Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Incorporated is 108 years strong. Founded on the campus of Howard University, the historically Black sorority boasts a membership that includes a who’s who of notable actresses, athletes, politicians and all-around history makers.
Dedicated to public service, DST was founded on January 13, 1913. Interestingly, the 22 founders were originally members of the Alpha Kappa Alpha chapter at Howard. However, feeling disenchanted with AKA’s direction, the members decided to form a new sorority that they felt was more reflective of their goals of social activism and other civic-minded duties (Delta means “change”).
With plenty to choose from in a membership that spans the globe, here are TK of some the most notable members of DST. Let us know if any of these ladies surprised you.
1. Shirley Chisholm
A member of the Brooklyn Alumnae chapter, Chisholm was the first African-American woman elected to Congress and ran for president of the United States in 1972. Biz Markie voted for her.
2. Keyshia Knight Pulliam
Yep, “Rudy” from The Cosby Show is a Delta. She was made at Spelman’s Eta Kappa chapter in Spring ’99.
That’s right. Your favorite crooner with a tendency for ratchet behavior came through the Beta Alpha chapter at Florida A&M University.
4. Betty Shabazz
The late, great Betty Shabazz, widow of slain Civil Rights activist Malcolm X, is a member of the New York Alumnae chapter.
5. Kym Whitley
The actress and comedian crossed the burning sands at the Alpha Beta chapter (Fisk University).
6. Kimberly Clarice Aiken
Aiken, from NYC’s Epsilon Tau chapter, is 1994’s Miss America, then only the fifth African-American woman to do so.
7. Natalie ColeSource:Getty
Nat “King” Cole’s daughter joined the ranks of DST at USC’s Upsilon chapter.
8. Robert FlackSource:Getty
An incredible singer and vocalist, Flack is a member of the founding Alpha chapter at Howard University.
9. Val Demings
U.S. Representative Val Demings holds down Florida’s 10th Congressional District, is a former Orlando Police Chief and member of DST.
10. Adrienne-Joi “AJ” Johnson
Better known as A.J. Johnson, this actress, choreographer and stunning example of “Black don’t crack” is a member of Eta Kappa (Spelman).
11. Wilma RudolphSource:Getty
Most track stars ain’t got nothing on Wilma Rudolph, historically. A member of the Alpha Chi chapter at Tennessee State University, Rudolph was the first African-American woman to win three Gold medals during the Olympics in 1960.
12. Mayor Keshia Lance Bottoms
The 60th Mayor of Atlanta is a Black woman and representing DST to the fullest.
13. Candice Wiggins
The 3rd pick in the 2008 draft, this WNBA champion was initiated at Stanford’s Omicron Chi chapter.
14. T’Keyah Crystal Keymáh
Easily remembered as part of the original cast of In Living Color, the talented Keymáh became a Delta at FAMU’s Beta Alpha chapter.
15. Angele Bassett
Renowned actress Angela Bassett got down in 2013, the hundred year anniversary.
16. Delta Sigma Theta During The March On WashingtonSource:Getty
Close-up, from behind, of a woman who wears a Delta Sigma Theta visor backwards during the March on Washington for Jobs, Peace, & Freedom, Washington DC, August 27, 1983. The Greek letters refer to the historically Black sorority. The event took place on the 20th anniversary of the original March of Washington for Jobs and Freedom, where Dr Martin Luther King Jr delivered his historic ‘I Have a Dream’ speech. (Photo by Ann E. Zelle/Getty Images) photography,people,one person,horizontal,usa,adult,headshot,females,women,african ethnicity,freedom,north america,1980-1989,politics,washington dc,black and white,close-up,archival,incidental people,occupation,human interest,political rally,politics and government,sun visor