Maryland State Social Action Hosts Virtual Delta Days
Submitted by Vanice Antrum and Nicole Y. Drew
The late Shirley Chisholm said, “You don’t make progress by standing on the sidelines,” and the Maryland chapters did not let the pandemic deter them from their state advocacy. Under the leadership of Nicole Y. Drew, Esq. (Montgomery County (MD) Alumnae), the Maryland State Social Action Committee held its Virtual Delta Days in Annapolis.
From its first meeting, the committee was determined to engage with the state legislators knowing that there was only a short, 90-day legislative session. The question was how they would have a real impact in the virtual environment. The response…engage early and often, using technology and relationships to their advantage. With this in mind, the committee hosted a two-day event for members of the 25 chapters across the state of Maryland. Chapters were provided an informational packet that included the legislative priorities (Police Reform, Elections/Voting/Government Reform, Women’s Empowerment, Education, and Health) and an interactive calendar with links to attend the virtual hearings and floor sessions of the Maryland Assembly. Chapters were also encouraged to support the Maryland Legislative Agenda for Women, a coalition of advocates whose legislative agenda aligns with Delta priorities, and support a bill to provide funding for the Maryland HBCUs.
Each day, Maryland Deltas were blessed to have state, regional and national Delta leadership in attendance which included Maryland State Coordinator – Carol Moses; Maryland State Facilitator – Nnedi Oguayo; Eastern Regional Director – Rosie Allen-Herring; Eastern Region Social Action Chair – Patricia Williamson; 16th National President – Dr. Thelma T. Daley; and National Social Action Commissioner Co-chairs – Shavon Arline-Bradley and Rhonda Briggins. Ever the consummate educator, past National Delta President, Dr. Thelma Daley, advised members about being persistent in advocacy using a quote from Mary McLleod Bethune that you must get (and keep) your foot in the door.
On Day 1 of Delta Days in Annapolis, nearly 170 members attended the virtual meeting of the Maryland Legislative Black Caucus via Facebook Live. In addition to the various committee reports, the Caucus meeting addressed the state of redistricting in Maryland and also allegations of discriminatory practices within the Maryland State Police, two important social action issues. Later that morning, members attended the Maryland Delta Legislative Agenda Overview and received details about the bills on the legislative agenda.
On Day 2, more than 280 members convened for “Politics & Pearls,” featuring four panels focused on Women in Politics, Civic Education, Legislative Briefings, and Members in Action Talk. Each panel gave “pearls” to members that left them ready to engage in action, including understanding how to read a bill and write advocacy letters, elected and appointed government positions, and Delta-specific priorities. Members also were introduced to the four Delta members of the Maryland Assembly and the members of the National Social Action Commission, six of whom are in Maryland chapters.
Both events set the tone for Maryland Deltas to take ACTION! “Despite the pandemic, we have an opportunity to engage with elected officials to bring awareness of issues and strategize about advocacy in Maryland,” said Nicole Y. Drew, Maryland Social Action Coordinator.
Submitted by Vanice Antrum and Nicole Y. Drew The late Shirley Chisholm said, “You don’t make progress by standing on the sidelines,” and the Maryland chapters did not let the pandemic deter them from their state advocacy. Under the leadership of Nicole Y. Drew, Esq. (Montgomery County (MD) Alumnae), the Maryland State Social Action Committee …