and Tausha Brooks. NOT PICTURED: Linora Carr (staff) and Shontel D. Rogers (staff).
JOURNAL Spring 2009
NATIONAL COMMITTEES, COMMISSIONS
SOCIAL ACTION COMMISSION STANDING FRONT ROW (LEFT TO RIGHT): Rosia Blackwell-Lawrence, Jacqueline Tucker, Addie Perkins-Williams, Bobbie Richardson, Laura Vandiver-Hall, Patricia Lattimore (Co-Chair), Gwendolyn Boyd (Co-Chair), Deborah Wilder, Marcella Maxwell. STANDING SECOND ROW (LEFT TO RIGHT): Kwamme Anderson, Leona Bridges, Jacqueline Ellis, Candi Mundon (staff), Michelle Mills, Gloria C. Reno. STANDING THIRD ROW (LEFT TO RIGHT): Kimberly Trent, Ella McNair (staff) and Sandra “Jaribu” Hill. NOT PICTURED: Marcia L. Fudge (Honorary Co-Chair), Alexis Herman (Honorary Co-Chair), Julianne Malveaux (Honorary Co-Chair), Wanda Stephens Adams, Diane E. Bajoie, Melanie Campbell, Ja’Nia Cannon, Lois M. DeBerry, Carla Harris, Pamela Hemphill, Janis Mathis, Danielle Moore, Yvette Robinson, Lottie H. Shackelford and Barbara Tubbs Walker.
TECHNOLOGY TASK FORCE STANDING (LEFT TO RIGHT): Carl Marcelin (staff), Terri Smith-Ryan, Kelli Sibert, Sherri Brinson, Robin Rice Hodges, Deirdre Powell White (Co-Chair), June Jenkins (Co-Chair), Brenda McMillian, Deborah Somerville (staff), Candice Dixon and Tamara Washington Clark. NOT PICTURED: Renee Battle, Diana Bell, Judith Brown, Kamyle Sandahl Jackson and Mable Moore.
ALL PHOTOS BY SHARON FARMER
DELTA SIGMA THETA SORORITY, INC.
Omega Omega Soror Ann Marie Cowan, an active member of Greater Cleveland Alumnae Chapter, entered the Omega Omega Chapter on Nov. 12, 2008 at the age of 82. She was initiated into Delta Sigma Theta Sorority through the Greater Cleveland Alumnae Chapter in 1987. Soror Cowan devoted her life to education and service. She attended Ursuline Academy, Ursuline College and Case Western Reserve University’s School of Applied Social Sciences, where she received her master’s degree in social work. For over 30 years, Soror Cowan served in the Cuyahoga County Department of Children and Family Services, eventually becoming head of adoption services. She was an active member of St. Edward’s Church, where she volunteered in the parish choir, participated in the Legion of Mary, helped with the children’s religious education department and initiated a fund for religious education. She participated in the Cleveland Diocesan Faith and Justice Leadership Program in September 1999. She also served several times as a delegate for her church to the Black Catholic Advisory Board. She received the Thea Award from the Catholic Diocese of Cleveland. This award, named after Sister Thea Bowman, a Fransciscan Sister of Perpetual Adoration who lived life with hope and love, and sought justice for all people, honors African-American women for their spirited service. Soror Cowan leaves many to cherish her memory. There are family members; her Delta line sisters, “The Fabulous 47”; as well as other friends and sorors. ▲
Soror Barbara Ann Gaiter, of the Greater Cleveland Alumnae Chapter, graduated from West Virginia State College receiving her bachelor’s degree in social work. She also received a master's degree in social work at Case-Western Reserve University. Soror Gaiter was initiated into the Sorority in 1957 through Alpha Delta Chapter at West Virginia State College. Soror Gaiter was a 50-year Delta, receiving her pin in 2007. ▲ Soror Yolanda Denise Hill Johnson, affectionately known as “Yogi”, a member of the North Dallas Suburban Alumnae Chapter, entered into the Omega Omega chapter on Nov. 20, 2008. Soror Johnson was born April 4, 1970 in Atlanta. She received her Bachelor of Science in business administration from Florida A&M University and Master of Business Administration from the University of Phoenix. Soror Johnson was initiated into Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. on April 30, 2005 through the Denton County (TX) Alumnae Chapter. She was also a member of the National Sales Network, the National Black MBA Association, the Executive Women’s Golf Association and numerous other organizations. She served as a board member of the North Dallas Suburban Foundation and as vice president of the Florida A&M Alumni Association, Dallas-Fort Worth Chapter. Soror Johnson was a member of the Westside Baptist Church in Lewisville, Texas. Soror Johnson demonstrated excellent leadership and managerial skills during her career, including her roles as national and district manag-
