There is no greater promise than the brilliant minds of our youth on college and university campuses across America. In the African American collegiate community it is the many historic Greek-themed fraternity and sorority organizations that often lead in accomplishment and community activity. These groups instill standards of ethics and achievement in their membership, which results in masses of community service, and a bevy of the greatest achievers ever known in Black History. And when they get done being socially impactful, they make another kind of social impact through a stomp, a clap, a shimmy, and an occasional tap. Steppin’ is the brand of dance they do, and they do it to celebrate being young leaders on the right path.
Since its early days at the Green Central Gym, through the former ACE Institute of Learning, led by educator Ken Foxworth, the Midwest Greek Stepshow has been the one major, local outlet for Black fraternities and sororities to make their statements through steppin’.
Delphanie Daniels is the exceptional entrepreneur who has taken the reigns of the Midwest Greek Stepshow, and she certainly has quite a few of the right ideas to make the show, and the influence of the show, grow to new heights. “I’m passionate about educating youth. My goal is to create a strong institution through my new business FaceTime, with the stepshow as our leading event, and the acknowledgement and development of youth as our overriding focus. Both financially and through programming, FaceTime will focus on giving kids exposure to options that help them get it right, rather than the excessive drug use, dropouts, and teen pregnancies that we see way too much of. We need to put in and organize a lot of face-to-face interaction in order to get those goals accomplished,” said Daniels, who’s a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.
Daniels created FaceTime in order to build upon the success of the Midwest Greek Stepshow, an event she has been part of since its beginnings in 2003. The 4H Program actually took over the stepshow in order to keep the stepshow development element of the after school program inherited from the former ACE Institute of Learning. 4H is an agricultural based program, and so the show briefly began to wander away from its core execution style.
And so Daniels did what superwomen tend to do. With the support of her family, Daniels created FaceTime and went straight to the top in order to get the Midwest Greek Stepshow back to the greatness of its name, and the expectations of the annual packed houses. For starters, Daniels went straight to the top by bringing in Finesse Mitchell, of Saturday Night Live fame, as a celebrity guest host. “Down South and on the Coasts, we know that Stepshows are big celebrity events. There are so many celebrities that are Greek affiliated. Finesse Mitchell is a Kappa. And not only are they big celebrity events, but they are huge community events with everyone represented: youth groups, small business, media, and corporate executives. We’ve had a good taste of that in the past, but it’s time to take it to the next level,” said Daniels. When you consider Eddie Murphy and Will Ferrell are amongst the lineage of Saturday Night Live, Finesse Mitchell qualifies as one who should definitely take the Midwest Greek Stepshow to new heights.
Event sponsorship by business like Best Buy, Cub Foods, and Jostens has enabled the Midwest Greek Stepshow to transform into a tip-top affair. But it is the stern focus towards the development of youth that is the quiet, positive storm that will take the event to the greatest levels of accomplishment
“The main focus of our fiscal donations this year will go towards the Minneapolis Public Schools program “100 Strong Who Care,” said Daniels. Their program supports face time for youth with supportive community members. The members of our Greek letter organizations are the perfect individuals to expose our youth to, so they can see strong, young examples of what they can be in the near future. We start with these strong elements, and will work our way up to having a really big effect on the community. The fraternities and sororities are already doing so much that goes by somewhat silently, but if we increase the face-to-face interaction with the kids, then we can really wake something up in the kids, and the community, and thus turn some things around. I really believe we can do it. I’m really just so passionate about our youth. Providing scholarships for them will be next on the agenda.”
Daniels credits her family for supporting her through the long journey to this hopeful and successful point. “They are the driving force behind me,” lauded Daniels. She adds, “I’ve gotten to this point in my professional development only because I pushed through so many setbacks. My dad taught me to stay focused on a goal; and when obstacles make you feel like you can’t, just always remember that you can.”
In his retirement speech, Michael Jordan said “Never say never. Limits, like fears, are often just illusions.” Jordan is a member of Omega Psi Phi. Daniels was not afraid to take on the huge task of bringing the Midwest Greek Stepshow to the next level of success, while saving it from some brief misdirection. Fortunately the future success of her labors will have hugely positive reverberations throughout the many layers of the community, with the youth and the brilliant collegians representing the most important layers.
Information on the Midwest Greek Stepshow is available @ www.FaceTimeonline.net
Doors for the event open at 5pm, with showtime at 6pm.