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53rd National Convention C O V E R A G E A H U M B L I N G E X P E R I E N C E : Honorary Member Patience Stephens Is Ready to Continue Working for Delta Dr. Patience Stephens had little idea what lay ahead of her the morning of August 5. The international development expert and renowned advocate for gender equality and women’s empowerment at the United Nations seldom works without a clear roadmap to guide her work. However, on this day – the day she would be initiated as an Honorary Member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. during the 53rd National Convention in Las Vegas – Stephens knew few details and felt a mix of emotions. “I had no idea what to expect or how uplifting and yet humbling this experience would be for me. When I entered the hall and was escorted down the long red carpet with thousands of sorors in a sea of white, I was deeply touched and felt an immense sense of humility,” Soror Stephens said. “This was such a great honor, but humility is really what I was feeling deep inside as I stood there being acknowledged and received by National President Paulette Walker, whom I had always admired for her energy and exemplary leadership of Delta.” For several years, in addition to her day-to-day work at the United Nations, Soror Stephens worked closely BY MONICA LEWIS-WILBORN with sorors on the annual Delta Day at the United Nations in New York. Her engagement with Delta began in 2009 when she was the special assistant s18 DELTA SIGMA THETA SORORITY, INC. to the United Nations Assistant Secretary-General responsible for gender equality and advancement of women. She became a regular panelist at Delta Day during her tenure as the director of intergovernmental support and, more recently, as special advisor on education at the U.N.’s Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women). As to the future, Soror Stephens looks forward to closer engagement with future Delta Days and to supporting and championing Delta’s work to empower women and girls. Soror Stephens, who earned a doctoral degree in demography from the University of Pennsylvania, has had a 30- year international development career working across sectors at the World Bank and the United Nations and looks forward to applying her expertise, passion and energy to the work of Delta. “I commit to supporting Delta to expand and deepen its work on women and girls and to shine a more intense and focused light on challenges societies have endured for too long and that must be redressed,” Soror Stephens said. “I also hope to use the platform of my honorary membership to advocate for and give messages of empowerment and encouragement to women and other audiences everywhere.” s Newly initiated Honorary Member, Dr. Patience Stephens, with Dr. Paulette C. Walker, National President, following Opening Ceremony and her initiation into the Sorority at the 53rd National Convention Aug. 5. PHOTO BY SHARON FARMER


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