Delta Sigma Theta Sorority kicked off the celebration of its centennial in divine order with “prayer, praise and worship” and a message from National President Cynthia M. A. Butler-McIntyre to “just do it.”
“We were founded on Christian principles. We understand not only who we are but ‘whose we are,’” said Butler-McIntyre, referring to a Southern saying in reference to being a “child of God.” She said Delta Sigma Theta honors God by “just doing” what he says by first thanking him for his blessings and celebrating the sorority’s 100 years of existence.
“God created Delta,” Butler-McIntyre said. “It was divinely inspired. He expects us to thank him. ... Whatever he tells us to do just do it.”
“We want our celebration to be pleasing in his sight,” she added.
Butler-McIntyre, the 24th National President of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., offered this inspirational message during a praise and worship service on Sunday, June 10 at Washington Preparatory High School. She was joined by Rev. Gwendolyn E. Boyd, 22nd national president of Delta Sigma Theta, Farwest Regional Director Sandra Phillips Johnson and a host of other Delta dignitaries and musicians. Hundreds of Deltas, members of other Black Greek-letter organizations and community members attended the event.
The praise and worship service was the first of two events promoting the sorority’s 100-year anniversary. Thelma James Day, member of the sorority’s National Executive Board and award-winning actress and singer Sheryl Lee Ralph, co-chairs of the Centennial Kick-off Celebration Committee hosted a reception at Loyola Marymount University for National President Butler-McIntyre who took the opportunity to extend an invitation to other Greek-letter organizations and the community to attend.
The event included greetings from past National President Boyd, Centennial chair, the Centennial Kick-off Celebration co-chairs, Farwest Regional Director Johnson and LMU officials including Judge Irma Brown Dillon, a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority and LMU trustee, and representatives from the Southern California chapters of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. who presented Butler-McIntyre with a gift.
“You are invited to our national celebration,” said Butler-McIntyre. “We celebrate with each of you.”
Boyd said, “We are so excited to be making history. This is going to be a celebration to remember.”
Delta will launch its celebration in the “Fabulous Farwest” as the first African-American women’s organization to have a float in the historic Pasadena Tournament of Roses parade. The parade will be followed by a gala event where the sorority will recognize individuals who represent Delta’s commitment to community service.
The day’s activities will culminate with the launch of a Centennial Torch that will be carried to 22 cities in honor of the sorority’s Founders and in commemoration of its Centennial Celebration around the world. The torch’s journey will end in Washington, D.C., the birthplace of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.
Delta Sigma Theta is founded on Christian principles. With more than 250,000 members worldwide, Delta Sigma Theta is the single largest African-American women’s organization in the country. The sorority has more than 1,000 chapters in the United States, the Bahamas, Bermuda, Germany, Jamaica, Japan, the Republic of Korea and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
The private, nonprofit organization provides assistance and support through established programs in communities throughout the world. Delta Sigma Theta’s major programs are based upon the organization's Five-Point Programmatic Thrust: economic development, educational development; international awareness and involvement, physical and mental health and political awareness and involvement.
Delta Sigma Theta Sorority was founded on January 13, 1913 by 22 collegiate women at Howard University. These students wanted to use their collective strength to promote academic excellence and to provide assistance to persons in need. The first public act performed by the Delta Founders involved their participation in the Women's Suffrage March in Washington D.C., March 1913. Delta Sigma Theta was incorporated in 1930.
For more information about Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. visit www.deltasigmatheta.org.