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Sisterhood and Legends Celebration ‘Celebrating Lives of Perseverance, Power, and Peace’ By Dr. Francesca Armmer

Perseverance: A Journey Down Memory Lane

Three years ago, March 2019, the Women of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., Peoria Alumnae Chapter, were approaching the celebration of our Fourth Annual Sisterhood and Legends Luncheon. It was a luncheon at that time. Our sister sororities, Alpha Kappa Alpha, Inc., Sigma Gamma Rho, Inc., and Zeta Phi Beta, Inc., had joined us in this wonderful celebration. As we recognized our Legends, our joy and admiration for these Legendary Women filled the hall of George Washington Carver Community Center. We had no idea that in the upcoming months our nation, our state, our city, our friends and family would be in the grips of a pandemic the likes of which we had never seen in our lifetime. We were faced with the development of behaviors previously unfamiliar to us: wearing special masks, social distancing, gloves, limiting our travel. Not only were our actions and economics challenged, but our emotional health and our mental energies were attacked. How would we make it?

This March 2022 Sisterhood and Legends Celebration is especially exemplary of honorees who continue to be role models of “Perseverance”. Not only have their histories reflected a perseverance through this most recent pandemic, but their life journeys reflect of perseverance.

Perhaps what is divinely significant about the Sisterhood and Legends vision from the Women of

Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., is the “Hall of Fame” of Legends that have been honored. As

our Peoria Community addresses the challenges facing us, our strength continues to be enhanced

by these humble, kind, brilliant women who have made the daily decision to Persevere.

Power: 2020 Celebrated in 2021

In the midst of some of the overwhelming days of this pandemic, the Women of Delta Sigma

Theta Sorority, Inc., maintained an unwavering commitment to celebrate the perseverance and

power of women within the Peoria Community. While being aware of the limitations of interaction and the potential challenges of technology, a decision was made to invite our sister sororities to recognize our Legends. These honorees were selected in 2020 and then recognized in a virtual program in 2021. Again, a wondrous theme of “power through time” was reflected in these honorees. A power that did not need to shout to be effective; a power that consistently has been foundational to serving the needs of the underserved in our community, and a power divinely inspired by their faith. In 2021, the Sisterhood and Legends Honorees were: MARCIA BOLDEN, YVONNE BOOTH, SHERNEKA CAGLE, ESSIE ELLIS, GLORIA MEACHEM, and EVELYN STAFFORD!

We continue to thank you, Sisters, for the Power you continue to display!

Peace: With a Foundation of Love in 2022

On March 26, 2022, our Sisterhood and Legends Celebration aired on social media. There was a

kinship of community service and activism expressed as leaders from each of our sister sororities

shared highlights of current and upcoming activities and projects. The Women of Delta Sigma

Theta, Alpha Kappa Alpha, Sigma Gamma Rho, and Zeta Phi Beta-each Incorporated Sororities expressed a common spirit of service, justice, equity, and peace. The 2022 Sisterhood and Legends Honorees represent a blend of boldness, determination, and peace. It is a peace that will never be passive but will always seek the best for and in others.

Our 2022 Sisterhood and Legends Honorees are: PAM ADAMS, LAVEINE BIRDITT, CRISTEN GREER, CONSTANCE JACKSON, DENISE JACKSON, SHALESSE PIE, and KATINA WALTON.

The lives of all of the women who have been recognized within our Sisterhood and Legends

Luncheons and Sisterhood and Legends Celebrations share an ever-present common denominator

of Love. Love for their Lord, Love for their Families, and Love for their Community! The diversity of the Women as individuals mirrors the diversity of the needs they have addressed.

Legends, We thank you!

In her poem, “Love Is” Soror Nikki Giovanni penned these words:

Some people don’t remember that

love is

listening and laughing and asking

questions

no matter what your age

Few recognize that love is

commitment, responsibility

no fun at all

unless

Love is

You and me