A Kwanzaa celebration for female youth involved in the Delta Academy and G.E.M.S. (Growing and Empowering Myself Successfully) programs of the San Bernardino-Riverside Area Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. was held December 15, 2012, on the campus of Valley College in San Bernardino, CA. The two programs are targeted toward female youth, in order to promote academics, self sufficiency and high esteem. Kwanzaa is a festivity honoring African American Heritage. It is observed from December 26 to January 1, and was created by Maulana Karenga. It was first celebrated in 1966.
The Chair of G.E.M.S., Porche Fowlkes-Authurs stated, “The portion of the commemoration which stood out most in my mind was when the young ladies stood and introduced themselves to five strangers, provided a hug and one compliment to each individual. It set the tone for the occasion and helped created a unified environment.”
“This event was successful was due to members of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. working together to plan the ceremony, prepare the feast, construct the presentation of Kwanzaa principles and an activity associated with each”, Donna Stevens chair of Delta Academy said. She went on to say, “The part in the festivities that I enjoyed most was Rainesha Bell, a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc., showing the young women how to create African attire from cloth that was worn during a ritualistic African dance she taught them which was performed that day.”
San Bernardino-Riverside Area Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta hosts this celebration annually and each year the numbers of participants increase. A partaker of the celebration E’preishai Bayles-Street said, “This was my first ceremony and it made me aware of Kwanzaa and what it is about.”
Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. was incepted January 13, 1913 at Howard University. It is a public service organization comprised of women whose purpose is to service the community and help better lives of those in need.