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RRegional Conference Highlights CENTRAL REGION ▲ JUNE 30–JULY 3, 2016 ▲ WICHITA, KANSAS Putting “ACTION” back in Social Action Shackleford: “What Have You Done for Others Lately?” 12 • Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. By Glenise A. Cloudy and Rita Holmes-Bobo Central Region Social Action Commission Coordinator Louise Wilkerson, opened the Central Regional Confer-ence Social Action Luncheon at the Century II Convention Center in Wichita, Kansas on July 2 by declaring: “Social action is the backbone of our Sorority.” Soror Wilkerson and Central Regional Representative Taylor Ashley delivered a warm welcome and assured attendees they would be inspired by the Honorable Lottie H. Shackelford, executive vice president, Global USA, Inc. and Little Rock Alumnae Chapter member. Central Regional Director Billie Coachman, who attended college with Soror Shackelford’s sister, introduced the luncheon speaker by sharing personal stories of the kindness and hospitality she received while visiting the Shackelford’s in Little Rock during college breaks. Soror Coach-man also described Shackelford as an active local and national member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated, and the recip-ient of the Mary Church Terrell Award, the Sorority’s highest recognition for service. In addition to her outstanding service to Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Soror Shackelford has been a history maker and trailblazer throughout her career. For exam-ple, she is the first woman elected mayor of Little Rock, Arkansas; holds the longest tenure as vice chair of the Democratic National Committee; successfully navigat-ed a political career for three decades; and is known for her expertise in the areas of international trade and economic develop-ment. Soror Shackelford graduated with honors from Philander Smith College with a degree in business administration and was a senior fellow at the Arkansas Institute of Politics and Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. Soror Shackelford began her remarks with a reminder of how lives were dramat-ically changed by the 1980s, which includ-ed big hair, big shoulder pads, leg warmers, cheap gas and new technologies such as personal computers and cell phones. While Michael Jackson and Madonna ruled the pop charts during that time period, there was another Jackson on the scene: Janet Jackson, with a song that asked: “What have you done for me lately?” She suggested that the current decade encourages thinking inwardly rather than thinking about doing for others. “While we are busy taking selfies and posting them on social media, our city, country and the world is in peril,” said Soror Shackelford. She pondered if Ms. Jackson’s question should be turned around to ask, “What have you done for others lately?” Soror Shackelford declared, “Now is not the time to take the perfect selfie. It is time to take the gaze off ourselves.” “We have been called to take action and we must understand our roles and re-sponsibilities to our communities, not only as Deltas, but also as concerned citizens,” she said. Soror Shackelford said action includes getting to know community leaders such as school superintendents and teachers; attending PTA and other community meet-ings; and being present when the mayor gives his/her state of the city speech. She said our ancestors are counting on us to continue the fight in areas such as affordable health care, the Voting Rights Act and issues related to mental health. She said the question of what have you done for me lately is really a question about caring for others. The Honorable Lottie Shackelford, executive vice president of Global USA, Inc., served as the keynote speaker during the Central Re-gion’s Social Action Luncheon July 2, 2016. PHOTO BY KATRINA KERR CONTINUED ON PAGE 31


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