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52nd National Convention C O V E R A G E CONTINUED ON PAGE 68 JOURNAL Spring 2016 s29 Sigma Theta has and urged delegates to push African American students towards academic excellence so that more African American candidates can be considered as Presidential Scholars. Dr. Thelma T. Daley, 16th Nation-al President, reminded members of their collective power and the pow-er of sisterhood. Soror Mona H. Bailey, 17th Na-tional President, inspired the crowd by honoring the memory of Found-er Myra Davis Hemmings who was a Texas native. Dr. Bertha M. Roddey, 20th Na-tional President, celebrated and rec-ognized all cancer survivors and shared how blessed she was to be at convention despite past health issues. Congresswoman Marcia L. Fudge, 21st National President, sent video greetings from Africa as she was on a presidential delegation to the con-tinent with President Barack Obama. Rev. Gwendolyn E. Boyd, 22nd National President, urged delegates to “Keep making history, keep stand-ing strong, keep moving forward and giving God the praise.” Dr. Louise Rice, 23rd National President, encouraged members to absorb everything from the experi-ence to the information and feel bless-ed that the organization has made it to the 52nd National Convention. Soror Cynthia M.A. Butler-McIn-tyre, 24th National President, gave remarks welcoming attendees to the Southwest region – her home region – and surprised all doubters that she could give her remarks in one minute by ending with a quote from Bruno Mars singing, “Don’t believe me, just watch.” The crowd stood to their feet. Following greetings from the Past National Presidents, the conven-tion coordinator, Soror Josie Daniels, along with the Houston area hostess chapters gave greetings. Soror Dan-iels gave attendees a lesson on Tex-an dialect – proper use of the word “y’all.” She even channeled the spirit of Congresswoman Barbara Jordan, also a Texas native and then member of Houston Alumnae, when she said, “We must address and master the fu-ture together. We must remember the commitment made by our Founders in 1913…If we promise, we must de-liver – deliver our uncompromising commitment to communities: serve, lead, empower.” Dr. Paulette C. Walker, National President of Delta Sigma Theta, ad-dressed the membership, recogniz-ing the presence of seven of the eight living Past National Presidents along with seven Honorary Members in at-tendance - Sorors Suzzanne Douglas Cobb, Daphne Maxwell Reid, Paula Madison, Susan Taylor, Alice Ham-mond, Sheryl Lee Ralph, and Ambas-sador Suzan Johnson Cook. Dr. Walk-er took the presidential liberty to name Soror Addie Williams as Parlia-mentarian Emeritus. In her opening message, Dr. Walk-er addressed some serious issues facing the future of Delta, its mem-bership and Delta’s role in combat-ing injustice in the U.S. The Deltas arrived in Texas following the sus-picious death of Sandra Bland while she was in police custody. With such a heavy issue on the hearts of many, Dr. Walker stated: “We know that we are facing is-sues in the state of Texas, with San-dra Bland being one of them. I don’t want you to think that her death has gone unnoticed or we aren’t pay-ing close attention…We are work-ing very closely with those in charge to make sure that what needs to be done is being done.” Delegates fill the Toyota Center in Houston during the Opening Ceremony. PHOTO BY DONNAMARIA JONES


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