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    "A Leader with a Servant's Heart" - Alumna Cynthia Butler-McIntyre, '76 PDF Print E-mail
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    Cynthia M.A. Butler-McIntyre has led the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority through a tumultuous period in U.S. and world history. It is an era of inspiring highs, such as the election and re-election of America’s first Black president and the 100th anniversary of the organization’s founding; and of debilitating lows, such as the 7.0-magnitude earthquake that devastated Haiti in 2010, the rise of obstructionist conservative politics on Capitol Hill and in state legislatures across the country and the rolling back of civil rights victories, such as the recent gutting of Section 4 of theVoting Rights Act by the Supreme Court.

    Through it all, Butler-McIntyre has led “with a servant’s heart,” as she often describes her approach, which is informed by her faith.

    A native of New Orleans, La., Butler-McIntyre was elected as the 24th president of the 200,000-member Delta Sigma Theta Sorority by a unanimous vote of over 800 voting delegates at the organization's 49th National Convention in Orlando, Fla., on Aug. 18, 2008.

    Butler-McIntyre has been a member of the sorority for 35 years and held several local, regional and national offices.

    A 1976 Dillard University alum, Butler-McIntyre is an educator who has impacted the lives of countless young people for over 30 years as a teacher, assistant principal, summer school principal and now a director of human resources for the Jefferson Parish Public School System in Harvey, La.

    In addition to her bachelor’s degree, Butler-McIntyre earned a master of education degree from the University of New Orleans at the age of 20 and also holds an honorary doctorate of divinity degree from the Christian Bible College of Louisiana.

    The sorority president has received numerous recognition for her service, which includes membership on the boards of several other organizations including as national board member of the National Council of Negro Women; a past national board member of the National Alliance of Black School Educators; the state secretary of the Louisiana Association of School Personnel Administrators; and founding president of Algiers-Gretna Branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and as a member of the Board of Trustees of the Christopher Columbus Fellowship Foundation, to which President Barack Obama appointed her in 2011.

    In an interview with the AFRO, Butler-McIntyre reflected on the organization’s legacy and centennial celebrations, including the 51st National Convention in Washington, D.C., where a new president and other officers will be elected.

    1. Why the choice of Washington, D.C., for the Centennial Celebration?
    Washington, D.C., was the most appropriate place to have our 51st National Convention, culminating our Centennial Celebration, as it is the birthplace city of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. We could not have aptly celebrated 100 years of sisterhood, scholarship and service and honor the courage of our 22 founders without coming back “home” to where it all began. We also wanted to give our members the opportunity to walk in the footsteps of our founders and visit Howard University, where our founders collectively decided that this organization would be dedicated to serving the community and addressing needs and issues that pertain to the African-American community. 

    2. How has the sorority evolved over the past century? 
    The sorority has grown substantially over the past century, going from an intimate group of socially conscious college women seeking to affect change on the campus of Howard University and throughout the country to an organization that spans around the globe – consisting of hundreds of thousands of members, representing over 900 chapters in the U.S. and abroad. So, as you can see, we have grown and will continue to expand our reach. 

    3. What factors have distinguished the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority from other sororities/fraternities/social groups? 
    I am proud to say that all the sororities and fraternities of the National Pan-Hellenic Council have programs and initiatives geared towards the betterment of our communities. I think what sets Delta Sigma Theta apart from them and other organizations is the fact that we are the single largest predominately African-American women’s organization in the country. Not to imply that the others do not, but we also make social action a top priority – as we commit to staying abreast of key legislation that dramatically affects the African-American community and relay the necessary information to our respective communities. During our Delta Days in the Nation’s Capital and Delta Days at the UN, we make our presence known and our voices heard. 

    4. What factors were responsible for the sorority’s ability to survive and thrive throughout the past century?
    As an organization founded on Christian principles, I can say with confidence that it was God’s never-ending grace that has allowed us to survive. The tenacious spirit of our founders; the awesome leadership of the 23 women that came before me to serve as the national president of this dynamic organization; the commitment of our members to be public servants have definitely propelled us forward over the past century and allowed us to thrive.

    5. How has the sorority been involved or influenced by some of the defining moments in U.S/Black history? 
    Delta Sigma Theta and its members have been and remain in the forefront of some of this country’s most world-changing events. U.S. history, Black history and Delta history are all intertwined, as Delta Sigma Theta has incited change, demanded equality, and fought injustice since its creation. The first public act of social advocacy Delta Sigma Theta participated in – two months after its founding – was the 1913 Women’s Suffrage March. As the only African-American organization present, our founders made the determination in that very moment that Delta Sigma Theta would not sit idly by while any group of individuals were denied their basic human freedoms. And since then, we have not strayed from that fighting stalwart spirit that has been engrained in every Delta woman.

