Submitted by Nicole Duncan-Smith
The flyer said, “The Deltas are coming to Tompkins Avenue,” taking over the Tompkins Ave Merchant Associations’ weekly summer festival to promote economic development on that strip of nearly 30 businesses.
On Sunday, June 25, organizers sought to celebrate the Brooklyn Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., which has been a stakeholder in Kings County for 74 years, for their outstanding contribution to the betterment of the community.
However, in true Delta style, sorors took a treasured honor and transformed it into a service extravaganza.
By working with community partners at TAMA, the Bridge Street Development Corporation (BSDC), Good People NYC, and more, the chapter shut down an entire street to showcase four of its 20 working committees: Black College Fair, Economic Development, Political Awareness and Involvement, and Physical & Mental Health.
TAMA estimated that more than 1,000 people visited the section, including a stage, DJ booth, tables, and a step-and-repeat.
While the DJ played music from 2 to 6 p.m., the chapter’s resident movement facilitator, Soror Genia Morgan, got people’s heart rates up, with her Hip-Hop inspired aerobics lesson.
One soror, Aisha Greene, engaged her family by getting her two daughters and husband to donate homemade lemonade to share with our guests.
Tables had everything from voters’ registration applications to information about homeownership. Chapter representatives even gave out information about historically Black colleges and universities and had Delta doctors on hand to answer basic questions about healthy lifestyle choices and the work the sorority does to encourage total wellness: Mind, Body, Soul.
And while the community wanted to celebrate the work of the second oldest alumnae chapter in New York City, the chapter chose to honor a star in their midst.
The chapter presented Soror Oma S. Hollaway with a Certificate of Excellence.
Soror Hollaway, the Chief Operating Officer for the BSDC, is a titan. Over the last eight years, programs like the company’s Opportunity Youth, Work Learn Grow and MYBASE in-school programs have been taken to new heights.
She has managed BSDC’s commercial revitalization and youth workforce development portfolio, completed a comprehensive Commercial District Needs Assessment, and provided technical assistance to small business owners.
Soror Hollaway has also secured more than 600 paid internships annually for young adults to support local businesses and nonprofit organizations.
While many politicians such as Assemblywoman Stephanie Zimmerman were present, Chapter President Kenya C. Johnson, 1st Vice President Sharon Marshall Taylor, and Immediate Past 1st Vice President Germaine R. Walker presented the award to her.
Also in attendance were the historic Bedford-Stuyvesant Restoration Director of Event Services, Marlon Rice, Soror Jamila Wright, the owner of Brooklyn Tea, and Soror Tremaine Wright, the Chairwoman of the New York State Cannabis Control Board. Neither of the sorors was in their official capacities, but in full Delta mode helping to facilitate the fun.
They joined the 25 sorors that served during the chapter’s Brooklyn Delta Day.