On January 13, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. will celebrate 100 years of sisterhood and public service. To kickoff this historic occasion, the Delta Centennial Torch Tour stopped in New Orleans the weekend of January 4, 2013 with a visit to Dillard University.
An actual torch is being carried from Los Angeles to Washington, D.C. with many stops in between underscoring the role that Delta Sigma Theta has played from the Women’s Suffrage to the Civil Rights Movements to advances in education and technology. New Orleans is the second stop on the Tour, which will end in Washington, D.C. during the Sorority’s 51st National Convention, July 11 – 17, 2013. Several events were planned, illustrating how New Orleans Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta and the City of New Orleans have partnered to build a stronger community.
On Saturday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., the Delta Centennial Torch Tour moved through the City of New Orleans “Illuminating Our Community,” stopping at three of the city’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities: Xavier University of Louisiana (9:50 a.m. to 10:50 a.m.), Southern University at New Orleans (12:15 p.m. to 1:15 p.m.), and Dillard University (2 p.m. to 3 p.m.). These sites were selected because they are significant to African Americans, members of Delta Sigma Theta, and to many across the nation.
Each of the stops included a brief program and featured Delta Sigma Theta’s current National President and Dillard Alumna, Cynthia Butler-McIntyre, along with music and other national, regional and local luminaries. In addition, the motorcade passed by Flint-Goodridge Senior Citizens Facility, the site of the first African American nursing degree program in Louisiana and the only hospital that African American physicians could practice, and New Zion Baptist Church, the birthplace of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, as well as, Martin Luther King Jr. Monument, Gilbert Academy and other historical sites.
The New Orleans Alumnae Chapter President of the Deltas, Rachel Mercadel, also a Dillard Alumna and a current staff member, joined Butler-McIntyre for many events.