49th NJ Statewide Founders Day recap


Submitted by Raquel Y. Liggon-Horn

On Saturday, January 11, 2020 the Garden State held its 49th Annual New Jersey Statewide Founders Day in Atlantic City. The theme for the celebration was “107 Years and Still We Rise…As Tenacious Leaders, Dedicated Servants, Committed Sorors.” The Atlantic City Alumnae Chapter served as hosts and received a proclamation from the mayor, the Honorable Marty Small Sr., declaring the day as “Delta Sigma Theta Day.”

Excitement was immediately in the air when the event kicked off with the Parade of Banners as members marched in to represent their respective chapters. Eastern Regional Director Rosia Blackwell Lawrence greeted the crowd of more than 800 members in their crimson attire and said, “We are fierce…if we’re knocked down, we can’t stay there.” She reminded attendees that they must “move with purpose.” Blackwell Lawrence reinforced the purpose of the 22 Founders and thanked members “for not accepting normalcy.”

After a moving rendition of “Still I Rise,” sung by member Silva Reynolds, all eyes were upon keynote speaker Rev. Dr. Gwendolyn E. Boyd, who served as the 22nd National President of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. Often bringing the crowd to its feet, Boyd declared that the organization will continue as the greatest, hardest-working, most creative and innovative sorority. As Deltas, “We change the landscape, push new agendas and make a difference in every community that we represent,” she stated, and proudly added that we have been walking in dignity and integrity for 107 years. Boyd added, “It is now up to us to rise up and continue to keep the Delta legacy strong, relevant, vibrant, and meaningful in this generation” and that it is important for current members to pass on this legacy. Members were reminded to embrace, lift, and support one another, and to fight back in the midst of adversity.

Referring to 1913 when the organization was founded, Boyd reminded members that 22 collegiate women were brave enough to step away and start a movement because they wanted something different. She urged members to “remember our purpose, regain our passion, and gain the strength in the struggle that we are fighting each and every day.” At the conclusion of her speech, she received a standing ovation. It was clear that all felt refueled, reignited, reinvigorated, and ready to rise up and continue the work of the Founders.

Click here to check out a powerful rendition of “I Rise” performed by Silvia Reynolds.


Submitted by Raquel Y. Liggon-Horn On Saturday, January 11, 2020 the Garden State held its 49th Annual New Jersey Statewide Founders Day in Atlantic City. The theme for the celebration was “107 Years and Still We Rise…As Tenacious Leaders, Dedicated Servants, Committed Sorors.” The Atlantic City Alumnae Chapter served as hosts and received a proclamation …

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