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By The Skanner News | The Skanner News
Published: 30 January 2013

Delta Sigma Theta Sorority's Seattle Alumnae Chapter members, left,  Sonia Bell and
17th National President, Mona H. Bailey.

Far West Regional Director, middle with corsage, Sandra P. Johnson, with FW Reg. Rep. Parris Moore, foreground, greet Deltas.

Members of Portland Alumnae Chapter

Members of Portland Alumnae Chapter

Aletha Chavis, Portland Alumnae, with a member of Tacoma Alumnae.

Delta stands in front of poster of 22 founding members

 Left, D'Norgia Price, Lesley Unthank, Carolyn Richardson and Francetta Cross, Portland Alumnae.

Velma Johnson, and Marion Gilmore, Portland Alumnae.

 Past Far West Region Regional Director, Tressa Williams with Delta friend.

Deltas from Far West Region enjoy informal get together at NW African American Museum.

Having fun at Friday evening celebration

Cake commemorates 100 year anniversary. 

Celebrating 100 years, the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., gathered last weekend in Seattle for a regional celebration that is literally traveling across the country, lighting a "torch" at important stops along the sorority's history.

The single largest African-American women's organization in the country, the Deltas' 22-city international "torch tour" commemorates the group's founding by 22 African-American women in 1913 on the campus of Washington, D.C.'s Howard University.

An actual flame, the torch will visit the hometowns of the sorority's living past national presidents and current Executive Committee members.

"We are immensely proud to have been selected as a host city for the Delta torch," said Jeanette James, president of the Seattle Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta. "Delta has been a presence in the Seattle area since 1933.

"We not only want to celebrate our Centennial founding nationally and our many accomplishments, but also want to recognize the impact that our organization has had right here in the Pacific Northwest," James said. 

Seattleis home to the sorority's 17th national president, Mona Humphries Bailey. A long-standing Mercer Island resident and veteran educational leader, Bailey served as deputy superintendent of Seattle Public Schools from 1990 to 1994 after having served as one of the district's assistant superintendents from 1986 to 1990. Before that, Bailey served for 12 years as the assistant state superintendent of public instruction for the State of Washington.

Seattlewas also the home of one of the 22 founders, Bertha Pitts Campbell (1889–1990). Acknowledged as a prominent civil rights leader and activist, she was honored by the Washington State House of Representatives for her life and work on May 11, 1987. The following month, Seattle proclaimed June 13, 1987, as Bertha Pitts Campbell Day. On her 100th birthday, the King County Council declared it to be Bertha Pitts Campbell Day throughout the county.

Celebratory torch activities in Seattle included a day of science, technology, engineering and math activities for youth at the Pacific Science Center, as well as a viewing of local Delta history at the Northwest African American Museum.

College members of Delta Sigma Theta also held a canned-food drive to benefit Northwest Harvest and presented a history through a step-and-dance "yard show" on the University of Washington campus. The weekend activities culminated with a gala at the Four Seasons Hotel, with Bailey as keynote speaker.

In addition to the scheduled stop in Seattle, tour stops include Denver; St. Louis; Oklahoma City; Dallas; Little Rock, Ark.; Chicago; Detroit; Cleveland; Mobile, Ala.; Atlanta and Augusta; Tampa, Fla.; Greensboro and Charlotte, N.C.; New York; Baltimore; and New Orleans, the home of Cynthia M. A. Butler-McIntyre, the current national president of the public service organization. The 22-city journey will culminate at the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority's 51st National Convention in Washington, D.C., July 11–17.

The torch will then be passed to the national president, signifying the start of the convention. Find out more about the Deltas at http://www.deltasigmatheta.org

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