Personality: Vanessa Evans | Richmond Free Press

Sorority life is a pride for Vanessa Evans.

The North Chesterfield resident joined Delta Sigma Theta Sorority in 1986 while enrolled at North Carolina Central University. Having no previous experience with sororities, she was “hypnotized” by the group’s active role on campus and in the community at large, which prompted her to become a member.

Founded in 1913, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority is an organization of college-educated women committed to the constructive development of its members and to public service with an emphasis on the black community. As a private, nonprofit organization, its goal is to provide assistance and support through established programs in local communities around the world, according to the sorority’s website. The sorority currently has 1,000 collegiate and alumni chapters located in the United States, Canada, Japan (Tokyo and Okinawa), Germany, Virgin Islands, Bermuda, Bahamas, Jamaica, West Africa and Republic of Korea.

Ms Evans now leads the sorority’s Richmond Alumnae Chapter in her second term as president, the last of many roles she has taken on with the organization. And while his time as leader began amid unique circumstances, his enthusiasm for Delta Sigma Theta and the Chapter members remains unchanged.

“If you know me, you know I’m passionate about my sisterhood because I see the impact we have in the communities where we live, work and raise families,” Ms Evans said. “It has been a pleasure and a privilege to lead the amazing and hardworking women of the Richmond Alumnae Chapter.”

Ms. Evans’ first term as Chapter President began two years ago, as Delta Sigma Theta significantly adjusted its operations in response to the spread of COVID-19 nationally and locally, while trying to continue its mission of community service and betterment. .

“I can’t say what being president is like without thinking about Zoom because that’s all I’ve experienced for the past three years,” Ms Evans says. “I’m very excited to find out. It will be a wonderful day where we can have our first meeting as a larger group.

Similar work is underway at the larger organization Delta Sigma Theta, which will host the sorority’s 30th South Atlantic Regional Conference this week, August 4-7, at the Greater Richmond Convention Center.

Ms. Evans cites the regional conference as a major undertaking not only for the Richmond Chapter, but for the other Chapters that will be attending.

In all of her responsibilities and goals for her term as President, Ms. Evans says she is grateful for the accomplishments of Delta Sigma Theta, its Chapters and its Members. Even with 36 years of experience as a sorority member, she remains impressed with the members’ commitment to the sorority’s mission, and she intends to do her part to ensure the continuity of the Richmond chapter for coming years.

“I consider myself a servant leader, and I just want to push others forward and put them in the spotlight if I can,” says Ms. Evans. “Everything that highlights the Richmond Alumnae Chapter doesn’t come from me, it comes from the chapter and the hard work they put in to make it look like the chapter president is doing such a great job.”

“I (want) to thank the Sorors of the Richmond Alumnae Chapter for all they have done.”

Meet the leader of one of Richmond’s first sororities, Vanessa Evans:

Volunteer position: President, Richmond Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority.

Date and place of birth: September 27 in Lumberton, North Carolina

Where I live now: North Chesterfield.

Education: Bachelor of Business Administration, North Carolina Central University.

Occupation: Customer Management Account Manager at PepsiCo.

Family: Three siblings, seven nieces and nephews and many cousins, plus a host of Delta sisters.

The Delta Sigma Theta sorority is: A sorority. My commitment to fellowship, scholarship, service, and social action began in college with the Alpha Lambda Chapter, where I also served as Chapter President. After graduation I joined the Durham Alumnae Chapter where I learned to work together on behalf of Delta. After moving to Richmond, a city I have called home for 22 years, I joined the Richmond Alumnae Chapter.

Date and place of creation: Delta Sigma Theta Sorority was founded in 1913 on the campus of Howard University in Washington, D.C.

Founders: There are 22 “illustrious” founders.

When the Richmond Alumnae Chapter was established: February 7, 1942.

Notable facts for Richmond and Delta Sigma Theta:

• Home of the ninth regional director of the South Atlantic region, Thelma Pettis.

• Home of founder Jimmie Bugg Middleton’s granddaughter, the late Margaret “Peggy” Brazil.

• The birthplace of our 10th National President, Dorothy I. Height, with a historic Delta marker honoring Dr. Height that stands prominently in the Blackwell neighborhood where she was born.

Brief Profile of Chapter Members: The Richmond Alumnae Chapter currently has 425 members, and chapter members range from two-year-old Deltas to 77-year-olds. Members’ professions range from business professionals, educators, doctors, healthcare providers, lawyers, authors, journalists and entrepreneurs.

When he was elected president of the Richmond Alumnae Chapter: June 2020; re-elected June 2022.

Objective or project number one as president: I believe the number one objective is actually two-fold: to manage the business aspects of the Chapter for successful and efficient operations, while ensuring that members’ needs are met for positive sister interaction.

How the chapter participates in the community: We are a public service organization and, within the five-point programmatic direction of economic development, education development, international outreach and engagement, physical and mental health and political awareness and engagement, we provide meaningful community service and public service initiatives. Through our fundraising efforts, the Chapter has awarded over $40,000 in scholarships over the past two years. We have several youth initiative programs (Delta Academy, Delta GEMS, EMBODI, the annual Laverne Morton Williams High Achievers Competition, the L. Rita Davis Public Speaking Competition, and the Jabberwock Scholarship Program) to engage and enlighten young people who are in college and high school.

Most important project: Together with the Beta Epsilon, Eta Tau and Rho Rho chapters, our most important project at the moment is organizing a memorable and exciting regional conference. With love, care, time and dedication, conference coordinators Kimberly Stevens and Danielle Stokes, along with hard-working chairs and committee members, stand ready to welcome our guests to RVA.

The Delta Sigma Theta Sorority regional conference is: A postponement from 2020 where it was canceled due to the pandemic. The theme of the conference is “SEE the 22 within you; A vision of excellence. South Atlantic Regional Director, Dr. Patricia R. Johnson, and our Regional Representative, Illana Jamison, will be chairing the proceedings of the conference along with our National President and National Board Chair, Elsie Cooke-Holmes. The regional conference service project is the Safe Harbor Emergency Response Fund.

Who attends: Members of the “sensational” South Atlantic region of Delta Sigma Theta, which includes the states of North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia and the country of Bermuda.

How I start the day: I start my day with the news around 5:30am and normally work starts around 7am with rich black coffee and Splenda.

The three words that best describe me: Friendly, organized and passionate.

Best late night snack: Buttered popcorn.

How I relax: Watch a baking show even though I don’t cook.

What I learned about myself during the pandemic: I really don’t like to cook.

Something I love to do that most people would never imagine: Drive in silence.

A quote that inspires me: “Whatever someone says or does, assume a positive intention.” —Indra Nooyi

At the top of my to-do list is: Clean my desk so I can paint the walls.

Best thing my parents ever taught me: My mother taught me the power of education even though she had no formal education.

The person who influenced me the most: My brother, Elijah, who taught me that hard work never hurt anyone but laziness is a silent enemy.

Book that influenced me the most: “La Cabane” by Wm. Paul Jeune.

What I’m currently reading: “The Other Black Girl” by Zakiya Dalila Harris.

Next goal: My next Delta Sigma Theta goal is to move the Richmond Alumnae Chapter from the virtual status of the past two years to a safe in-person meeting model for the fellowship and to continue positive programs in the community.

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