About BWA
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National Sorority of Phi Delta Kappa, Inc.

As teachers, they were dedicated to the task of educating youth - encouraging stimulating, guiding, mentoring, and instilling confidence in students on their journey to adulthood. But who, they wondered, would nurture and inspire the educators? In May 1923, eight African-American teachers from Jersey City, NJ turned to one another for what they sought, establishing a sisterhood among teachers and an organization devoted to promoting the highest ideals of the profession.

Today, the National Sorority of Phi Delta Kappa, Inc. is as vibrant and relevant as it has ever been. Now 95 years old, the organization has 3,000 members in more than a hundred chapters across the country, and NSPDK's focus on youth, education, and service underscores its commitment to molding and shaping the lives of youth around the globe.

"Teaching isn't just a career or a profession," explains Dr. Etta F. Carter, the National Sorority of Phi Delta Kappa's Supreme Basileus. "It's a mission. We can't just teach academics. We have to give students a foundation of what it means to be good people and a framework for how they should respond in life - to their families, communities, and the world."

African-American teachers play an especially important role inside and outside the classroom, Dr. Carter says. "For African-American youth, they provide an example, and when children can see the possibilities in another person, they grow stronger and more confident in their own ability to be successful. Having a Black teacher is also important for children who are not African-American because they learn not to blindly accept the perceptions that media and others project about people who are different, but rather to make judgments based on their own experiences. This helps prepare them for life in a diverse society."

Though NSPDK's membership may be relatively small, its impact on Black educators, children, and families cannot be overstated. The sorority supports professional development for teachers by publishing The Krinon an annual professional journal that highlights issues of interest, including the 2018 issue that focuses on "Strategies for the 21st Century - STEM, STEAM, STREAM (Science, Technology, Robotics Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics)." On the national, regional, and local level, NSPDK hosts forums that help teachers stay abreast of current trends, certification and license requirements, continuing education opportunities, and best practices in education. It offers grants to teachers who are pursuing doctoral degrees. NSPDK is also doing its part to increase the ranks of African-American teachers, awarding more than $100,000 a year in scholarships to high school graduates, of which $60,000 is designated for students who plan to pursue degrees in the field of education.

The National Sorority of Phi Delta Kappa works closely to promote educational excellence among a corps of high school girls known as Xinos, and a group of high school boys known as Kudos. Members of the Sorority devote countless hours to providing students enrolled in these programs with youth and leadership development, and with NSPDK's guidance, the students complete service projects, acquire academic and social skills, immerse themselves in cultural enrichment activities, and participate in regional conferences.

NSPDK is also involved in a variety of charitable endeavors. It is a longtime contributor to Meharry Medical College's Sickle Cell Center. One of the oldest centers in the U.S., the Meharry Clinic offers blood testing, genetic counseling, and education about Sickle Cell Disease - a disorder that disproportionately affect people of African descent. The Sorority has also supported a children's library in Monrovia Liberia, and currently, under the auspices of AFRICARE, maintains and provides supplies for a birthing room - a 20-bed facility where expectant mothers in rural areas of Liberia, West Africa can stay and receive medical care until their babies are born.

"At the heart of everything that we do as an organization is a desire to teach, educate and render support for those who teach," says Dr. Carter. "I cannot imagine a world in which education is not the guiding force in a child's life or anyone's life. I cannot fathom existing in a world where there is no possibility of learning something new everyday. Teaching is the career that makes all other professions possible, and as an organization, we carry the torch of enlightenment with enormous pride."

"The Black Women's Agenda, Inc."
5335 Wisconsin Avenue, N.W. Suite 440, Washington, DC 20015-2052
Office: 202.730.2637 Fax: 202.730.2638 Email: bwa@bwa-inc.org

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