On September 26, 2016, Iota Sweethearts, Inc. (I.S.I.) celebrated their second anniversary as an incorporated entity.
Over the course of the last two years, the organization has taken many steps towards forming it's own identity, including forming a national executive board, becoming an official national bronze level sponsor with St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, and establishing initiatives that revolve around servicing women and children shelters. Iota Sweethearts were also at the forefront of the Flint Water Crisis, delivering over 3000 bottles of water to the area, stood up for Lupus in Houston, clothed the homeless for the winter in Los Angles and donated food and services to the St. Louis Food-bank and the Fountain of Hope in Atlanta. At the close of the 2016 club year in July, I.S.I. had accumulated nearly 1000 community service hours across all regions.
The roots of the organization stems back to the founding of Iota Phi Theta Fraternity, Incorporated in 1963, where Morgan State University faculty member Ms. Audrey S. Brooks played a vital role in the formation of the fraternity in its early stages. With Ms. Brooks being named "the Eternal Sweetheart," Iota Sweethearts have since been at the side of the fraternity for many years, serving as it's sister auxiliary. In January 2014, the auxiliary in it's former capacity was disbanded; however, the long lasting relationship between the two organizations did not subside once the incorporation of the sweethearts occurred that following September. The bond between Iotas and Iotas Sweethearts are engraved in each other's history and, in July 2016 in Baltimore, MD, an official Memorandum of Understanding was signed by the International Grand Polaris of the fraternity, Bro. Robert Clark and the I.S.I. National President, Sweetheart Felecia Manson, ensuring a working partnership between both organizations would continue.
In an acknowledgment of the two-year anniversary, President Manson restated her vision for what she sees in the organization's future, stating: "We will continue to build on that legacy by creating and providing scholarships for our youth; promoting health and social awareness through various agencies and partnerships, and by implementing programs that will contribute to the economic standards within our communities."
Currently, there are over 350 members of Iota Sweethearts, Inc. nationwide. The organization is looking to increase its membership over the next year, including welcoming back members of the former auxiliary. A few notable Iota Sweethearts include:
Sweetheart Nicole Dupree- Founder of 127 East Cosmetics
Sweetheart Amanda Chambers (Author Serendipity)- Best Selling Author & founder of Divine Legacy Publishing
Sweetheart Kirsten Bailey (Author First Lady K)- Best Selling Author & founder of First Lady K Publishing
Sweetheart Lorna Simmons - First African American Female Chief Probation Officer in Hamden County Superior Court
Sweetheart Terrika Foster-Brasby-ESPN Producer; Founder of She Knows SportsWeb & She Know SportsWear Clothing
Sweetheart Tamika Bennett- Founder & Executive Dir. of Restore the Role (a non-profit for parental involvement in education)
Sweetheart Siobhan St. John- Former captain of the Brooklynettes Dance Team for the NBA's Brooklyn Nets
Sweetheart Sherri Bester- Nation's Top Fundraiser for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
and many more.
Iota Sweethearts are moving forward in the legacy set forth by Ms. Brooks and are striving to strengthen their organization and the communities they serve. Happy 2nd Anniversary I.S.I.!