Since its founding in 1913, Delta Sigma Theta has clearly distinguished itself as a public service organization that boldly confronts the challenges of African Americans and, hence, all Americans. Over the years, a wide range of programs addressing education, health, international development, and strengthening of the African American family has evolved. In realizing its mission, Delta Sigma Theta provides an extensive array of public service initiatives through its Five-Point Program Thrust of Economic Development, Educational Development, International Awareness & Involvement, Physical and Mental Health, and Political Awareness & Involvement.
We remain steadfast and vigilant about social issues that confront our community. The Gary Alumnae Chapter works diligently to assist our political infrastructure and the people who live in our service area to understand needs to ensure goals are met for our communities to become better places to live.
In March of 1913, nearly six weeks after its founding, several Delta Sigma Theta Founders marched in the historic Suffragist March under the Delta Sigma Theta Banner, the Sorority’s first public act. Today, low voter turnout statistics highlight the need to continue to identify ways to include opportunities for all citizens to exercise their voting power.
Under the auspices of the National Social Action Commission, Delta Sigma Theta continues to institute programs that advocate:
- The reauthorization of the Voting Rights Act.
- The repeal of voter disenfranchisement laws.
- The full restoration of voting rights for individuals who have paid their debt to society.
- The full implementation of the Help America Vote Act
We hold voter registration drives to ensure that everyone who can have the opportunity to vote. Our most successful campaigns have taken place in the schools to register new voters. The chapter also works to educate voters on their rights and responsibilities.
This year, we featured virtual information about voter’s registration and partnered with The Links of NWI to host “Stroll to the Polls,” for caravans and rides for voters to the polls. Many of our members could be seen volunteering individually in the community to continue voter registration efforts since we could not do it collectively as a chapter for COVID reasons.
Mayoral Candidates’ Forum/Debate
Gary Alumnae Chapter has held campaign debates for mayoral candidates that allow them to introduce themselves to the public and allow an open and honest forum for dialect and concerns.
This year GAC held two virtual forums for the US Presidential Debates that featured some dialogue, trivia, games, and fun.
Delta Days at Gary City Hall
In 1999, the Gary Alumnae Chapter held the first Delta Days at City Hall in Gary, IN, an annual legislative conference to increase members’ involvement in the city’s public policy-making process. The annual event includes attendance at the Gary Common Council meeting, a question and answer period with the city’s leaders including the Gary Common Council, police chief, fire chief, finance team & sanitary director. Gary Alumnae Chapter’s youth groups are a viable part of the Q&A period, meet the lawmakers & get insight on how the city’s governmental staff works.
WHY IS IT IMPORTANT?
We all have a vested interest in having a complete, accurate census. #DSTUCOUNT
GAC participated in virtual census activities to promote citizens to participate and fill out their census. Census Tuesdays featured various GAC members’ pictures and a brief story about why citizens should fill out the US Census. GAC also featured educational articles and information regarding the US Census.
Karen Freeman-Wilson is the chair of the GAC Political Awareness and Involvement Committee
Arelene Mitchell-Pace is the chair of the GAC Social Action Committee