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Planning for the Unexpected: “Leaving a Legacy” Event Will Tackle The Important Conversations Around Death

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Tomorrow night's "Leaving a Legacy" event will feature the expertise of Dawn Adams, Chief Operating Officer and Funeral Director at Foster Funeral & Cremation Service.

Numerous studies have shown that a lack of estate planning can put African-American wealth at risk. However, because death is a morbid subject, most people avoid thinking about it, much less planning for it. That failure to plan can have disastrous and expensive consequences for the loved ones left behind.

“It’s one of those things that happens a lot and people don’t talk about it a lot,” Terri Strong, president of the Madison Alumnae Chapter of the Delta Sigma Theta sorority, tells Madison365. “We felt that it was time to look at our programming for economic development and have some programming that deals with this issue and will give people information on what we need plan for and how we need to plan.”

“Hopefully with this ‘Leaving a Legacy’ event, it will give us more information and will leave us better prepared to start this conversation with our own parents, perhaps, with our spouses and with our families,” she adds. “Just looking to get the pieces in place for the time when we pass.”

The Delta Sigma Theta Madison Alumnae chapter will host “Leaving a Legacy,” an informative workshop that will provide tools to help attendees prepare for the unexpected, on Tuesday, April 30, 6 p.m. at The Village on Park Atrium Community Room, 2300 S Park St. The Deltas are hosting this event in partnership with Foster Funeral Home, the first black-owned funeral home in Madison’s history.

“Dawn Adams [Chief Operating Officer and Funeral Director at Foster Funeral & Cremation Service] will be there. Hands down, she is one of the best people to be talking about this topic,” Strong says. “She deals with this every day at their funeral home. She will be really good. She has that compassionate heart and she really understands, but she will also make sure that you have stuff in order the way that it needs to be so there is a seamless a transition as possible and the family won’t have to worry about anything.”

Adams will be discuss the planning of celebration of life services, preparing final documents and selecting funeral products.

“We’ve never done this event before,” Strong says. “As part of our ‘Financial Fortitude’ series, we want to cover as many topics as possible. We’ve done issues like wealth building and knowing your credit.”

The Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. provides an extensive array of public service initiatives through its Five-Point Programmatic Thrust of Economic Development, Educational Development, International Awareness and Involvement, Physical and Mental Health, and Political Awareness and Involvement.

The Madison Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.

“Economic development is part of our five-point program thrust,” Strong says.  “This is programming that our sorority and our chapter should be focused on throughout the year anyway. In recent years, MAC [Madison Alumnae Chapter] has really increased our programming in economic development. This is just one more thing that we’re doing.”

The co-leads for the Delta’s economic development committee are Kimila Daniels and Angela R. Davis.

“Those two have really embraced sharing knowledge about economics and how to be more in tune with a credit score or building wealth or investing or banking,” Strong says. “Anything that will help African Americans take charge of and be knowledgable about building wealth, Angela and Kimila have done a really great job of developing that programming for the Madison alumnae chapter.”

“Leaving a Legacy” will also tackle issues like insurance planning, preparing final documents, selecting funeral products and a celebration of life services planning.

“We’re hoping for a cross-section of people at the event. This is not just for African-American women, this is a workshop for everybody,” Strong says. “This is something that we can’t put off. It’s inevitable. We don’t know when it’s going to happen, but we need to be better prepared to make sure all of our affairs are in order.”