In an effort to highlight the people who are leading graduate chapters across the nation, we at Watch The Yard reached out to the sorors of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc.’s Metropolitan Dallas Alumnae Chapter in the Dallas and did an interview with Tonya Muraguri 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. Muraguri, who is a global manager focused on strategic sourcing, has served in the position of president for two months.
We interviewed Muraguri, who is a Spring 2001 initiate of her sorority 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 does it mean to be a chapter president to you?
Being a Chapter President of a Greek organization can be quite different from any other. It means working collectively with my chapter Sorors to leave a legacy for our chapter/ organization and the community we serve that transcends beyond anything we can imagine. I seek to put the needs of others first and help people develop and perform to their highest potential. In doing so, I will develop a pipeline of leaders to further enhance the legacy and empower generations of communities to come.
What specific initiatives is your chapter heading up this year and how do you think they will improve the surrounding community?
The Metropolitan Dallas Alumnae Chapter has several initiatives underway that align with our National Five Point Programmatic Thrust focused around, educational and economic development, political involvement, health awareness and international support. Some of our local initiatives include:
1. Census 2020 – Counting an increasingly diverse and growing population is a massive undertaking in the metropolitan Dallas community. We will partner and collaborate with other community service organizations to educate our community members about why participation in the census is important and how their participation or lack thereof, directly impacts services and resources our community receives.
2. Youth Programs – Through our 3 youth programs, Delta Academy, Delta GEMS and EMBODI, we provide a curriculum that instills the need to achieve academically and define the individual brilliance for boys and girls ages 11 – 18. We hold monthly sessions where we expose the youth to various topics ranging from STEM Careers, Budget/Finance, Health, Personal Safety, Community Service, College Preparedness, etc.
3. Health – Physical and mental health programs will encourage and educate our community on healthy lifestyles. We will partner with our National Charitable Partners to host a health fair, educational forums and healthy lifestyle activities. Partnerships with our National Charitable Partners like Sisters Network, American Diabetes Association and others, allows us to be strategic in our approach to improving our interest in the welfare of our personal health.
What made you want to pledge Delta Sigma Theta?
As the first Greek in my immediate family, Delta Sigma Theta aligned with my family values of giving back and standing up for what is right. I grew up participating in Delta youth programs which enhanced my life as a young adult and empowered me to pursue higher education through scholarships and grant assistance. Delta’s legacy and profound history embodies joy is our sisterhood, service in our hearts and power in our voices. And 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?
Our chapter has invested in our community by purchasing property for the establishment of a life development center known as One Delta Place (ODP) located in South Dallas, previously a crack house. We believe our presence shows our interest and commitment to improving our community. ODP consists of a conference room, technology lab, and a spacious meeting room used for large group meetings, seminars or workshops. For over 30 years ODP has served as a visible sign in the Dallas community where youth, adults and families are exposed to empowering and uplifting sessions and a variety of community services tailored to meet their needs. As well, ODP has served as a site for community health screenings, community forums and is the primary meeting place for three academic empowerment programs, Delta Academy, Delta GEMS, and EMBODI, for youth ages 11 – 18.
We now live in a digital world, what do you think alumni chapters across all orgs need to do to represent themselves online in 2019?
It is very strategic and beneficial for alumnae chapters to encourage and allow their younger members to develop and lead the chapter’s technology/marketing initiatives. This effort will help bridge the generational gap between members, increase younger members’ involvement, provide opportunities for innovation and forward thinking to occur, and help maintain an appealing and active online presence. Remaining active on all social media platforms can be a challenge, but if managed properly, this will help alumnae chapters reach a broader audience to support their events and programs, in addition to, accessing opportunities to collaborate with more local organizations that align with our purpose and mission.
What does leadership mean to you?
True leadership is about service, accountability and sacrifice. My desire to lead came as a yearning to influence, motivate and enable others to serve causes bigger than themselves. People can accomplish much when inspired by a purpose beyond themselves. With a 2019 – 2021 biennium theme of Think Big, Act Big and Set out to accomplish Big Results, the members of the Metropolitan Dallas Alumnae Chapter are challenged to lead with big and impactful intentions.
Why do you think Watch The Yard is important to Black greekdom?
Watch the Yard is important to Black Greekdom because it is a digital keepsake of Black achievements in the modern day. It also serves as a resource for current events relevant to the Black Greek community. Watch the Yard is an innovative vessel in Black Greekdom and leadership. By highlighting and sharing the accomplishments of organizations and individuals across the nation, you all are inspiring and influencing the ideas and efforts of our respective organizations’ mission and purpose.
What does sisterhood mean to you?
Sisterhood is the essence of patience, grace and forgiveness. It is an active practice that requires intentional and continuous love. As sisters, we share special moments, and we exchange our deepest thoughts. Sometimes we get hurt or frustrated, but dissolving the sisterly bond entirely is simply not an option. With line sisters, chapter sisters, etc., we make the decision over and over to salvage and protect our bonds. This is our lifetime commitment.
How is your chapter providing for the undergraduate chapters you support?
Through our Collegiate Connection (CC) initiative, we embrace our collegiate (undergraduate) Sorors with open arms to encourage a smooth transition from college to an alumnae chapter by collaborating on events/activities throughout the sorority year, inviting them to our chapter meeting and various fellowship activities. Moreover, understanding the financial strain on new graduates, the Metropolitan Dallas Alumnae Chapter offers an incentive for collegiate Sorors to transition into our chapter immediately upon graduation by fully waiving their 1st year of local dues and half of their 2nd year of local dues. The CC initiative has afforded us the opportunity to build lasting relationships with the collegiate chapters in our local area and to be a sounding board and support system for our collegiate Sorors.
We at Watch The Yard would like to commend Tonya Muraguri for her work as the president of the Metropolitan Dallas Alumnae Chapter which has a legacy that spans back to 1985.