The Sister Accord is on a mission to change how girls and women treat, support, and interact. The organization’s goal is to have 1 billion girls and women learn to LOVE themselves and each other. The shift in the mindset comes from mentoring, self-awareness, and leadership development. While Sonia Jackson Myles was working in Corporate America, she gave a speech during President Obama’s first Inauguration. She pondered what she would talk about during the speech and fell asleep. Sonia remembers dreaming about The Sister Accord and woke up and wrote all her ideas down on paper. As she journeyed through her corporate career, she served as a mentor and had several mentees. She had mentees from every continent except Antarctica. Her male mentees had all these dreams and aspirations that they needed help executing. Whereas the female mentees always had drama about other women. She decided she needed to help the ladies sort everything out. She began to think, How do we love ourselves enough? Well, we must learn to love ourselves and then love one another.
The theme of this year’s Tea Party was Flag on the Play. This year’s tea party was held virtually, with excellent speakers and phenomenal performances. Since Sonia is an avid sports fan, she often uses sports analogies during her coaching sessions and speeches. The mission of the organization is to eradicate bullying by recognizing signs or red flags of danger. In addition, she wants the ladies to acknowledge the good signs or green flags, including self-respect, confidence, and empowerment. There have been 22 Sister Accord Tea Parties held to date across the United States.
Typically “The Sister Accord” gives away two scholarships in honor of Sonia’s mother, Nella D. Jackson. Education was very important to her mother, and she thought this was the perfect way to continue her legacy. The applicants are encouraged to attend an event and follow the prescribed list of requirements. The scholarship committee reviews the essays and applications of each student. This year was different. This year they received over $15,000 through a grant and other donations. Sonia considers it a blessing that people are still giving money to charitable organizations in the middle of a global pandemic. Since “The Sister Accord” was blessed with additional funds, they selected three young ladies. Sonia is so excited to know the ladies are still passionate about doing the work and improving their communities during the pandemic and virtual events.
One of the Nella D. Jackson Memorial Scholarship Award recipients is Nneka Jones from the south side of Chicago. Nneka is currently studying Political Science at Agnes Scott College. She learned of The Sister Accord organization back in 2019 from a close friend. Nneka attended this year’s virtual Tea Party and applied for the scholarship. Since then, she has learned more about the organization from social media and talking to the founder, Sonia Jackson Myles. Nneka’s goal is to start a new chapter of The Sister Accord on her college campus. She feels more young women could enjoy this great organization. She wants to share what she has learned with other young women, including life skills and access resources outside their neighborhoods.
She notes her appreciation of Sonia’s experience at various elite corporations and her willingness to share her experiences. She learned she was the recipient of the scholarship award when Sonia called her. She was surprised Sonia called her to notify her of the award. Sonia is also committed to being a mentor and resource moving forward. Nneka notes the scholarship will help, but she is more focused on the non-monetary benefits of being a part of The Sister Accord. Nneka has used social media to help mentor young women ages 14 to 18 years old and focus on self-confidence and empowerment during the pandemic. She wants her mentees to know the power of words and affirmations. She hopes to continue mentoring others once she becomes an elected official and help bring other women of color into politics on a national level. In the meantime, she is excited to be on the journey with Sonia as she strives to meet the goals of teaching 1 Billion young ladies and women to LOVE themselves. For more information on Sonia Jackson Myles and “The Sister Accord, please check out www.thesisteraccord.com and social media @thesisteraccord.
Theresa Horton is a contributing writer for the Chicago Defender. Find her on social media @passionateresources.