Articles2024-03-14T04:24:35-04:00

Melbourne-Palm Bay Alumnae Chapter Hosts Black Heritage Calendar Fest 2024

 

 

by Soror Ava Guy

Have you ever heard of Madame C. J. Walker?  What about Kwanzaa’s precepts?  Do you know who founded Melbourne, Florida?  Or what a hot iron and heater looked like?  All this Black history information was on display at the twenty-second annual Black History Calendar Fest sponsored by Melbourne-Palm Bay Alumnae Chapter.   The chapter, chartered in 1989, is part of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated. The legacy event, featuring a revamped afternoon festival format this year, was held at the Eau Gallie Civic Center, on Saturday, February 3, 2024.  Over 300 guests, many garbed in traditional African attire, were on hand for the festival.

The theme this year, “Black History Cannot Be Erased,” aligns with Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. Five-Point Programmatic Thrust, two areas of which are Social Action and Educational Development—highlighting issues and providing solutions for problems in the communities served. The festival, conceived by Mrs. Sandra Pelham and coordinated this year by the chapter’s Arts and Letters Commission, presented guests with a wealth of Black history information.  Displays ran the gamut from Kwanzaa to sports heroes like Michael Jordan, to artists such as Misty Copeland, to Black American inventions such as the hot iron. Writers such as Alice Walker, who wrote The Color Purple, and educator, founder of Bethune Cookman University, and presidential advisor Mary McLeod Bethune, were part and parcel of the displays.  Melbourne-Palm Bay Alumnae chapter members fulfilled the role of “griots”—traditional African purveyors of history and culture—as they explained the significance of each display, bringing each display to life.

Stephanie Showers, magnificent in her role as emcee of the program, introduced each of the wide range of different aspects of local Black performance art.  The Levy sisters led the audience in a three-part-harmony-rendition of “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” the Black National Anthem written in 1900 by James Weldon Johnson.  The Palm Bay Magnet High School Pirate Divas wowed the audience with a modern dance performance. Ms. Marcia Bentley’s creative and audience friendly “Living Wax Museum,” where audience members were instructed to “push the button” on the performer dressed in character as a legendary Black American to enable him to speak his/her life story, captivated the audience.  Trenton and Triston Washington staged fantastically realistic performances as Charles Drew and Muhammad Ali, respectively. Christina Byrd and Roberta Glover performed original musical solos.  A highlight of the program was the Club Esteem Performing Arts Group, a multi-age group that signed in American Sign Language to well-known songs.  The program was capped off with a video of Melbourne, Florida’s founding, “Moving History:  Saving Our Past for Our Future.”

According to Ms. Enid Roberts and Ms. Stephanie Showers, Arts and Letters Commission members from Melbourne-Palm Bay Alumnae Chapter who served as chairpersons of the festival, “This year’s Black History Calendar Fest was structured to highlight the importance of preserving Black American history and culture in today’s world.  America cannot afford to allow Black American history to be erased.  It is too important a part of the fiber of America.”

Operation Laundry Love

 

 

Chapter members volunteered to make the Laundry Love Random Acts of Kindness Event filled with joy, excitement and lots of love during the MPBAC Chaplains Corner first Operation Laundry Love Random Acts of Kindness Event on Saturday, April 2, 2022 at Clean Laundry. Customers were given free laundry supplies thanks to donations from chapter members.

The Laundromat Attendants, Nicole and Haylie, were available to help make the event successful for the customers. 

 

Adopt-a-Road

On Saturday, March 26, members of the Melbourne-Palm Bay Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. gathered to do what Delta has dedicated itself to since its founding in 1913: public service. Public/community service initiatives form the core of Delta’s Five-Point Programmatic Thrust, and to realize its mission, Delta provides an extensive array of public service initiatives from which chapters can choose. The sorors of MPBAC, led by project chair TaKarra Brown, walked and collected trash along a one-mile stretch of Florida Avenue in Melbourne as part of the city’s Adopt-a-Road Program. This program provides an opportunity for individuals, businesses, clubs, and other organizations to beautify stretches of city-maintained roads at least four times per year. This volunteerism opportunity provided the perfect public/community service opportunity for the Melbourne-Palm Bay Alumnae Chapter, which has continued to distinguish itself in south-central Brevard County as a leader in community activism since it was chartered in 1989. Public/community service is what Delta and the sorors of MPBAC are all about.

Technology All-Star 

Congratulations Soror Consuela Smith

Women of Color (WOC) in Technology in STEM Conference Award – Technology All-Star.

Technology All-Stars are accomplished women of color from mid-level to advanced stages of her career (with over 15 years in the workforce) that have demonstrated excellence in the workplace and in their communities. They were honored at a special recognition event during the Women of Color STEM Conference in October 2021. 

World AIDS Day

Top Volunteer of the Year

Northrop Grumman’s African American Task Group recognized Soror Lori Hickman as a Subject Matter Expert in providing guidance and leadership while supporting implementation of updates and training. In 2017 and again in 2020 Lori won Top Volunteer of the Year for her community service and volunteering over 1,000 hours in her community.

For over 13 years, Lori has been involved in many community outreach organizations to promote STEM… She teaches hands-on STEM learning to at-risk and underserved youth within her community, and in 2018 successfully started her own educational development program; Rising Star Leadership. As a professional in the Aerospace Industry and woman of color, she is setting an example for students to achieve their goals and career aspirations.

Four years ago, Lori launched the Sea Perch program in collaboration with the Melbourne Palm Bay Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta, Inc. and Northrop Grumman. The SeaPerch program teaches engineering and design skills by providing students with kits and instructions to build their own underwater remotely operated vehicle. The SeaPerch Program has engaged predominately students. In 2019 the middle school team won 1ST Place in the Tidewater SeaPerch Middle School Challenge. In 2020 Lori introduced and facilitated the VEX IQ program at an after school community center. This program, sponsored by the Robotic Education & Competition Foundation (REC) and Northrop Grumman Foundation, to increase student interest and improvement in STEM and STEAM. In response to COVID-19, Lori’s STEM efforts have been modified to use a Virtual Robotics training model.

Go Team Hickman!

Delta GEMS. Delta Academy  SeaPerch Competition

 

Melbourne- Palm Bay Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Incorporated members, Mrs. Lori Hickman and Ms. Marcia Bentley teamed up with Roger Hickman, Retired Navy Chief, to provide Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math (STEAM) initiatives to the Dr. Betty Shabazz Delta Academy and Dr. Jeanne Noble Delta GEMS youth programs. Eleven young ladies representing nine schools, West Shore Jr/ Sr High School, Holy Trinity Episcopal Academy, Pineapple Grove Classical Academy, West Melbourne School of Science, Southwest Middle School, Central Middle School, South Area Alternative Learning Center, Imagine Elementary and Bayside High School, attended The Space Coast Fab Lab in Palm Bay to place the final touches on their project before they traveled as three teams to compete in the U.S. Navy’s Sea Perch Regional competition held April 8 at Cecil Field Aquatic Center Jacksonville, Fl.

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