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Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. Host 4th Annual Prayer Breakfast- “It’s Your Season”

Julie Wilson (San Bernardino Riverside Area Alumnae Chapter President), Keynote Speaker Bishop Johnny R. Withers, Jr., Charlotte Wither (San Bernardino Riverside Area Alumnae Chapter Member) , and Rafaela King, (1st Vice President/Membership Chair)

Julie Wilson (San Bernardino Riverside Area Alumnae Chapter President), Keynote Speaker Bishop Johnny R. Withers, Jr., Charlotte Wither (San Bernardino Riverside Area Alumnae Chapter Member) , and Rafaela King, (1st Vice President/Membership Chair)

By Angela M. Coggs

On Saturday, October 14, the San Bernardino Riverside Area Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. held their 4th Annual Prayer Breakfast at the Doubletree by Hilton in San Bernardino from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. This year’s theme was, “Breakthrough and Turn Around. It’s Your Season.” The keynote speaker was Bishop Johnny R. Withers, Jr., who founded and organized Unity Christian Fellowship on January 1, 1999, a non- denominational church, located in Compton, California.

The event began on time with an enthusiastic Call to Worship by Yolanda “Angel” Cohill. The room was filled with members from the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., friends, family, and members of other fraternities and sororities. For the Praise and Worship at the beginning of the morning, Jenny Kimball belted out a beautiful rendition of the gospel song, “Great and Mighty.” She was accompanied on piano/organ by Upland High School senior, Bennett Paysinger, Jr. who played way beyond his young age. Their combined talent was a breath of fresh air in an otherwise well air conditioned banquet room. An unassuming passerby would have thought they had just walked into a gospel choir at a crowed church.

Julie Wilson, President of the San Bernardino Riverside Area Alumnae Chapter, who will have celebrated their 60th anniversary in 2019, greeted the attendees with a warm welcome and an provided a brief introduction of the history of Delta Sigma Theta, Inc. The sorority began on January 13, 1913 on the campus of Howard University by 22 brave and motivated African-American women. In realizing its mission, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. provides an extensive array of public service initiatives through its Five-Point Program Thrust of Economic Development, Educational Development, International Awareness and Involvement, Physical and Mental Health, and Political Awareness and Involvement.

When the opportunity to arose for Bishop Wilthers, Jr. to preach at the Prayer Breakfast on the theme of “Breakthrough and Turn Around. It’s Your Season,” he was elated. With a hopeful spirit, a steady vision, and a persistent faith, he was reminded the attentive audience to pursue God’s plans for one’s life. “I began to think about how in life we have the various seasons we go into. I understood it was a need for us to realize that God still has the ability to change a situation. Even if the season was a bad one, it can turn into a good one.” Perception is key. Withers continued, “The turnaround in that whole theme speaks to the fact that you may be in the season for now but you won’t be there for long. Changes happen so swiftly without you even knowing it.”

Withers challenged the room, filled with crimson and cream, to turn to their neighbors to and say, “My situation….can change.” His message focused on the need for a change to take place and to move away from situations that lacks growth and productivity. He further added, “God puts you ‘in the middle of the desert’ because He knows you have enough strength to work yourself out of it.” Adding that one must hold true to their faith and believe. “You know you are anointed by some of the things you had to go through.”

By the response occasional shouts of “amen” in the banquet room, his message seemed resonate with the attendees on a deep and personal level. Wither’s urged, “Be careful when you take a secular approach to a sanctified assignment.” He ended by encouraging the audience to take their hobby and turn it into a resource. 

San Bernardino Riverside Area Alumnae Chapter member, Eleanor Clark-Thomas read a prayer, The Lord’s Prayer, which she indicated was given to her memorize by her mother/aunt when she was a youth. She learned it as a youth in the past but jokingly stated she wasn’t going to attempt to try it. She affectionately relied on her written script. 

There was an amazing Mime Presentation portrayed by Maurice Piggue. His well-executed interpretative performance was deep and rich with an emotional and spiritual message. It was the perfect platform for translating the theme of the event. The recent California State University at Northridge graduate started mime dancing at church when he was a preteen. His performance received a well-deserved standing ovation.

The prayer for the nation and community was presented by Jennifer Barb, who eloquently reminded the attendees about the horrendous state of the nation today. She spoke about the senseless activities of the current president of the United States including the four failed attempts to dismantle Obama Care, constantly tweeting negative commentaries about anyone who disagrees with him or his proposed ideology, referring to the North Korean leader as “Rocket Man” and threatening potential war, firing nine government officials, a proposed tax break that would only benefit the top 1%-2% of the population, and most recently refusing to send aid to the hurricane ravished island of Puerto Rico etc. She quoted 2 Chronicles 7:14, “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” We must pray for this president because “prayers changes things.” 

