Several years ago I made the affirmative decision to pursue membership in Delta Sigma Theta Sorority. This was a few years after I had been interested. There is a difference. The moment I decided to pursue membership I reached out to a dear friend. You know him as Uncle Rashid. He lovingly told me, well, attend events. It happened to be that I shared this with him just days before May Week– and I did what you all should do: take his advice! That is what he said: attend events and get to know members. I have social anxiety and I found the idea of visiting a chapter’s events terrifying.
But, I had to show up if I was truly interested– and I needed to get to know the women I would one day hope to call my sorors. So I went to three May Week events that week that were open to the public. The first event I went to– I met a member who took an interest in my interest. It was almost comical because she asked me straight up! I remember thinking— I wish I had a walkie talkie to phone Uncle Rashid. That was the start of a budding friendship with her– and I maintained that relationship to date.
I attend more events for that chapter and two others in the area. It surprised me that I was often only one or two non members at many of them. In my opinion, for as many women are at a rush, there should be at LEAST a third of that number at every chapter program.
I digress. The women I met in all of the chapters in my area were amazingly nice. They were kind and cordial and never assumed I was an interest. I had the opportunity to participate in a 6 week program with the chapter– it was an amazing experience. It was there that I met one of my dearest friends and now my Soror. I never knew who would be my “person” and never attended events seeking a person to write a letter or sponsor me or whatever your particular org requires. I figured that when the time came, if I was the worthy candidate I believed myself to be– I would have several members to choose from.
My boss was in the kitchen a few weeks later telling me about her weekend when she mentioned she had an event with her sorority. I asked which sorority and she said: Delta Sigma Theta! The whole time I was patrolling the streets looking for members there was one right across the hall. I didn’t tell her then I was interested– but I learned an important lesson. Find a member who knows you and likes you, share your interest with them– but find one who is financial and active. They can tell you about the culture of local chapters, whether it’d be a good fit, events and maybe even when rush is.
By the time I attended rush there were several members I knew in one way or another– some my best friends, some by name/face, and some from chapter events. It got to a point that I couldn’t hide from a Delta! That is the one thing all of my line sisters had in common– they know members, and several of them. The more events I attended, the more sorors I met, the better I was able to articulate why I wanted to be a member. These women were so nice to me all the time, and I take that to heart now that I’m a member. During this time, I also found a couple of orgs I really resonated with and volunteered weekly or biweekly with them. This gave me something to do instead of obsess over when a line might happen or if a line might happen. Membership has undoubtedly already changed my life– and I believe will continue to change my life… but the reality is, I would be engaged in this work without it. If you need the org to connect you to service you should stop your pursuit now. The service should connect you to the org.
Delta Sigma Theta was the right fit for me because the members showed me great love and kindness throughout my life. This includes sorors I met when I attended public events, but also women who knew me in college and grad school and at work. Because from the first public act Delta asked the question: who’s truths are missing here? And at that time it was Black women who had often been excluded from conversations about women’s equity– sound familiar??
Lastly, I’ll say that I’m biased– but Uncle Rashid’s advice is sound and on point. It is a miracle that you get it for free. I consider it an honor and privilege to be in his circle– but especially to be his friend. Outside of my sorors and familly, he is the single most significant individual to have lead me to membership. My gratitude is eternal, and like three of my founders, I’m proud to have the good sense to love an Alpha man <3. Unfortunately I can’t marry Uncle Rashid but I plan to thoroughly interview the gentleman who will :D
To all my sands, congratulations! And a strong and long oo-oop to my sorors!! Oop-phi to Unc!
May we all serve long + prosper!