Delta Sigma Theta sisters converge on Palm Beach
PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla.- Thousands of ladies from Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated will descend on the Palm Beaches for the next few days, tackling tough topics and showcasing signature projects from around the state and the Bahamas. The Florida and Bahamas Cluster, which will take place at the world-renowned PGA National Resort and Spa in Palm Beach Gardens, brings together the members in sisterhood as well as getting down to business as they're hosted by the West Palm Beach Alumnae Chapter of the organization.
The conference convenes on Friday, April 13, with famed Attorney Willie Gary greeting the ladies during the opening session. The gathering will include extensive training, as well as the sorority members addressing tough issues like hazing, said LaVoise Taylor Smith, chairperson of the Florida and Bahamas Cluster.
Smith said the hazing panel is critical and will include input from prominent judges, lawyers, inspector general and others in the legal arena. Smith said Delta Sigma Theta has a zero-tolerance policy on hazing and takes steps to assure their chapters’ compliance.
In addition to the hotbed issue of hazing, chapters will showcase their signature projects-some in accordance with a national theme, and others from a local perspective. Locally, the WPB Alumnae chapter will present their works with Habitat for Humanity, and although that's a national initiative for Delta Sigma Theta, their local project touches a bit of history. According to Sharon Wood, President of the West Palm Beach Alumnae Chapter, they are set to build two homes on April 28 through Habitat's "Women Build" component, with all women building the homes, said Carolyn Smart, Team Leader for the Habitat for Humanity National Project. The two homes will be built in the historic Northwest Neighborhood where famed black architect, Hazel August, built the historic Payne Chapel AME Church on one corner, and on the other corner, the historic Tabernacle Missionary Baptist Church, said Smart.
"He was a black architect who was also hired by white builders which (was) very unusual in that period of time," Historical Society of Palm Beach County Chief Curator Debi Murray said.
The local Delta chapter will also showcase its collaboration with "Live Fresh," a mobile unit with shower stalls that travels to various sites allowing the homeless to bathe. The program also provides toiletries and personal hygiene products.
Wood is president of the chapter that includes the South Palm Beach County Chapter, the Glades Alumnae chapter, and the Xi Epsilon Chapter of Florida Atlantic University. “We’re moving our chapter from good to great as we impact lives,” she said.
All events for the weekend conference are closed to the public except the Sunday dinner and celebration in honor the local chapter's 70th anniversary, to be held outdoors on the Honda Pavilion at the PGA Resort.
The West Palm Beach Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., joins Habitat for Humanity's Women Build project to construct two homes in the NW area.