The event typically unites hundreds of activists, community members, along with local and state officials each year at the Connecticut Convention Center. However, because of the uptick in COVID cases, it was virtual again for the second year in a row.
"We didn't even for a second consider not having this event," passionately explained Deloris Drakes, Committee Chair of the HAC Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Scholarship Breakfast.
Organizers said the annual breakfast is not only a tribute to Dr. King's legacy, but it plays a vital role in helping the community move forward. In addition, it acts as the premier scholarship fundraising event for the chapter, raising money for local African American female high-school seniors.
"We have raised close to $400,000 in scholarships throughout the history of our scholarship program, and we've helped approximately 140 young women in pursuit of their bachelor's degree," said LaKisha Grant-Washington, President of Hartford Alumnae Chapter, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. "Those numbers speak for themselves as to the magnitude in which it has been able to help in be a part of the changing aspect of the lives of some young African American women."
K'ylah Flynn was a 2016 scholarship recipient. She said receiving the scholarship from HAC played a significant role in her collegiate/education journey. Flynn said during undergrad, she also focused on social justice issues and advocacy; and is now encouraging other recipients to use the scholarship to flourish and make a change.
"I urge you, scholarship recipients, to use your voice and commit yourself to whatever you are passionate about," said Flynn during a speech at the 37th annual MLK breakfast. "You are needed at a time like this, and your seat at the table is vital, and we are depending on you to bring change."
Grant-Washington and Drake said that recipients like Flynn make the fundraising worth it.
"We know that our children don't necessarily have access to the funds that they need," said Drake. "They don't always have access to the mentoring that they need, so we had to figure out a way to make it happen."
The virtual event also honored Dr. King's legacy by looking ahead through panel discussions and more from a social justice perspective.
"It was important for us to unite the community and to honor the legacy of Dr. King. To reflect on the progress and the work that we still need to do, as well as continue to highlight the importance of scholastic achievement," said Grant-Washington.
Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated, was founded on the campus of Howard University in 1913 by 22 enlightened, dynamic college women who represented the epitome of sisterhood, scholarship, and service.
The Hartford Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., chartered in 1947, is a private, non-profit 501(c)(7), organization. Its purpose is to provide services and programs to promote human welfare.
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