er for Kellogg’s Snacks Company, Coors Brewing Company, Pepsi Bottling Group and Nabisco Biscuit Company. In Feb. 2008, she accepted an adjunct professor position at Richland College in Dallas. Soror Johnson is survived by a loving and devoted husband, Gregory N. Johnson; children, Jamille Rose and Jada Janell; parents, Samuel Lee and Eula Hill; siblings, Lisa and Samuel (Tiffany); a host of relatives, sorors and friends. Soror Johnson’s presence added a warm compassion and distinguished aura within the sisterhood. She will be missed by all who knew her. ▲ Soror Stephanie Tubbs Jones, congresswoman of the 11th Congressional District of Ohio, was a native Clevelander who was initiated into the Greater Cleveland Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. in 1982. She served on the Sorority’s National Social Action Commission. Soror Tubbs Jones received both her Bachelor of Arts in Social Work and her J.D. from Case Western Reserve University. She also received honorary doctorates from David N. Myers University, Notre Dame College, Central State University in Wilberforce, Ohio and Cleveland State University. She was a lifelong member of Bethany Baptist Church and a member of its board of trustees. Soror Tubbs Jones’ entire career was spent in public service. She was the assistant county prosecutor in Cuyahoga County, and a trial attorney at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. In 1982 she was elected to the Cleveland Municipal
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Court, her ﬁrst elected ofﬁce. Soror Tubbs Jones made a number of historic achievements throughout her distinguished career. She was the ﬁrst African-American woman to sit on the Common Pleas Court of the state of Ohio. She became the ﬁrst African-American and the ﬁrst female to become the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor in 1991. Upon the retirement of the Honorable Louis Stokes, Soror Tubbs Jones made history again when she became the ﬁrst African-American woman to represent Ohio in the U.S. Congress. In Congress, she continued breaking new ground as: president of the Freshman Congressional Class, member of the Congressional Black Caucus Housing Task Force, whip for Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi’s Leadership Campaign, co-chair of the Democratic National Committee (DNC), co-chair of the Congressional Black Caucus Annual Legislative Conference, chair of the Congressional Black Caucus Retirement Security Brain Trust, member of the Ways and Means Committee and chairwoman of the Committee of Standards of Ofﬁcial Conduct (Ethics). To cherish her memory, Soror Tubbs Jones leaves her loving son, Mervyn L. Jones, II; devoted sister, Soror Barbara Tubbs Walker; a host of other family, friends and many sorors. ▲ On Dec. 15, 2008, Soror Geraldine McCullough, renowned sculptor and artist, transitioned into the Omega Omega Chapter. She was 91 years old. She was born in Mason County, Ark. and grew up in Chicago. Soror McCullough received her primary education from the Chicago Public Schools before attending the University of Chicago and the Art Institute of Chicago, where she received her Bachelor and Master of Art degrees in painting and art education. Soror McCullough taught art for 14 years for the Chicago Public Schools and later became a professor at Rosary College (now Domini-
can University) in Illinois. In 1967 she became chairman of Rosary’s Art Department. In 1989, upon her retirement, she was presented with an honorary doctorate degree. Throughout her career Soror McCullough won several awards, among them the John Stan Decker Scholarship. In 1965 she was presented with the George D. Widener Gold Medal for her piece entitled “Phoenix.” In 2005 she was the honoree of Gallery D’Estee, the Chicago Alumnae Chapter’s annual arts and letters presentation. Soror McCullough’s works are woven into the environment of the Johnson Publishing Company foyer, the courtyard of the DuSable Museum, the campus of the University of Illinois at Chicago and the state Capitol grounds in Springﬁeld, Ill. Her work is exhibited at the Smithsonian Institution and the National Women’s Museum in Washington, D.C. as well as many other galleries and museums. Soror McCullough’s Omega Omega service was performed by the Chicago Alumnae Chapter on Dec. 22, 2008 at the Grace Episcopal Church in Oak Park, Ill. ▲ Soror Jean Arthur Mills, passed away July 21, 2008. She was 78 years old. Soror Mills was a charter member of Pasadena (CA) Alumnae Chapter and held a Golden Life membership in the Sorority. Soror Mills was born in Pasadena, Calif. on Aug. 16, 1930. She graduated from Pasadena Junior College with a licensed vocational nurse credential and from California State University, Los Angeles with both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in elementary education and her pupil personnel credential. On March 29, 1953 Soror Mills married Clarence Edward Mills Jr. The Palm Sunday ceremony began a
DELTA SIGMA THETA SORORITY, INC.
