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Remembering the Lives and Legacies of Extraordinary DREF Leaders: Delta Past National Presidents Mona H. Bailey and Frankie M. Freeman and Former Board Member Floraline I. Stevens

The Delta Research and Educational Foundation (DREF) Board of Directors, staff, and supporters mourn the recent loss of three extraordinary Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. members who were DREF leaders.
Remembering the Lives and Legacies of Extraordinary DREF Leaders: Delta Past National Presidents Mona H. Bailey and Frankie M. Freeman and Former Board Member Floraline I. Stevens

Mona H. Bailey

On January 12, 2018 two DST Past National Presidents Mona Humphries Bailey of Seattle, WA, and Frankie Muse Freeman of St. Louis, MO, passed.  On January 15, 2018, former DREF Board Member and DST National Executive Board Dr. Floraline I. Stevens of Pasadena, CA also made her transition.


“We have lost three dynamic women who gave exceptional leadership to DREF over the years, aiming to grow our Foundation and ensure that its mission was upheld,” stated DREF President Carolyn E. Lewis.  She added: “DREF benefitted tremendously from the guidance and philanthropic support of our fallen sisters.”

Mona Humphries Bailey Served as DREF President

Mona Humphries Bailey, age 85, succumbed after a lengthy illness on the morning of January 12th. She served as president of the DREF board of Directors from 2002 until 2006.  She was the 17th National President of DST Sorority, Inc., serving at the helm from 1979 until 1983.  The former Assistant State Superintendent of Education in Washington State was a strong advocate for education and empowering African American women and girls.  While president of DREF, she led the Foundation in successfully implementing the multi-million dollar funded Science and Everyday Experiences (SEE) program grant (initially funded by the National Science Foundation and supported by the American Association for the Advancement of Science and other agencies).  During her presidency, she also led the Foundation in creating a long range plan entitled “Strategic Plan 2006 and Beyond.”


Noted for creating innovative fundraising ideas and expanding the DREF donor base, Mrs. Bailey led DREF in commissioning noted sculptor Tina Allen, the late Honorary Delta Member, to create two sculptures to benefit the Foundation.  The two works of art were entitled:  “Delta Heart” and “Delta Maiden.” 


The funeral mass for Mrs. Bailey was held on January 19, 2018 at St. Monica Catholic Church in Seattle.  The Delta Omega Omega Service will be held on Sunday, January 28, 2018 in Tallahassee, FL on the campus of Florida A&M University, where Mrs. Bailey earned her bachelor’s degree and where she was initiated into the Beta Alpha Chapter of DST.  In recognition of her lifelong commitment to education and to honor her memory, the Bailey Family encourages that contributions be made to the following charitable organizations:

Delta Research and Educational Foundation(DREF) 1703 New Hampshire Ave., NW, Washington, DC  20009

The Minnie Henry Humphries Scholarship Fund at Florida A&M University (named in honor of her mother) FAMU Scholarship Program 2009  C.C. Cunningham Center, Tallahassee, FL 32307

Pacific Science Center 200 Second Ave. North, Seattle, WA 98109

Mrs. Bailey is survived by her beloved husband Pete Bailey, two sons: Colonel Peter Govan Bailey of Montgomery, AL and Christopher Evans Bailey (Chelsea) of Seattle, WA, and four grandchildren. She is also survived by her siblings Maime Stevens, Dr. Frederick Humphries, Barbara Jones (Milton), sisters-in-law Julia Green and Martha Brown, cousin Govan Thomas (Sylvia) and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins and extended family.


Frankie Muse Freeman

Frankie Muse Freeman Guides DREF in Early Years

Frankie Muse Freeman, age 101, passed on the evening of January 12th

She was elected as Delta’s 14th National President in 1967, which was the same year that DREF was established. At the 31st DST National Convention held that year and led by 13th National President, Dr. Geraldine P. Woods, the Grand Chapter voted to establish DREF as a 501 (c) (3) organization. Incoming National President Freeman was instrumental in the Foundation’s formative years.  DREF benefited immensely from her keen legal intellect; then National President Freeman guided the Foundation in filing its articles of incorporation in 1970. 


