Alpha Kappa Alphas Celebrate 30 Years of Service Sigma Tau Omega Chapter – GDN Exclusiveby Cash Michaels, GDN Contributing Writer June 24, 2020
It has been thirty years this month since the Sigma Tau Omega (STO) Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated was chartered in Cary and Western Wake County to “…provide service and solve problems” for the local community.
Chapter President Stephanie Deans Davenport proudly leads “the Sensational Sisterhood…” of service.
“It speaks to our sustainability, that we provide such a great service and are still in existence after thirty years,” Davenport told GDN about the chapter’s longevity.
“It’s just an exciting time for us to celebrate.”
On June 3rd, 1990, Sigma Tau Omega started with 43 members. Today the chapter can boast over 250 members, maintaining and providing various public services to the local community.
“And it has really had an impact,” says Davenport, who has led the chapter since January 2019 for a two-year term.
The Sigma Tau Omega Chapter President says she’s “humbled’ to be in the role and sees herself as a servant leader “and an encourager.”
“It’s a huge responsibility, but I love it,” Ms. Davenport adds, noting the job of being official chapter spokesperson; coordinator of programs; serving, and serving alongside members; and conducting meetings, among other tasks.
“Serving the community and our membership is my main focus,” the Greenville native and NC A&T University alumna says.
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, (STO) was in the community often, promoting good nutrition, scholarships for excelling black and African American high school students, black history in elementary schools, a College Admissions Process workshop, addressing heart disease in women, and more.
But since the pandemic struck, STO has had to go virtual with its community outreach, which includes maintaining support for black businesses, supporting food drives for people in need, and yes, voter civic engagement.
“It’s all through social media campaigns right now,” Davenport says, noting that the chapter is in the process of training members per voter education, registration and mobilization amid new social restrictions.
Pre-coronavirus pandemic, STO would have a huge college fair with HBCU’s in September, where students were registered to vote. What will happen this coming September is not clear.
But there is no question in STO President Stephanie Deans Davenport’s mind that Greek organizations should be involved in the community, and on college campuses, empowering all to vote this coming November.
“North Carolina has [ten] HBCUs, with [two] within Wake County,” she said. “That’s a huge responsibility that we should undertake to [reach] our HBCUs. But, of course with COVID-19…. how long will we be out of commission?
GDN agrees with the STO President and believes that, as goes Greek voters on campuses so goes student turnout. There is a growing belief that Greeks should have a reputation for voter mobilization to add to the other great civic engagement activities that they are known for. The more aware they are that students are being targeted for voter suppression the more they’re committed to voter mobilization.
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