Since its founding in 1913 Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. has clearly distinguished itself as a public service organization that boldly confronts the challenges of African Americans and, hence, all Americans. Over the years, a wide range of programs addressing education, health, international development, and strengthening of the African American family have evolved. In realizing its mission, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. provides an extensive array of public service initiatives through its Five-Point Programmatic Thrust of:
Dr. Betty Shabazz Delta Academy
Catching the Dreams of Tomorrow, Preparing Young Women for the 21st Century: The Delta Academy was created in 1996 out of an urgent sense that bold action was needed to save our young females (ages 11-14) from the perils of academic failure, low self-esteem, and crippled futures. Delta Academy provides an opportunity for local chapters to enrich and enhance the education that our young teens receive in public schools across the nation. Specifically, we augment their scholarship in math, science, and technology, their opportunities to provide service in the form of leadership through service learning defined as the cultivation and maintenance of relationships. A primary goal of the program is to prepare young girls for full participation as leaders in the 21st Century.
Delta Academy has taken many forms. In some chapters, the Academies are after-school or Saturday programs; others are weekly or biweekly throughout the school year; and still other programs occur monthly. At a minimum, chapters plan and implement varied activities based upon the needs of the early adolescents in their areas. The activities implemented most often include computer training, self-esteem and etiquette workshops, field trips for science experiences and for college exposure, and special outings to cultural events, fancy dinners, museums, plays, and concerts.
Delta Gems: Growing and Empowering Myself Successfully
- To instill the need to excel academically;
- To provide tools that enable girls to sharpen and enhance their skills to achieve high levels of academic success;
- To assist girls in proper goal setting and planning for their futures in high school and beyond; and
- To create compassionate, caring, and community-minded young women by actively involving them in service learning and community service opportunities.
The Delta GEMS program offers a road map for college and career planning through activities that provide opportunities for self-reflection and individual growth. Delta GEMS, like Delta Academy, is implemented by chapters of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated. Delta GEMS participants have the opportunity to define and “Discover their individual Brilliance.”
The EMBODI (Empowering Males to Build Opportunities for Developing Independence) program is designed to refocus the efforts of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated, with the support and action of other major organizations, on the plight of African-American males. Both informal and empirical data suggests that the vast majority of African-American males continue to be in crisis and are not reaching their fullest potential educationally, socially and emotionally. EMBODI is designed to address these issues through dialogue and recommendations for change and action. EMBODI addresses issues related to STEM education, culture, self-efficacy, leadership, physical and mental health, healthy lifestyle choices, character, ethics, relationships, college readiness, fiscal management, civic engagement and service learning.
Arts and Letters
The Los Angeles Alumnae Chapter Arts and Letters Committee works in conjunction with the National Arts and Letters Commission to provide artistic and cultural outlets for chapter members and our local communities.
The Arts and Letters Committee is responsible for promoting a positive image of African Americans in our community through the mediums of music, dance, drama, and poetry. The Committee promotes worthwhile cultural endeavors and artists through events such as book signings, theater parties, concerts, and artist showcases.
The Los Angeles Delta Choraliers are the musical voice of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. This musical group has consistently performed for national conventions and regional conferences.
Their signature event is the Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Commemorative Concert. This event is jointly sponsored with the Alpha Kappa Alpha Chorus (comprised of choir members representing several AKA chapters). This signature concert takes place in January on the Sunday around the national holiday dedicated to honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. In 2010, the Los Angeles Delta Choraliers celebrated the 25th year of participating in this wonderfully popular community concert.
One of the primary objectives of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. is to encourage scholastic achievement and quality academic pursuits. The Los Angeles Alumnae Chapter’s annual scholarship program recognizes deserving senior high school students graduating from the greater Los Angeles area.
Scholarships are awarded to students who display academic excellence and/or financial need, and who choose to attend a four-year institution. Over the past 30 years, the Los Angeles Alumnae Chapter has awarded scholarships to hundreds of students with an average annual award amount of $12,500 per year in scholarships.
All of the annual scholarships are presented during the Chapter’s May Month Celebration, which is open to the public.
In previous years, special scholarships, are named in the honor of Soror Helen Ball and Soror Dorothy Fawcett, and have been presented to students satisfying specific requirements.
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 Sorority, Incorporated. 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.
The Financial Fortitude initiative is comprised of ten components and provides a collaboration of information from major economic corporations and other well-known financial institutions. The ten components include: Goal Setting, Financial Planning, Budgeting, Debt Management, Savings & Investments, Retirement Planning, Homeownership, Insurance, Estate Planning, and Entrepreneurship.
The initiative helps members of the Sorority spread financial education throughout their local communities.
International Awareness and Involvement
International Day of Service (IDS)
Nationally, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., celebrates the “International Day of Service” in March. Chapters around the nation prepare programs and events to educate the public on HIV and AIDS Awareness. “Though African Americans make up only 12% of the U.S. population, they account for 35% of all AIDS cases and 57% of all new cases.” – Minority Aids Project.
