The Coast will be awash in crimson and cream this month as more than 1,000 Delta Sigma Theta members gather in the spirit of sisterhood.
The sorority’s two local alumni chapters are preparing to host the 2024 Mississippi State Cluster of the Dynamic Southern Region, which will be held Feb. 23-25 at the Mississippi Gulf Coast Coliseum and Convention Center.
“State Cluster is an opportunity to learn and grow in our commitment to the sorority’s ideals,” says Angela Haynes, president of the Moss Point Alumnae Chapter. “And it’s a wonderful way to meet new sisters and spend time with sisters we have not seen in a while.”
Established at Howard University on Jan. 13, 1913, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. was founded on the principles of sisterhood, scholarship, service and social action. A network of more than 1,000 chapters worldwide encompasses more than 350,000 college-educated women, who are committed to personal development and public service — primarily focused on the Black community. Although composed of predominantly Black women, the group is not exclusive to any demographic.
“From voter registration to youth scholarships to community service projects across the Coast — remarkably, there isn’t a month that goes by without a Delta making a positive impact in her community,” says Cece Shabazz, communications co-lead with the Mississippi Gulf Coast Alumnae Chapter. “Many influential local African American women, including community and business leaders, proudly call Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. their sorority. We are an army of women dedicated to a life of giving back.”
At the Cluster, attendees will be treated to educational, cultural and social experiences — including business sessions, professional development opportunities, workshops and entertainment. The throwback ‘80s and ‘90s theme will add a fun element to an impactful event.
“I am most looking forward to that good ole’ Delta spirit and the opportunity to learn, grow and fellowship!” says Searcy Jamison Taylor, president of the Mississippi Gulf Coast Alumnae Chapter. “This will be the second State Cluster post-COVID, and we are excited to host the ladies of crimson and cream!”
In collaboration with C.R.O.S.S. Inc. (Community Resource Organization for Service and Support), The Mississippi State Cluster service project focuses on helping Moss Point tornado victims. Attendees are invited to contribute items and funds to support ongoing local relief efforts.
“But that’s not all – our presence transcends mere volunteering,” Shabazz says. “We’re set to make a substantial economic impact on the local community during our gathering.”
At the local level, the sorority’s work can take many forms — for instance, donations and volunteer services to help local food kitchens and other outreaches, or even seminars to teach an underserved community about topics like life insurance, investing and home ownership.
Some of the MGCAC chapter’s recurring activities include youth development and enrichment programs for young women ages 11-18, the DSTee Gulf Tournament fundraiser (the only female-sponsored tournament on the Gulf Coast), the Adopt-a-School Reading Program, a community health fair, monthly support of black-owned businesses via Paint the Business RED and the Natalie Hamlar Mason scholarship awards for high school students.
The Moss Point Chapter is also making a difference with projects such as providing supplies and donations to AIDS House, the Bras Across the River event, mentoring programs for middle- and high-school girls aimed at academic, social and character development, and scholarships for local high school graduates.