Cooley Students Participate in Delta Sigma Theta's Annual Law Fest
By: Shunta Tidwell
Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated was founded at Howard University on January 13, 1913 in Minor Hall. A non-profit organization and the only black Greek-lettered organization with service in their name, Delta Sigma Theta is a public service sorority. Delta Sigma Theta’s purpose is to provide support to local communities through programs established all over the world. The sorority harvests a Five-Point Programmatic Thrust consisting of Economic Development, Educational Development, International Awareness and Involvement, Physical and Mental Health, and Political Awareness and Involvement. Because of this pledge of continuous service, it came naturally to the women of the Tampa Metropolitan Alumnae Chapter along with The Delta Torch Foundation, Incorporated to create an event giving back to the Tampa Bay area community in a unique fashion. The Tampa Metropolitan Alumnae Chapter (TMAC) was chartered on April 23, 2003, and has since been known to commit itself to maintaining scholarship, sisterhood, and service. The Delta Torch Foundation, Inc. is a non-profit organization that functions solely for charitable and educational purposes pertaining to scholarship and programs that directly 9benefit the community.
The Deltas of TMAC proudly hosted an event geared around assisting the less fortunate with any legal issues they might have encountered or are currently facing. This year marched the 2nd Annual Community Law Fest which was established by the Deltas of TMAC to offer free legal assistance to the public. Sponsored by the law office of Theresa Jean-Pierre-Coy, the Deltas of TMAC had attorneys on hand to discuss matters pertaining to family law, personal injury, criminal law, bankruptcy, immigration law, probate, worker’s compensation, and much more. They even had area law schools present to offer free law school counseling and informational sessions with advisors and student representatives from schools like Florida A&M University College of Law. Our very own Thomas M. Cooley Law School was represented by two faculty members, Brianne Myers, Enrollment and Student Services Coordinator, and Carly Wolf, Deputy Campus Director. Joining the faculty were three students who just so happen to be members of the sorority: Uraina Steward, initiated at Shaw University, Corey Stewart, initiated at Lincoln University, and myself, Shunta L. Tidwell, initiated at Tennessee State University. As current students matriculating at Thomas M. Cooley Law School, Uraina, Corey, and I encouraged some of the community members to visit our campus while giving them a general knowledge of what the Thomas M. Cooley Law School is really about and the benefits we’ve received while being Cooley Kids. We even had the chance to show the other areas law schools that Cooley is here!
Ms. Corey Stewart reflected on the event by stating, “It was a very resourceful event for the community. I think the sorority really made a positive impact and left our mark in the Tampa community by bringing them something that the average citizen may not always be aware of [which is] understanding the law and how it can affect them.”
When asked of her impression of the impact of the 2nd Annual Law Fest, Ms. Uraina Steward stated, “Law Fest was very informative especially to the community who may not be able to afford to retain an attorney or even pay a consultation fee. In addition, having a few of the local law schools in attendance afforded participants to inquire about possibly continuing their education to obtain a law degree.”
TMAC’s Social Action Chair, Ms. Chante’ Jones, encourages more people to come out next year, bring your legal issues for free legal and support the Delta women of TMAC.
On a personal note, having the opportunity to witness and be apart of the work of my sisterhood is an incredible feeling. Being that my sole purpose in life is to give back to the people, I knew this event was something I desperately had to do. We were very honored to be asked by our Delta sisters to join them in any facet possible to help make this event the success it was. The magnitude of this powerful event was something that had the community roaring with excitement, and one I’m proud to say I was apart of. It is an honor to be a soror of such a prestigious sisterhood dedicated to serving the lives of others and ready to heed the call of those that need them.