Program Planning & Development Initiatives
National economic trends, such as unstable employment, the threat to Social Security as we know it, and the widening gap between wealth and poverty are the basis for the development of Financial Fortitude, the current Economic Development program initiative of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated. Financial Fortitude is a process that will help program participants to set and define goals, develop a plan to achieve them, and to put the plan into action. The process serves as a blueprint to address all aspects of personal finances.
The Financial Fortitude initiative is comprised of ten components and provides a collaboration of information from major economic corporations and other well-known financial institutions. The ten components include: Goal Setting, Financial Planning, Budgeting, Debt Management, Savings & Investments, Retirement Planning, Homeownership, Insurance, Estate Planning, and Entrepreneurship.
The initiative helps members of the Sorority spread financial education throughout their local communities.
Betty Shabazz Delta Academy
Catching the Dreams of Tomorrow, Preparing Young Women for the 21st Century: The Delta Academy was created in 1996 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 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 defined as the cultivation and maintenance of relationships. A primary goal of the program is to prepare young girls for full participation as leaders in the 21st Century.
Delta Academy has taken many forms. In some chapters, the Academies are after-school or Saturday programs; others are weekly or biweekly throughout the school year; and still other programs occur monthly. At a minimum, chapters plan and implement varied activities based upon the needs of the early adolescents in their areas. 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.
Dr. Jeanne L. Noble Delta GEMS Institute
A natural outgrowth and expansion for the continuation of the highly successful Dr. Betty Shabazz Delta Academy: Catching the Dreams of Tomorrow, Delta GEMS was created to catch the dreams of African-American at-risk, adolescent girls aged 14-18. Delta GEMS provides the framework to actualize those dreams through the performance of specific tasks that develop a CAN DO attitude. The goals for Delta GEMS are:
To instill the need to excel academically;
To provide tools that enable girls to sharpen and enhance their skills to achieve high levels of academic success;
To assist girls in proper goal setting and planning for their futures in high school and beyond; and
To create compassionate, caring, and community-minded young women by actively involving them in service learning and community service opportunities.
The Delta GEMS program offers a road map for college and career planning through activities that provide opportunities for self-reflection and individual growth. Delta GEMS, like Delta Academy, is implemented by chapters of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated. Delta GEMS participants have the opportunity to define and “Discover their individual Brilliance.”
The EMBODI (Empowering Males to Build Opportunities for Developing Independence) program is designed to refocus the efforts of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., with the support and action of other major organizations, on the plight of African-American males. Both informal and empirical data suggests that the vast majority of African-American males continue to be in crisis and are not reaching their fullest potential educationally, socially and emotionally. EMBODI is designed to address these issues through dialogue and recommendations for change and action. EMBODI addresses issues related to STEM education, culture, self-efficacy, leadership, physical and mental health, healthy lifestyles choices, character, ethics, relationships, college readiness, fiscal management, civic engagement and service learning.
International Awareness and Involvement
Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. has an extensive history of involvement in international issues. The International Awareness and Involvement Committee is charged with increasing knowledge and action on topics affecting people of color around the globe. The committee seeks to organize programs and events that will shine a light on the world’s critically important social and political matters with a specific focus on issues affecting people of African descent.
Physical and Mental Health
As an organization of predominantly African American women, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. is uniquely positioned to impact not only the well-being of its membership, but also the families and communities we serve. The DeltaCare initiative is an internal wellness initiative under the programmatic thrust of Physical and Mental Health. It was created to promote self-care through physical wellness, emotional wellness, and awareness/advocacy. Specifically, the Red S.H.O.E. challenge is the physical health component of DeltaCare that encourages members to engage in healthy behaviors. S.H.O.E. is an acronym for Self-care, Healthy Options, and Exercise.
Political Awareness and Involvement
Political Awareness and Involvement emphasizes involvement and education on social and political issues. These issues include, but are not limited to, voter registration, voter education, and candidate’s forums. Some of our activities include annual participation in Delta Days at the Capitol; voter registration drives; providing unbiased information on local, state and national elections and initiatives; and supporting communication to local, state and federal elected officials in support or opposition to proposed legislation.