A Sister Shares Her Pride and Love for the Respected Sorority
by Patrice Baltimore
Founded on Jan. 13, 1913 by twenty-two collegiate women on the campus of Howard University, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. strives to promote academic excellence and assist those in need. Delta Founders participated in their first public act in March of 1913 while participating in the Women’s Suffrage march.
Beyond a public service organization, Delta is a sisterhood of more than 200,000 predominantly African American women. With over 900 chapters, the organization reaches across the United States and can also be found in England, Japan, Germany, the Bahamas, the Virginia Islands, Bermuda, and the Republic of Korea.
A majority of the sorority’s programs are centered on its Five Point Thrust, which consists of Economic Development, Educational Development, International Awareness and Involvement, Physical and Mental Health, and Political Awareness and Involvement.
With national initiatives and programs such as the Delta Academy, Financial Fortitude, Mission Hospital, Voting Rights, Delta Days at the UN, and Leadership Delta, this sorority takes its role as an influence and inspiration to the community and the world seriously, striving for advancement and excellence in all endeavors.
Dually humbled and honored to share in a piece of this sisterhood, I am forever indebted to my Sorors of the chapter that initiated me and 28 other line sisters in the spring of 2007, the Beta Epsilon Chapter, chartered Dec. 4, 1937 on the campus of Virginia Union University by 26 women.
One of these women, Hilda Yates Warden, age 88, resides near the University, and often graces her Sorors with her presence at various gatherings, celebrations, festivities. She even opens the doors of her home to host a senior cookout for the graduating seniors in the chapter. When asked how Delta has affected her life, Warden answered, “It’s been a part of my life for so long, I can’t remember when it wasn’t. The thing that I have come to appreciate more than anything else, is that my sorority embodies the true meaning of sisterhood.”
Alice Reed Calloway, another beloved charter member, lives in Westminster Canterbury Retirement Community in Richmond. Members of the chapter continue to visit her.
I am certain that every member of this great organization is filled with love, passion, and dedication to Delta. Many share in the love and respect for the chapter that introduced them to sisterhood.
“It’s like Home Sweet Home,” says Arkeba Woodard (#20SPR2K1), when asked about the Beta Epsilon Chapter. “No matter how far you go, even if you move, or join an alumnae chapter, you always come back home.”
Delta women strive to set examples of high standard. In July, Omega Wilson (#11Fall86) will make history when she begins her term as Principal for Hermitage High School, as she will be the first black and first female to hold this esteemed position. She believes that Delta has taught her ‘discipline, spirituality, community service…’ and has enhanced her ‘overall as an African American woman.” She is proud to note that Delta, for her, is a ‘tremendous backbone of support.”
Members of the sorority are endowed with an undoubted sisterhood, and joint purpose. Delta positively affects the lives of all of its members, as many have fond and inspiring reflections on the impact that Delta has made in her own life.
“I am a college graduate and working woman because of DST,” says Ariel Parham (#23SPR05). “I received the job I am currently employed by from a soror who knew I was in need!” This situation is not a rarity, as Delta serves as a wondrous network in the workplace, and in life overall.
Delta instills in its members life lessons that apply to various aspects of life. Shayla Bryson (#16SPR007) shares, “Delta has taught me patience; patience with others and with myself.” Demetria Simmons (#15SPR2K2) adds, “Delta made me become a stronger individual by learning to handle whatever obstacles come my way.”
Erin Richardson (#15SPR05) shares her feelings about Delta by saying, “it connects me with those strong Black women who struggled to secure our place in history. I have the comfort of knowing that I always have a sister to love and support me no matter what.”
We are more than a public service organization. We are a sisterhood breaking barriers, overcoming obstacles, inspiring our communities, uplifting the unfortunate, striving to serve as examples of true humanitarianism and humility. All the while, we hold our heads high, because after all, we are the Ladies of The Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, INCORPORATED!