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Why She Soars

August 13, 2017 by  
Filed under Highlights

Dr. Ellen W. Brown reflects on the achievements of Dr. Paulette C. Walker, 25th National President of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.

National Delta Sorority president Sharon Farmer

She reads, sews, is mom to two sons, and grandma to 12. She serves on the Trustee Board of Mount Olive AME Church in Tampa, Florida, and her list of community and professional affiliations is exhaustive. Dr. Paulette C. Walker is a Delta and the 25th National President of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.

Although Dr. Walker unquestionably soars in her life’s accomplishments, it wasn’t always that way. In a 2015 interview with Black Issues Forum, she shared how her life began. “I was born completely a vegetable,” she said. “I could not see; I could not hear.”

Her parents were told she probably would not live more than a few days — but they never gave up. She spent the first two years of her life in a body cast, experiencing many surgeries. During this time, Paulette developed a love for butterflies; she would look outside and say, “If I can ever get out of this cocoon, I’m gonna fly.” Her affection for yellow comes from looking out that same window, seeing the sun and believing that one day she would fly to the sun. Little Paulette came out of that cocoon and not only walked, but has been flying ever since.

Elected in 2013, the sorority’s centennial year, Dr. Walker will soon take her Final Flight as President of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., as the organization’s 53rd National Convention convenes at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center August 3-9. More than 10,000 are expected to attend as the organization celebrates 104 years of service to communities throughout the world.

Dr. Walker’s theme has been “Uncompromising Commitment to Communities: Service, Leadership, Empowerment.”

“I vowed to an uncompromising commitment to service”, the Detroit native told the Tampa Bay Times in 2013, as she talked about her membership in Delta which began 51 years ago as a student at Michigan State University in the Epsilon Epsilon Chapter. She proudly acknowledges, “I am the only sitting President who signed her own 50-year Certificate — as well as those of my line sisters.”

Dr. Walker looks forward to gathering once again in the “City of Lights.” Deltas convened here in 2004 for the 47th National Convention.

“We have come to Vegas to not only enjoy the marvelous venues and entertaining shows — the work we accomplish here will recognize tireless service of our local chapters and community advocates,” she said. “It will provide our members with the tools needed to combat poverty, racism, educational disparities, and disenfranchisement in their communities; and conduct the internal business of the sorority — making us better as a whole.”

And what is next for a focused and phenomenal woman who jumps through hoops and is first to take the lead? “Rest!” she answers with determination, then quickly hints that such a plan is probably unrealistic. “I just want to be a good Delta, a good past president and one who is willing to provide support to the women in the leadership of this illustrious organization. I am a true activist who can now speak and follow through as an individual.”

The Convention is hosted by Las Vegas Alumnae Chapter, along with two collegiate chapters: Eta Chi, UNLV; and Tau Mu, University of Nevada-Reno. Events open to the public include:

• Saturday, August 5 at 8:30 p.m.: A show-stomping Greek Step Show,

• Sunday, August 6 at 4:00 p.m.: Public Meeting

• Sunday, August 6 at 8:30 p.m.: Gospel Concert featuring Grammy Award winning artists Hezekiah Walker, The Love Fellowship Choir, and Tasha Cobb.

• Wednesday, August 9 at 8:00 p.m.: Delta Extravaganza featuring legendary R&B singer and producer Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds

• Tuesday, August 8 at 8:30 p.m.: Literary Café with invited authors, Sybrina Fulton, mother of Trayvon Martin, Pat Smith and Sheri Riley

Dr. Ellen W. Brown is a 31-year member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., and a member of the Las Vegas Alumnae Chapter. She is Co-Chair of the 53rd National Convention welcome event.

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