As DREF launched its Golden Anniversary commemoration at the annual Stephanie Tubbs Jones Social Justice Institute Forum at “Delta Days in the Nation’s Capital” in 2017, Mrs. Freeman, a noted civil rights attorney, was a featured panelists addressing the topic: “Empowering Black Women and Girls.”  Throughout her involvement in Delta, she provided exceptional leadership and philanthropic support to DREF.


The Howard University Law graduate was a distinguished civil rights attorney who fought to end segregated housing and promoted equal rights in St. Louis and nationwide during the civil rights movement.  She was the lead attorney in winning the landmark NAACP case in 1954 that ended segregation in public housing in St. Louis.   In 1964, President Lyndon B. Johnson appointed Mrs. Freeman as the first woman to serve on the United States Civil Rights Commission, sending her throughout the nation to investigate racial discrimination. She was subsequently re-appointed by to the Commission by three other U.S. Presidents.  On November 21, 2017, the civil rights icon was able attend the unveiling of a life-size bronze sculpture of her that was erected in St. Louis.


Mrs. Freeman’s remain were in repose at the Grand Hall of the Missouri History Museum on Friday, January 19 and her funeral service was held on Saturday at Washington Tabernacle Missionary Baptist Church, where she was a long-time member.   The Delta Omega Omega Ceremony for her will be held on Sunday, March 11, 2018 during the “Delta Days” program in Washington, D.C.


Mrs. Freeman is survived by her loving daughter Shelbe Patricia Bullock, four grandchildren, and a host of nieces, nephews, and cousins. The family has requested that donations be made in memory of Mrs. Freeman to Washington Tabernacle Nance Scholarship Fund, 3200 Washington Ave., St. Louis, MO 63103  and Howard University, 2400 6th St., NW, Washington, D.C.  20059.


Dr. Floraline I. Stevens


Dr. Floraline I. Stevens Served on DREF Board

Dr. Floraline Ingram Stevens passed on January 15, 2018 after an extended illness.  The former member of the DREF Board of Directors and former member of the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. National Executive Board provided remarkable leadership to DREF for many years.  She served as a member of the DREF Board of Directors from 2000 until 2004, while also serving on the Sorority’s Board as co-chair of the National Program Planning and Development Committee. 


Most recently, Dr. Stevens volunteered with DREF as a member of the Sister Scholars Advisory Council, serving from 2014 until her passing.  She was a member of the Council’s Research Subcommittee and was committed to conducting research on African American Women.  Her first involvement with DREF research activities goes back to year 2000 when the Foundation published the inaugural issue of the Center for Research on African American Women Journal (the precursor to PHILLIS: The Journal for Research of African American Women).  She was a member of the Committee responsible for producing the first issue of the scholarly journal. 


While serving as a leader of DREF or DST, she was a consistent contributor and key stakeholder in upholding the Foundation’s mission.  Her leadership roles at DST also including serving co-chair of the National Social Action Commission from 1988 to 1992 and she served two terms as director of the Sorority’s Farwest Region (1980 to 1984).


Dr. Stevens was a native of Los Angeles, where she worked as director of the research and evaluation branch of the Los Angeles Unified School District for 19 years. She was also a senior research fellow for the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) in Washington, D.C. and a program director for the National Science Foundation in the Education and Human Resources Directorate.  She is noted for writing the 1996 NCES monograph “Opportunities to Learn for Poor and Minority Students.”


The family of Dr. Stevens has asked that, in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the DREF, 1703 New Hampshire Ave., NW, Washington, D.C.  20009 or and/or the Pasadena Altadena Community Endowment Fund, P.O. Box 91109-0605.


Final arrangements for Dr. Stevens include a viewing on Friday, January 26, 2018 from 3:00 pm. Until 5:00 pm. at Woods-Valentine Mortuary (1455 N. Fair Oaks Avenue, Pasadena, CA, 91103).  The Delta Omega Omega Ceremony will follow at 5:30 p.m. at First AME Church (1700 N. Raymond Avenue, Pasadena, CA). The funeral service will be held on Saturday, January 27 at 11:00 a.m. at First AME Church.


Dr. Stevens is survived by her daughter Melba Stevens of New York City, stepson Ron Stevens of Southern California, and niece Iris Ingram of Long Beach, CA.

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