Special For The Birmingham Times
Beverly E. Smith, National President and CEO of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. was the keynote speaker during the Founders’ Day Celebration held Saturday, February 9 at the Birmingham Jefferson Convention Complex Exhibition Hall.
The event, hosted by the Birmingham Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., was sold out with more than 700 in attendance.
Smith, who brings to the position experience in leadership, administration, volunteerism and entrepreneurship, delivered a keynote speech reflective of the Sorority’s theme of “Joy in our Sisterhood… Power in our Voice … Service in our Hearts.”
“Celebrating the founding of Delta Sigma Theta with the Birmingham Alumnae Chapter is a great tribute to the bravery and strength of our sorority’s 22 Founders,” Smith said. “The first act of Delta’s Founders was the Women’s Suffrage March in 1913. Their commitment to equality and social justice is one of many reasons we honor them each year.”
The organization marched into history on March 3, 1913 when Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated became the only African American women’s organization to march in the Women’s Suffrage Parade. The members took a stand for the rights of all women despite fears of being attacked and despite being asked to walk at the end of the parade.
Last week, the Birmingham Alumnae chapter hosted the inspirational and motivational event complete with musical performances and a powerful tribute.
Members took time to reflect on a moment in history when 22 Howard University women came together to form the organization.
“Founders Day is a time to celebrate 106 years of sisterhood, scholarship and service to the world. We are especially pleased to bring together an audience of hundreds who join us in making the community better,” said Matilda Merriweather, President, Birmingham Alumnae Chapter. “Birmingham Alumnae Chapter awards over $40,000 in scholarships, while also hosting a Health Fair and registering thousands of new voters each year.”
Deidra K. Diaz, National Executive Board, said, “I’m so proud to be a member of the Birmingham Alumnae Chapter and Delta Sigma Theta’s National Executive Board. We hosted our chapter’s largest Founders Day ever this year. It was indeed a banner weekend for us.”
The organization continues to be a voice for underrepresented and underserved communities. Members work within the organization’s Five Point Programmatic Thrust which includes: Economic Development; Educational Development; International Awareness and Involvement; Physical and Mental Health; and Political Awareness and Involvement. The sorority has grown from Howard University where it started in 1913 to more than 900 international chapters today. There are now more than 300,000 collegiate and alumnae members.