Recap: Virtual Eastern Regional Meeting
Submitted by Jo-Ann Raines
Members of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated from across the Dynamic and Historic Eastern Region gathered on May 22, 2021 for the first virtual regional meeting. The more than 4,200 members in attendance were welcomed by Lesli Foster and Allison Seymour, members of the sorority who are part of the WUSA-9 news team in Washington, D.C. Regional Chaplain, Rev. Dr. Natalie Alford opened the proceedings with prayer.
Moderator for the day, Pamela Washington Parkes of Nassau Alumnae Chapter, introduced past national presidents Dr. Thelma T. Daley, Rev. Gwendolyn Boyd, Cynthia M.A. Butler-McIntyre, and Dr. Paulette C. Walker, each of whom offered greetings to the assembly and touched on the theme for the day — Elevating the Region during the Pandemic with Purpose, Progress, and Perseverance. Cheryl Hickmon, National First Vice President; Pamela Hill, National Treasurer; and Elsie Cooke-Holmes, National Secretary, all members of the Executive Committee, added their greetings. National President and CEO Beverly Evans Smith addressed the gathering and remind all of the need to be strong when implementing initiatives and doing the work in service to such community. She also noted that she is looking forward to the time when members can enjoy fellowship in person.
Based on polls conducted by Regional Representative Nadege DeBrosse and Regional Director Rosie Allen-Herring, the majority of attendees were alumnae and the state of Maryland had the most people present, with 47 percent. Regional Director Allen-Herring requested a moment of silence to honor former Executive Director Roselyn McKinney, who served Delta for 45 years and recently passed away.
Included among the region’s accomplishments, Allen-Herring mentioned the chartering of three new international chapters (Arabian Gulf, Southern Africa, and West Africa), chapter reactivations, establishment of several committees, two town halls with past presidents, two Red Table Talks for Delta Dears, and collaboration between the Eastern and South Atlantic regions that raised $47,000 for community outreach. Looking to the future, she noted that New York Alumnae and Washington, DC Alumnae celebrated their centennial anniversaries this year and Iota Chapter and Baltimore Alumnae are on deck for 2022.
Several regional committees offered regional updates beginning with Membership Services, tri-chaired by Rhonda Carter, Sinthea Kelly and Pamela Washington Parkes. The committee promoted joy in the sorority’s sisterhood and used tools of reclamation, retention, and support. The Delta Dear subcommittee, led by Gail Mitchell, hosted two well-attended events. The committee said added emphasis was placed on wellness, technology, best practices, and collegiate encouragement, and new awards were established for those initiated in fall 2020 and spring 2021.
Dione Dillard and Victoria Mosley Rivers led the Ritual and Ceremonies committee and reminded attendees that the Legacy and Profile Form responses are due June 5. Delta Internal Development, coordinated by Leslie Anderson and Rene Buckmon, reported that their team has assisted more than 1,200 members in over 100 chapters in 44 sessions,
At the conclusion of the regional updates, the meeting paused for a musical interlude, Rep Your Decade, before attendees participated in individual workshops. Attendees were able to select two of six workshops in which to participate. Choices included: Keeping Purpose in our Protocol, This is US – Uplifting our Service/Elevating our Impact, Strategic Planning – Charting the Way Forward, ALL R.I.S.E. – Ready and Inspired to Step-up for Election, Level UP – Useful Pointers in Resolving Conflict and Building Collegiate/Advisor Relationships.
After lunch, two additional regional updates were given. Dr. Traci Birckhead offered an overview of the number of chapters that participated in membership intake. In Fall 2020, 52 chapters, and in Spring 202, there were 39 chapters. Risk Management, led by Rebecca Freeman, Robin DeShields and Valerie Hickman, noted that their committee responded to nearly 300 inquiries and received and processed 252 requests for approval for 508 youth activities. They commended chapters for following the virtual programming guidelines.
As everyone likes to win, the Special Events and Projects Committee randomly awarded 10 attendees with regional key chains based on registration data. The day was concluded with announcements by Eastern Regional Secretary Tessa Murphy McGee. On behalf of the Social Action Committee, she noted that 970 of the 4,000 attendees at Delta Days in the Nation’s Capital were from the Eastern Region. Additionally, she reminded all on behalf of the National Nominating Committee that campaigning begins at noon on June 1 for all slated candidates running for office at the 55th National Convention later this year.
Check out some of the images from the Photo Gallery….
Submitted by Jo-Ann Raines Members of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated from across the Dynamic and Historic Eastern Region gathered on May 22, 2021 for the first virtual regional meeting. The more than 4,200 members in attendance were welcomed by Lesli Foster and Allison Seymour, members of the sorority who are part of the WUSA-9 …