marriage of 37 years ﬁlled with mutual love, understanding and support. From this union three daughters were born: Andrea, Regina and Jeannette. All three of her daughters became Deltas. Soror Mills’ career and a majority of her volunteer work centered upon her dedication to educating children. She began as an elementary school teacher, became a counselor in the junior and senior high school and later was a vice principal at Washington Elementary Alternative School. Soror Mills was a principal for 16 years at Allendale Elementary School. After retirement in 1992, she worked as a student teacher supervisor at Paciﬁc Oaks College for eight years. Soror Mills was initiated into the Sorority through the Pi Chapter at UCLA in 1959. She was also a founding member of the Pasadena Delta Foundation. The Jean and Clarence Mills Family Commemorative Academic Award is named in her honor as a perpetual recognition of her service. A life-long member of Scott United Methodist Church, Soror Mills enjoyed many years of praise, worship, fellowship and service. She was a Life Member of the NAACP, Pasadena Chapter and a member of: Women In Action, Inc.; National Sorority of Phi Delta Kappa; Pasadena Association of African American Educators; Altadena Community Garden; the Altadena Recycled Teenagers and four quilting clubs. Soror Mills was preceded in death by her husband Clarence Edward Mills, Jr. and her daughter, Jeanette Kimberly Mills. She leaves to cherish her life: her twin sister, Joan Marie Banks; daughters, Andrea Violet Mills and Dr. Regina Marie Bey (Dr. Omar Bey); three grandchildren, Jeania Ree Moore, Taina Bey and Hasseim Bey. She also leaves a host of other relatives, friends and former students who will remember her vibrant spirit. ▲
Soror Tanya Pekel died in May of 2006 following a three year battle with breast cancer. She was 41 years old. Soror Pekel grew up in Miami, Fla. A graduate of Duke University’s undergraduate and law school, she began her professional career as a corporate attorney at Simpson Thatcher Wall Street and Southern California Edison before being appointed as a White House fellow in 1995 by President William Clinton. At the conclusion of the fellowship, Soror Pekel became associate director of education policy and policy planning at the White House. In 1999, she married Kent Pekel and moved with him to his hometown of St. Paul, Minn., where she was appointed as chief of staff of the St. Paul Public School System. She worked diligently for six years behind the scenes—impacting the district’s major initiatives, which became a model of urban reform—as the superintendent’s key liaison to the school board and district staff. In honor of her campus leadership at Duke University as president of the Black Student Alliance, various dynamic roles and the heralded appointment as a White House fellow, her 1984 line sisters of Lambda Omega Chapter held a memorial service in her memory. They presented and placed an iron cast plaque in the Mary Lou Williams Center for Black Culture on Duke University’s main campus. Left to mourn her loss and cherish her memory are her husband Kent; children, Lauren, Adam and Victoria Pekel; parents, Montez Martin of Charleston, S.C. and Soror Marcia Martin of Miami; sisters, Soror Terrie (Wendell) Martin Rayburn and Emily Martin; brother, Montez C. Martin III; a host of relatives, friends and colleagues around the country. ▲
Soror Melba Louise Thompson Thalley, of Washington, D.C., was born in New Orleans on Jan. 9, 1924. She passed away on Sept. 3, 2008. Soror Thalley was initiated into Delta Sigma Theta Sorority in 1941 through the Beta Gamma Chapter at Dillard University. She graduated in 1944 with a degree in biology. In 1947, Soror Thalley received a certiﬁcate in physical therapy from the University of California Medical Center, School of Physical Therapy in San Francisco. She loved to move and travel. She accepted jobs in New York, Chicago and Grand Rapids, Mich. before settling in Washington. A Golden Life member, she attended numerous national conventions and remained active in the Washington DC Alumnae Chapter, working diligently on a variety of service projects. She was also active with the Metropolitan/Delta Adult Literacy Council where she tutored illiterate adults and served on the board of directors. Soror Thally married Thomas T. Thalley in 1951. They had two daughters, Cecile and Laura. In 1968, she began working for the DC Department of Health Home Care Program until her retirement in 1980. She was a faithful member of Mt. Olivet Lutheran Church, where she remained a member until her death. Soror Thalley was also a member of the D.C. Chapter of the American Physical Therapy Association; the Women’s National Democratic Club; as well as book, investment, quilting and bridge clubs. Beﬁtting her Louisiana roots, Soror Melba was also a ﬁrst-class cook, and was especially known for her delicious gumbo and red beans and rice. Her two daughters, Cecile Thalley and Laura (Craig) Mayo; two grandchildren, Jennifer and Alexander; a host of other relatives and friends survive Soror Thalley. ▲
