Big Shot Organization
Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. was founded on January 13, 1913 by twenty-two collegiate women at Howard University. These students wanted to use their collective strength to promote academic excellence and to provide assistance to persons in need.
The Grand Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. has a membership of over 300,000 predominately African American, college-educated women. The Sorority currently has over 1,000 chapters located in the United States, Tokyo, Japan, Okinawa, Japan, Germany, Bermuda, the Bahamas, Seoul, Korea, and St. Thomas and St. Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Since its founding in 1913, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. has distinguished itself as a public service organization that boldly confronts the challenges of African Americans and hence, all Americans. Over the years, a wide range of programs addressing education, health, international involvement and the strengthening of the African American family have evolved. In realizing its mission, Delta Sigma Theta provides an extensive array of public service initiatives through its Five Point Programmatic Thrust.
The River Parishes Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. (RPAC) was established on March 23, 2013 by 26 members of the sorority who wanted to continue the public service legacy of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority in the communities in which they reside. One of the very first things the chapter did was to establish a collegiate scholarship to be given to one deserving high school student in each of the following parishes: St. James, St. Charles and St. John the Baptist. Since it’s inception RPAC has given out approximately $10,000 in scholarship dollars to high school seniors to help with their college expenses.
RPAC is currently led by President ‘Starlette Gordon and works to carry out these programs throughout our service areas of St. Charles, St. James, and St. John the Baptist Parishes.
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 the Financial Fortitude, the current Economic Development Program Initiative of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority. 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.
dfree® Financial Freedom Movement: dfree® is a faith-based, wealth building system specifically designed with the black community in mind. The River Parishes Alumnae Chapter conducts dfree® Young Money workshops for our teens during our annual Girls’ Talk session and promote savings amongst chapter members through Billion Dollar Paydown Challenge participation and educate the public on Holiday Smart Spending throughout the holiday season.
Money Smart for Older Adults: The Money Smart for Older Adults Program was developed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) and the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection. RPAC provides workshops with our senior citizens at the St. John the Baptist Parish Council on Aging Senior Center, focusing on protection from financial fraud.
Delta GEMS: The Dr. Jeanne L. Noble Delta GEMS (Growing and Empowering Myself Successfully) Institute was created to catch the dreams of African American, at-risk, adolescent girls aged 14-18. The Delta GEMS program offers a road map for college and career planning through activities that provide opportunities for self-reflection and individual growth and is a natural outgrowth and expansion for the continuation of the Dr. Betty Shabazz Delta Academy (girls ages 11-14).
HBCU Expo: In partnership with the First Community Antioch Baptist Church in St. James Parish, RPAC works to expose our youth to Historically Black Colleges and Universities as post-secondary education options. HBCU’s from across the country are represented at this event. Scholarship and financial aid information is also provided.
Literacy: The River Parishes Alumnae Chapter collects over 100 books to distribute amongst selected preschools across our service areas, promoting literacy at an early age.
PHYSICAL & MENTAL HEALTH
The signature Physical and Mental Health program of our sorority is Journey to Wellness: Committing our Bodies to Physical and Mental Health. The three-pronged approach to Journey to Wellness includes: signature programs, Catching, Coping, Conquering; My Cry in the Dark; and Healthy Lifestyles.
Locally, RPAC annually hosts and participates in aerobics programs, Zumba classes, Breast Cancer Awareness walks, and Relay for Life.
INTERNATIONAL AWARENESS AND INVOLVEMENT
Nationally, the sorority's international programs are the Mary Help of the Sick Mission Hospital, the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. Elementary School in Cherette, Haiti, and the Delta House in Mbabane, Swaziland.
The Right Choice Project: On World AIDS Day, RPAC Partners with The Right Choice Project gearing towards fighting the unaddressed social issue of HIV/AIDS in St. Charles, St. James, and St. John the Baptist Parishes.
TutuDesk Campaign: RPAC has contributed to the Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s TutuDesk Campaign, which provides durable lap desks to schools across the sub-Saharan Africa that do not have access to desks for students to work on, ultimately having a negative impact on their performance in school.
POLITICAL AWARENESS AND INVOLVEMENT
River Parishes Alumnae Chapter’s major emphasis is voter registration, education, and participation. We institute these chapter projects under the auspices of our National Social Action Commission.
Voter Registration and Mobilization: “Stroll to the Polls” meetups in each parish of our service areas were organized to promote the importance of participating in the democratic process across our communities. RPAC strives to register all those in our community who are eligible to vote by hosting voter registration drives throughout the year.
Census Awareness: In conjunction with the annual HBCU expo, RPAC provided information on how the 2020 Census will affect our community and the importance of participation.