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Congresswoman Marcia Fudge Hosts Eighth Annual NPHC Presidents Forum JOURNAL Winter 2017 s63 For the eighth year, Congresswoman Marcia L. Fudge (D-Ohio), 21st National President of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., hosted the National Pan-Hellenic Council Presidents Forum during the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s Annual Legislative Conference Sept. 21, 2017. The forum, held at the U.S. Capitol annually, brings together all the presidents from the nine Black Greek-Letter organizations (also known as the “Divine Nine”) to address the critical issues of the day. This year’s theme was “Using Power to Effect Change.” In her remarks, Soror Fudge called for the NPHC organizations to leverage their individual and collective power to develop out of the box strategies. “I know we’re in a very difficult time in this country, but we’re going to be okay,” said Fudge. “There are some things we can do and must do. We cannot afford to be silent. If there is indeed a ‘talented tenth,’ then we are it.” Before a crowded room, comprised of mostly members of the “Divine Nine,” each president took turns responding to questions on a range of topics from voting and the Affordable Care Act, to criminal justice reform and education. A common thread throughout the discussion was the need for better engagement of millennials within and outside NPHC organizations. It was stated repeatedly that collegiate members need to be pursued and trained for leadership within the organizations they serve. Soror Beverly Smith, National President of Delta Sigma Theta, stated that Delta is actively responding to this critical area through the diverse composition of its 2017-2019 National Board and webinar held for collegiate members on the “dos and don’ts” of protesting. During the forum, members of Congress, who are also members of Black Greek Letter Organizations, showed their support and brought greetings. In her closing remarks, Soror Fudge said she knows everyone is looking to the 2020 elections. But, she reminded everyone of the important U.S. Census that will be taken in 2018. “The Census could change every one of our districts. It is not something to fear. It is something we must do.” Not sure who represents you in Congress? Visit https://whoismyrepresentative. com to obtain contact information for your State Senators and Representatives. s BY LAWANZA SPEARS National President Beverly E. Smith participates in Eighth Annual National Pan-Hellenic Council Presidents Forum during Congressional Black Caucus week Sept. 20, 2017. PHOTO BY BERNADINE WILLIAMS STALLINGS


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