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National History

Founding History

Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. was founded on January 13, 1913 by 22 collegiate women on the campus of Howard University in Washington D.C. These young women wanted to use their collective strength to promote academic excellence; provide scholarships; educate and stimulate participation in the establishment of positive public policy; provide support to the underserved; and highlight issues and provide solutions for problems in their communities. The first public service act performed by the founders was the Women's Suffrage March in Washington D.C. on March 3, 1913. Delta Sigma Theta Sorority was incorporated on January 20, 1930. ​




Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. is a private, non-profit organization whose purpose is to provide assistance and support through established programs in local communities throughout the world. A sisterhood of more than 300,000 predominantly Black college educated women, the Sorority currently has 1,000 chapters located in the United States, England, Japan (Tokyo and Okinawa), Germany, the Virgin Islands, Bermuda, the Bahamas and the Republic of Korea.


The major programs of the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. are based upon the organization's Five Point Programmatic Thrust:​​​


  1. Economic Development ​​​

  2. Educational Development

  3. International Awareness and Involvement ​

  4. Physical and Mental Health

  5. Political Awareness and Involvement




(First Row): Winona Cargile Alexandre, Madree Penn White, Wertie Blackwell Weaver, Vashti Turley Murphy, Ethel Cuff Black, Frederica Chase Dodd



(Second Row): Osceola Macarthy Adams, Pauline Oberdofer Minor,  Edna Brown Coleman,Edith Motte Young, Marguerite Young Alexandre, Naomi Sewell Richardson, Eliza P. Shippen



(Third Row): Zephyr Chisom Carter, Myra Davis Hemmings, Mamie Reddy Rose, Bertha Pitts Campbell, Florence Letcher Toms, Olive Jones, Jessie McGuire Dent, Jimmie Bugg Middleton, Ethel Carr Watson

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