Sybrina Fulton, Lucia McBath and Christy Tucker Sims each have a story to tell. These beautiful black women have made national headlines, not of their own doing, but by their circumstances. The cruelly tragic deaths of Fulton and McBath’s teen sons, Trayvon Martin and Jordan Davis, respectively, in Florida who were guilty of nothing, brought national attention to the attack on young. black males. Their stories are so heart wrenching; yet these women are so strong. They’re strong because they haven’t isolated themselves like icebergs in a sea of despair and self-pity. They’re courageous, brave and sharing their stories so their sons’ memories can live on.
Sims is a victim of domestic abuse by her ex-boyfriend which left her face disfigured. In her own words, “losing her identify is like death.” Behind the dark sunglasses, light radiates because she speaks with conviction and hope.
On Saturday, April 12, 2014, the Atlanta Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., honored the three women at this year’s Celebration of Women, their annual signature luncheon. They were chosen as the Fortitude Awards honorees at the 2014 fundraising affair themed “Saluting Exemplary Service.”
Dr. Paulette Walker, national president of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., who was the featured speaker opened with the following remarks:
“This event benefited scholarship recipients for Atlanta Public Schools students and provided funding for the organization’s Betty Shabazz Academy, the Delta GEMS, and the EMBODI project (for young men). The celebration also paid tribute to women who are ‘Empowered Leaders Impacting the Global Community’ and was the platform for the presentation of scholarships and awards.
The Celebration of Women will honor women who have made an impact in the focal points of the sorority’s national programs, including Economic Development, Educational Development, International Involvement and Awareness, Physical and Mental Health, Political Awareness and Involvement, Social Action, and Arts and Letters. The coveted Fortitude Award will be given to Sybrina Fulton, Lucia McBath and Christy Tucker Sims.”
Other recognition included The Trailblazer Award, given to Erica Qualls, general manager of the Marriott Marquis Hotel – Atlanta; and The Delta Chapter Torch Awards were also given to women who have excelled in leadership roles throughout metropolitan Atlanta: Jamese Beauford, Brooke Jackson Edmond, Debra Harris, Jan Jackson, Darlene Kimes, Bernese Meyer, Betty Neal, and Rogsbert Phillips-Reed, M.D.
“The Atlanta Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta has delivered effective and dedicated services since we were chartered in 1924,” Carol Carter, president of the Atlanta Alumnae Chapter, says in a statement to press. “Records from our archives indicate that over one million dollars have been given in scholarships over the years, in increments of $500 to $5,000,” she added.