National History

Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated is an organization of college educated women committed to constructive development of its members and to public service with a primary focus on the Black community.

Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. is a, non-profit organization whose purpose is to provide assistance and support through established programs in local communities throughout the world.

Founded on January 13, 1913 by twenty-two collegiate women at Howard University, the Sorority is currently a sisterhood of more than 200,000 predominately Black college educated women. This includes over 900 chapters located in the United States, England, Japan (Tokyo and Okinawa), Germany, the Virgin Islands, Bermuda, the Bahamas, and the Republic of Korea.

The major programs of the sorority are based upon the organization’s
Five-Point Programmatic Thrust.

First Row: Winona Cargile Alexander, Madree Penn White, Wertie Blackwell Weaver, Vashti Turley Murphy, Ethel Cuff Black, Frederica Chase Dodd

Second Row: Osceola Macarthy Adams, Pauline Oberdorfer Minor, Edna Brown Coleman, Edith Motte Young, Marguerite Young Alexander, Naomi Sewell Richardson, Eliza P. Shippen

Third Row: Zephyr Chisom Carter, Myra Davis Hemmings, Mamie Reddy Rose, Bertha Pitts Campbell, Florence Letcher Toms, Olive Jones, Jessie McGuire Dent, Jimmie Bugg Middleton, Ethel Carr Watson

The original artwork is a life-sized painting on canvas created by artist Tarleton Blackwell. The original hangs in the National Headquarters Office in Washington, D.C

National economic trends, such as unstable employment, the threat to Social Security as we know it, and the widening gap between wealth and poverty are the basis for the development of Financial Fortitude, the current Economic Development Program Initiative of Delta Sigma Theta. Financial Fortitude is a process that will help program participants to set and define goals, develop a plan to achieve them, and to put the plan into action. The process serves as a blueprint to address all aspects of personal finances.


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As an organization of college educated women. Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. plays an active role in the educational movement, seeking to inspire, motivate and support the aspirations and achievements of youth and young adults.  To help promote and enhance academic excellence through programs, tolls and scholarships. The ultimate goal of the committee is to design and develop educational programs and activities that will increase the RAC’s effectiveness in the community in the field of education.


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The goal of the International Awareness and Involvement Committee focuses on promoting a better understanding and deeper appreciation for the contributions and struggles of people and cultures different from one’s own.  

The program is three-fold:  1) to promote internal and multi-cultural awareness to Deltas;  2) to educate Deltas about global issues and related topics, and  3) to support international and cultural organizations with their respective events. The chapter is dedicated to developing community programs designed to provide assistance, relief and resources to developing countries; as well as fostering local advocacy for social injustices. The chapter’s commitment to organize change and encourage cultural awareness is proudly demonstrated by its past projects and future initiatives.


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The committee provides emphasis the promotion of physical and mental wellness. The committee provides events and opportunities to Chapter members and the larger community regarding physical and mental health conditions that affect the African-American population. This goal is accomplished by collaborating with other organizations that have a commitment to ensuring the overall well-being of the community; facilitating educational lectures on health topics; providing opportunities for Deltas to establish social support through health-focused activities and sports-related competitions; and providing general health education/awareness through monthly Minerva updates.


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Our Founders’ participation in the Suffrage March for Women to Vote in March, 1913 was our organization’s first act of social action. This act set the tone for today. Social Action is major fabric of our organization. The committee serves the chapter as a non-partisan resource. It endeavors to encourage the membership to take a more active role in the political process and to fulfill their civic responsibility. The purpose of this program is to empower the chapter to remain actively involved in local, state and national political issues.


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