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DREF to Commemorate Golden Anniversary in 2017 32 • Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. By Deborah Peaks Coleman It’s been nearly 50 years since the Delta Research and Educational Foundation (DREF) was established by Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. The year was 1967 and the Grand Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority was in session at the 29th National Conven-tion held in Cincinnati, OH when then national president, Dr. Geraldine P. Woods led the body in establishing DREF as a 501 (c) (3), non-profit organization to support the charitable and education programming of the Sorority. The coming year of 2017 will mark the golden anniversary of DREF and a year-long celebration will be held to commemorate the milestone. DREF President Carolyn E. Lewis said that the celebratory events will include research and educational programming and major fundraising events. The DREF Sister Scholars Advisory Council will lead The Center for Research on African American Women in conducting a research project on gun violence and the impact it has on African American women and their families. The recently launched DREF Diplomat program will engage volunteers in raising funds and promoting the Foun-dation’s mission. “This is a great time and momentous occasion for persons to vol-unteer as DREF Diplomat to support our Foundation, our 50th anniversary…we will be recruiting volunteers throughout the New Year,” stated Soror Lewis. The DREF golden anniversary celebration will culmi-nate with a special entertainment event at the Sorority’s 53rd National Convention in Las Vegas, summer of 2017. DREF Diplomat Program The DREF Diplomat is an indi-vidual (female or male, Delta or non-Delta) committed to the mission and ideas of the Foundation, and who is willing to represent DREF, national-ly and globally, through fund development with a tax deductible commitment of no DREF BOARD OF DIRECTORS: PICTURED (L-R): (seated) Martha L. Scott Stewart, Michelle RhodesBrown, Constance Y. Ross (vice president), Carolyn E. Lewis (president), Leona Bridges (secretary), Patricia W. Lattimore (CEO), and Taylor D. McCain (Delta Sigma Theta’s National Second Vice President); (standing) Johnnie Brooks Booker, Teresa Harman, Pat Hurlock, Dr. Paulette C. Walker (Delta Sigma Theta’s National President), Renee L. Harper, Angela Williams, Anjanette Wyatt, Xavier Richardson, Josie Daniels, Larry Suarez, Nigel Long, Suzanne Brown Peters, Joan M. Prince, Deborah Jones-Buggs, Tchicaya Robertson, and Yanique Moore. PHOTO BY BRYANT SENGHOR less than $1,000 annually. Soror Patricia W. Lattimore, CEO of DREF, explains that the DREF Diplomate may contribute the annual donation from personal funds or raise the funds via direct solicitation of oth-ers. Training, giving incentives and recog-nition will be offered periodically to DREF Diplomats. Persons interested in becoming a DREF Diplomat should contact Soror Lattimore at plattimore@deltafoundation. net or any DREF Board member. The Center Conducts Research on Black Women and Civic Engagement The Sister Scholars Advisory Coun-cil recently conducted a research project, led by Dr. Tchicaya Robertson (DREF Board member) on civic engagement and the Black woman’s vote. The survey was conducted among a national pool of women and men to understand the level of engagement in the election process and their willing-ness to participate in #hashtag activism. DREF President Lewis stated that the research project presented three important findings: 1) the potential for impactful messaging for civic engagement utilizing hashtag campaigns, 2) a high percentage of apathetic low income voters believe their vote really does not matter, and 3) there is a low percentage of African American women who donate to political campaigns. To read the complete report, visit www. deltafoundation.net. The research on Black women and civic engagement is the first of several surveys to be conducted by DREF this fiscal year.


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