Delta Academy I: Dr. Betty Shabazz Academy
“Catching the Dreams of Tomorrow, Preparing Young Women For the 21st Century” The Delta Academy was created out of an urgent sense that bold action was needed to save our young females (ages 11-14) from the perils of academic failure, low self-esteem, and crippled futures. Delta Academy provides an opportunity for local Delta chapters to enrich and enhance the education that our young teens receive in public schools across the nation. Specifically, we augment their scholarship in math, science, and technology, their opportunities to provide service in the form of leadership through service learning, and their sisterhood, defined as the cultivation and maintenance of relationships. The activities implemented most often include computer training, self-esteem and etiquette workshops, field trips for science experiences and for college exposure, and special outings to cultural events, fancy dinners, museums, plays, and concerts.
Delta Academy II: Delta GEMS
Growing and Empowering Myself Successfully
Building upon the premise on which Delta Academy: Catching the Dreams of Tomorrow was created, Delta GEMS is a natural outgrowth and expansion for the continuation of our successful program implementation. Delta Academy was created to “Catch the Dreams” of African American at-risk, adolescent girls aged 11-14. Delta GEMS provides the framework to actualize those dreams through the performance of specific tasks and development of a “Can Do” attitude in high school girls ages 14-18.
Our goals for Delta GEMS are:
- To instill the need to excel academically;
- To provide tools that will enable our girls to sharpen and enhance their skills to achieve high levels of academic success;
- To assist our girls in proper goal setting and planning for their futures-high school and beyond;
- To create compassionate, caring and community minded young women by actively involving them in service learning and community service opportunities.
Habitat For Humanity
Under the leadership of our 20th National President, Dr. Bertha M. Roddey, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. partnered with Habitat for Humanity and committed to build 22 homes between 1992 and 1994.
In 1995, New Haven Alumnae partnered with Habitat of Greater New Haven. Chapter members Luberta Sims and Tori Williams initiated this partnership. Since inception, the chapter has continued to strengthen efforts with Habitat through monthly builds, home owner contributions and special celebrations. The chapter also holds a position on the Board of Directors. In 1999, the chapter was recognized by Habitat for Humanity with a Master Builder Award.
Over the years, our chapter has volunteered on homes in the Greater New Haven area and participated in most of the Women Builds in the Newhallville neighborhood.
You can find us every first Saturday of the month on site helping to provide shelter for a family in need.
May Week celebration is an annual event that emphasizes scholastic achievements and educational opportunities, which culminates with the showcasing of young talent and presentation of our scholarships for high school graduates. This week long activity also highlights the chapters’ year long programs.
Jabberwock is a cultural and fund raising activity that includes the local community. This project began as a unique means of raising scholarship funds by a Boston, MA chapter in 1925. Conceived by Marion Hope Conover, members of the Iota Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority presented a variety of performers who competed for prize monies. From this successful venture, Delta Jabberwock was born and would soon become part of the Delta tradition.
This annual production idea was quickly adopted by chapters of the sorority. Delta Sigma Theta in the United States and abroad has produced innumerable Jabberwocks. On December 28, 1947, Jabberwock was formally adopted and copyrighted by Delta Sigma Theta.
The 2016 election revealed deep divisions along ideological, racial and socioeconomic lines in America. While some were celebrating, many of our community members expressed fear, sadness and confusion over the election results. It permeated throughout our social media networks, work conversations and casual interactions throughout the community. New Haven Alumnae recognized this and since November 2016, has sponsored a series of Community Conversations geared at building community within the Greater New Haven area and developing action plans to respond to local concerns.
The conversations have been held in African-American churches, Jewish synagogues, local schools and universities and New Haven City Hall. These dialogues were designed to go beyond conversation toward building community and supporting specific action steps. Through this series, the primacy of social action in our sisterhood is evident; new relationships with members of our community were built; positive media attention was generated; and specific actions designed to impact public policy were taken.
Chapter members, community leaders and subject matter experts lead panel discussions each month on several topics including immigration and sanctuary cities, health care and proposed changes to the Affordable Care Act, cuts to funding for public housing student activism and education (in) equity. Through the forum, community members also penned a non-partisan letter to President Donald Trump expressing concerns about numerous policies and appointments that jeopardize the principles and values of the country.
New Haven Alumnae Chapter launched its signature voter registration drive entitled, “18 and Registered”. The campaign is held during the month of October. Members of the chapter enter local high schools to encourage juniors and seniors, ages 17 and 18, to exercise their right to vote. All students receive pamphlets on voting and directories for their local city and town officials. The participating schools were Career, Cross, Eli Whitney, Hamden, Harding, Hillhouse, and West Haven High Schools.
