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Delta Sisters Celebrate 50th National Convention

Published: August 13, 2010
A sea of red besieged New Orleans as Delta Sigma Theta sisters, including two from The University of Tampa, attended the sorority’s 50th National Convention.

“It gives me a new perspective for this new academic year,” said Ashley Kearney ’12, the newly elected president of UT’s chapter . “The conference theme was about transforming lives and impacting communities. Locally, I want to get involved in social action. We want to reach out to everybody.”

Kearney was joined by Latoya Bowe ’11, the UT chapter vice president, for the July 29-Aug. 4 convention. For Bowe, a biochemistry major, the experience was enlightening.

“I learned a lot about the political system and how to get people involved,” said Bowe, who grew up in the Bahamas. “We were taught how to host better programs and involve others in the community.”

The sorority , which was founded in 1913 by 22 students at Howard University, has grown into a sisterhood of more than 200,000 college educated women, according to the sorority’s website. Despite only having five members at UT, Kearney said she was inspired by what 22 women did for her sorority which has developed worldwide chapters.

“Look what they did,” said Kearney, a sport management major, in retrospect. “We only have five of us on campus, but we can make a difference.”

Kearney said the Deltas focuses on economic and educational development, international awareness and involvement, physical and mental health, and political awareness and involvement.

“We were started by our founders who wanted to work on women’s suffrage,” Kearney said. “Public service is a must. ‘We’re a sisterhood called to serve,’” she added, quoting another theme of the New Orleans convention.

Kearney and Bowe were impressed by the special messages sent to conference attendees from former President Bill Clinton and President Barack Obama. Obama’s message was delivered in person by U.S. Surgeon General and Delta Dr. Regina Benjamin, who is “passionate and compassionate,” Bowe said.

Kearney and Bowe were chosen to participate with the Deltas’ national president, Cynthia Butler-McIntyre, in a tree planting at Xavier University of Louisiana which was televised on the local news.

“We took this trip as an opportunity to grow as leaders and to become informed so that we can better serve not only our organization, but our school and local communities,” Kearney said.

Jamie Pilarczyk, Web Writer
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