As part of the HLC Initiative, the Los Angeles Alumnae Chapter Mental and Physical Health Committee co-sponsored a Total Woman Health Fair with Southwest Community College, and other Delta Alumnae Chapters: Los Angeles South Bay, Inglewood, Cerritos, and Compton, and educated the public on health topics including: depression, HIV, AIDS, breast, ovarian and prostate cancer, blood pressure, and weight control.
Physical and Mental Health
As an organization of predominantly African American women, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. is uniquely positioned to impact not only the well-being of its membership, but also the families and communities we serve. Journey to Wellness: Committing our Bodies to Physical and Mental Health is now the signature Physical and Mental Health call to action. The initiative addresses the challenges of living holistic and healthy lives. The three-pronged approach to Journey to Wellness includes: signature programs, Catching, coping, Conquering; My Cry in the Dark; and Healthy Lifestyles. Members have actively engaged in physical fitness and are taking an active interest in the welfare of their health.
Los Angeles Alumnae’s Mental Health & Physical Health Committee works to educate Chapter members and the overall community on the contributing factors that directly or indirectly affect their emotional and physical well-being.
The committee is concerned with helping people to be free from incapacitating conflicts so they can effectively handle environmental stresses and internal pressures.
With the help of clinical social workers, psychiatrists, psychologists, and other mental health professionals, information is transmitted in the form of workshops, lectures, and group discussions.
The Mental Health & Physical Health Committee annually supports the Revlon Run/Walk for Women to help in the fight against breast and ovarian cancer by entering the race as “Team DELTA”.
Political Awareness and Involvement
Delta Days at the Nations Capital
In 1989, the National Social Action Commission instituted Delta Days in the Nation’s Capital, an annual legislative conference to increase members’ involvement in the national public policy-making process. The annual conference includes legislative briefings, issue forums, and advocacy skills development. Featured speakers include key policymakers, members of the United States Congress, Congressional staff members, and national issues experts.
The activities of Delta Days in the Nation’s Capital are briefings on legislative issues which impact the African-American community; skill development sessions such as How to Advocate Effectively, Understanding the Role of Congressional Staffers, How to Monitor and Track Legislation; and legislative visits to members of Congress. The participants, who come from all geographical areas of the country, also have opportunities to observe the legislators in session, participate in Senate Press Tours and White House briefings. Members of Delta and others with expertise on various issues, conduct the skills development and discussion sessions. In addition, the members also participate in the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s Town Hall Meetings and conducts Delta Days at the State Capitol, Delta Days at City Hall, and Delta Days at the School Board.
Delta Days at the United Nations
Special Consultative Status as an NGO allows the organization to provide analysis and expertise in monitoring and implementing international agreements on issues of mutual concern. As an NGO, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. has the opportunity to gain access to and disseminate information concerning a range of issues on women and children in which the United Nations is involved. Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. representatives attend regular briefings and disseminate information on UN activities to its members and the community at large.
Delta Day at the United Nations is held annually.
In March of 1913, nearly six weeks after its founding, several Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. Founders marched in the historic Suffragist March under the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. banner, the Sorority’s first public act. Today, low voter turnout statistics highlight the need to continue to identify ways to include opportunities for all citizens to exercise their voting power. Each of Delta’s programmatic initiatives has an advocacy component that is implemented under the auspices of social action when it is appropriate or necessary to do so.
Under the auspices of the National Social Action Commission, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. continues to institute activities that foster:
- Sponsoring Voter Registration and voter education programs
- Combating Voter Suppression
- The full restoration of voting rights for individuals who have paid their debt to society (ex-offenders)
- Affordable Health Care and access to quality health care
- Financial Literacy and Economic Empowerment
- Support for HBCU
- Political Awareness and Involvement
- Gender Equality
- Racial Profiling
The Social Action Committee was established to keep Los Angeles Alumnae Chapter members informed and actively involved in addressing critical issues confronting our communities both socially and politically.
Traditional activities include voter registration, voter information and forums, and education regarding pending legislation. Annually, the Social Action Committee coordinates Chapter participation in the “Delta Days at the Capitol,” both in Sacramento and Washington D.C., and Delta Days at the United Nations, as Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated is a designated Non-Governmental Organization (NGO). During election years, the Social Action Committee organizes and facilitates Chapter “meet the Candidates” forums, a venue to bring political candidates and community member together to discuss platforms and agendas that affect the community as a whole.
GET INVOLVED IN YOUR LOCAL GOVERNMENT!
Regular meetings of the Los Angeles City Council are held at 10am each Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday in the John Ferraro Council Chambers, Room 430, 3rd floor. Committee meetings are also broadcasted live on Channel 35 City View or via the link below. Members of the public are welcome to attend and may speak on agenda items. For information about specific council agenda items, please call the city clerk at 213-978-1043.
CLICK HERE for Live and On-Demand videos of council, committee, and commission meetings.
The mission of L.A. CityView 35 is to serve the people of Los Angeles by providing accurate and current information about policies, services and activities of City government; to highlight and provide programs which discuss significant issues facing the community and the people of Los Angeles; to provide information about candidates for City office and local ballot measures; and to stimulate and encourage all people representing the diverse ethnic and cultural communities of Los Angeles to involve themselves in local government and public issues. It is the intent of the City to maintain L.A. CityView 35 as a non-public forum, and nothing in these municipal access policies should be construed otherwise.