Soror Olivia Edwards Williams of the Greenwood (SC) Alumnae Chapter entered into eternal rest on Feb. 28, 2008. She was born in Henderson, N.C. After graduating from high school, Soror Williams attended North Carolina A&T State University. She continued her education at Benedict College and received a Bachelor of Science degree in elementary education. Soror Williams enjoyed a rewarding teaching career in the Greenwood County School System. She retired from the Greenwood School District 50 after 30 years of service. She was dedicated to the teaching profession and truly enjoyed her students. Soror Williams received many rewards during her teaching career. Soror Williams was a member of Macedonia Baptist Church, where she served on the deaconess board, was past superintendent of the Sunday school, a member of the senior and mass choirs, a member of the senior usher board and the Senior Missionary Society. She also served as the church historian. In addition to her professional and church-related activities, she was a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., Order of the Eastern Star, the MLK Choir and the Carnation Garden Club. Soror Williams was preceded in death by her parents; her brothers, William M. Edwards and Thomas T. Edwards; three sisters, Frances E. Robinson, Mary Bell Burton and Clementine Bishop. Survivors left to cherish her memory are her husband of 51 years, T. W. Williams; two sisters, Ruby Nottage of Baltimore and Ruth (Prince) Smith of Sedalia, N.C.; several nieces, nephews, cousins and numerous close friends that were dear to her heart. ▲
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DELTA MAKES ITS MARK
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“As we were seeking new individuals to join our board of directors, our nominating committee put forth Dr. Rice’s name for consideration,” said Patrick G. Blanchard, former CEO and current vice chair of the board of directors for First Bank of Georgia. “With her proven leadership abilities, and her stellar reputation as an excellent educator in the Augusta community, she was a natural ﬁt. She makes a valuable and signiﬁcant contribution to our discussions on a variety of issues, and the board is very pleased to have her as a member.” This past December, Dr. Rice was named “Sister CEO of the Year” by the Augusta Renaissance Community for her leadership as 23rd National President of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority. During its Sister CEO Week 2008, the Augusta Renaissance
Community—a community based organization that seeks to link key professionals in various disciplines together for the continued growth and improvement of quality of life in the Augusta area—honored Dr. Rice, and eight other African-American female community leaders. Dr. Rice was chosen as the Sister CEO of the Year for her impact on advocacy for African-American women through her service in Delta. With the acceptance of these two new appointments and this recognition of her accomplishments, Dr. Rice continues her outstanding legacy of community service and involvement. She truly lives by the mantra “Empowering Communities through Committed Service” as she exempliﬁes the ideals of Delta’s Founders and the fundamental principles of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority. ▲
lenge this time around. The goal of the new Catching, Coping and Conquering initiative is to raise awareness of chronic illnesses in AfricanAmerican families. And, the My Cry in the Dark campaign was created to increase knowledge of the mental health disorders that affect African-Americans. Through their programs, chapters will endeavor to eliminate the unnecessary stigma attached to mental illness. These programs, in addition to the National Social Action Commission’s Political Awareness and Involvement initiatives, reﬂect the Sorority’s dedication to fulﬁlling the Five-Point Programmatic Thrust. “We hope that the sorors will commit to administer and execute the programs as they have been outlined,” said Soror Day. ▲
Black History and Education
Soror Candice Wiggins
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admission to the University of Mississippi in Oxford, Miss. in 1962. He was previously denied enrollment by school and state ofﬁcials. Meredith was eventually allowed to enter the university after receiving assistance from federal troops and U.S. Marshals who were sent to the school by President John F. Kennedy. Meredith graduated from the university in 1963, and helped to change the course of history. In September 2008, the same educational institution that once barred African-Americans from attending classes, received national recognition for hosting the ﬁrst 2008 Presidential Debate between then-candidates U.S. Sen. Barack Obama and U.S. Sen. John McCain. While African-Americans have made signiﬁcant strides in various realms of education since those tumultuous times, today many are faced with a different struggle.