    Alumni of closed school hope to become inspiration for today's youth PDF Print E-mail
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    New Orleans -- The 5300 block of St. Charles Avenue is a destination for education. 

    "The remembrances we have, many of us have was the beautiful campus," says Gilbert Academy Alumni Association President Andrew J. Douglas. 

    "We had some nice teachers; some teachers that we will never forget," says Treasurer Myrtle Winbush. "They've all gone on, but we are still here."

    "Most people may be familiar with mid-twentieth century building that houses part of De La Salle High School, but a small plaque at the corner of St. Charles and Valmont Street tells of a much longer history of educational excellence.

    "It was enjoyable just to go to Gilbert, being on St. Charles Avenue, catching the streetcar every morning going to school and coming back," says Winbush. "Walking back or coming back 53 blocks.... can you imagine!"

    "We were called the elite of New Orleans, but we just say we were doing what comes naturally," says Douglas. "We were taking advantage of training that we had and we tried to pass it on to others and that's the legacy of Gilbert Academy.  The great tradition which has been handed on to us."

    With alums like famed musicians Ellis Marseillus and Harold Baptiste.
    "We had Lolis, Edward, Eli, a number one civil rights lawyers who fought for equal opportunities here in New Orleans and he represented all those in SCLC and the freedom riders here in New Orleans," says Douglas. "He and Robert Collins."

    And the first African American woman to win an Olympic medal Audrey "Mickey" Patterson. The school produced scores of people that excelled in many fields.

    "Everybody thinks that Andrew was the only person that succeeded at Gilbert, and that's not true," says Gilbert.

    Reverend Andrew Douglas is referring to Ambassador Andrew Young, also a Gilbert alum.

    Reverend Douglas is the president of the alumni association.

    "We were under the auspices of the Methodist Church and we started really in 1875 and in 1949 it closed," says Douglas.

    The campus was originally the site of New Orleans University one of only three institutions of higher learning for African Americans in the state in the late 1800's.

    "This was a black educational institution," says Douglas. "One where high school kids were taught anatomy and physiology which was unheard of in a public school for African Americans."

    Reverend Douglas met with Myrtle Winbush, the associations treasurer and Wilehemenia Blanchard at Dillard University in preparation for their academy reunion.

    "I finished just before school closed in 1949 and it's been 63 years," says Winbush.

    Nearly 40 alums converge from across the country. . .most are in their 80s.

    "We have about 41 registered now," says Douglass. "We are going to have no less than 39. Now remember we are up there in our 70s.  I'll be benevolent about that.  I'm in my 80s and my sister in law is in her 80s also."

    The physical end of the school did not cut off it's influence.

    "I was really sad about it and I think that the reason why we having these reunions every two years to bring back the memories and don't let Gilbert Academy die," says Winbush. "We got it living."

    "Our principal told us, always taught us you're just as good or maybe better than many people so don't think of others as being superior to you," says Douglas. "You are just as good as they are. We never lost that, we remember that.  Just being on that campus, being in that school meant so much to us. You can't know it unless you experienced it.You can't have that feeling."

    Reverend Douglas believes Gilbert's legacy should be an inspiration to kids today.

    "We need to know that as African American youth, we need to know that if you are trained properly and right you are going to succeed," says Douglas. "It doesn't matter where you come from. I came from Central City so you know where that is Third and Daneel.

    Even as an octogenarian he beams with pride for his alma mater.

    "I get excited because I know what it did for me," says Douglas. "It was $2.50 a week, a month to go there, and I had friends who said their parents said to them I can't afford to send you among them rich people and god knows we were not rich, but our parents saw the need to send us to Gilbert Academy and I'm deeply appreciative of that."

    An appreciation Douglas and his fellow alums plan to continue to honor through their lives and hopefully beyond.

    The Gilbert Academy Alumni Association sponsored the historical plaque on St. Charles Avenue and have raised money for a scholarship in the academy's memory for a Dillard University student.

    Click here to read this article on

    Thursday's Financial Tips Kem Cents by Kemberley Washington, CPA PDF Print E-mail
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    Kem WashingtonAt payday, many of us begin budgeting from our net pay. We often neglect to consider how we can make adjustments to increase our take home pay or even review what is actually being deducted. As a result, we may settle for certain taxes, deductions, and other payments which may not benefit us at all.

    Do you know you can increase your take home pay by making necessary adjustments to your tax withholding?

