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Sister to Sister International, Inc. (STSI)

PROUD HISTORICAL MILESTONES AT-A-GLANCE

 

1985

Prior to the formation of STSI, Cheryl Brannan travels to Africa for the first time, attending the Third World Conference on Women in Nairobi, Kenya as a non-governmental UN Delegate. The Nairobi Forward Looking Strategies, a blue print for the advancement of women was adopted.

1987

Cheryl Brannan travels to West African countries with family including, mom Jeanette Ray and sisters Beverly and Jeanette, under the auspices of Sister to Sister Productions, adopting villages and delivering school and medical supplies. They also initiate an African clothing line featuring their designs made by tailors, for “Women with Style and a Passion for Quality.”

The African Fashion Shows hosted by the Brannan Family in Yonkers, New Jersey and Maryland promoted other vendors and entrepreneurship, along with a taste of history through their informal stories and slide-shows. Many of the stylish one-of-a-kind outfits are still worn today!

The family continues to re-connect with their history including travels to Senegal and Ghana with Professors Leonard Jeffries and Eugenia Bain, as well as noted historian Dr. John Henrik Clarke.

1993


Sister to Sister Productions, a family group evolves into Sister to Sister International, with a mission to “link women of African descent globally to various resources that connect, advance and strengthen them.” They begin doing this through advocacy, education and the promotion of African culture. Developing healthy lifestyles becomes a cornerstone of the organization.

STSI supports the Ghana Education Scholarship Program, providing scholarships to Ghanaian children, through Imacus Vienna Robinson, a US Citizen who has made Ghana her home.

STSI spotlights the plight of victims and raises funds for the “Gift of Limbs” Program, at the Yonkers Hudson River Museum in support of purchasing prosthetics for child casualties of the civil war in Sierra Leone

STSI adopts the Gambian National Library in memory of the late US Ambassador to the Gambia, Ruth V. Washington, sponsoring book drives and donating over 1,000 books, over the years

STSI creates the Nana Ya Asantewaa Award recognition in honor of the Ghanaian female leader and institutes a Ghanaian “Durba Style” umbrella into its celebratory processions

1994


STSI sponsors its First Annual Health Symposium, including an UJAMAA Marketplace of vendors, which becomes a signature event, held at Riverside High School, Yonkers, N.Y.

STSI sponsors its first Kwanzaa Celebration featuring Dr. Eugenia Bain at the Yonkers YWCA

1995


STSI Founder & CEO Cheryl Brannan travels to Asia for the first time, attending the Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing, China as a non-governmental UN Delegate. The Beijing Platform for Action was adopted.

2000


STSI sponsors its first UN Day during the Commission on the Status of Women’s 44th session, including a Student UN Tour & Briefing, Thematic Workshop and Networking Reception; with women and UN Dignitaries from around the world. This becomes a signature event and collaborative effort with key global NGO UN partners, annually.

2002


STSI is granted Special Consultative Status with the UN Department of Public Information and Economic Social Council, becoming an official partner

2003


STSI secures office space, part-time staff and consultants

STSI launches a “Maama Kit Campaign” safe birthing initiative for women in Africa with the World Health Organization, the Links Incorporated and various community partners, raising funds to sponsor over 3,000 kits!

STSI sponsors a “Law Day” reviewing legal issues and processes with members of the community; Spearheaded by STSI member and noted civil rights attorney Gail Wright Sirmans, Esq.

2004


STSI announces the Daisy S. George Award, at its UN Day Networking Reception, to honor the legacy of an outstanding humanitarian and public servant at the UN and beyond.

STSI members & family first Bar-B-Q is held at Kingsland Pointe Park

STSI hosts its first Holiday Party & Charity Event, New Rochelle, N.Y.

STSI sponsors a Community Education Forum, with Academic Pathways for students and parents at the Yonkers Riverfront Library

2005


STSI sponsors its first Healthy Weekend Extravaganza including a Friday, Healthy Roadshow; Saturday Symposium and Sunday Church Service at the Kingdom Christian Cultural Center; E. Adell Dowdy, STSI’s Vice President, serves as Healthy Weekend Chairperson

“Sisters Beating the Odds & Claiming Wellness Campaign” for women of color, with wellness booklets, is launched with various community partners. Knowing your Stat’s is where it is at!

First Annual High Tea event is held, incorporating Black History at the Lenoir Estate, Yonkers, N.Y. Event is designed and Co-chaired by Laverne Johnson and Donna Coles

2007


STSI Gala Awards Dinner, “Queen of the Nile” award recipients: STSI Founding Family Group members, Jeanette Ray and Rose Taylor, receive Distinguished Award Recognition.

Third Annual High Tea event is held “Saluting Octogenarians” with Special Guest Mistress of Ceremonies, Phylicia Rashad, at the Royal Regency Hotel, Yonkers, N.Y.

2008


STSI Delegation travels to Senegal and the Gambia to visit STSI projects and establish new connections

2009


STSI, Founder & CEO, Cheryl Brannan publishes a position paper in support of Health Care Reform and the Affordable Care Act (ACA) entitled: “What do we want – Health Care Reform: When do we want it….Now!!”

2010


STSI sponsors its first annual Science Technology Engineering & Math STEM Camp for Black and Latina girls in partnership with Academic Pathways. STSI Founder & CEO, designs and introduces the Program

STSI undergoes a re-structure electing Laverne Johnson, Board Chair, expanding the Board of Directors and creating an International Advisory Board

Funded by the Westchester Community Foundation for a 3 Year Faith Based Health Initiative with the Kingdom Baptist Church, in Yonkers to promote healthy lifestyles among parishioners and members of the community

2011


STSI sponsors a STEM Camp for high school students from Lagos State Government in Nigeria with a local NGO partner. Camp was designed by STSI Founder & CEO, Cheryl Brannan with support from Nigerian born, STSI Board Member, Subomi Macaulay

2012


The Supreme Court upholds the ACA and the theme for STSI’s Healthy Weekend Extravaganza is: “Affordable Care Act: Access, Prevention & Career Opportunities”

State Farm becomes a STEM Camp Precious Partner and Sponsor

2013


STSI sponsors a bus trip to the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington, including community activist and STEM students

STSI is funded to be an official NYS of Health Ambassador for the Affordable Care Act, encouraging enrollment among uninsured and under insured members of our community

STSI sponsors its first Karaoke Night, with a 60’s Theme, DJ and Dancing; Introduced by STSI Board Chair Laverne Johnson

2014


STSI celebrates its 20th Anniversary with a spectacular Benefit Gala and Healthy Weekend Extravaganza

STSI sponsors its 5th Annual STEM Camp for Black and Latina girls and presents five “REACH for the STARS” scholarships, including four members who are the first group of college bound STEM Program graduates

STSI sponsors its first “Chat & Chew” to great acclaim. STSI members enjoyed getting together in an informal environment at the Bella Havana Restaurant, “Chatting & Chewing” about fashion, health and other interesting topics. This event was introduced and chaired by Gloria Collington.

STSI sponsors a “Vendor & Craft Fair” promoting small businesses and entrepreneurship at the Nepperhan Community Center. Great buys were had by all! This event was introduced and chaired by Millie Stewart.