Deltas commemorate a century of service

Posted: April 3, 2013 in The Philadelphia Tribune
The early 20th century was a period of significant advancements for businesses, government entities and individuals in the United States.A century ago, this country celebrated the opening of New York’s Grand Central Terminal, formed the Congressional Union for Woman Suffrage and passed of one of the first minimum wage laws in the country.

In 1913, women and minors were starting to be shielded from employment disparity with newly formed minimum wage laws in several states. Many women felt devalued when compared to male counterparts. Some worked 50 hours a week with a 45-minute lunch and earned a weekly wage of almost $9.

This year commemorates the 100-year anniversary of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., the single largest African-American women’s organization in the country. Of the many notable events planned to commemorate the sorority’s founding, one holds significant historic relevance — the Women’s Suffrage March Reenactment.

The recent reenactment in the nation’s capital recreated the day the sorority’s founders participated as the only African-American organization in the Women’s Suffrage March on March 3, 1913. This was the first public service act of the sorority.

“The women of Delta Sigma Theta have been and remain a vital contributor to the success of our communities and a defender of rights of all people for 100 years,” said National President, Cynthia M. A. Butler-McIntyre. “We are going to take this year to honor the rich legacy of our 22 Founders, celebrate the inheritance they generously placed in our hands, and humbly take up the torch they lit for us to carry and pass on to the next generation.”

Philadelphia resident Loraine Greer is an active member of several women’s organizations that advocate on behalf of women’s rights.

“Committed to educating and empowering women, I especially felt compelled to attend the reenactment march,” she said.  “I saw it as an opportunity to strengthen my voice in an effort to continue advancing the socio-economic and political advancements for women. My attendance brought awareness to positive images of women and the hard work needed to improve opportunities within our communities and cities alike.”

Like many participants, Greer experienced an overwhelming sense of sisterhood, empowerment and uplifting.

“I watched older women walk five miles, with arms locked and a cane guiding each step,” she said. “This was an emotionally motivating experience, something I will never forget.”

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