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Summit participants received a history lesson on the evolution of hazing. The overview highlighted the unlawfulness of hazing activities that now permeate American society from social and fraternal organizations, organized sports and society in general. Also providing words of wisdom were Past National Presidents: Dr. Thelma T. Dailey, 16th National President; Dr. Louise A. Rice, 23rd National President; and Soror Cynthia M.A. Butler-McIntyre, 24th National President. The Summit’s highly anticipated mock trial had participants hanging on every word. The Sorority’s legal counsel, Soror Devarieste Curry, Esq., represented DST in the true-to-life trial. Soror Andrea Thom-as, Esq., member of Henry County (GA) Alumnae Chapter, served as the plaintiff ’s counsel. The Honorable Betty Sanders (Ret.), member of the Greenwood-Itta Bena (MS) Alumnae Chapter, served as the judge. “What made the mock trial excel-lent was its realism,” said Soror Deborah Stapleton, member of the Central Jersey Alumnae Chapter. “From the opening to the swearing-in of the jury followed by the questioning and instructing of the jury, to the removal of jurors for cause and the opening statements, the mock trial was on point and realistic. I am so glad that Attor-ney Curry represents Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.” 4 • Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. Soror Tia Clark of the Mu Iota Chapter thought the mock trial “presented insight on the efforts of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority to ensure that all are aware of its anti-hazing policies. Chapters are obligated to follow the organization’s policies and not heed to any traditions they have created. Participation in those traditions is in direct opposition to the policies of the organiza-tion.” “In the future, the task force will con-tinue to implement its programs including: launching its legal primer, which will equip all members with a deeper understanding of the legal ramifications and consequences of hazing; and they are developing a toolkit for members to use in creating hazing prevention programs in their chapters and regions,” said Soror Sandra “Jaribu” Hill, co-chair of the Hazing Prevention Task Force. It was clear that the Summit made a lasting impact on all who attended. “The first Hazing Summit was extremely engag-ing, enlightening and thought provoking,” said Soror Danita Wimbush, member of the Southfield Alumnae Chapter, “Shed-ding light on hazing in an open setting with the plan to reduce hazing via total accountability starting with the “woman in the mirror” is to be applauded!” Soror Tiyanna Lords, collegiate member of Nu Mu Chapter shared the enthusiasm of most when she stated, “The speakers were amazing! Every presentation expressed the tension and perils of hazing.” “Hazing begins well before the college years,” said Soror Barbara Spell, member of Bennettsville-Cheraw Alumnae. “The research needs to be shared not at the high school level, but at the middle school level. As an educator, I see the implications and we must go back and educate now to help eradicate this horrific process.” Joyce Staples of Martinsville Alumnae Chapter explained “Prior to this summit, I had a very naïve view of hazing and its ramifications. Now, I am more cognizant of what hazing is and the consequences of this mental disease. I better understand the legal, physical and mental issues this mentality produces. Yes, I agree to serve as an ambassador to stand against hazing.” At the conclusion of the conference, Soror McIntyre charged the participants to be active members in the “Delta Red Army” and break the chains of hazing when she said, “Are you ready, sorors? We are a force to be reckoned with – by sea, we are like the Navy; by air, we are like an Air Force; by land, we are like an Army - Rising Up!” “Delta will continue to hold hazing prevention forums to ensure that our beloved Sorority and sisterhood will no longer experience issues of hazing,” stressed Dr. Walker after swearing-in the entire body of participants as “Anti-Hazing Am-bassadors.” “Hazing goes against the very fabric of our core principles.” During the weekend, members were encouraged to use hashtags “STOPHazing” and “DST1913” when posting on social media to report on summit activities for members who were unable to participate. Members were given the opportunity to show additional support of the summit and the battle against hazing with the purchase of a Hazing Prevention ad. Members joined the movement of the Delta Red Army by selecting one of the ad designs, then uploaded a photo of individuals, chapters, line sisters or committees for a payment of $50. Members still have the opportunity to purchase an ad at www.ads. dstonline.org. Ads will be used over Delta’s media platforms and during the upcoming 53rd National Convention in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Honorable Betty Sanders, member, Greenwood-Itta Bena Alumnae Chapter, serving as judge during the Hazing Summit’s mock trial. PHOTO BY LISA SEABROOKS


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