Sorority, Donaldsonville join for Juneteenth _lowres

Photo provided by Tamiko Garrison -- Gathering June 13 at the Donaldsonville Juneteenth celebration are members of the Ascension Alumnae Chapter of the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc., front row from left, Evelina Jones and Jevella Williamson and second row, Kristen Irvin, Tamiko Francis Garrison, Terry Joseph, Michelle Taylor, Hollis Baker Graves and Nancy Henderson.

The Ascension Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. joined Donaldsonville June 13-14 to celebrate Juneteenth in Louisiana Square.

During the two days, chapter alumnae distributed information, “providing food for the mind and body,” a news release said.

Donaldsonville has commemorated Juneteenth for the past 19 years. On June 19, 1865, the slaves in Galveston, Texas, were informed by a Union general about the Emancipation Proclamation signed by President Abraham Lincoln. The news of emancipation came nearly 2½ years after the signing of the proclamation.

That history was outlined in a pamphlet handed out by the chapter alumnae at the event. The chapter also held a voter’s registration drive at the event, and members provided information on health and wellness and handed out free healthy snacks and water.

“A gentleman approached our booth and said, ‘May I have some information about breast cancer? My fiancée found a lump in her breast, and I would like to share this information with her,’ ” Hollis Baker-Graves, president of the Ascension Alumnae Chapter, said. “I was so touched to be able to share the wealth of information we had on breast cancer, and he was extremely grateful.”

Chapter member Tamiko Francis Garrison was the chairwoman of the Juneteenth Festival, carrying on a family tradition started by her mother.

Ascension Alumnae Chapter was chartered in Ascension Parish in April, and its service area includes Darrow, Donaldsonville, Dutchtown, Galvez, Geismar, Gonzlaes, Oak Grove, Prairieville, Sorrento and St. Amant.

Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. was founded in 1913 on the campus of Howard University to promote academic excellence; to provide scholarships; to provide support to the underserved; to educate and stimulate participation in the establishment of positive public policy; and to highlight issues and provide solutions for problems in their communities, the release said.

Delta Sigma Theta Sorority has over 250,000 members and more than 900 chapters worldwide.

For more information, visit