 “The event was well supported. We had a fantastic preacher. He delivered the message about how God could change one’s situation at any time,” said Julie Wilson, President of the San Bernardino Riverside Area Alumnae Chapter. “It was so timely given what many people are going through.” She was overjoyed with the large turnout of community members in addition to members from the sorority. “Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. was founded on Christian principles, what better way to honor that foundation but to have a prayer breakfast. We host this event every year and we invite the public to attend, and come out and be blessed.”

The event ended with another inspirational performance from Kimball entitled, “Our God.” The attendees held hands and rejoiced in the message they received from Bishop Withers. A resounding echo filled the room, “It’s my season” after the presenters were presented with a token of appreciation for sharing their spirit, talent and time.

Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated was founded by 22 undergraduate students on the campus of Howard University, in Washington DC, on January 13, 1913.

Breast Cancer Survivor Earns Three Associates Degrees from San Bernardino Valley College, Maintains 4.0 GPA

SAN BERNARDINO, CA- Anyone who has met Rhonda Crayton will tell you she is a warrior.

This 40-year-old mother of two from San Bernardino is known across the San Bernardino Valley College campus for her infectious smile and positive attitude, which she credits with helping in her fight against cancer.

In 2014, Crayton was diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer, and immediately started chemotherapy and radiation. Her oncologist told her she wasn’t allowed to work while undergoing treatment, but she did not want to sit at home, depressed. “I said, ‘If you don’t let me go to school, it will make it worse,’ so he said I could go, but if I got sick I had to stop,” Crayton said. “I prayed about it, and asked God to cover me and let me go to school. This is now my sixth semester, and I have straight As.”

Crayton, who already has her BA in criminology, will earn her AA in human services, communication studies, and liberal arts, plus a certificate in case management this fall.

Her doctor gave her permission to return to work in October, and Crayton?—?mom to Jasmine, 24, and Tiffany, 20?—?is now also involved in SBVC’s EOPS program, SBVC’s Honor Society, and her church. After she graduates this fall, Crayton would like to work at a high school or college as a counselor, helping young adults who need support and guidance.

“They need to know there is someone out there rooting for them, telling them ‘you can do this,’” she said. “I may also go back into law enforcement, as a probation officer, to help at-risk teens.”

Wherever she goes, Crayton takes with her the message that whatever curveball life throws at you, you should never give up.

“You never know what your purpose is, so I use my story to teach other people that you may think you have it bad, but someone has it worse,” she said. “I always say that if you have cancer, it does not have to be a death sentence. I am still here. You should stay positive, and whatever your faith may be, find something to believe in. I was determined not to give up, not to let the cancer win, and that’s what I tell people?—?I have cancer, it does not have me. You can do anything if you set your mind to it.”

A Civil Rights Leader, Underrated: Rev. Jesse Jackson

By Linden Beckford Jr.

Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr. is a man who needs to be recognized as a Civil Rights Warrior. They say that you can judge a man by his track record. It can never be said that Rev. Jackson has not put in much work. Not only has he put in work, he continues to be putting in work in 2017.

As a young man, Jackson stood for his rights and dignity in the early 1960’s. This was while he was an undergraduate student at North Carolina AT&T University. His activism in the movement goes back to this time. He is truly a man who has earned his stripes!

It is a fact that we all are all a sum of our life experiences. With that said, Jim Crow in South Carolina during the youth of Rev.Jackson as well as his first year at University of Illinois, shaped and molded him. He comes from the generation of Stokely Carmichael, Huey P.Newton, Ray “Masai”Hewitt, Alprentice “Bunchy” Carter and Muhammad Ali.

One of things that makes Rev. Jackson stand out is that he was able to represent the bridge between traditional Afro-American culture and the rising militants of the 1960’s. We tend to overlook Rev. Jackson’s participation in the Selma to Montgomery marches. The documentary “Eyes on The Prize” as well as the movie “Selma” do not show Rev. Jesse Jackson!

It is disturbing to see how the younger generation is being brainwashed to believe that Rev. Jesse Jackson is an “ambulance chaser” when it comes to injustices in the Black community. I beg your pardon!! Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. selected Rev. Jackson to head the Chicago branch of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference’s (SCLC) economic arm, Operation Breadbasket.

As time progressed, Rev.Jackson’s chant, “I Am Somebody,” was in concert with Dr. King’s declaration “Black Is Beautiful.” Anyone who suggests that Dr. King was not preaching Blackness is ill informed. Jackson would sport a big Afro and sport a colorful dashiki. He would clearly exhibit how unapologetically Afro-American he is. This is something that present day haters do not get! His running for the President during the 1980’s opened the door for Barack Obama. Therefore, without Rev. Jesse Jackson, there would have been no President Barack Obama!

Let us not forget, Rev. Jackson having Africa on the brain. He was involved in the Anti-Apartheid Movement during the 1980’s and was very influential in having Blacks in North America referring to ourselves as African-Americans. That was a positive move. Do not pay attention to the naysayer/reactionary elements!

Rev. Jackson has demonstrated that he is “No Coward Soldier”. There is no doubt that when the “Great Getting’ Up Morning” comes, the Lord will say to Rev. Jackson, “Servant, Well Done!”