Recap: Delta Divas Real Talk


Submitted by Arnette Dorsey, Esq.

Are your heels higher than your IMPACT?? Most of the Delta Divas on the Real Talk webinar responded “no,” but there is still work to do! The Eastern Region Membership Services team led a dynamic dialogue featuring Regional Director Rosie Allen-Herring, who shed light on the sorority’s Sisterhood, Scholarship, and Service; with no time better than now to use the Power in Our Voice to Elevate this nation. Reflecting on Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated’s 17th National President Mona Humphries Bailey’s mantra, “If not us, who; If not now when?” Attendees could not ignore the events of the day with the violent seize and domestic terrorism at the Capitol. Allen-Herring reminded all that “Delta is here even when our democracy is under attack… It’s ok to be angry, but be angry enough to do something because hate will not win.”

The state of the membership is STRONG, with more 12,000 members, hundreds of thousands donated in scholarship with Maryland leading the way with $252,000, and almost 140,000 reported service hours over the last two years. 

Rosie’s Reflections on Sisterhood:

“As a sisterhood, we are different, but our common causes bring the best of who we are as individuals together, bonded by a common cause.  Our common cause is community.”

“We measure our impact by hour our sisterhood is working.  Do all the children know the ladies in red will always bring the best programs and energy to initiatives? Can you look in the eye of another sister and never say a word?”

“As Deltas we are resilient. We find ways to take any crisis and turn it to success and must use the tools born out of crisis. It’s been amazing to connect Delta Dears who were homebound back to chapters virtual; we must keep that connection.”

Tips to Address the Digital Divide and Service:

“Educational challenges have been exacerbated, and we not take access to education for granted. Partner with schools, both school systems and community colleges.  Look at education holistically recognizing the socioeconomic issues the affect a student’s readiness to learn” food, utilities, equipment…and address those needs.” Examples would be partnering with local utility companies, buying Chromebooks/laptops for students, offering virtual tutoring, or partnering with non-profits.

“Mental health issues, abuse, and domestic violence rates are also on the rise due to COVID-19 quarantine, with victims having limited escape due to various quarantine measures.  When we think about service, there is so much that can be done.  Work with sister chapters so your impact will be felt.  Service is what we do.”

Regional Representative Nadege DeBrosse also joined the more than 600 sorority members in attendance with excitement to hear how DIVAS would take these new reflections to the next level and welcome transitioning collegiates to alumnae chapters with love. 

Diva Talk!

The CRIMSON room was on fire! Using the combined thoughts of members’ inspirational words, Kira Sconion, President of Harford County Alumnae Chapter, beautifully summarized sisterhood as follows:

“Sisterhood is the necessary and unconditional love, bond and support from a loyal, forgiving, inclusive and compassionate village of those with collaborative and collective strength and common interests.”

Divas also unpacked some of the difficulties and the requirements to be sisterly even in conflict

in order to build honesty, trust, and respect. Recognizing that some inappropriate, disrespectful, or bullying behaviors are overlooked due to politics or a member’s “seniority” in Delta, Divas looked for solutions. Divas recommended to have accountability partners, use chapter chaplains as support, speak to chapter president to connect to the regional Conflict Resolution team; and as a last resort, refer to the Code of Conduct, which governs all members.  All things must be done in love. Are you your Sisters’ Keeper?

In honor of the Regional Director’s “best number in the world,” here are nine questions from all the breakout rooms.

Sisterhood

  1. ∆     What are some best practices to increase opportunities for engagement and build healthy relationships in a virtual world?
  2. ∆     What are some steps we can take to build/repair bonds between members when faced with conflict?
  • ∆     Does your chapter have accountability partners or some similar program(s) that fosters relationships that are transparent and built upon honesty, trust, and respect? What happens if a member is disrespectful or displays inappropriate behavior?

Scholarship

  • ∆     How is your ongoing membership requirement (Time, service, money) with your other organizations compared to that of Delta?   What can be done in DST to strengthen/increase the impact?
  • ∆     Share a best practice that ensures that your scholarships are innovative and impactful. Chapter scholarships: who are the recipients (graduating high school, existing college, adults returning to college) and how can we assist in getting the word out to those communities that need them most? How are scholarships awarded? Aside from a larger monetary award, how can we increase the impact?
  • ∆     In the Black community, some students are first generation applying to college.  How can we assist students in completing financial aid applications, applying to various colleges, internships, etc.?

Service

  • ∆     What are some opportunities/gaps/needs within the local communities that we could fill?
  • ∆     How do you do community service virtually and make a real impact?
  • ∆     The goal of chapter service projects/activities is to impact the community. However, sometimes chapters miss the mark. Describe a project/activity that was less impactful than desired. How did the chapter know? What changes were made to improve the impact?

Kudos to the Eastern Region Membership Services Committee led by Tri-Chairs, Sinthea Kelly, Rhonda Carter, and Pamela Washington Parkes. Although there was not enough time to share every group’s feedback and answers, feel free to start these discussions in your chapters to foster REAL TALK followed by REAL IMPACT!


Submitted by Arnette Dorsey, Esq. Are your heels higher than your IMPACT?? Most of the Delta Divas on the Real Talk webinar responded “no,” but there is still work to do! The Eastern Region Membership Services team led a dynamic dialogue featuring Regional Director Rosie Allen-Herring, who shed light on the sorority’s Sisterhood, Scholarship, and …

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