Fifty Years of Delta Majesty

The New Orleans Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. held its annual cotillion at the Hyatt Regency and hailed a milestone: a half-century mark with the title “50 Years of Delta Majesty.”

Turning the pages of time, sorority history reveals that the honor of being a Delta debutante has been bestowed on more than 1,000 young ladies. The most recent honors befell a dozen ones, starting with Queen Select Jasmyne Elondra Bracy, daughter of Mr. Marion B. Bracy and Mrs. Judy Ewell Bracy. She was sponsored by her mother and Mrs. Sylvia Spears and escorted by James Eaglin Jr. Her immediate royal predecessor was Miss Victoria Ashley Stampley, daughter of Mr. Alvarez Stampley Sr. and Dr. Vonda Gaitor-Stampley.

The Princesses Royales to Miss Bracy were Misses Kyra Ellese Azore, daughter of Mr. Thaddeus Martin Azore and Ms. Glenda Ann Spears (her sponsor) and escorted by Rashadd Thomas Phillips; and Miss Quana Ramelle Bourgeois, daughter of Ms. Quatressa Raquel Weary (a sponsor along with Mrs. Rita Burns Weary) and escorted by Kairon Jones.

In addition, there were a pair of princesses: Misses Al’Mita Antoinette Evans, daughter of Mr. Clarence Rhyans and Ms. Tracy Evans, granddaughter of Mrs. Jeanette Jenkins, sponsored by members of the New Orleans Alumnae Chapter, and escorted by Calvin Renard Lunkins; and Jade Nicole Parker, daughter of Mr. Tony Parker and Mrs. Angela Parker, sponsored by Ms. Rhoda Gorman and Mrs. Cheyra Head Jenkins, and escorted by Johnny Fisher Jr.

The debutantes, their parents, sponsors and escorts were Misses Tamia Mariel Dixon — Mr. Tony A. Henderson and Mrs. Toni D. Davis, Mrs. Joyce Colin, and Jerome Herbert Bazile; Na’Jea LaShay Franklin — Mr. Tony Stone and Ms. Shannon Marshall, Ms. Gwendolyn Lewis, and Malik DeVante Smith; Ireiell Domonique Hawkins — Mr. James Chapman and Mrs. Kirsten Chapman, chapter members, and Tyrone Love Jr.; and Claraion Nanci Hill — the Rev. Duane A. Hill Sr. and Mrs. Sharon H. Hill, Mrs. Joy W. Hill, and Charome Chad Williams.

And, Misses Kalen Adia Jackson — Mr. Jacque Jackson and Mrs. Connie Jackson, Mrs. Nikita Drummond Clark, and Kyle Jackson; Perrye Jionne Rollins — Mr. Joseph Clarkton Rollins and Ms. Andrea Collins-Rollins, Ms. Tracey L. Rollins, and Tyler Cinque Frank; and Amara Elizabeth Skinner — Mr. Henry Skinner and Ms. Marcia Cottles-Williams and Dr. Cherylynne Cottles, Mrs. Hester Cottles and the above Ms. Cottles-Williams, and Roijairrian Bowman.

Jabberwock Scholarship Awards were granted to Misses Azore (first place), Bourgeois (second), and Skinner and Jackson (third). Further awards went to Miss Skinner, Most Cooperative Debutante and Miss Congeniality; Mr. Bowman, Most Cooperative Escort; Miss Jackson, Public Service/ Community Service; queen Jasmyne and Miss Hawkins, scholarship recipients; and Mr. Jones, scholarship recipient.

Leslie Howard (attending with son Gerard) answers to chapter president, while serving as officers are Vera Chapman Seals (with husband Leroy), Denise Lucas Foxworth, Nikia M. Dillard, Zolee Joseph Thomas and Trecenia Conerly Lewis. Cynthia Butler McIntyre, the sorority’s 24th national president (and thus, a past president), and Pamela Moore Rogers, Southwest regional director, were accompanied by their husbands, Ronney and Grady. More luminaries were cotillion Chairwoman Nikita Drummond Clark and Vice Chairwomen Lavonzell Rainey Bridges and Danielle L. Stewart.

During the formal program several past cotillion queens re-appeared: Marsha Grady Gonzalez, Tracey L. Braden, Terri Mercadel-Luster, Danielle Lillian Stewart, Charlene Mary Willette Jackson, Keri Briana Crump, and Leianna Seals Bell. Queen Jasmyne will be among their “former” ranks in the future, but for now, she is cherishing her reign and the opportunity to wear the crown for the “50 Years of Delta Majesty.”

‘Selma’ Bonhomie

After the private, sold-out showings (on two screens) of the movie, “Selma,” at the Theatres at Canal Place on the 86th birthday of the late Dr. Martin Luther King, and in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, a reception unfolded in the Plimsoll Club within the Westin New Orleans Canal Place. The host for the film and reception was the Amistad Research Center.

At the reception, which was co-sponsored by Entergy New Orleans, the Vieux Carre-located Tommy’s Flowers provided the arrangements, the Plimsoll Club the food, and Captain Charles the music.

Presentations were made to local civil rights activists Don Hubbard and the late Dr. Rudy Lombard with ARC board President Kim Boyle and Judge Edwin Lombard (brother of Dr. Rudy) making the respective introductions. The hosting forces also asked Jerome Smith, who shared a jail cell with U.S. Rep. John Lewis in the 1960s, to make a few remarks.

In addition to the above, notables included Rod and Madeline Doucet West, Charles and Vonda Rice, Demetric Mercadel, Dr. Norman Francis and son Tim, Sybil Morial, Judge Terri Love and husband Ellria, Dr. Charles and Linda Teamer, Judge Tiffany Chase, and Judge Piper Griffin. Several serve on ARC’s board of directors and all the attendees joined in the celebration of solidarity.

Shelter Socializing and Spirit

The New Orleans Women’s Shelter in the heart of Central City was rocking on a recent Tuesday when the women of Impact 100 presented a $100,000 check to co-founders Dan and Jackie Silverman. More than half of the Impact 100 members were in attendance to celebrate along with residents of the shelter and their children. Folks raised plastic “champagne” flutes filled with bubbly cider while the indie rock band, Tyrone Banks, performed.

An initiative of the Greater New Orleans Foundation, Impact 100 is made up of women who each contribute $1,000 in order to make one transformative $100,000 grant. Of the several significant nonprofits making presentations to request grant money, the New Orleans Women’s Shelter received the most votes. The runners-up, Eden House and the National Association for Mental Illness, each received $12,500.

Mingling were Impact 100’s Peggy Adams, a mother-daughter duo in Ellen and Dorothy Ball, Marta Boudreaux, Vanessa Brown Claiborne, Liza Cowan, Susan Hess, Kim George, Cynthia LeBreton, Pat McIntyre, Margo Phelps, Elonide Semmes, Yvette Semmes, Nan Wallis, Kathy Hebert, Liz Sloss, and Jackie Shreves.

Jackie and Dan Silverman, shelter executive director Dawn Fletcher, and shelter board members Nancy Freeman, Debra Rees, Judge Paulette Irons and Rabbi Robert Loewy were among the many who expressed gratitude for the Impact interest and largesse.