Duke Energy Center lights up for sorority's big 70! |
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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) -- Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., Charlotte Alumnae Chapter celebrates 70 years of service to the Charlotte community. To honor this milestone, the Duke Energy building will be illuminated red on June 13, 2012.
Since its founding, the Charlotte chapter has grown to more than 600 members. “This is an exciting time to be a Delta. I am thrilled about our chapter celebrating our birthday,” says Desiree Rew, President, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Charlotte Alumnae Chapter. “The chapters 70th birthday is important because it’s a reminder of the great public service Deltas do in the community. I am also excited about the sorority’s upcoming 100th birthday in January 2013.”
The Charlotte Chapter, founded June 13, 1942 has reached several ‘firsts’ in the Charlotte community, including:
· Ruth Powell, first black female mortician
· Virginia Shadd, the first black female high school principal
· Paula Newsome, the first black female optometrist
· Dorothy Counts-Scoggins, first black student to integrate Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools
· Dr. Bertha Maxwell-Roddey, the first Regional Director and Delta 20th National President from the Charlotte Chapter. Further, Dr. Maxwell Roddey was the first chair of the then African-American and African Studies Department which began at UNC Charlotte in 1960. In 2008, the Africana Studies Department at UNC Charlotte inaugurated the annual "Maxwell-Roddey Lecture" to honor Dr. Maxwell-Roddey's pioneering contributions to the development of Africana Studies as an academic discipline at UNC Charlotte.
· Matched the first African-American Big Sister volunteer– Delta member Daisy Stroud with a Little Sister from Big Brother Big Sisters. The two are still in touch today!
Other chapter projects include:
· Debutante Cotillion – held 45+ years and has contributed more than $300,000 in scholarships to young women and charitable contributions to area non-profits.
· Delta Academy – a mentoring program named and established to honor Delta member Dr. Betty Shabazz, an exemplary role model to young women and for her contributions to education. The program is designed for young ladies ages 11-14 years.
· Delta GEMS - (Growing and Empowering Myself Successfully), a mentoring program for teen girls, ages of 14-18 in grades nine through 12, who have not reached their full academic potential. The program honors the 12th National President of Delta, Dr. Jeanne L. Noble, a legendary pioneer in the field of education. The Delta GEMS Program is officially named The Dr. Jeanne L. Noble Delta GEMS Institute.
· EMBODI (Empowering Males to Build Opportunities for Developing Independence), targets males 13-17. It is the sorority’s signature program under the leadership of the current 24th National President Cynthia M. A. Butler-McIntyre. All three mentoring programs fall under the sororities Program, Planning & Development Committee (PP&D), one of the chapter’s largest committees.
· Community Day Health & Wellness Expo – an annual event to highlight health challenges in the African -American community, while offering solutions in a free family oriented event (interactive booths, health screenings, product samples, exercise, etc.)
· Dorothy Counts Scoggins/E. Virginia Shadd Breaking Barriers Scholarships – In May 2012, the chapter awarded college scholarships TOTALING $11,000 to deserving women in the community. Scholarships are awarded annually.
Additionally, the chapter has participated in logging hundreds of volunteer hours with many non-profit organizations (nursing homes, Crisis Assistance Ministry, the Battered Women’s Shelter and The Salvation Army to name a few).
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