With school districts facing layoffs and drastic budget cuts, the few programs and initiatives that focus on African-American history are falling by the wayside. By involving the Delta Academy and GEMS participants in activities that celebrate, honor and highlight the legacy of African-Americans, Delta Sigma Theta is doing its part to teach those in the Sorority’s youth programs that the history of African-Americans is an integral part of the history of America. “As important as it is for African-American youth to have access to equal education,” said Soror Butler-McIntyre, “it is important that the lessons they are being taught are accurate and include components of African-American history often left out in traditional classroom settings. If we do not tell them their stories, who will?” ▲
DELTA SIGMA THETA SORORITY, INC.
2007 through the Omicron Chi Chapter at Stanford University. She says her membership in the Sorority brings her an enhanced feeling of belonging. “Outside of my basketball teammates, this sisterhood is something very special to me. Strong women following their dreams and caring for others…this is incredibly empowering!” She urges her sorors to accept that AIDS is a real threat. Soror Wiggins knows her father contracted AIDS through drug use but stressed that sorors should not minimize the dangers associated with unprotected sex. Her charge to sorors is simple, “You must be fully educated, be careful and take control of your life. Don’t let this happen to you or anyone you know!” Get tested. This is personal. Candice Wiggins plays for the WNBA’s Minnesota Lynx and was selected as the 2008 WNBA Sixth Woman of the Year. She is a spokesperson for Until There’s a Cure (http://until.org), a national organization dedicated to HIV/AIDS awareness and treatment. ▲
from theDelta Archives
BY ELLA MCNAIR
Washington, D.C.—The national executive board of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. was invited to meet with President Lyndon B. Johnson and Vice President Hubert Humphrey at the White House during the summer of 1966. Vice President Humphrey greets some members upon their arrival. PICTURED: (LEFT TO RIGHT) Dr. Lynnette Taylor, executive director; Nanette Lee Reynolds, national second vice president; Vice President Hubert Humphrey; Dr. Geraldine P. Woods, National President; Frankie Muse Freeman, Esq., national ﬁrst vice president.
JOURNAL Spring 2009
INFORMATION: “How May I Direct Your Call?” Membership Intake Inquiries and Concerns; Duplicate Sorority Pins and/or Membership Certiﬁcates; Ritual & Ceremonies Inquiries Soror Linora Carr, Membership Intake Specialist, ext. 395, firstname.lastname@example.org Duplicate Sorority Pins and/or Membership Certiﬁcates; Inquires Regarding Membership Intake Materials and Paperwork Tobye Coulter, Membership Intake Assistant, ext. 553, email@example.com Chapter Compliance, 50-year Pins, 25- and 50-year Plaques and/or Certiﬁcates; Withdrawal from Membership; Reclamation and Member Reactivation; Membership Services Inquiries Katherine Brown, Membership Services Specialist, ext. 396, firstname.lastname@example.org Member Concerns regarding Rules of Order; Policies and Procedures; Disciplinary Actions and/or Appeals; Constitution & Bylaws; and Code of Conduct Interpretation Soror Shannon Jones, Internal Policies and Procedures, Member Relations Specialist, ext. 397, email@example.com Soror Shontel Rogers, Coordinator, Membership, ext. 394, firstname.lastname@example.org Golden and Diamond Life Plaque Inquiries; Chapter Reactivation and/or Chartering; Leadership Academy; Leadership Delta Stephanie Flowers, Member/Chapter Information Specialist, ext. 542, sﬂowers@deltasigmatheta.org Member Concerns regarding Dues; Membership Cards; Validation Stickers; Name and/or Address Changes; Veriﬁcation of Membership; and Chapter Information Tammy Valentine, Members Relations Representative, ext. 567, email@example.com Financial Aid; Seed Grants; Special Dispensation; Transition Checklist; Compliance GPA Soror Stephanie McPherson, Membership Secretary, ext. 544, firstname.lastname@example.org Special Membership Concerns; Scholarship and Standards Concerns Soror Deirdre Shoulars, Membership Director, ext. 543, email@example.com Special Information; System and/or IT Concerns; Web Site Access Issues; Passwords; Web Site Internet Guidelines; Delta Sigma Theta Homepage Issues Deborah Somerville, Interim Director Information Systems, ext. 548, (Due to the volume of emails, please allow 3-5 business days for a response.) Annual