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for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People; Rev. Jamal Bryant, senior pastor at Empowerment Temple in Baltimore, Md.; Rev. Marcia Dyson, political strategist; Jeff Johnson, journalist and political commentator; and Dr. E. Faye Williams, national chair of the National Congress of Black Women. Jeff Johnson suggested that maintaining the middle class requires that African-Americans begin to think about spreading generational wealth and becoming knowledgeable of financial matters. He discussed creating financial goals; discussing long term family goals; teaching children to think about the financial future of the family; and gaining an understanding of financial responsibility. Soror Arline-Bradley provided the delegates with a list of congressional legislation, compiled annually by the NAACP, that should be supported. Legislation topics on the list included criminal justice, education, economics and voting rights. “This fight is not over,” said Soror Arline-Bradley. “President Barack Obama’s election was a part of the process because the most important years are 2013 and 2014.” The panel also addressed questions from the audience concerning the equity in public school education as it relates to the cultural aspect of the middle class and attainment and pushing an African-American agenda to President Obama. “We spend so much time focusing on the federal politics that we’ve forgotten about the power of local politics,” warned Johnson. “There will be people elected to your school board who don’t want to see your children educated and county commissioners will be in control of resources and not care about sustaining middle class values.” In regards to public school education, Rev. Bryant commented on increasing the knowledge of our students beyond what the public school system offers. The session ended with the closing charge given by Kim Trent, member of the National Social Action Commission, who urged members to share the ideas of the conference through their social media networks and follow the advice of Rev. Bryant and have a “succession plan instead of a secession plan.” “We cannot afford to separate our needs from the needs of our brothers and sisters still living in poverty,” said Trent. Social Action Program and Luncheon Soror Fudge served as the keynote speaker for the Social Action Luncheon. In her message she focused s18 DELTA SIGMA THETA SORORITY, INC. on remaining vigilant even after minor victories in social advocacy. “We cannot celebrate before the game is over. As long as we live, we must do everything we can to make a difference,” said Soror Fudge. She reminded the audience of the great history of African-Americans, Delta Sigma Theta and the visionary spirit of the Founders. She acknowledged that 2013 is a significant year, as it is the 100th anniversary of Delta Sigma Theta, the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation and the 50th anniversary of the historic March on Washington. “African-Americans have labored in their communities and in Congress to move this country to a place where every individual has the opportunity to achieve their version of the American dream. We have seen many successes, but danger lies ahead. The American dream is in danger,” said Soror Fudge. She reminded anyone who might have assumed that they are living in a post-racial society that there are many African-Americans living in rural and urban communities still experiencing the challenges civil rights advocates fought against decades ago. “Although the struggle for civil rights is different, the battle is not over. We are no longer being attacked by canines or sprayed with water hoses but, many of the things happening today are just as bad, just under a different name,” warned Soror Fudge. “The new names that we are dealing with today are not the bad names we grew up with. Some of those names are debt/deficit reduction and sequestration that comes at the expense of seniors, the education of children, voting rights and affirmative action.” Soror Fudge advised that programs will be cut due to the sequestration. Programs such as Headstart, Title I, heating assistance, Meals on Wheels, WIC, and mental health programs are being threaten. Accessibility to social security offices will also be affected along with funds allocated to Hurricane Sandy relief. “It is critical to the success of this nation and the welfare of its people now and during the next 100 years to remain relevant as individuals and as organizations. We must evolve,” said Soror Fudge. “Let’s be more than we can be.” Following the keynote address, Soror Butler-McIntyre presented the President’s Award to Roslyn Brock, chairman of the National Board of Directors for the NAACP, and Melanie Campbell, president and CEO of the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation, for their leadership that emulates the social advocacy mission of Delta Sigma Theta within their respective organizations. “These women have enhanced and increased their respective organizations that allow the NAACP and the NCBCP to continue to be the voice of the underprivileged and underserved,” remarked Soror Butler- McIntyre. The program concluded with attendees gathering for the lunch portion of the program where they continued to discuss the information shared over the weekend. s


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