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Leadership Highlight: Nninah Elaine Freelon the President of Delta Sigma Theta at Northwest Missouri State University

Photo: Tamia Goode

In an effort to highlight the young leaders who are leading undergraduate chapters across the nation, we at Watch The Yard reached out to the sorors of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc.’s Nu Gamma Chapter at Northwest Missouri State University and did an interview with Nninah Elaine Freelon the president of the chapter.

The position of president of an undergraduate chapter of a Black sorority is a highly respected role and there is a special pride that one takes. 22-year-old Freelon has used the position to gain new leadership experience, improve the lives of other students on campus and help the community around her.

We interviewed the Human Services/Psychology major and talked about her position, goals, future and what it means to hold a leadership on campus in the digital age.

Read the full interview below.

What does it mean to be a chapter president to you?

To be Chapter President ultimately means to care and to sacrifice. It takes such a special dedication to be Chapter President to NPHC organization, especially on a predominately white institution. To be Chapter President means to be a leader who is dedicated, self-less, and trusted with the direction of the chapter, and the organization as a whole.

What made you decide to attend the Northwest Missouri State University for undergrad?

I decided to attend Northwest Missouri State University, first because of the amenities that they offered to me as a student here. With textbooks and laptops included in tuition, I knew that I could afford being a student at this University. I continued my education at Northwest because I saw a need for the Black community at this school. There were so many gaps for the advancement of African Americans here, and I sought organizations and pledged Delta at my school to help create a platform to help our community advance and thrive.

What specific initiatives is your chapter heading up this year and how do you think they will improve the campus/surrounding community?

One specific initiative that my chapter is heading up this year is our annual ‘Redz Go Pink’ program and initiative. Each October the Nu Gamma Chapter puts on different events, hosts lectures, fundraisers, and raises awareness to Breast Cancer. We focus specifically on this aspect of Physical and Mental Health all month long. Another specific initiative that my chapter is heading up this year would be our annual Mr. Crimson and Cream Scholarship Pageant. There is a need for our African American men on our campus to be able to have a platform where they can advance, learn new skills, and be involved on campus. We focus specifically on the development of brotherhood, scholarship, and service for our participants and allow them to use their experiences to help them grow as individuals during their time here on our campus. Alongside of these specific initiatives we have several events and programs that follow our five point programmatic thrust that aligns with expectations from Grand Chapter.

What made you want to pledge Delta Sigma Theta?

From the time I was younger, Delta was always in my face so I knew at a young age I wanted to be a Delta. It was not until my senior year of high school when I participated in the KCK Alumnae Chapter’s Jabberwock Scholarship Pageant where I truly saw a purpose for Delta, and why I wanted to be a part of this illustrious organization. Those women of Delta that worked with me my last year of high school, left a lasting impression on me, as well as the service projects we completed, and the bond I made with the other participants, I was truly amazed and wanted to continue post high school. When I got to college, the women of Delta on this campus were welcoming, and took me under their wing and I was able to watch their vision for the community here, and knew that I wanted to continue their efforts.

What is it about your specific chapter that makes it so unique?

The Notorious Nu Gamma Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. was chartered on April 23, 1976 by 10 trailblazing charter members. What makes Nu Gamma unique is the fact that we are the ONLY NPHC Sorority active on our campus. We have a total of four active members, and we feel that it our duty and obligation to speak volumes and target our African American community as women on this campus.

We now live in a digital world, what do you think undergraduate chapters across all orgs need to do to represent themselves online in 2019?

For the digital world that we live in today, I think that undergraduate chapters of all organizations, should continue to post their initiatives, and use the internet and social media to network and learn from other chapters and other organizations. Being able to use the technology that we have today gives us a platform to be able to learn from other chapters as well as organizations to help advance our own.

What does leadership mean to you?

To me, Leadership is to me means more about the people you are serving than yourself. Leadership is a lifestyle that a person lives and a reflection of all that they are and are a part of. To me, leadership is about supporting and facilitating those around you to be their best selves, and about the lasting impression that you have on those people.

Why do you think Watch The Yard is important to Black greekdom?

I believe that Watch The Yard is important to Black greekdom first of all because it is a safe space for Greeks to be Greek. However, it is also important to black Greekdom because it has become a place where Greeks can learn about other Greeks, grow and network with people from walks of ALL organizations. Watch The Yard highlights all nine of the organization’s successes as well as struggles, and we as members are able to use this platform to show who we are, what we stand for, and our efforts into making our commitment better.

What does sisterhood mean to you?

As a Delta woman, Sisterhood is the core of our identity. Sisterhood to me means that under any circumstance I am to be a sister first. Sisterhood is not circumstantial and is unconditional. Sisterhood is not always beautiful but what makes it authentic and true, is how sisters can overcome adversity and be secure within one another and always dependable for one another. “With this Heart, I cannot reject you. It is to love, my sister” – Soror Lillian Pierce Benbow

What do you plan on doing after graduation?

Upon graduating from Northwest, I plan to further my education obtaining my masters in Psychology with an emphasis in Child Psychology. Eventually, I plan to get my doctorate degree, and become a clinical psychologist working with children who have suffered trauma and abuse.

We at Watch The Yard would like to commend Freelon for her work as the president of Nu Gamma Chapter which has a long legacy that spans back to April 23 1976.

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