Delta Sigma Theta celebrates 22 women of courage

The 22 Founders of the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.
Staff Writer

The Clay County Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. will celebrate the 105 year anniversary of its founding Sunday, Jan. 28, at 3:30 p.m. at the Delta Building on Cottrell Street.

Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. was founded on Jan. 13, 1913 by 22 collegiate women on the campus of Howard University, Washington, D.C. The 22 founders envisioned an organization dedicated to serious endeavors and community service. Guest speaker for the occasion is Rev. Dr. Ethel Young Scurlock.

"Rev. Dr. Ethel Young Scurlock is the wife of Carlo Scurlock and mother of two daughters, Jasmine and Janelle Minor," said Carolyn A, Harris, a member of DSTS. "She is a native of Memphis and earned her BA in English from the University of Tennessee and the MA and Ph.D in English from Bowling Green University of Ohio."
Harris said Scurlock has dedicated her life to sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ and to educating others about African-American literature and culture. She was licensed to preach by United MB Church in Toledo, Ohio and ordained by the Tallahatchie-Oxford Missionary Baptist Association.

"She now serves as the pastor of two congregations," Harris said. "First United Baptist in Batesville, and Alvis Grove Baptist in Oakland. She also serves as the State Chaplain for Delta Sigma Theta, Sorority, Inc."

Scurlock is a member of the English and African-American Studies Faculty at the University of Mississippi. She is also the Senior Faculty Fellow at the Luckyday Residential College where she leads faculty members in supporting the holistic development of students.

"I've been a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority for 30 years," Scurlock said. "We are a public service sorority. Celebrating Founders Day is always important. These 22 women were not only fighting for civil rights but they were at the forefront of the women's suffrage movement. They were the only group of African-American women to march. I'm very proud of them and everything they stood for."

Scurlock said her theme for the Founders Day celebration will probably be "What's love got to do with it?”

"I want to talk about the actions of love," Scurlock said. "Our founders loved their culture and fought through adversity for human rights. I would love for this country to be united again. We spend too much time fighting and disagreeing. We need to listen to each other and respect our differences."

Scurlock teaches honors classes at the University of Mississippi and tries to encourage her students to understand other points of view.

"I tell them to listen to each other," Scurlock said. "We need to listen to what others have to say, even if we don't agree with their views. I tell them we need to hear each other and love one another."

Scurlock has received many awards including having a Mississippi House of Representatives Resolution passed honoring her work to promote diversity. She was listed in Who’s Who in Black Mississippi, and she was the first African-American awarded the University of Mississippi Outstanding Teaching Award.

"Each year we celebrate and build upon our founders historic legacy," Harris said. "Please join us at 3:30 p.m. as we do so this year at The Delta Building, 218 Cottrell Street."

Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., is a private, not-for-profit organization whose purpose is to provide assistance and support through established programs in local communities throughout the world.

Since its founding, more than 200,000 women have joined the organization.

The organization is a sisterhood of predominantly black, college-educated women. The sorority currently has 1,000 collegiate and alumnae chapters located in the United States, England, Japan (Tokyo and Okinawa), Germany, the Virgin Islands, Bermuda, the Bahamas, Jamaica and the Republic of Korea.