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Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated. is a private, not-for-profit organization whose purpose is to provide assistance and support through established programs in local communities throughout the world. The sorority currently has 1,000 collegiate and alumnae chapters located in the United States, Canada, Japan (Tokyo and Okinawa), Germany, the Virgin Islands, Bermuda, the Bahamas, Jamaica, West Africa, Southern African, United Arab Emirates and the Republic of Korea.

More than 10,000 members typically attend Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated’s biennial national conventions, and each of the seven regional conferences (held during years when there is no national convention) typically hosts thousands of members. During the Centennial Celebration, the 51st National Convention, held in the District of Columbia, more than 38,000 members registered and attended.

Mission Statement

Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated is an organization of college educated women committed to the constructive development of its members and to public service with a primary focus on the Black community.

Our Founders

Osceola Macarthy Adams

Marguerite Young Alexander

Winona Cargile Alexander

Ethel Cuff Black

Bertha Pitts Campbell

Zephyr Chisom Carter

Edna Brown Coleman

Jessie McGuire Dent

Frederica Chase Dodd

Myra Davis Hemmings

Olive C. Jones

Jimmie Bugg Middleton

Pauline Oberdorfer Minor

Vashti Turley Murphy

Naomi Sewell Richardson

Mamie Reddy Rose

Eliza Pearl Shippen

Florence Letcher Toms

Ethel Carr Watson

Wertie Blackwell Weaver

Madree Penn White

Edith Motte Young

Historical Timeline


In the Beginning....

Delta Sigma Theta is founded at Howard University. The Founders first act of public service was participating in the Suffrage March of 1913.


May Week

The designation given to the observance by chapters throughout the country of a program stressing higher education for Negro women, was first observed.



A cultural and fundraising activity adopted by local chapters, was first initiated by the Iota Chapter. The proceeds usually are given to charity, for scholarships, or to a worthy cause. Jabberwock is intended to foster inter-organizational cooperation.



Delta Sigma Theta Sorority was incorporated.


National Library Project

Began the first national program called the National Library Project, which established a traveling library that served the rural areas of the South.


Career Development

Became the first sorority to provide a program of employment counseling and career development for Black women.



First National Headquarters established by the Sorority. Becomes the first Black Greek Letter Organization to establish a national headquarters property.


Opened Mary Help of the Sick Mission Hospital (formerly Thika Maternity Hospital) in Thika, Kenya.



Created the Distinguished Professor Endowed Chair for Historically Black Colleges and Universities which funds the recommended professor and a unique program of study at an institution that meets the strict qualifications.


Established a partnership with Habitat for Humanity in which the Sorority built homes in the United States and Africa.


First Black Greek-letter organization to be named a Non-Governmental Organization by the United Nations.


The Sorority celebrates its centennial.