National History

Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated was founded on January 13th, 1913 on the campus of Howard University by twenty-two young and determined undergraduate women. Their vision was to promote a better enriching world of social welfare, academic excellence, and cultural enrichment while de-emphasizing the social side of sorority life. It was that same year, in which the ladies of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated participated in their first service event: the Women’s Suffrage March. In the year 1930, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority was incorporated.

The ideas of scholarship and service stood the test of time and, today, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated, a public service organization, continues to provide programs and services towards human welfare. The sorority has become one of the largest Black women’s organizations in the world with members numbering over 200,000 and more than 950 chapters. Since the inception of the Alpha chapter, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated has not only spread nationwide, but also worldwide with chapters in West Germany, Japan, Bermuda, Haiti, Liberia, the Virgin Islands, the Bahamas and Korea.

The twenty two founders are: Osceola McCarthy Adams, Marguerite Young Alexander, Winona Cargile Alexander, Ethel Cuff Black, Bertha Pitts Campbell, Zephyr Chisom Carter, Edna Brown Coleman, Frederica Chase Dodd, Jessie McGuire Dent, Myra Davis Hemmings, Olive C. Jones, Jimmie Bugg Middleton, Pauline Oberdorfer Minor, Vashti Turley Murphy, Naomi Sewell Richardson, Mammie Reddy Rose, Eliza P. Shippen, Florence Letcher Toms, Ethel Carr Watson, Wertie Blackwell Weaver, Madree Penn White, Edith Mott Young.

Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated provides an array of public service initiatives within its mission to confront the challenges that not only African Americans, but all people have to face. The sorority’s commitment to service is fulfilled through the Five-Point Thrust Program:

  • Economic Development
  • Educational Development
  • International Awareness and Involvement
  • Physical and Mental Health
  • Political Awareness and Involvement

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