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CENTENNIAL CELEBRATIION Founders Day Weekend JOURNAL Summer 2013 s35 have shown her. “When I was nominated for this job, Dr. Dorothy Height, Alexis Herman and Yvonne Kennedy set our Delta machine in motion. The letters and the phone calls and the statements went out to support my nomination. The vote was unanimous from Democrats and Republicans, and that’s because of you,” said Dr. Benjamin. The Political Awareness and Involvement Award was bestowed upon the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. The NAACP has fought for social justice since 1909. President and CEO Benjamin Jealous was present to receive the honor. “You know the challenge was not for a person of color to become President of the United States once. The challenge was to make it safe for it to happen again and again and again,” said Jealous. “We sat down with all of the major black Get Out The Vote organizations in Washington; we got together to plan. With all of our allies, we undid what the Koch brothers tried to do with $250 million. And, that’s the power of unity and organization,” said Jealous. He shared with the crowd that his grandmother has been a Delta for 77 years, so he is always “happy to work with Deltas.” The National Council of Negro Women and Chair Ingrid Saunders Jones were granted the National President’s Award. Delta’s 10th National President, Dr. Dorothy I. Height, served as National President of NCNW for 41 years. When she passed in 2010, Dr. Height held the title of chair and president emerita of the NCNW. Following in Dr. Height’s footsteps, Soror Jones now heads the organization that leads and supports women of African descent. Soror Jones is the Senior Vice President of Global Community Connections for The Coca-Cola Company and Chair of The Coca-Cola Foundation as well. Through the years, she has actively engaged in Sorority activities and supported Delta initiatives. During her acceptance speech, Jones quoted historian John Henrik Clarke who said, “It is what we do today that writes the history of tomorrow.” “Delta Sigma Theta has been writing the history for 100 years,” said Soror Jones. “The National Council of Negro Women has been writing the same kind of history. We must continue to hold the mantle high for all of the women leaders who preceded us. I want to thank Soror Cynthia Butler McIntyre for leading us in such a memorable way, and for humbling me with this award. My sisters, I thank you.” In addition to the moving and enlightening speeches, the Centennial Honors audience was treated to moving musical selections. Students from Washington, D.C.’s Duke Ellington School of the Arts performed, through song and dance, a stirring rendition of “Bridge Over Troubled Water” and a version of “One,” with the lyrics rewritten to pay tribute to the Sorority. Traces of Blue, a jazz ensemble that began at Howard University, also impressed the crowd as the 10 members harmonized and sung a cappella. The evening concluded with performances by special guests, Johnnie Steele and Frédéric Yonnet. “We want to say thank you for all that you have done to educate, involve and inform the world. You, like our Founders, are champions of the cause,” said Soror Butler-McIntyre, leaving the honorees with one final message from the Sorority. “This is just a small way for Delta Sigma Theta to say, on our 100th anniversary, we appreciate you, we love you and we still believe that we get by with a little help from you, our friends.” s Students from Washington, D.C.’s Duke Ellington School of the Arts perform during the Centennial Honors Gala. PHOTO BY DONNAMARIA JONES


SummerJournal2013
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