Report of Chapter Ofﬁcers; Advisor Certiﬁcation Form and/or Member Financial Veriﬁcation; Web Site Access Issues; Password Concerns, Problem Receiving Delta Newsletter; E-Chapter Mailing Felicia Comfort, Information Systems Secretary, ext. 549, firstname.lastname@example.org Special Financial Concerns Soror Gwendolyn K. Dailey, Director of Finance, ext. 502, email@example.com Wire Transfers; Fee Remittance* Beverly Barnes, Finance Secretary, ext. 393, firstname.lastname@example.org On-line Dues; Chapter Fees; Outstanding Transmittals Soror Crystal Mitchell, Finance Coordinator, ext. 391, email@example.com Beverly Barnes, Finance Secretary, ext. 393, firstname.lastname@example.org Regina Myles, Accounting Assistant/Accounts Receivable, ext. 392, email@example.com Terrance Jones, Accounting Assistant/Bookkeeper, ext. 552, firstname.lastname@example.org
Annual Finance Report; Bonding and Insurance Terrance Jones, Accounting Assistant/Bookkeeper, ext. 552, email@example.com Publication Orders for Items Such As: Chapter Management Handbooks, Doctrines, Video Tapes, Forms, etc. Betty Martin, Receptionist, ext. 381 or LaTia Daniels, ext. 380 firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com Heritage and Archives; Housing and Properties Committee; Tours; Special Order Fulﬁllment Concerns Soror Garlenda McNair, Properties and Facilities Coordinator, ext. 382, firstname.lastname@example.org Submitting Information and News Items for the DELTA Newsletter and DELTA Journal Soror Ashley Chaney, Public Relations Specialist, ext. 384, email@example.com General Information and Questions from Deltas Concerning DELTA Newsletter and DELTA Journal Soror Ashley Chaney, Public Relations Specialist, ext. 384, firstname.lastname@example.org Special Social Action, Program Planning and Public Relations Concerns; Commission on Arts and Letters; Information and Communications Committee Soror Ella McNair, Programs and Public Relations Director, ext. 504, email@example.com Social Action; Delta Days in the Nation’s Capital; Legislative and Public Policy Issues Soror Candi Mundon, Public Policy Specialist, ext. 557, firstname.lastname@example.org Program Initiatives; Delta Academy; Delta GEMS; The Total Woman: Mind, Body & Spirit Soror Carolyn McCrea, Program Coordinator, ext. 541, email@example.com Chapter Demographic and Program Reporting Forms Nicole Bates, Program Secretary, ext. 540, firstname.lastname@example.org Vendor Certiﬁcation; Exhibit Trade Shows; Reporting Violators of the Vendor Certiﬁcation/Licensing Policy; Delta License Plates; Internet Issues (Ebay, Facebook, etc.) Soror Nicole Lenon, Intellectual Property Rights Specialist, ext. 399, email@example.com Special Concerns/Needs Soror Roseline McKinney, Executive Director, ext. 505, firstname.lastname@example.org Delta Research and Educational Foundation Soror Madeliene Dobbins, Director, 202-347-1337, DREF@deltafoundation.net *PLEASE SUBMIT AN ACKNOWLEDGEMENT POSTCARD WHEN SUBMITTING FUNDS. THIS CARD WILL BE DATE STAMPED AND RETURNED TO YOU AS CONFIRMATION OF THE RECEIPT OF YOUR FEES.
Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. 1707 New Hampshire Avenue, NW Washington, D.C. 20009 Phone: (202) 986-2400 Fax: (202) 986-2513 Hours: Monday-Friday, 8:30 am – 5:30 pm E.S.T. www.deltasigmatheta.org Any topic not covered should be addressed to email@example.com
Corporate Sponsors and Supporters Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. extends its sincere gratitude to the corporations and businesses who have provided support for the activities and events for our 49th National Convention and continue to show their support.
The Coca Cola Company
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JOURNAL Spring 2009
DELTA SIGMA THETA SORORITY, INC.
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Congratulations on your 49th Annual National Convention.
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DELTA SIGMA THETA SORORITY, INC.
JOURNAL Spring 2009
DELTA SIGMA THETA SORORITY, INC.
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Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. 1707 New Hampshire Ave. N.W. Washington, DC 20009
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EASTERN Regional Conference BALTIMORE, MD JUNE 18-21 ▲
SOUTHERN Regional Conference HUNTSVILLE, AL JUNE 25-28
FARWEST Regional Conference ANCHORAGE, AK JULY 2-5 ▲
MIDWEST Regional Conference
SOUTH ATLANTIC Regional Conference HAMPTON, VA AUG. 6-9 ▲
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