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CENTENNIAL CELEBRATIION Founders Day Weekend Delta Applauds Change Agents During Centennial Honors Gala Dr. Regina Benjamin, Ambassador Andrew Young, Ingrid Saunders Jones and Dr. Bill Cosby are among the nation’s greatest leaders who now hold a unique title—they are the recipients of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority’s Centennial Awards. The oncein a-lifetime recognition occurred at the Sorority’s Delta Centennial Honors Gala Jan. 12, during Centennial Founders Day Weekend in the Walter E. Washington Convention Center. The awards were presented to exceptional individuals and organizations whose goals are aligned with Delta’s commitment to public service. The mistress and master of ceremonies, honorary member Daphne Maxwell Reid and her husband, actor Tim Reid, kicked off the evening and kept everyone entertained. National President Cynthia M. A. Butler-Mc- Intyre and the Sorority’s past national presidents graced the stage and presented the honorees with their awards. “When I was younger, one of my favorite songs used to be, ‘I Get By With A Little Help From My Friends.’ And tonight, we honor those, who along the way, have been real good friends to Delta,” said Soror Butler-McIntyre. “Tonight, we have gathered to honor our public and elected officials, activists, community leaders and those who have made a difference in the world.” The award categories reflected the Sorority’s Five-Point Programmatic Thrust: Economic Development, Educational Development, International Awareness and Involvement, Physical and Mental Health, and Political Awareness and Involvement. The National Urban League, led by president and CEO Marc Morial, was honored for “elevating underserved communities in the nation’s urban clusters” and its contributions to society dating back to 1910. The civil rights organization received the Economic Development Award. Senior Vice President of Human Resources and Chief Talent Officer, Soror Wanda Jackson, accepted the honor on behalf of Morial. “As two organizations, one which has celebrated 100 years and another, ours which is celebrating this weekend, we have so many important things in common. Our missions are intertwined,” said Soror Jackson. “There is still much work to do and we hope that some will be done and accomplished in partnership with my sisterhood, one eternally devoted to scholarship and service, Delta Sigma Theta. Thank you.” Dr. Johnnetta Cole, director of the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art and former president of Spelman College and Bennett College, was recognized for her commitment to educational development. In her acceptance speech, Cole urged her fellow Deltas to volunteer their time to help educate and mentor young African-Americans. “Clearly, when 22 college women in 1913 gathered to begin—not just an organization, but a movement— JOURNAL Summer 2013 s33 By Erica Donerson Centennial Honors Gala award recipients. PICTURED (LEFT TO RIGHT): Ambassador Andrew Young; U.S. Surgeon General, Dr. Regina Benjamin; Dr. Johnnetta Cole, director of the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art; Rev. Jesse Jackson, founder/president of the Rainbow PUSH Coalition; and Soror Ingrid Saunders Jones, chair, National Council of Negro Women. PHOTO BY DONNAMARIA JONES


SummerJournal2013
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