In an effort to highlight the people who are leading graduate chapters across the nation, we at Watch The Yard reached out to the sorority sisters of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc.’s Washington DC Alumnae Chapter and did an interview with Nicole Jordan the President of the chapter.
The position of president of a Black sorority chapter is a highly respected role and there is a special pride that one takes. Jordan, who works as a Communications Director at Microsoft, has been in the position of President since July, 1st 2022.
We interviewed Jordan, who is a Nu Alpha (American Univeristy and Georgetown) Spring 1998 initiate of Delta Sigma Theta and talked to her about her position, goals, future and what it means to hold this type of leadership position in the digital age.
Read the full interview below.
What motivated you to take on the role of alumni chapter president?
My motivation to be the president of the Washington DC Alumnae Chapter (WDCAC) of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Incorporated is my desire to make a difference in my community. Service is the essence of who I am and the source of my happiness. I believe that leadership is not a position, but a form of service. As president, I serve both my community and my sorority. I serve the community by shaping programs that address the unmet needs of the residents of Washington, DC. I advocate for the most vulnerable and work with local partners to create change. My goal is to leave a legacy of service and impact that transcends beyond anything we can ever imagine. I serve WDCAC by honoring the foundation laid by our founders, past presidents, and all those who made this the best chapter in the East. I put their needs first and help them develop and perform to their highest potential. I am humbled to lead a group of phenomenal and dynamic women who are making a lasting impact in Washington, DC and the world. God has given us all gifts and talents, and I use mine to serve my sorority and the residents of Washington, DC.
What specific initiatives is your chapter heading up this year and how do you think they will improve the local community or the broader Black community?
The Washington DC Alumnae Chapter (WDCAC) has several initiatives underway that align with Delta Sigma Theta Sorority’s Five Point Programmatic Thrust focused around, educational and economic development, international awareness and involvement, physical and mental health and political awareness. Our chapter is committed to uplifting, reaching, and profoundly making a long-lasting impact on our community through programs and projects that address some of the most pressing issues and challenges that affect the black community. One of our initiatives is Election 2024, which is crucial for creating change in this country. We will elect leaders who will shape the policies and laws that affect the black community, such as racial justice, economic development, health care, education, voting rights, and more. WDCAC will focus heavily on increasing voter participation. We will partner and collaborate with other community service organizations to educate our community members about their voting rights. We will host voter registration drives and even run a polling center on election day. WDCAC will also continue to advocate for DC Statehood. Another initiative is Youth Empowerment, which aim to empower future generations through mentoring, educational activities and service learning opportunities for boys and girls ages 11 – 18. We have three youth programs: Dr. Betty Shabazz Delta Academy, Dr. Jeanne L. Noble Delta GEMS (Growing and Empowering Myself Successfully) Institute and EMBODI (Empowering Males to Build Opportunities for Developing Independence). We hold monthly sessions where we expose the youth to various topics ranging from STEM Careers, Budget/Finance, Self Esteem, Mental Health, Personal Safety, Community Service, College Preparedness, and much more. A third initiative is Human Trafficking Awareness and Prevention, which aims to address a serious and widespread problem that deserves more attention and action. Black women, girls, and gender nonconforming people are disproportionately affected by this crime. According to the 2021 Trafficking in Persons Report by the U.S. Department of State, black women make up 40% of sex trafficking victims in the United States, even though they account for less than 15% of the population. It is a form of modern slavery that harms individuals, families, and communities. WDCAC believes that this is a social issue that must be addressed and will continue to raise awareness by hosting educational seminars with community leaders and partnering with national non-profits. The chapter will also host a Human Trafficking Summit that will educate the community and provide support to survivors. A fourth initiative is Health Promotion and Education, which aims to encourage and educate our community on healthy lifestyles. WDCAC will partner with both local and national partners to raise funds, host health fairs and educational forums and create healthy lifestyle activities. WDCAC will also host seminars to promote positive mental well-being. These are just a few of the initiatives that WDCAC is undertaking to honor the legacy and vision of our founders and past presidents, and to create a better future for ourselves and our children.
What made you want to pledge Delta Sigma Theta?
I wanted to become a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. for many reasons. The main reason was the impact of the delta women in my community. They were the leaders in my community, in my school, and in my church. They gave their time and talent unapologetically and poured so much into me. Another reason was that I grew up participating in Delta youth programs, which enhanced my life as a young adult. The scholarship funds from Delta also helped me pay for college. The last reason was that the woman I loved and admired the most in my life, my grandmother, was a proud Delta. I wanted to join any organization that my grandmother upheld with such love and esteem. For these reasons, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority was the only organization for me.
What is it about your specific chapter that makes it so unique?
The Washington DC Alumnae Chapter (WDCAC) was chartered on February 3, 1921 by nine inimitable college-initiated women with the purpose of promoting Scholarship, expanding Sisterhood, and providing Service to the District of Columbia community. WDCAC was the second graduate chapter to be chartered by the Grand Chapter in 1921, and the first graduate NPHC chapter to be established in Washington, DC. We are extremely proud of our storied history and continue to serve the D.C. community with enthusiasm and intent. With a roster of more than 550 members, WDCAC is one of the largest chapters in the Sorority and a member of the “Dynamic and Historic” Eastern Region. WDCAC has been called home by two Founders, three National President and a host of National committee members. Since inception, WDCAC consistently utilized the talents, skills, training, and other resources of its entire membership to implement social, cultural, and service programs that sparked Delta’s founding. It has executed local and national projects which reflect community and national life. The chapter has provided in excess of $1,000,000 in scholarships to high school seniors and those continuing to matriculate in colleges and universities. Voter education and registration, networking on significant issues, and advocating for the underserved are just some of the contributions the chapter continues to make. The Delta Housing Corporation of the District of Columbia (DHCDC), a non-profit, tax-exempt corporation was organized in 1975 and incorporated on December 15, 1977 by members of WDCAC. In 1979, WDCAC made history when they, along with DHCDC and local housing and community leaders, spearheaded the construction of Delta Towers, a 150-unit affordable housing facility for seniors located on the H Street corridor. In 1985,the chapter also established the Washington, D.C. Alumnae Foundation, Delta Sigma Theta, Inc., now known as the Washington, D.C. Alumnae Foundation (WDCAF). The WDCAF is a philanthropic advocate supporting community programs and projects for youth, the elderly, and families in the District of Columbia. In January 2019, WDCAC continued its legacy of service by making a charitable contribution just shy of $1M to the DHCDC to develop and operate a community enrichment center.
