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INTERNATIONAL Awareness & Involvement During Delta Sigma Theta Sorority’s centennial year, the organization built on sisterhood and service, also celebrated another milestone – the 10th anniversary of Delta Sigma Theta having Special Consultative Status as a Non-Governmental Organization for the United Nations. Charged by the National President, Cynthia M. A. Butler-McIntyre, members from around the world gathered at the Hilton New York for the 10th Annual Delta Day at the United Nations on March 8. The organization celebrated “a decade of commitment to global advocacy and protecting the rights of women and girls.” Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. became an NGO on March 27, 2003 under the leadership of the organization’s 22nd National President, Rev. Gwendolyn E. Boyd. Ten years since receiving the credentials from Dr. Hanifa Mezoui, then the UN’s chief NGO secretary in the Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Soror Boyd reflected on the achievement. “Delta Sigma Theta has a long and respected history of being social activists,” said Soror Boyd. “Becoming an NGO was a natural extension of our work for advocacy and justice. This recognition gives Delta Sigma Theta a seat at the table and an opportunity s42 DELTA SIGMA THETA SORORITY, INC. to be involved in critical discussions about public policy and social advocacy especially for women and girls around the world.” According to Soror Boyd, becoming an NGO was no easy task and took years to secure. “It was a very long and meticulous process, but we were glad to complete all the required steps, which garnered us final approval,” recalled Soror Boyd. “The members of the Social Action Commission along with our headquarters staff were faithful to the task of getting everything submitted on time.” Once all the necessary documents were in place, the Sorority was welcomed into the United Nations by Gillian Sorensen, then the assistant secretary-general for external relations, who now serves as a senior advisor to the United Nations Foundation. Sorensen encouraged Delta Sigma Theta to “use your NGO status to monitor the status of women and children in the world and bind together with other NGOs to ensure that the UN honors its commitments.” Ten years later, in its centennial year, the Sorority honored Sorensen for her contributions to empowering women and girls globally. “It is important that, as the first Greek-letter organization to achieve NGO status at the United Nations, we continue to be known as those women who will not rest on our laurels, but continue into our next century of service, to make a difference and follow in the footsteps of our Founders,” said Soror Boyd. Delta Sigma Theta became the first African-American sorority to be granted NGO status. Other organizations such as the National Council of Negro Women, Inc. and The Links, Inc. also have such designation. Continuing with the Sorority’s mission and in tangent with the International Awareness and Involvement thrust of the Sorority, which was established in 1955, Delta Sigma Theta continues to engage in projects and programs that promote positive development of women and girls around the world. A few examples include the Sorority’s investment in a maternity wing in a Kenyan hospital, now known as Mary Help of the Sick Mission Hospital. The wing, which was first established in 1955, services over 200 women a day with pre-natal care, post-natal care and family planning. Also, the Delta House in Swaziland, which was established in 2002, serves children orphaned by the HIV/AIDS pandemic. The center now includes an office complex, church and apartment facilities. s Delta Sigma Theta Celebrates 10 Years as NGO for the United Nations By Joi-Marie Murphy McKenzie


SummerJournal2013
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