LITTLE ROCK, AR - Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. the single largest African-American women's organization in the country has launched an international 22-city torch tour starting January 1, 2013. The tour which began in Los Angeles and ends in Washington, D.C. kicks off the organization's yearlong celebration of the centennial anniversary of the Sorority's founding by 22 African-American women 100 years ago on the campus of Washington, D.C.'s Howard University.
Little Rock will be the 10th stop on the tour as selected members of the Sorority will carry and pass the Delta Torch as a burning symbol of the passion and commitment of the organization's global reach on the steps of the Arkansas State Capitol.
"The connection that the 22 selected cities on the torch tour have with Delta Sigma Theta is infused into the history of this organization," said Cynthia M. A. Butler-McIntyre, the National President of the public service organization. "We honor our Founders and Past National Presidents as we bring the flame they ignited in us so many decades ago back to their cities and gladly carry the ever-burning torch of sisterhood, scholarship and service into the next l00 years."
The torch will visit the hometowns of the Sorority's living Past National Presidents, current Executive Committee members, and two of the organization's international chapters - Tokyo, Japan and Bermuda. Each location will conduct celebratory programs that will include historical reflections, music and acknowledgements from elected officials and other invited guests. Three days of events are planned for Little Rock including:
Friday, March 15, 2013 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
"A Red Tie Event"-Public Meeting and Reception Philander Smith College
An event recognizing 100 years of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority with invited guests from the National Pan-Hellenic Council, historically black colleges and universities, and local officials.
Saturday, March 16, 2013 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.
"Raising the Light through Service"-- IMPACT DAY
Members will begin this day of celebration in service to our community with simultaneous service projects at five locations representing each of Delta's Five Point Program Thrust: economic development; educational development; physical and mental health; international awareness and involvement and political awareness and involvement.
"Blazing the Trail through Service" 12:00 p.m.
Arkansas State Capitol
In an event recognizing honorary member Daisy Bates and other Delta trailblazers, members will be challenged to carry the light of Delta's first century of service into the next century and beyond. Local officials, community organizations, and youth groups will be invited to participate. The event will end with a caravan and wreath laying at the grave of Daisy Bates.
Sunday, March 17, 2013 2:00 p.m.
Founders Day Banquet (Closed event) Embassy Suites Hotel
The speaker will be Delores Rice, Past Southwest Regional Representative (1997-1999)
"Delta Sigma Theta has remained a prominent force in the communities it serves for 100 years," said Butler¬ McIntyre. "We not only want to celebrate our founding and our accomplishments, but we also want to acknowledge those communities and leaders who have partnered with and stood by us as we collectively affected change throughout the U.S. and abroad."
Other scheduled stops on the tour include: Seattle; Denver; St. Louis; Oklahoma City; Dallas; Chicago; Detroit; Cleveland; Mobile, Ala.; Atlanta and Augusta; Tampa, Fl; Greensboro and Charlotte N.C.; New York; Baltimore; and New Orleans, the home of Butler-McIntyre.
The 22-city journey will culminate at the Sorority's 51st National Convention in Washington, D.C. July 11-July 17, 2013. The torch will then be passed to the National President, signifying the start of the 51st National Convention.