The Louisiana Chapters of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. hosted their annual State Wide meeting in Alexandria on March 5-7. State coordinator, Delores Smith, said the conference gives members of the sorority an opportunity to learn more about Delta and allows them to enjoy good Delta fellowship. Smith said members in the state can learn a lot in a weekend without having to travel far.
“The workshops focused on finance, compliance and the use of our Web site. Projects, programs and collegiate scholarship were recognized. It went well,” said Smith.
Also in attendance were Regional Director Mae Frances Rowlett, State Facilitator Denise Walker and Regional Representative Charese Noel Woods.
Since its incorporation in 1913, the sorority has made public service its mission. This year’s conference featured a march and a program centered on domestic violence. As they marched, members displayed their chapters’ banners and a variety of red and white umbrellas.
Woods said, “As Christians and Delta women, it is our job to protect and serve. We must be a catalyst for change. We must be the change we want to see in our community as it relates to domestic violence.”
Shannon Willis of Turning Point Shelter said, “I have never seen such a large group of women rallying against domestic violence.”
Willis said to battle domestic violence we can no longer be silent, and we must suspend our judgment, listen, support and understand.
“We must let everyone know domestic violence is not tolerated in our homes, schools or community. Make it the purpose of your chapter to battle domestic violence. Peace has to begin within us,” she said.
Rowlett said she focuses on domestic violence because one of the first things she did as regional director was to attend the funeral of a young member who died at the hands of an abuser. That same year, 2008, another member was murdered.
She said she asked sorority members to donate toiletries because abused people leave home sometimes with just the clothes on their backs.
“We don’t have to be abused. Love shouldn’t hurt. We have to take a stance. We have to stop the violence,” she told the audience. “We understand. We care. We are a part of it.”
Smith has served in many leadership capacities: regional secretary, president of the Grambling Alumnae Chapter and advisor for Grambling State University’s Delta Iota Chapter.
Other members of Grambling Alumnae holding state positions are Gwendolyn Giles, secretary; Mary Davis, chaplain; Donna K. Hill-Todd, Area I Cluster Chair and Theresa Jacobs, Life-Style initiative coordinator.
Kathy Holmes, president of the chapter, said, “Our chapter member is coordinator, and she did such a great job of getting out the information for those who wanted to attend.”
“Also, she made sure we had information about the sorority that we needed to know. We learned a lot of new things,” Holmes said.