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. Since its founding, more than 200,000 women have joined the organization. The organization is a sisterhood of predominantly Black, college, educated women. The sorority currently has 1,000 collegiate and alumnae chapters located in the United States, England, Japan (Tokyo and Okinawa), Germany, the Virgin Islands, Bermuda, the Bahamas, Jamaica, and the Republic of Korea.
The major programs of the sorority are based upon the organization's Five Point Programmatic Thrust:
International Awareness and Involvement
Physical and Mental Health
Political Awareness and Involvement
Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. chartered the Gamma Zeta Sigma Chapter in Daytona Beach, Florida in 1946. Sorors responsible for forming this chapter were, for the most part, professors at Bethune-Cookman College and instructors in the public school system of Volusia County. These charter members were inspired by Soror Mary McLeod Bethune’s leadership as President of Bethune-Cookman and her work in the community through the founding of the National Council of Negro Women. Her motivating force encouraged the five charter members to provide services and programs that promoted human welfare within Volusia County.
The first president of Gamma Zeta Sigma was Wilhelmena White Colston, who later moved to Greensboro, North Carolina where she remained until her death. Of the original charter members, Marion M. Speight remained in active service the longest with the Daytona Beach Alumnae Chapter; fifty eight years until her death on January 21, 2005. The Chapter's first pledgees made in 1946 were Carrie L. Bently; Vivian Hall Boston; Dorothy Stephens; and Elouise Jackson McGill.
In 1960, Grand Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. changed the names of graduate chapters from the Greek name to the name of the city or the geographic area where the chapters were located. Thus, Gamma Zeta Sigma Chapter became the Daytona Beach Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated.
Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. was founded on January 13, 1913 by 22 collegiate women at Howard University. These students wanted to use their collective strength to promote academic excellence and to provide assistance to those in need. In March of 1913, the Founders of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. performed their first public act. They participated in the Women's Suffrage March in Washington, D.C.
Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. was incorporated in 1930.
First Row: Winona Cargile Alexander, Madree Penn White, Wertie Blackwell Weaver,
Vashti Turley Murphy, Ethel Cuff Black, Frederica Chase Dodd
Second Row: Osceola Macarthy Adams, Pauline Oberdorfer Minor, Edna Brown Coleman,
Edith Motte Young, Marguerite Young Alexander, 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
The original artwork is a life-sized painting on canvas created by artist Tarleton Blackwell. The original hangs in the National Headquarters Office in Washington, D.C.