The words of the late Maya Angelou ring especially true during this Women’s History Month. It is a time to recognize the historical contributions of women. It is also a time for us all to be civically engaged and identify causes that are important to us. Two organizations are doing just that in the Bronx.
Above and Beyond Initiative and the Epsilon Tau chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. teamed up to create My Sister’s Keeper: A Toiletries Drive. Inspired by the Huffington Post article For Homeless Women, Getting Their Period Is One of The Most Difficult Challenges, the two organizations felt it was important to support the often voiceless, under supported women shelter population.
The article explores the narratives of several women living in shelters across the country. Though these woman have somewhere relatively safe to live, dealing with their menstrual cycle poses a serious problem and exposes deficiencies in the social service system. The inaccessibility to pads and tampons in women’s shelters turns the mundane task of self-maintenance during their menstrual cycle into a challenge.Realizing this was an issue, the two organizations decided to partner, bring awareness, and provide a realistic solution.
Both Above and Beyond Initiative and Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. are organizations created and sustained by African American women. They focus on responding to issues affecting women through various programmatic initiatives.
Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. is one of the earliest African American women’s Greek organizations; recently celebrating 102 years of sisterhood, scholarship, and service. The twenty-two founders of the organization created the sorority in 1913 and have since added over 250,000 women, globally, to the sorority. Since its conception, Delta Sigma Theta has worked to empower women around the world through civic engagement, economic and political empowerment, and youth oriented programming. The Epsilon Tau Chapter of the sorority was established in New York City and covers the Bronx and Manhattan.
Above and Beyond Initiative is a Bronx based nonprofit aimed at developing professional and interpersonal programming to better equip young minority women to be integral parts of their society. By providing skills in the form of workshops and monthly discussion groups, ABI hopes to create of a new wave of young women ready to navigate the job market and achieve academic excellence. ABI's wants prepare young women for the real world while utilizing tools such as resume building, professional wardrobe workshops, and social etiquette classes to name a few.
ABI was founded in 2014 by community leader, Portia Asare and fellow childhood friends, Sandra Amoo, Decota Letman, and Maryam Mohammed. They realized they came from impoverished neighborhoods and circumstances that don’t often lead to success, but still achieved their goals. The team thought it was important to not only give back, but create an atmosphere that will encourage others to do the same.
In celebration of Women’s History Month, the two organizations partnered to launch the My Sister’s Keeper: A Toiletries Drive. During the month long drive, from March 15th-April 15th, the organizations are asking for pads and tampons, soaps, wipes, shampoo, deodorant, and any other personal hygiene products.
The two organizations will be celebrating the success of the toiletries drive with their My Sister’s Keeper: An Evening of Appreciation. Above and Beyond Initiative and the Epsilon Tau chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. will host the event on Sunday, May 10th from 2pm - 6pm at the Bronx Museum. The event will celebrate and honor women in shelters across the Bronx. You will be joined by celebrity guest, some of the Bronx’s most influential women, and the women of the shelters who will receive the donations. To join us for a day of live music and poetry, dancing, and make overs, please RSVP at firstname.lastname@example.org