In DC, Delta Sigma Theta Celebrates 100 Years

The sorority's members have descended on Howard University, where their organization began.

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DST members in 1939 (Alfred Eisenstaedt/Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images)

Sunday marks the centennial anniversary of the Delta Sigma Theta sorority, and members are traveling to Howard University in Washington, D.C., in droves to celebrate, reports the Washington Post.

Founded at Howard by 22 African American undergraduates on Jan. 13, 1913, the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority has more than 200,000 members. Notable Deltas have included civil rights activists Mary McLeod Bethune and Dorothy Irene Height, singers Aretha Franklin and Lena Horne, and politicians Shirley Chisholm and Barbara Jordan.

Delta women have marched for women's suffrage, participated in public policy in the nation's capital and hosted countless mentorship and service programs — all in an effort to create change in their community. The historically black sorority is not a monument but a movement, said Delta's 24th president, Cynthia M.A. Butler-McIntyre, two years ago at the 50th national convention.

Deltas have preached innovation since their founders planned changes to the first sisterhood they rushed — Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority.

The genesis of Delta, and the root of the AKA-Delta rivalry, was on Oct. 11, 1912, when 22 women were initiated into AKA, then the only black women's sorority. Of those 22, seven were elected officers, including Myra Davis Hemmings, who became chapter president. Almost immediately after taking office, the newcomers voiced their displeasure with the direction the organization was heading.

Read more at the Washington Post.

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