How is your chapter providing for the undergraduate chapters you support?
The Washington DC Alumnae Chapter (WDCAC) partners with the Federal City Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. to assist undergraduate chapters in the District of Columbia through our Collegiate Connection (CC) initiative. The goal of this initiative is to help collegiate Sorors transition smoothly from college to alumnae chapter. We meet regularly with them, collaborate on events and activities throughout the year, and invite them to our chapter meetings and fellowship activities. We also host a graduation event every year to celebrate their achievements. We encourage them to join our chapter right after graduation by waiving their first year of local dues. This eases their financial burden as new graduates. The CC initiative has helped us build lasting relationships with the collegiate Sorors and provide them with guidance and support.
How do you approach fostering a sense of unity and camaraderie among alumni members, and what strategies have you found effective?
I believe the best way to foster unity and camaraderie among the Sorors is to communicate openly and transparently, align on the goals, adapt to change, and focus on the sisterhood. I never ask Sorors to do anything that I would not do myself, and I show up to as many of our programs as possible. I communicate frequently and clearly, and try to ensure that the chapter has the clarity needed. I praise successes and take responsibility for our misses. The most important strategy is to enjoy each other. We find opportunities to laugh and celebrate the joy in our sisterhood. As Maya Angelou said, “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” I want to make every Soror feel valued, respected, and loved.
What advice would you give to aspiring leaders within your sorority who may aspire to take on roles of leadership within alumni chapters?
For aspiring leaders, I would advise that they learn their organization. Read and gain a working knowledge of all manuals and directive documents. I would also recommend that you develop a network that can provide support. Take a personal inventory of your strengths and weaknesses. Lean in on your strengths and find help to aid in the areas where you are not as strong. Finally, learn how to be present and enjoy the ride. Do not rush the process. God has a plan for your life and will elevate you to leadership when it is your time. As John C. Maxwell said, “Leadership is not about titles, positions, or flowcharts. It is about one life influencing another.” I want to inspire future leaders to influence others positively and effectively.
How has mentorship helped you get to where you are today? Are there any specific people in your org who have made a significant impact on your life as mentors?
Oprah Winfrey once said, “A mentor is someone who allows you to see the hope inside yourself.” Mentorship helped me get where I am today. I would not be here without the guidance of men and women who took the time to teach and inspire me. My mentors provide valuable feedback, insights, and resources that have helped me grow and achieve my goals. They offer encouragement, motivation, and support that boost my confidence and resilience. My mentors also challenge me to step out of my comfort zone and explore new opportunities and perspectives. I am blessed to have many Delta mentors who I can lean on for advice, guidance, and prayers. They range from Past National presidents, to Regional Directors, to Delta Dears and Delta Dolls. All of them are different but needed. One of my Delta mentors that I would like to acknowledge and thank publically is Soror Nichelle Poe, WDCAC past president and Chair, National Technology committee. She has been my Delta mentor since I joined the chapter in 2021 and is one of the most influential women in my life. She pushes me to be the best Delta and woman I can be. She is always present, provides me with great advice, and prays with and for me often. She is a mentor who truly cares about me and my success. I am grateful for all my mentors who have helped me get where I am today. I hope to pay it forward by mentoring others who need guidance and inspiration.
Why do you think Watch The Yard is important to Black greekdom?
Watch the Yard is important to Black Greekdom because it documents our achievements and spotlights the wonderful work being done around the world by members of the Divine 9. It also serves as a resource for current events relevant to the Black Greek community. Watch the Yard elevates the work and leaders and is inspiring and influencing future generations.
Looking back at it, why do you love being a member of your org?
I love being a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. because it gives me the opportunity to be part of an organization of change agents, who can command a room and make the impossible happen without breaking a sweat, all while looking flawless and radiating joy. Being a Delta means being a leader, a trailblazer, a servant, and a sister. Being a Delta means being committed to excellence, empowerment, and social justice. Being a Delta means being part of a legacy that spans over a century and transcends borders and boundaries. Being a Delta means being proud, passionate, and powerful. This is why I LOVE being a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.
Lastly, what does sisterhood mean to you?
To me, sisterhood means more than just sharing a bond or a membership. Sisterhood means being there for each other, supporting each other, and uplifting each other. Sisterhood means celebrating each other’s successes and helping each other overcome challenges. Sisterhood means respecting each other’s differences and embracing each other’s similarities. Sisterhood means learning from each other and growing with each other. Sisterhood means being accountable to each other and loyal to each other. Sisterhood is not just a noun, it is a verb. It is something that you must do, not just say. It is something that you must show, not just feel. It is something that you must practice, not just preach. It is something that you must live, not just dream. Sisterhood is a gift and a responsibility. It is a privilege and a duty. It is a joy and a challenge. It is a blessing and a calling. I am grateful for the sisterhood that I have found in Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. and I hope to honor it every day
We at Watch The Yard would like to commend Nicole Jordan for her work as the President of the Washington DC Alumnae Chapter which has a legacy that spans back to 1921.
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