Compiled by Basma Humadi, Assistant Lifestyle Editor
Organization: Amber Igodan- Delta Sigma Theta
Photographed: Amber Igodan and Brittni Beverly-Adams
What is the purpose of Delta Sigma Theta?
Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated is an organization of college-educated women committed to the constructive development of its members and to public service with a primary focus on the Black community.
It’s an organization committed to scholarship, sisterhood and service.
Why is this organization important to you?
Delta Sigma Theta, Sorority, Incorporated is important to me because the founders and past presidents have paved the way for women around the world to help their communities and make a change.
What is your most memorable moment with Delta Sigma Theta?
My most memorable moment was becoming apart of the best chapter, Omicron Rho. Gaining sisters has changed my life for the better. These are women who are leaders, hard workers, and ones who care to see their communities achieve.
Teacher: Amaka Okechukwu
Who is your biggest inspiration and why?
I am most inspired by people who do a lot with a little. Folks who may not have much, but use their drive to be innovative and creative. I always look to the people resisting and creating.
What does Black History Month mean to you?
Black History Month is a reminder to Americans that Black people have made significant contributions to this world. I know this, as do my family, friends and community members. This country could not be here without the labor of Black people. However, it is important to formally acknowledge this through holidays, celebrations, panels, lectures, books and other kinds of media. So I appreciate this time and I hope every racial group can take the time out to learn something new about Black people in the United States and throughout the African diaspora. #blackhistoryyear
Would you say your identity has helped shaped who you are? If so, how?
Confused by the question. Your identity is who you are. If you are referring to racial or ethnic identity—- my black heritage has always been a central part of who I am. I am blessed to be descended from enslaved people (on my mother’s side) and Nigeria (on my father’s side), so I have the best of both worlds! I’ve always understood blackness as diverse, and I truly draw strength from my Black heritage. My worldview has been shaped from my experience as a Black woman in America, and I truly feel that I live intersectionality daily.
What topics are you most excited to teach/discuss with your students and why?
I am working on a new book project that draws from the subfield of urban sociology, so I am very excited about issues relating to cities, urban development, and race and resistance in the urban context. I also enjoy introducing students to qualitative methods, particularly interviewing and participant observation—-so many of us already have an inclination to listen to and observe the social world around us! It’s great informing students that in fact, those are legitimate methods to use in research.
Student: Kevin Gibbs
What’s your dream job?
My dream job is to become a Foreign Service Officer with Lieutenant Permit. So, traveling the world, usually on the economic [career track] and just help people
What are you doing to celebrate Black History Month?
Going to see Black Panther. I’m so excited for that movie.
You’ve interned at the House of Representatives before – what was that experience like?
It was amazing. It was amazing to see how legislation actually gets made and how the congressmen and representatives actually conduct business, figure out how they’re gonna write legislation, who’s actually writing it and how much time the representatives can serve their staff.
What was your favorite thing about your internship?
Getting to sit in on the committees. Usually, in the committee they’re talking to very smart people about a certain issue and I learned a lot of stuff about how we regulate gas emissions from oil companies to opioid crises. It was a lot of varied stuff. I went to an IT meeting where they talked about encryption and what the future of that was and it was really interesting.
What made you want to get into politics?
I just love reading about politics. I became a political junkie when I moved to this area three years ago and I had the time. It captivates me because I think in politics it’s important since it affects all of our lives. If you’re not paying attention to it you get blindsighted and you never know what’s going to happen from there.
Photos by Basma Humadi