OPBSI Inducts NCADV Executive Director as an Honorary Sister

New York, NYJuly 6, 2009

* For Immediate Release *


Jocelyn Tejeda
Director of Public Relations

Omega Phi Beta Sorority, Incorporated (OPBSI) had the honor of inducting their fourth honorary sister into the organization, Rita Smith. This memorable event took place on Saturday, June 26, 2009 during OPBSI’s annual summer conference. Rita Smith is currently the Executive Director of the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV), where she has been working since late 1992. Ms. Smith is viewed as a national expert on the issue of violence against women, and as a result has been interviewed by hundreds of newspaper reporters and has appeared on local and national radio and television news shows, including the Washington Post, USA Today, People Magazine, NPR, Today Show, Good Morning America and Oprah Winfrey Show. Her work is instrumental in many communities and goes hand in hand with OPBSI’s national philanthropy of Raising Awareness of Violence Against Women.

In 2006, Ms. Smith began to work cohesively with OPBSI to promote their national philanthropy and educate the collegiate community on Domestic Violence Awareness. Through this partnership OPBSI gained media attention both locally and nationally while raising and donating over $3,000 to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCDAV). In 2007, Ms. Smith certified over 100 members of OPBSI as advocates against Domestic Violence Abuse. Her presentation allowed sisters to learn about the cycle of domestic violence, how to handle a domestic violence situations, and the resources available for those in need. The voices of survivors are a critical part of her work, and she has kept their voices, vision and leadership as an integral part of the work NCADV does nationally. In 2008, Ms. Smith participated in OPBSI’s first ever 3-2-1 Countdown: "Fighting to end Violence against Women" campaign, which consists of three events, two community service events and one national fundraiser. She volunteered as a speaker for a DV Workshop at NYU and addressed the issues of domestic violence, rape, and sexual assault on college campuses. Ms. Smith's message left a lasting impression and she has now been requested by colonies and chapters to speak at their college campuses.

The Director of Herstorian for OPBSI Mrs. Nilka M. Rivera stated “It has been an honor to induct such a prestigious and humble woman full of inspiration, selflessness, and empowerment into our organization”.

In efforts to raise awareness of violence against women, OPBSI presented the NCADV with a DV quilt
including nationwide messages of hope and inspiration to victims and survivors of domestic violence. OPBSI would like to thank, congratulate, and welcome Rita Smith into our Sisterhood.

OPBSI_Crest_Small_Revised-2010-03-15Omega Phi Beta Sorority, Incorporated, a NALFO organization member, is a Latina-oriented sorority founded on March 15, 1989, at the University at Albany, State University of New York. Seventeen women of various ethnic and cultural backgrounds came together to defy the injustices suffered by women, particularly women of color, in the academic, professional and political arenas. The purpose of OPBSI is to serve and educate people of diverse backgrounds through sisterhood, leadership, and guidance. As positive role models, we promote unity of all cultures, focus on the empowerment of our gender and raise the standards of excellence in our academic, social, and personal endeavors. For further information visit: www.OmegaPhiBeta.org

National Coalition Against Domestic Violence is comprised of people dealing with the concerns of battered women and their families. We represent both rural and urban areas. Our programs support and involve battered women of all racial, social, religious and economic groups, ages and lifestyles. We oppose the use of violence as a means of control over others and support equality in relationships and the concept of helping women assume power over their own lives. We strive toward becoming independent, community-based groups in which women make major policy and program decisions. For further information visit: www.ncadv.org