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52nd National Convention C O V E R A G E O N F I R E T O I N S P I R E s46 Delta Extravaganza – Igniting Inspiration BY JUNEL JEFFREY AND MINNIE NEWBERN JONES Sorors, guests and friends of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. filled the audience at Hous-ton’s Toyota Center July 27, 2015 for a night of spirited recognition. Held during the 52nd National Convention, the 2015 Delta Extravaganza allowed the Sorority to award gifted artists, outstanding media personalities, and the entertainment industry’s most accomplished contributors. “When we came up with the theme, ‘On Fire to Inspire,’ we want-ed the theme to express that what-ever we planned for the Extrava-ganza, we wanted it to be inspiring, entertaining, as well as education-al to our audience,” said Soror Es-sie Jeffries, chair of the National Arts and Letters Commission. Previous-ly known as the Signature Gala, the National Arts and Letters Commis-sion decided to change the name, the look, and the feel of the event to bet-ter illustrate an evening of awards and entertainment. Opening up the Delta Extrava-ganza, Dr. Paulette C. Walker, Nation-al President, invited the audience to sit back and enjoy the show. Thou-sands of Deltas and invited guests of all ages eagerly awaited the revela-tion of the talented artists who stood to receive national awards for their creative abilities. “When we socialize and fellow-ship together, we forget the age dif-ference,” said Soror JoAnne Parks, a Delta Dear with the East Saint Lou-is Misty Copeland receives the Emerging Artist Award during the 2015 Delta Extravaganza. PHOTO BY DONNAMARIA JONES Alumnae Chapter. “It’s the ex-citement DELTA SIGMA THETA SORORITY, INC. that bounces off of every-one. It’s not about the age, just the excitement.” Within minutes of the opening, the audience enthusiastically ap-plauded and witnessed a historical moment as Misty Copeland, the first female African American principal dancer of the American Ballet The-ater, humbly accepted the Emerging Artist Award. “Deltas have been there with me every step of the way. Before all of this happened, the media, every-thing, you guys caught a glimpse of your sister and you supported her,” said Copeland. “That means so much to me to know that I have so many people that are on my side that are cheering me on, because it means so much more than me. It’s what I repre-sent, and that’s the future.” “We wanted to make sure that the impact of who we were nomi-nating was phenomenal,” said So-ror Edna Moffitt, co-chair of the Arts and Letters Commission. “The com-mission is proud that we were able to bring back to Arts and Letters the caliber of Lena Horne, the Benbows and the originators, so we brought a


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