The Cleveland Stater YouTube Channel Visit us at:

The Cleveland Stater Facebook Page The Cleveland Stater Twitter The Cleveland Stater YouTube Channel


 

Feb. 23, 2015

CSU students attend 26th annual Delta Days at the nation's capital

By Elisabeth Weems

Contributor

Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., congregated in Washington D.C. for the 26th annual Delta Days conference, from Feb. 28 to March 3.

Two of the 228 collegiate attendees were Cleveland State University students, representing the Theta Eta chapter of the sorority. Many others in attendance were from the Cleveland area.

The sorority was founded by 22 collegiate women more than a century ago in January 1913 on Howard University’s campus. At the time, popular social debates concerned widespread lynching and civil rights for blacks and women.

According to Meredith Turner, a Delta Sigma Theta member of eight years, these women had goals superior to being just wives and mothers. This mindset is reflected in their historic and contemporary actions.

Turner currently serves as a Constituent Services Liaison in the office of Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown and received a master’s degree from Cleveland State University.

The private, nonprofit organization is historically African American, but accepts prestigious women of all ethnic backgrounds. It primarily focuses on the development and public service of its members and the community. Today, nearly one quarter of a million women join ranks in sisterhood worldwide.

It is focused on the continual uplift of women and African Americans. Empowerment through communal action is embraced as a strategy. Cleveland State was able to participate in the group’s yearly symposium.

Delta Days is an “annual legislative conference to increase members’ involvement in the national public policy-making process,” according to the sorority’s website, www.deltasigmatheta.org.

“[Delta Sigma Theta] provides a strong example for not just African-American young women, but for women in general,” Turner said.

During the event, members attend collegiate forums and receive briefings on political issues that affect the African American and female communities. They participate in workshops concerning the improvement of advocacy skills.

Delta Sigma Theta prepares social activists and political community leaders to address contemporary and long-standing issues. Its strategy for readiness is called a “Five-Point Program,” that includes economic and educational development, political and international awareness and involvement, and physical and mental health.

In addition, government officials, educators, legislators and other prominent figures give speeches to the women. Typically, attendees also take part in Senate press tours, White House briefings and Congressional Town Hall meetings.

Present this year were Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez, former Attorney General Regina Benjamin and Congresswomen Joyce Beatty and Marcia L. Fudge. The collegiate members have the chance to interact with these national leaders during forums.

“That experience of sitting down and talking to legislators about important things [is] life changing,” said Turner. She explained that the conference provides an opportunity for mutually beneficial mentorships.

Delta Days allows members and leaders to convene and address Delta Sigma Theta’s position in the political and social arenas. They establish ways to further its influential reach and better its members. It is held with high regard in sorority, political and collegiate communities and members of college chapters are a part of a significant group of educated women.