Roanoke Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. held three successful programs during the month of May. On Saturday, May 5 in the Pilgrim Baptist Church Fellowship Hall, Chairperson, Myra Allen and Delta’s Economic Development Committee sponsored the third Annual Sister 2 Sister Women’s Empowerment Workshop, “Gateway to Wealth,” with keynote speaker, Lazetta Rainey Braxton, MBA, CFP.
The Entrepreneur speaker was Renea Penn Taylor, owner and operator of Taylor Tutoring Services, LLC; Ms. Bianca Holman from WDBJ7 was moderator for the Question and Answer Session.
At the “Celebration of Youth” program held Friday, May 18, in the Addison Middle School Auditorium, chairperson Donna W. Lee and the Educational Development Committee recognized students who participated in this year’s mentorship programs that served fifty students in five Roanoke City Schools.
The Delta GEMS (Growing and Empowering Myself Successfully) program at Patrick Henry High School was coordinated by Rachel Wheaton and Terri Wheaton; the GEMS program at William Fleming High School was coordinated by Tonya Jackson-Jones; the Dr. Betty Shabazz Delta Academy at Addison Middle School by Helen Dean; EMBODI (Empowering Males to Build Opportunities for Developing Independence) at Woodrow Wilson Middle School by Gloria Manns and the Delta Precious Pearls program at Hurt Park Elementary School by Donna Lee and Mary Neal.
Miss Jabberwock 2018, Jeanette Sako, was Mistress of Ceremony for the evening and Little Miss Jabberwock, Aniysia Stevens-Hill, provided entertainment with a praise dance.
Scholarship chairperson, Saron McEnheimer presented nine scholarship recipients with their award letters. The students were: Samantha Bostic, Jayda Brown, Alexis Conley, Tyra McEnheimer, Christian Randolph, Jeanette Sako, Garren Snow, Alexis West and Neya Williams.
President Monica Callaway recognized Vice-Mayor Anita Price, Regina Gregory, principal at Hurt Park Elementary School; Jeff Artis, assistant-principal at Patrick Henry High School, Archie Freeman, principal at William Fleming High School, and all parents and members of the Educational Development Committee.
Following the program a reception, catered by La Cove Restaurant, was enjoyed by all in the school cafeteria.
Nikki Giovanni, sorority sister, poet and writer, commentator, activist and VA Tech educator was the presenter as the Lecture Series presented (Voting: Our Civic Duty) on Wednesday, May 23, at the Harrison Museum of African- American Culture. Cheryl Gray, chairperson of the Political Awareness Committee, introduced Ms. Giovanni who stressed the importance of voting in every election, reminding the audience of Fannie Lou Hamer, an African -American voting and women’s rights activist, community organizer, philanthropist and leader in the civil rights movement.
Mrs. Hamer spearheaded voter registration drives and was threatened, arrested and beaten unmercifully. She also mentioned Susan B. Anthony and the more than 5,000 women who descended on Washington to fight for the right to vote. Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. was the only African-American women’s organization to participate. However, they were told to march at the back of the parade with a Black procession…So, we have no excuse to stay at home on Voting Day Giovanni stressed! Many marched and sacrificed their lives that all citizens would have the right to vote!
Giovanni was presented with several gifts from the sorority and her newest book, “A Good Cry” was given as door prizes to three lucky attendees. Monica Callaway is local chapter president.