Submitted by Natasha Taylor Smith, Kim Brawner and Sediah Kelt
On Nov. 17, 2022, the Philadelphia Alumnae Chapter’s Delta Academy kicked off its sorority year of programming at the Mastery Charter School- Pickett Campus. Prior to the start of the event, sorors and other volunteers welcomed the young ladies with a “Your Vote is Your
Voice” exercise that demonstrated the importance of voting by allowing them the vote for their choice of continental breakfast. The participants were able to enjoy the fruits of the votes they cast as they were greeted by an array of bagels and fruit based on the majority vote.
Next up, keeping the three basic principles (sisterhood, public service, and scholarship) at the heart of the chapter’s first session, the morning kicked off with a black history lesson on the life and legacy of Dr. Betty Shabbazz, for whom the Academy is named. The young women were educated about Dr. Shabazz’s childhood experiences with witnessing the power of boycotts to her time at Tuskeegee University and ultimately her active role in the movement for civil rights for all Americans.
After an engaging discussion of the accomplishments of Dr. Shabbazz, the young ladies and leaders went around the room describing themselves using words that began with the same first letter as their given names. The group was introduced to young women who
described themselves as everything from Assertive Akofa to Kind Khyla.
Moving into the sisterhood portion of the morning, after breaking down barriers, the sorors and volunteers challenged the young ladies to an old-school dance battle. The dance battle set to Beyonce’s “Cuff it” song stimulated collaboration and creativity as each of the young
ladies brought their own talents to a 90-second dance routine that included gymnastics, smooth coordinated dance moves, and hype women in the background to excite the crowd. In the end, the old school vs. new school dance battle concluded in a tie with the sorors and volunteers excelling in precision and the participants dazzling the judges with their inventiveness.
After the “dance off,” sorors and volunteers moved the young ladies toward the public service portion of the morning. As a part of the Chapter’s 95th Anniversary, each committee has created programming to benefit Turning Lifepoint, a fledgling transitional housing
project for women with their children. The young ladies participated in a “build a bear” type activity, where teddy bears were decorated to be donated to the children at Life Turning Point. After decorating the bears with ribbons, tulle, and jewels, the young ladies wrote messages of encouragement to the children set to receive their bears.
The young ladies left on a high as they prepared the space to leave for the month. Each one completed an evaluation of the day’s events as one young lady remarked “I thought this was going to be like school, but it was so much fun,” and another lamented, “We have to wait
until next month to come back.”