100-year-old sorority promotes scholarship, service
There is a group of strong and intelligent women who are members of an organization called the Delta Sigma Theta sorority.
The Delta Sigma Theta sorority consists of women who help to promote academic excellence, to provide support for those in need and to hold activities for established programs in their local area. There are more than 300,000 predominantly black, college-educated women in this international group.
This is an important year because the sorority will celebrate its 100th birthday. They will be participating in the Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena, Calif., with a float entitled “Transforming Communities through Sisterhood and Service.”
The Delta Sigma Theta sorority was founded by 22 Howard University students in 1913. It was originally named Alpha Kappa Alpha, but the members wanted to change the name because they wanted a national organization to enlarge its activities.
One of the first public activities that the sorority members participated in was the women’s suffrage march in Washington in 1913. Some of the other activities that the sorority was involved in include: Jabberwock, an annual variety show consisting of cultural expression and talent, and May Week, consisting of programs highlighting academic and professional achievement whose purpose is to emphasize the importance of higher education among black woman.
Locally, the sorority holds an annual Black History Month Creative Expressions Contest. The contest has evolved over time, and its present day format is the celebration of written and artistic expressions by local area students who demonstrate the relevance of black history.
There are several Delta members who have been among the first women to make history in their chosen profession. The first example is Patricia Roberts Harris. Patricia was the first African-American woman to be appointed ambassador to a European country and also to be appointed to a presidential Cabinet as secretary of Housing and Urban Development. Also, there is Shirley Jackson. She was the first African-American woman to be president of a leading technological university, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and the first African-American woman to earn a doctorate at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Lastly, there is Brigadier General Hazel Johnson Brown. She was the first African-American female general in the United States Army.
In conclusion, the Delta Sigma Theta sorority has influenced the world for 100 years. Their motto is “Intelligence is the torch of wisdom.” Education is the foundation of this sorority. Their activities and membership have helped communities internationally and locally.
This sorority is an important group, whose service has nurtured the minority community and has produced a legacy of a powerful force of women.