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International Women’s Conference Dr. Cole began her closing re- 1. Music was provided by Soror Tony CONTINED FROM PAGE 13 marks sharing the lesson she learned Brown of Chicago Alumnae Chapter. as a child to never say behind some- As part of her address Rev. Dr. Cal- aged them to ask themselves wheth- one’s back what you won’t say to lahan presented an affi (see rmation er it will be better to fi their face. “Affi for the rming Ourselves” below) nd a safe space or someone they can confi “I want to say to the faces of the conference. de in so they can move forward. leadership of Delta Sigma Theta, Soror Candi Mundon King, public Acknowledging that breaking the and mostly to the planning commit- policy specialist for Delta Sigma The- culture of silence and refusing to be tee of this conference…,” she said. ta Sorority’s National Headquarters in bound by secrets is an ongoing life- “I have never, ever, been prouder of Washington, D.C., served as a liaison style change, Dr. Scott encouraged all Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. What for the conference planning commit- of the conference attendees to take we did over the course of these few tee and compiled survey responses time every morning to refl days; in a language, we broke the si- from attendees. “The feedback and ect on the secrets they are holding, and how they lence. We can’t put it back together responses to the survey have been are preventing them from moving for- ever again.” overwhelmingly positive,” she said. ward and living their best lives. The session closed with remarks “Many non-Deltas, especially, have She also explored takeaways from Soror Butler-McIntyre. expressed their appreciation for be- from the conference as it relates to “This has been an awakening for ing able to attend.” having a voice in the political spec- us,” she said. “I want to thank you for Fort Pierce Alumnae Chapter trum. In this election year, she said allowing this conference to change member, Soror LaTanya Clark-Greene, that the voices of black women must your way of thinking, of coping and of had a response to the conference be heard to educate communities dealing with stuff—all of us got some that echoes that of many partici- about voter suppression laws. She stuff.” pants. “The International Women’s also stated that in 2008 black women During the Sunday morning Spiri- Conference has been very inspiring, voted in larger numbers than any tual Activity, Rev. Dr. Leslie Callahan, motivational and informational,” she other racial, ethnic or gender group, pastor of St. Paul’s Baptist Church said. “This conference has allowed but did not receive credit for swing- of Philadelphia, closed the confer- me to refl ect on the purpose and ing the election. ence by delivering the charge to par- meaning of being an African-Ameri- “We want to make certain that ticipants through a moving address can female.” ▲ people know about that,” she said. framed by Song of Solomon, Chapter “Our voices must be heard…We need to make sure that we are putting to- gether a political agenda for 2012 so “Affi rming Ourselves” that after the election, our voices will be heard.” Refrain: Lifting our voices in the wind, with the residue of paradise’s sand Soror Fudge said that is was the clinging to our feet, we say, “Yes.” goal of the conference planning com- mittee for participants to walk away To all the dark girls of the world to stamp out colorism in our minds, knowing that there is no shame in communities, and families Refrain; asking for help. “In our community it’s always To affi rming the humanity and dignity of all peoples, beginning with those been taboo to ask for help,” she said. most marginalized because of color, religion, gender, class, and sexual “So we wanted you to know that orientation and expression Refrain; there is no shame in saying: ‘I am sick To advocacy and peace and nonviolence beginning in our homes and and I need help.’ There is no shame extending to our world Refrain; is saying: ‘I make a lot of money but I am broke and can’t pay my house To taking charge of our fi cult moves nancial health and making the diffi note,’ or ‘Help me to take care of my and decisions that will enable us to accomplish long-term goals, not simply momma as I take care of my children.’ satisfy short-term cravings Refrain; There is no shame in any of that.” She said it was her wish for the To speaking the truth about our own traumas—the ones we have experienced women who gathered to be the very and the ones we have infl icted—to the end that the trauma will cease best them that they can be. Refrain; “I hope that if you don’t take any- thing else away from here,” said Soror To knowing ourselves as not only dark and lovely but also as black and Fudge, “it is that you know that you LOVED! Refrain have the power to change your life.” 77 ▲ JOURNAL Summer 2012


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