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NFL’s 1st Black female coach Collette V. Smith delivered Delta Sigma Theta keynote during annual founders day in Detroit

First Black female National Football League coach and honorary Delta member, Collette V. Smith provided keynote luncheon address.
NFL's 1st Black female coach Collette V. Smith delivered Delta Sigma Theta keynote during annual founders day in Detroit
Delta Sigma Theta – Detroit Alumnae Chapter 2021-2023 Executive Board (Photo Credit: Annistique Photography)
DETROIT – (January 16, 2023) – After a two-year hiatus, the Detroit Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. returned to their in-person, annual Founders Day Luncheon. A sold-out event of nearly 800+ of the public-service sorority members convened, along with city, state and federal officials, and notables in business and community for their 110th annual observance themed “Violets, Voices & Victories.”
The annual luncheon and program was held Saturday, Jan. 14 at 11 a.m. located at The Henry (a Marriott Autograph Collection Hotel) – 300 Town Center Dr. in Dearborn, Michigan. WDIV Channel 4 Detroit’s own, Megan Woods served as the event emcee.
This keynote speaker, Collette V. Smith, is NFL’s first Black female coach; founder, president & CEO of Believe N You, Inc., and honorary member, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. Smith became the first African American female coach in the NFL and is the first female coach for the NY Jets. Collette V. Smith was a former women’s pro football player with the New York Sharks.
One hundred and ten years ago, 22 collegiate women founded Delta Sigma Theta Sorority on the campus of Howard University, in Washington DC. These courageous young Founders marched in the historic Women’s Suffrage Parade later that same year. Today the Sorority has more than 350,000 collegiate and alumnae members in the U.S. and abroad. Each year, during the month of January, more than 1,000 chapters pause to reflect, observe and pay tribute to the organization’s rich history of social action, political awareness and community involvement.
“Our organization proudly embodies public service through our many community programs that help solve varieties of societal needs that make touchpoints locally, nationally and internationally,” said Katrenia L. Camp, president, Detroit Alumnae Chapter, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. “Many of our programs serve community needs such as our Expungement Fair, our youth mentorship programs such as E.M.B.O.D.I. and Delta GEMS, voter registration, meal distribution and arts enrichment programs and more,” said Camp.
The luncheon provided an opportunity to gather in accordance to reflect upon the Sorority’s founding principles, paid tribute to those 22 college-educated women who established the public service sorority 110 years ago on the campus of Howard University and highlight the international organization’s programs and achievements that contribute to the betterment of society by addressing its many needs.
“It was thrilling to gather in person once again for our annual Founders Day observance with my fellow Delta sisters who will travel from across metro Detroit and beyond, along with hundreds of guests for this occasion,” says Lisa Williams, chair, Founders Day committee. “The spirit of honoring 22 brave, forward-thinking and selfless women who started with a visionary idea 110 years ago, of an organization of women seeking to improve the world they lived and for future generations to come is a pride-filled and ever enduring sentiment that we continue to cherish,” said Williams.
About Detroit Deltas
Detroit Deltas are college-educated women who are community leaders, serving in a variety of professions, including education, health care and law. The Chapter’s public service activities include social action to address voter rights, support with the expungement of criminal records, financial education, support for small businesses, increasing awareness of human trafficking, and providing those in homeless shelters with meals. The Chapter also constructed and supports the operation of Delta Manor, a residential facility for seniors. In recent years, Detroit Deltas have awarded more than a half-million dollars in scholarship funds. For more information, go to

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