The Tyler chapter of Delta Sigma Theta sorority will celebrate the 75th anniversary of the sorority's founding with special events.
Delta Sigma Theta was founded on Christian principles, academic excellence and public service in 1913 at Howard University in Washington D.C.
"In 1942, one of the 22 founders came to Tyler to visit a friend and they established what is now the Tyler alumnae chapter," Vera Moore, chapter member, said. "Over the years, we have provided a variety of services to the community including sponsoring a boy's baseball team, blood drives and after-school tutorial programs."
As part of its Delta Academy and Delta Gems program, the sorority works with girls in middle and high school "to enhance their education with an emphasis on nontraditional studies," Mrs. Moore said.
The sorority also awards scholarships, recognizes young women during debutant presentations, promotes education and supports nonprofit organizations.
"In the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, we collected supplies and took a van load of items to the affected area," she said.
Delta Sigma Theta will sponsor a performance of Dallas-based Bandan Koro African Drum and Dance Ensemble at 7 p.m. on Nov. 4 at Tyler Junior College's Wise Auditorium.
Tickets to the show can be bought through Nov. 3 at showtix4u.com and at the box office beginning an hour before the performance.
Under direction of Tony Browne, the ensemble was founded as an outlet to study and share African culture through dance, music and performance. Its musicians, singers and dancers teach classes, present programs and entertain audiences.
Tyler area youth who took part in a workshop earlier that day by the drum and dance troupe will be in the show, Mrs. Moore said.
On Nov. 8, the sorority will hold the Delta Day of Reading read-a-thon at Tyler ISD elementary schools: Austin, Birdwell, Bonner, Dixie, Douglas, Griffin, Jack, Jones, Peete, Ramey, Rice and the St. Louis Early Childhood Center.
"We have 35 members who are signed up to rotate through the schools reading to students," Mrs. Moore said. "We will leave a bookmark with each student. We are getting some assistance with this from collegiate Deltas from Texas College."
The anniversary observance will end with a luncheon on Nov. 11 at Rose Heights Church in Tyler. Cynthia Butler, past national Delta Sigma Theta sorority president, will be the keynote speaker.
Ms. Butler is the human resources director for Jefferson Parrish Public Schools in New Orleans. She has a master's degree in education and earned an honorary doctorate in divinity, said information from the sorority.