NAUW Members of the Southwest Section at the 2012 Southwest Sectional Conference
Audery Jordan – NAUW SW Sectional Director
Delisha Stanley – 2012 SW Sectional Chair
Gwen White – President South Central LA Branch
By Christiana Worthams
Southwest Sectional Director Audrey Jordan and the National Association of University Women (NAUW) South Central LA Branch hosted the 43rd Southwest Sectional Conference on February 3-4, 2012 at the Holiday Inn, 19800 Vermont Avenue, Torrance. The national theme for 2010-2012 is “Progressive Women Redefining Community Service in the 21st Century.” The dynamic director and leader of the Southwest Section is Audrey Jordan, retired educator and native of Seattle, Washington. The NAUW Southwest Section includes the states of Arizona, California, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, and Hawaii. Members of the Southwest Section sponsor, promote, and conduct educational activities designed to provide community outreach services to learners at every level of development.
South Central LA Branch President Gwendolyn White and Delisha Stanley, Chair of the Conference, welcomed Southwest Sectional members in attendance. Members of the South Central LA Branch served as the host for the conference.
National officers and former national officers in attendance were Letisa Vereen – National 1st Vice President, Clayton Branch, North Carolina; Christiana Worthams – National Recording Secretary and a member of the South Central LA Branch, Los Angeles; Bernice Shannon – National Consultant for Southwest Section, South Bay Branch, CA; Julia B. Williams – National 2nd vice President – Los Angeles Branch; Fannie Love – former National Treasurer, South Bay Branch; and Evelyn Wright – former National 1st Vice President, Culver City and National Publicity Chair. The Southwest Section consists of ten branches in the Los Angeles and Inland Empire areas and Sacramento, CA. They are the Capital, Compton, Culver City, Inglewood, Inland Empire, Los Angeles, Santa Monica, South Bay, South Central LA, and West Coast Cities branches.
Ms. Jordan leads a dynamic and accomplished Southwest Sectional team consisting of Lay Member – Dr. Essie French-Preston, Recording Secretary – Pamela Foster, Corresponding Secretary – Valerie Cannon, Financial Secretary – Erma Morgan, Treasurer – Kenya Dennis, Lois Jean Hill – Nominating Chair, Bernice Shannon and Evelyn Wright – Sectional Consultants.
On February 3, 2012, branches in the Southwest Section, show cased their talent in the “Heart and Soul” Variety Show which consisted of dramatic readings, poetic recitations, group dance performances, and plays surrounding historical Black themes. Claudia Ross of the South Central LA Branch served as Mistress of Ceremony. An entertaining evening of fun and dancing was shared by all. The Inland Empire Branch, which won 1st Place in its oral recitation of “Definitely Dancing” by poet Mona Lake Jones of Seattle, received a monetary gift in support of its branch’s Scholarship Fund. The “Heart and Soul” theme was reflected in the decorations for the evening as well as in the group performances. Music was provided by DJ Aalon of Los Angeles.
On February 4, 2012, Sectional Director Audrey Jordan hosted the annual Sectional Director’s Breakfast. Past and present founders of the Southwest Section were honored. Past Sectional Directors present were Pauline Mc-Griff-Smith, Josephine Bolden, and Shirley Brown. Sallie Gibson and Mary Ellen Maddox also served as Past Sectional Directors from the Los Angeles area. Plaudits to Saundra Pearl Sharp, well-known poet from Los Angeles, who recited inspiring excerpts from her poetry.
Members at the conference attended five excellent workshops: Heart Health by Alice Benjamin, Clinical Nurse Specialist and Cardiopulmonary Program Director with Deborah Davis, facilitator; First Time Attendees by Evelyn Wright, past 1st Vice President of NAUW with Ethel Hubert, facilitator; HIV/AIDS by Jennifer Jordan, health educator with Erika Lampkin, facilitator; Finance by Caprice Collins, Esq., noted speaker on Living Trusts, Probate, Estate Planning, with Edna Yow, facilitator; and Parliamentary Procedure by Paula Freeman, certified member of the California State Association of Parliamentarians (CSAP) with Charlia Vaultz, facilitator.
Lay Member Dr. Essie French-Preston chaired the Scholarship Luncheon. The Southwest Sectional Scholarship was presented to Los Angelean Sheri Chenier who is enrolled in a Master’s Program at Howard University. Joy Hornaday sang beautifully and Ms. Margrette Francisco, Esq., an instructor at Compton – El Camino College delivered the moving keynote address.
Gwendolyn White, President of South Central LA Branch, earned the coveted Sectional “Woman of the Year Award.” This award is presented to a member in the Section who has made significant contributions towards meeting the goals of the organization while promoting the national theme of the NAUW, “Progressive Women: Redefining Community Service in the 21st Century.” Winners of “Woman of the Year” Awards from their respective branches were Erma Morgan- Inglewood Branch, Deborah Davis – Inland Empire Branch, Helen Ricks-Culver City Branch, Gwendolyn White-South Central LA Branch, Linda Dickerson-South Bay, and Pearlie Bailey-Nelson-West Coast Cities Branch. The 2011 “Woman of the Year” Award was Zola Jones from the Santa Monica Branch.
Elections for officers were held and Lay Member Dr. Essie French-Preston and Treasurer Kenya Dennis were re-elected to their positions. Edna Yow was appointed recording secretary.
NAUW was organized in 1910 by Mrs. Mary Church Terrell, Dr. Sara Brown, Dr. Nancy Fairfax Brown, and Miss Mary Cromwell in Washington, D. C. Twenty university graduates joined, elected officers, and planned a program.
The new Club desired to stimulate young women to attain professional excellence, to exert influence in various movements for the civic good, and to promote a close personal and intellectual fellowship among professional women.
Our national, sectional, and branch leaders serving in 2012 embody the spirit of excellence and desire to serve.
For more information, contact Audrey Jordan, SW Sectional Director, NAUW Southwest Section, P. O. Box 56547, Los Angeles, CA 90056 or http://www.nauw1910-sw.org. NAUW is a non-profit educational organization, which serves the community.