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Philadelphia Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. Celebrates 90 Years at Gala
By Gloria Dulan-Wilson
90th Anniversary Celebration
Philadelphia Alumnae Chapter
Power of the Past, Force of the Future
Well, it's almost here!!! The 90th Anniversary gala celebration of Philadelphia Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., will take place at the Hilton Hotel in Philadelphia. In fact, it's this Saturday, October 28th - and I'm so excited to be a part of celebrating this wonderful point in our history. This is a truly wonderful, spectacular, epoch making celebration!!!
Just think, back in 1927, Philadelphia Alumnae Chapter, which was originally chartered as Xi Sigma, was formed in Philadelphia by eleven charter members: Sadie T. Mossell Alexander, Nellie R. Bright, Mary Deleon, Florence Evans, Anna Johnson Julian, Marian Minton, Julia Polk Parham, Ethel Sargent, Sarah Strickland Scott, Nora Waring, and Pauline Young. Our Charter Members went on to become leaders in their own right, establishing programs that have continued to play a vital role in our lives, locally and nationally.
Over the decades our members have contributed much to Philadelphia locally, as well as to the national landscape, including political and civil rights activities - protesting against discriminatory practices. We joined with the NAACP and established a Job Opportunities project, where we transported students to various work sites. Volunteered for the YM and YWCA to work in various local schools; volunteered during the war(s), supporting our men and women in uniform. During the Civil Rights era of the 50s and 60s, we marched with the NAACP, registered voters, worked to provide equal access to employment, housing and education; and supported our Sorors who were jailed in Mississippi for registering Black people to vote.
Among our ongoing missions, we provide scholarships for students seeking college education; provide tutorial training for SAT exams; work with youth in the community, preparing them for higher education or career development. A college education is the hallmark of Delta's mission, and to that end we have established an annual matching fund to the United Negro College Fund in support of HBCUs, and several other locally base organizational and individual scholarship programs that support African American students desirable of achieving a higher education.
Among the programs of which we are most proud is the Dr. Betty Shabazz Delta Academy, which provides opportunities to enrich and enhance the academic, emotional and personal development of females ages 11-18 through the Delta Gems programs.
During the 1990’s, Philadelphia Alumnae partnered with Habitat for Humanity International and rehabilitated a house in Camden, NJ, via our time, sweat and financial support. We also contributed to building a Habitat for Humanity home in Ghana.
Since its founding in 1913, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority has clearly distinguished itself as a public service organization that boldly confronts the challenges of African Americans and hence, all Americans. As we near the end of our first decade in the new Millennium, we are continuing on the path of our illustrious Founders, creating new venues and seeking new opportunities in which to serve our community. In realizing our mission, new programs evolved to carry out our latest national theme of “Empowering Communities through Committed Service.”
Our commitment to the Sorority’s Five-Point Programmatic Thrust focuses on the needs of the underserved, and include:
The Delta Academy and Delta Gems - A continuation of the highly successful Dr. Betty Shabazz Delta Academy;
The UNCF, providing college-bound students with a free SAT Prep Workshop;
Adopt-A-School Program, where we strive to support students in local public schools.
The Annual Juanita Kidd Stout Economic Youth Conference provides young people with free daylong workshops on financial fortitude.
International Awareness and involvement: the Change for Darfur Project where Sorors give their spare change to help raise much-needed funding for our African brothers and sisters.
Physical and Mental Health:
“The Total Woman: Mind, Body and Spirit” focuses on achieving and maintaining healthy weight.
American Heart Association’s “Go Red For Women” campaign, raising funds for education and research of cardiovascular disease, the leading cause of death for women.
Political Awareness and Involvement:
Supportive of Delta Days in the Nation’s Capital and United Nations;
Advocacy for local change, including travel to Harrisburg to meet with leaders of the Commonwealth from both sides of the aisle hoping to raise awareness of the needs of Philadelphia residents.
The rich history of the Philadelphia Alumnae Chapter is a part of the history of our community, as well as that of Delta Sigma Theta in general. As we continue to break new ground in the 21stCentury, we will continue the Legacy of sisterhood and service to our community while blazing new trails at the local, national and international levels.
Our current chapter, President, Monica Johnson Taylor,
is continuing to lead The Philadelphia Alumnae Chapter to even greater accomplishments.
Philadelphia Alumnae Chapter President, Monica Johnson Taylor
Personally, as a recent member of the Philadelphia Alumnae Chapter, having moved here from the New York Alumnae Chapter, I am so proud to be a part of this wonderful, historical event.
I am extending my congratulations to all the Sorors of the Philadelphia Alumnae Chapter as well as my gratitude to the founding Sorors who have already made their transition to the realm of Ancestor Angel for this wonderful legacy and for keeping the torch burning bright.