In February 2007, the chapter hosted the first Delta Day at City Hall in New Haven. The theme was “The Delta Investment: Taking an Active Interest in the Welfare of New Haven Youth”, which highlighted our programs related to city youth. Members met with the Mayor John DeStefano and the Board of Alderman. Since its inception, the chapter has sponsored Delta Day at City Hall every year in April.
International Day of Service
On this day, the 800 plus Delta chapters throughout America and abroad presented conventional and innovative programming initiatives to educate men, women and children on HIV/AIDS awareness and prevention, provide testing, raise funds for research and services, petition policymakers in an effort to win the battle HIV/AIDS.
The New Haven Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. hosted an open house at the former AIDS Interfaith Network (AIN) in New Haven on March 12, 2005. Our chapter partnered with AIN for a decade and the AIDS Interfaith Network Open House included a tour of the agency, program highlights and an opportunity for churches and organization to Adopt-A-Room. WTNH Channel 8 provided media coverage for the event. Click here for video.
On June 16, 2006, the chapter dedicated its adopted room to honor of our 22nd National President, Gwendolyn E. Boyd.
AIN is a non-profit, HIV/AIDS service organization whose programs are designed to meet the practical, emotional, and spiritual needs of persons living with HIV/AIDS, and to intervene in the spread of HIV by providing prevention information for individuals, groups, and communities. Through a network of programs and collaborations, AIN serves men, women, children, and youth with HIV/AIDS.
Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., and the Delta Research and Education Foundation (DREF), in partnership with the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Directorate for Education and Human Resources Programs, have developed and are implementing a 5-year Science and Everyday Experiences (S.E.E.) Initiative, an informal science education project funded by the National Science Foundation. The S.E.E. Initiative will help parents and caregivers of African American elementary and middle school age children (K-8) develop effective ways to support children’s informal science and mathematics learning experiences.
Science exploration and discovery can take place almost anywhere! The work that Project SEE does is based upon everyday items. When learners are actively engaged in science activities, they often gain better understanding of scientific principles, have better retention, and enjoy the learning process more than when they are taught through passive techniques. Encourage your family, friends, and people in your community to explore.
American Heart Association Partnership
After a meeting with the American Heart Association (AHA), New Haven Alumnae understood why it was so important to the African-American community to learn and live healthier. Heart disease and stroke are the leading cause of death in our community. In November 2004, we launched our partnership to educate our community on the dangers of heart disease and stroke.
The Go Red for Women campaign is dedicated to educating the public, especially women, about the issues related heart disease and stroke. The chapter hosted a Go Red for Women Pajama Party. Chapter members and guests arrived in their red pajamas for the event. At the pajama party we shared educational materials, collected donations, and committed to a one or two mile walk.
Search Your Heart, is a free heart-health and stroke prevention initiative that help faith-based organizations reach African Americans and Hispanics/Latinos. Our chapter developed a brochure and letter that was sent to over 50 African American Churches in the greater New Haven area to raise awareness and request church volunteers for the program.
The New Haven Alumnae Chapter wants to ensure the legacy of giving back to the community well into the future. By partnering with the The Community Foundation of Greater New Haven Communities of Color Initiative to set up a endowment scholarship fund, our vision became possible. Our fund benefits graduating high school seniors in the greater New Haven area. Awards are based on academic achievement, community involvement, and financial need.
Tax deductible contributions to the fund can be mailed to:
The Community Foundation of Greater New Haven
Attention: Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Scholarship Fund
70 Audubon Street
New Haven, CT 06510
The Delta Research and Educational Foundation (DREF) was established by Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. as a 501 (c) (3) non-profit corporation. The mission of DREF is to help strengthen and expand the charitable, educational and scientific programs of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority and other organizations with similar community service goals.
Donations to DREF are exempt from Federal income tax according to the non-profit corporation law of the Internal Revenue Code, therefore creating an opportunity to support charitable causes promoted or managed by DREF.
The Delta Research and Educational Foundation was founded in 1967 under the leadership of Dr. Geraldine Pittman Woods, a noted scientist, who then served as National President of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority. It received its tax exempt status in 1984.
All contributions should be made out to the New Haven Alumnae Chapter/DREF.
New Haven Alumnae Chapter
PO Box 9477
New Haven, CT 06534-0477
For more information visit www.deltafoundation.net