People moving out, People moving in, Why because of the color of their skin, rap on my brother, rap on that’s what the world is today, A Ball of Confusion, Hey Hey!” These lyrics to the 42 year old hit song, by the Temptations were the back drop for the keynote address, which National President of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Cynthia M.A. Butler-McIntyre, presented on March 31 at the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. Pittsburgh Alumnae Chapter 2012 Founder’s Day Celebration; held at the Double Tree Downtown Pittsburgh.
As McIntyre continued sharing the lyrics to that prophetic hit, it was clear that the song could have been referring to today. “This ball has been rolling for 42 years, gaining momentum, and getting bigger!” she said.
In her speech she challenged the Sorors to examine their personal and collective approach to being a part of the solution in containing this “Ball of Confusion.” She urged that they should recognize it as a mission to find a way to stop it, slow it up, or certainly contain it. She challenged them, and offered three points of guidance that could be used to accomplish such a task.
She told them they should use their heads, that their intelligence is without question, use their hearts, stating that from the heart flows the issues of life, and that people respond to what is in the heart of men in a far more serious way, than what is in the purse, or what their degree says about them, and then to use their hands. She said that they must be willing to get their hands dirty, to go back to the communities many had moved out of.
“Touch and connect with the people who ushered you along, and be willing to put in the work it will take to restrain that 42 year old ‘ball of confusion.’”
Her dynamic speech held the audience captivated for all of its 45 minutes.
The program, presided over by Gloria P. Hill, opened with greetings, introductions of the dais, and a proclamation from the office of Councilman Ricky Burgess, from the 9th District.
There followed a musical selection by the Delta Chorale Ensemble, directed by Sherdina Harper. After an invocation by Carolyn Davis, Chapter Chaplain, a sumptuous lunch of salmon and chicken was served.
The theme for the weekend, 99 Years—Lessons in Leadership, reflected the century old organization’s commitment to carry out the vision and mission of its 22 founders who came together in 1939 at Howard University; determined to start a sorority with goals rooted in leadership and service.
The Deltas carry out their mission under the auspices of a Five Point Programmatic Thrust in the areas of Economic Development, Educational development, International Awareness and Involvement, Physical and Mental and Political Awareness and Involvement/Social Action—accordingly. The Pittsburgh Alumnae Chapter offers the following programs: Delta Academy—The Betty Shabazz Academy has the goal of preparing young girls for full participation as leaders in the 21st Century; Delta GEMS (Growing and Empowering Myself Successfully) was created to catch the dreams of African-American at-risk adolescent girls aged (14-18), and provides the framework to actualize their dream.
Visions—is a service program focusing on girls 8-13; they are mentored in bi-weekly sessions in which they are encouraged to develop positive goals, become socially and politically aware, and maintain high academic standards, Jabberwocky; are junior and senior high school girls who participate in a program which displays their talent through drama, dance, and vocal arts;, and the Sojourner House Program, is where the members of the Educational and Physical and Mental Health committee partner with the staff of Sojourner House to provide in-depth life-and social skills workshops for women with children who are in recovery.
There comprehensive slate of programs that also impact the Pittsburgh Community also includes committees on International Awareness and Involvement which spearheads the chapter’s involvement in international affairs, especially as they relate to and affect people of the African Disapora. Additional committees are Delta Shared Treasures, which provides last dollar assistance to families in need such as with electric bills, post holiday expenses, or assistance following emergencies; and P.R.O.M., an acronym for Preparation and Readiness for Outstanding Memories; assists young ladies in getting ready for their prom experience.
Along with an outstanding keynote address, the audience was entertained by a creative dance performance by Aisha Morgan-Lee, owner and operator of the Hill Dance Academy Theater and also a featured performance for the luncheon was a vocal, spoken word, and dance performance from “Significance,” a group comprised of four Deltas, Aisha Guenther, Penda James, Mia Jennings and Lalicia Roman.