    Check your allowances
    S1, S2, or M3 – what does it all mean? Your tax deductions depend solely on the information you provide to your human resources department via your W-4 form. This form determines the amount of taxes to be deducted from your check. If you withholding too much, you should increase your allowances. For example, if you currently claim S1 (single and one allowance) or M1 (married and one allowance), you should increase the number of allowances to reduce the amount of taxes being withheld from your paycheck.

    Don’t let the government use your money interest free
    Now keep in mind, the number of allowances does not have to necessarily equal the number of exemptions you claim on your tax return. As a matter of fact, to get the most of your money it should probably be more! Why is that? Because at the end of the tax year, it is advantageous to break even instead of getting a refund. Think about it, if you are getting a tax refund year after year, you are essentially allowing the federal government to hold your money and give it back to you interest free! Consider making adjustments to your allowances and utilizing the money to pay down debt, save, or invest. Isn’t that a better use of your money?

    There is an app for that
    Before you head over to the human resources department, take a moment to determine the correct amount of taxes you should deduct. Be careful! Make certain you do not underestimate your tax liability, this could potentially lead to additional penalties and interest. There are many sites, tools and apps available to help you. A great way to determine the correct withholding tax is to use the IRS withholding calculator. This withholding calculator allows you to enter your projected income and deductions to determine the correct number of allowances to claim in order to break even at year-end.

    Remember, your choice, your future!

    Kemberley Washington is a certified public accountant and a business professor at Dillard University. Follow her on Twitter or subscribe to her blog at

    Former Dillard Board member and native New Orleanian named CEO of Carnival Corp. PDF Print E-mail
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    g4P90.Em.56With a professional history steeped in agricultural technology and sugar substitutes, Arnold Donald seems an unlikely choice for chief executive of the world’s largest cruise ship company.

    But it was his history at a variety of companies, nonprofits and executive boards — and his “fresh perspective” — that made him the pick to fill Micky Arison’s shoes as Carnival Corp. CEO. Arison will hold on to his role as chairman.

    After deciding to step down as CEO as the company split the two roles, Arison suggested Donald, who has been a member of Carnival’s board for 12 years. Former colleagues spoke highly of Donald, 58, and said he was fit for the job.

    “He’s more than capable of running Carnival,” said Ronald Parker, president and CEO of The Executive Leadership Council, which Donald led from 2010-2012.

    Parker was a board member of the organization, a forum for African-American CEOs and senior executives at Fortune 500 companies, during Donald’s tenure. With his appointment to CEO, Donald joins a small group of black CEOs of major Fortune 500-level corporations. Carnival Corp. is not on the list because it is incorporated in Panama for tax purposes.

    “He has prepared himself for over 30 years, understands businesses are made of people and he’s known for engaging with a broad spectrum of individuals,” Parker said. “He’s a results-oriented leader who’ll drive sustainable change at Carnival.”

    At the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, where Donald was president and CEO from 2006-2008, he brought his expertise from Monsanto, an agriculture and biotechnology company where he worked for more than two decades. He was also chairman and CEO and a founder of Merisant, a sweetener company whose products include Equal and Pure Via.

    “When he came here, he proposed that we put together a research program working with pharmaceutical companies,” said Marie Davis, an executive director at the foundation who has known Donald for more than 15 years.

    Davis said Donald is a delegator, a trait that should serve him well at a company with 10 individual brands.

    “He picks leaders and expects them to put a plan together,” she said. “He doesn’t micromanage.”

    Donald currently serves on several boards, including Bank of America Corp., Crown Holdings; Laclede Group, Carleton College and several arts institutions in St. Louis, where he lives. He is married with two daughters, a son and five grandchildren.

    His time as a board member at Dillard University, a historically black college based in New Orleans, coincided with Hurricane Katrina, which devastated the campus.

    Board member Andrew Wisdom said board members considered tough choices, including moving the college to Atlanta. But Donald, a native of New Orleans, was among those who took action to raise money and rebuild.

    Click here to read the article on the Miami Herald website.

    Judge Yolanda J. King, '79, to be Sworn in at Dillard Monday, June 24 PDF Print E-mail
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    The Honorable Yolanda J.  King, a Dillard graduate from the Class of 1979, will take the oath of office as Judge of Orleans Parish Juvenile Court, Section “E” on June 24, 2013 at 6 p.m. in the Georges Auditorium.
    King was elected on May 4, 2013, and brings more than 20 years of legal experience to bench.  E=before being elected, King held a number of judicial and administrative positions including Administrative Law Judge with the Division of Administration in Baton Rouge, La.; Assistant District Attorney with the Orleans Parish District Attorney’s Office; Law Clerk for current Chief Judge Carl E. Stewart, ’71, of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit; as well as research attorney for several prominent judges including Louisiana Supreme Court Justice Bernette Johnson.
    The campus community is invited to attend.
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