The first public act performed by Delta Founders involved their participation in the Women’s Suffrage March in Washington D.C., March 1913. Delta Sigma Theta was incorporated in 1930. Less than two months after the sorority’s founding, Delta Sigma Theta women began their political activism by participating in the historic 1913 Women’s Suffrage March on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, D.C. Delta Sigma Theta’s twenty-two founders marched with honorary member Mary Church Terrell under the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority banner on the day prior to Woodrow Wilson’s inauguration believing that black women needed the right to vote to protect against sexual exploitation, promote quality education, assist in the workforce, and empower their race.
Although our young founders were criticized, none regretted her participation in the march. Founder, Florence Toms commented, “We marched that day in order that women might come into their own because we believed that women not only needed an education, but they needed a broader horizon in which they may use that education. And the right to vote would give them that privilege.”
With a growing membership we continually strive to promote social activism in our local communities.
Delta Days at the State Capitol
Held in Raleigh, NC, this legislative forum is periodically conducted to bring Deltas from across the state to meet with their state representatives and senators to engage in dialogue on issues and bills that are of importance to their personal and communal well-being. This year Delta Days at the State Capitol will take place in Spring.
Delta Days in the Nation’s 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.
Delta Days at the United Nations
In March 2003, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. became a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) at the United Nations. In a presentation by Hanifa Mezoui, Chief NGO Section, Department of Economic and Social Affairs of the UN (ECOSOC), Past National President Gwendolyn Boyd (who served as National President during this time) accepted the credentials on behalf of the sorority before 150 members of the organization from across the country. Delta Sigma Theta was welcomed to the United Nations by Assistant Secretary General for External Affairs, Gillian Sorensen, who asked the sorority in her keynote address to “use your NGO status to monitor the status of women and children in the world and bind together with other NGOs to ensure that the UN honors its commitments.” Delta Sigma Theta was granted Special Consultative Status as an NGO to the Economic and Social Council of the UN as a result of its volunteer services and humanitarian efforts performed to address issues throughout the world.
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 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 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.